The Sonoran Passage

Writing to you from the lovely Marina in La Cruz, where Sedna is currently docked, as of this morning. After a successful passage down from Guaymas, we were able to play, swim and surf in Bandaras Bay, just before our reservation in the Marina— which we made in order to keep our floating home safe while we travel back to Juneau for the holidays. We will return to La Cruz for the New Year. Our next couple of days (after goofing off for several in beautiful Punta Mita— just on the northern tip of the bay) we are cleaning and preparing Sedna for brief storage, as well as thinking about projects for the spring, and items we could like to bring down from the States.

The following two entries I wrote during our passage. We ended up taking a total of six days and six full nights. The weather overall was very calm. Our first night out of Guaymas had good wind, but a misty fog, which shot us across the Sea to the Baja side. We tacked back across just outside of the Loreto area and aimed southeast. Our days were filled with some motoring, practicing flying our drifter sail, and working on my podcast.

The landfall in Punta Mita was lovely. We were so giddy to be down in warmer waters and see lush green trees on shore, rather than cactuses. We instantly had not one, but two cruising boats full of young cruisers come and greet us in the anchorage!! Immediate thoughts: What is this place?! And why haven’t we been here?

Now, even though we are packing up the boat for a brief stint, we are looking forward to returning and exploring more of the surrounding area— particularly with friends and family that plan to visit in the spring.



Our Sonoran Passage

"Outbound Guaymas, Inbound La Cruz"

Tuesday, November 28th—

Outbound Guaymas, Inbound Isla Isabella (or Mazatlan— or La Cruz…) 

The new Drifter out for a spin!

The new Drifter out for a spin!

Writing this log from onboard, out in the middle of the mouth of the Sea of Cortez. It’s the third full day of our “Shakedown” cruise from Guaymas, headed south. We’ve had a varied amount of weather— but as of the last day and a half, very light southerlies. However, we are sailing upwind, just eeking out any little bit of speed we can from our sails. With the light and variable winds, we still can sail closed-hauled, upwind, between 3.5 and 4.5 knots— if it picks up, we can go between 5-6 knots— which is Sedna’s happy place.

We had a weird bit of wind and dense fog on our first night out of Guaymas. We had to put on our foul-weather gear, and keep the radar on while sailing. So far, we’ve done an equal portion of sailing, motor-sailing, and just plain motoring in the flat calm. Because of the bit of weird weather we had from the north out of Guaymas, we had some weird chop that first full day, making both of us not very hungry— and slightly sea-sick (No stomach contents going overboard— happy to report).

Couple fun “Firsts” for us on this trip south:

  • This is our first time doing more than just one-overnight sail by ourselves. Every multiple overnight trip we did down the west coast was with either of our dads, or Dave Leggit. Ironically enough, the first night and full day are the most exhausting— and the last two nights we have both been sleeping in 2.5-3 hour shifts very soundly. So far, so good. Haven’t gotten sick of each other yet— and I only have been getting frustrating when Clif is a stickler about being “Clipped in.” Anytime we go outside of the companion way, into the cockpit, we’re wearing harnesses, and if we go outside of the cockpit, forward of the boat, we are “clipped in” with a carribeaner to one of our two jacklines, which are made of thick webbing and run the full length of the boat on either side.
  • We finally pulled out our Carol Hasse Drifter for the first time (a large, very thin head sail/genoa) and it’s BEAUTIFUL! It looks like a freaking Jamaican flag! I want to sail it all the time just because it looks so pretty. While it is beautiful, just like a spinnaker, it is a pain in the butt to take down and stow— so we’re thinking of easy ways to to douse the sail, without having to buy a spinnaker sock. It gives a whole different feel to our green, red and gold color scheme— Rasta boat!! Sedna Lion. Cue the reggae music…
  • Our very first HAM radio transmission under Clif’s General License call sign KL4OO! We having been tuning into the Sonrisa Ham Net for years down here, but have never owned a working transmitter. You can imagine our excitement we we finally tried to call in the other day, and someone responded back! Our quick call sign for entering and being hailed on the net is “Oscar Oscar,” which I find adorable, and somewhat humorous when multiple Ham net radio guys are relaying our transmission to other listeners— it’s a lot of Oscars. Our Ham signal is weak, but readable, which means we need to work on a few things once in La Cruz to get it really dialed it and more audible across the sea.
Clifton listening into the Sonrisa HAM radio net at the Nav station.

Clifton listening into the Sonrisa HAM radio net at the Nav station.


Other than that, it’s been a pretty mellow trip. We’ve seen quite a bit of large shipping traffic, probably headed up the middle of the sea to Guaymas or in and out of Mazatlan. I had to wake up Clif once on my watch because we were sailing, and the lights os a large boat came onto the horizon and passed in front of us. We had to change course, fall off and sail further downwind.

Thursday, November 30th, 2017—


Cheers from about 16nm north west of Isla Isabella! We’ve officially, as of today, made it past the Tropic of Cancer— which means, we’re in the tropics! And it feels like it… the heat has increased, the humidity has increased, the clouds have increased and the wildlife sightings as well. Once we started to line up with Cabo, and expose ourselves to the Pacific, we started to notice sea turtles, fairly frequently, jumping fish, and had a small pod of dolphins come join us under the bowsprit at night. We’ve also had some fairly light winds (**sometimes totally non-existant) until yesterday afternoon, when the wind picked up in our favor from the north west. 

We’ve been regularly flying the Drifter— I think it will be the sail of choice for the Pacific Crossing. It’s quiet and full, and sailing up very comfortably right now at 4.5-5 knots in maybe 9-10 knots of wind. This has been a good trip for learning lots about Sedna’s sail arrangements and configurations, as well as making a list of things we would like to improve this spring (that’s why it’s called a Shakedown, right?).

Can you spot the Boobie hitching a ride-- he roosted and stayed there all night!

Can you spot the Boobie hitching a ride-- he roosted and stayed there all night!

My sea-sickness went away after the second full day. I’ve been able to read and use my computer (which I definitely couldn’t do the first full day out sailing), and the days have become very simple. I could see how the trip across the Ocean could feel both fast, and endless. We haven’t seen land since we left the coast of Baja. Our last land sighting was Isla Cerralvo, near La Paz, so it’s ALMOST felt like a mini-ocean crossing… and makes me understands just a small amount of the desire to see land after a passage. We’ve only been away from a land sighting for three days—— try multiplying that by 8, 9 or 10!

More firsts in the last two days: Clif hooked into a Dorado (Mahi Mahi) but the big fish managed to shake the line. We realized, while he was reeling in the line, that we weren’t quite sure what we were going to “bonk” the fish with— especially one of that size…. A winch handle?? Frying pan? Bottle of wine? A square bottle of tequila might do the trick! But, alas, the fish managed to jump it self free. Here’s to another one finding our lures. I have cans to pressure cook and fill.

Should be arriving at Punta Mita tomorrow, the north end of Bandaras Bay. We were planning on stopping at Isla Isabella, but the timing didn’t quite work out—- especially since we only wanted to arrive during the day into a new, fair Wx anchorage. Onward we press, for one more night down to the Bay of Flags…. A winter home for many a west coast cruiser.