[031224, 0424 UTC, Cabo San  Lucas, BCS, Mexico; 22º53.4'N/109º54.02' W]

Dear Friends;

Feliz Navidad!

We left Bahia Magdalena (“Mag Bay”) on Monday as we had hoped and enjoyed perfect sailing conditions for approximately 27 hours; a great gift in this part of the coast of Baja where winds can be too light to sail.  We’re now in Cabo San Lucas and are adjusting to the cacophony and sensory overload that tourist activity brings to such destinations. 

Our trip, though just under two days, was interesting.  Just after clearing Punta Entrada exiting Mag Bay, we sighted more grey whales that gave us a great show of blowing and, in particular, breaching, albeit from a distance.  A couple of hours later, near Punta Tosca, we were entertained by the company of hundreds of joyous dolphins who cruised along with us for nearly an hour, surfacing, splashing and jumping sometimes in tandem as if in a marine park show!

Overnight everything was quiet and we passed a textbook passage night with enough wind to sail at nearly 5 knots, able to keep a steady course despite waves and swell, with few gusts or wind direction shifts that required attention to sails or the windvane.  (We have decided to name the windvane “Bud” in honor of Philip’s late friend and partner in adventure. The windvane Bud has the qualities that made the human Bud so invaluable on an adventure trip: steadfastness, dependability and strength.)  Millions of stars filled the skies and, at the winter solstice, we witnessed the twinkling of thousands more stars—and some brilliant shooting stars—than we can normally see in our light-filled skies near civilization. 

At dawn, things changed with winds dying for a period, than picking up to spirited winds from the east off the peninsula, bringing with them a sweet smell of land.  Just before lunch, the wind stopped blowing as if someone threw off a switch.  We were quickly left with sails flapping and swell from two directions.  Disappointed, we realized it was time to accept defeat and use our engine. 

Nearly 12 hours later (!) we had our anchor set near the beach at Cabo San Lucas.  It was 2325 hours (11:25 p.m.).  We had negotiated into the bay around the confused seas at Cabo Falso, and the famous Cabo San Lucas rocks.  We had been confused by the brilliance of thousands of lights from condos, street lights, etc. which blinded us to the hazards of unlighted anchored vessels.  Once swinging on our own secure anchor we, exhausted, set our anchor drag alarm and fell into bed well after midnight.  Today we awoke and looked around to see the full glory of this boom town and its spectacular location. 

After strong coffee and sustenance this morning, we cleaned ourselves up (Philip even shaved), donned our Carina shirts (with collars), called a water taxi and visited Migracion (Immigration), the Capitania de la Puerto (Port Captain) and API (Fish and Game) with our crew list (written in Spanish) and are now free of paperwork until just before our departure.  To celebrate, we splurged and bought a round of margaritas and one taco each at a tourist restaurant in the inner harbor before finding the (excellent, though pricey) supermercado for fresh provisions.

Our plans right now are to spend Christmas with friends Dennis and Fredricka and then to venture off to Los Frailes (“The Friars”, approx. 50 miles north) for New Years (and Philip’s birthday!).  Our nod to Christmas includes decorating our cabin with our Mr. and Mrs. Claus hats and our lone WA State Ferries Christmas ornament, but our CD collection and our memories of Christmases with family and friends brings the warmth of the holidays, despite distance, to our small velero (sailboat).

Philip, Leslie and Jake (el gato primo)