June 7, 2001
Magdalena Bay, Baja, Mexico

Moment of Bliss: A Blessed Landfall
By Gunter        

We had left Cabo San Lucas in the middle of the night at 02300 because the wind at the dock went down to a few knots, which indicated also lower winds when rounding the infamous Cabo and Cabo Falso, which are known for furious winds and seas.

And indeed, when we rounded the capes, the wind freshened to 20 knots and the sea became very bumpy. However, after a few hours, conditions improved and we had a good trip throughout the day and the night. The next day, a marine layer was forming with dense fog and high humidity. Visibility very limited. Our landfall was planned into a large bay: Bahia Santa Magdalena, or Mag Bay for gringo sailors.

My morning watch started at 0600, which was the time when we came close to the entrance of the bay. Slowly, as we approached the bay, the marine layer started to lift and I could make out the profile of the wide entrance. There were high cliffs on both sides of the entrance and a wide bay behind, promising a safe anchorage.

As the fog lifted completely, I became very enchanted with the magnificent view of the cliffs and the bay, as I sailed the boat into the bay. I put on my tape with sailorsí songs and sang the old songs along with the tape, full of joy and bliss, in the experience of this magic moment. Hundreds of years ago this bay was a refuge for the Spanish galleons which sailed from Acapulco to the Philippines loaded with copper, silver and other trading goods, returning from the northern route with gold, silk and spices. I could feel a sense of comradeship with the ancient mariners, who plied the same waters with ships that could barely go to weather and had none of the means on board which make our life underway so easy: Watermaker, GPS, Single Side Band Radiotelephones, freezer and fridges, autopilot, VHF etc.

Nevertheless, the mountains, wind and the ocean remain the same as those enjoyed by those ancient mariners.

 

 

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