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Wednesday, December 04, 1996

Magdelina Bay Sunrise

Sunrise in Mexico
wingssail-Fredrick Roswold


Tuesday, December 03, 1996

December 3, 1996- Bahia de Tortugas, Baja California

December 3,1996-Turtle Bay

The boat is gently rocking, the wind has died off to just a breeze. Tonight we are anchored in Bahia de Tortugas (Turtle Bay) on the west coast of Baja. This big bay, closed on three sides, provides protection from the ocean swells, and is one of the best anchorages we’ve been in since leaving the Northwest, and we are happy to be here.

There are ten or twelve boats anchored nearby, dark shapes barely visible in the deepening shade of the evening. With the binoculars I sweep the harbor, and I am able to pick each boat out of the gloom. Some of them have lights glowing from their port holes, and one by one they will also turn on anchor lights.

The town is a string of pearls on the north shore and the surrounding hills have finally disappeared in the darkness. Earlier we watched as the sun got lower and turned the hills and other geographic features of this place into deep colors and shadows.

I return below where we are listening to the stereo, and drinking Tequila. There are no sounds outside, it is quiet and it seems very big and empty out there.

This is a very peaceful place, Bahia de Tortugas

December 8, 1996-Magdelina Bay

I sat on deck drinking coffee and listening to Javier’s rooster crowing at sunrise today in Magdelena Bay, 250 miles down the coast from Turtle Bay. I think it was Javier’s rooster because everyone has a few roosters, and there are plenty of Javiers.

Listening to Javier’s rooster (or Julio’s), I watched the sky, the clouds tinged with gold, and the mist on the mountain tops behind town. This town is smaller and quieter than Turtle Bay. Can that be possible?

I like to have my coffee as the sun comes up, at sea or at anchor.

We sailed here from Turtle Bay in 42 hours and I saw two sunrises. Beside the sunrises, it was a good passage. We sailed all the way and we beat all the other boats which coming here too. We also caught a Bonita on the way, which we barbequed last night, and it was delicious.

We’ll stay here a couple of days then sail on to Cabo San Lucas, only 30 hours away now.

Fred & Judy, SV WINGS, Baja


Monday, December 02, 1996

Religious Festival

Festival to welcome the fishing fleet
wingssail-Fredrick Roswold

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Sunday, December 01, 1996

December 2, 1996-Radio Wars

December 2, 1996-Radio Wars

“WINGS, what do you have down?” the voice crackled through the radio without prelude.

We’d just arrived in Turtle Bay and after motoring around the anchored fleet had dropped our hook. Apparently one of the other skippers wanted to talk about our anchoring technique.

Something about this guy’s tone set me off, so my response was sarcastic.

“An anchor, why?”

“What type of anchor?”

“I have a sufficient anchor.”

“Hey skipper, this is serious so I’d like a polite reply. Several of us here have been here a couple of days and you’ve just arrived and it has been really blowing. Last night it was blowing 35 and we were up all night worrying and watching. We’ve all got about 200 feet of chain and we are concerned about you. You are pretty close to us. So what is your ground tackle?”

“I have a plow and chain.”

He gave up on us but soon he was on the radio talking to his friends and they were talking to each other about how concerned they were, about how difficult some people were to deal with, (meaning me), and the others were congratulating the guy on his diplomacy.

Obviously Judy and I had stumbled into an established fleet, and we’d offended them by anchoring within their territory. I’m also sure my radio response to the “Alpha Male” wasn’t properly deferential. Who knows in what other ways we had offended them. Right at that moment we were feeling pretty unwelcome.

So that is how our stay here at Turtle Bay got started. Judy and I both felt that we’d been in an argument and lost. Maybe I should have just told the guy to go to hell, or maybe I should have licked his ass. At any rate, we don’t like being the cause of continuing bad feelings so we raised the anchor and moved completely around the whole anchored fleet to the back of everyone, which ended the confrontation, but it sure left a bad feeling with us.

We learned two things from this encounter: One, be very careful what you say on the radio; everyone is listening. I came off badly in that exchange and we knew we’d have to live with the opinions that the members of this fleet had formed of us because of that radio conversation for a long time. Secondly, winning an anchoring dispute just isn’t worth it. People don’t have to be right to be territorial and aggressive. If you argue with them, you automatically lose, because even if you win the argument, the hard feelings will remain, and the cruising community is small.

We also learned that this guy on the radio is a jerk. Now that I know what kind of a guy he is I think I know how to bug him. Someday I’m going to really yank his chain real good..

Fred & Judy, SV WINGS, Baja

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