delivery part 1: cabo san lucas to bahia tortugas

This is a three part delivery that spanned two countries and two boats. I started in Cabo San Lucas on a J35.

I’d gotten a call from a friends’ ex-boyfriend asking if I wanted to help with a delivery. I really wanted to expand my knowledge of weather reading for passage planning, as well as coastal navigation. I had 2 days notice to buy a plane ticket to Cabo and to find someone to watch the pups. They were having issues with their power source not charging their phones and tablets, so I brought an inverter I used on road trips. It was a scramble to get everything together, but I made it happen with the help of my local friends.


When the boat arrived in Cabo, we were supposed to leave the next day. However, the Captain didn’t like how the weather window changed and he wanted to wait for the next one, 6 days away. I knew I wasn’t going to like Cabo, and guess what? I don’t. I ran early in the mornings, went to the quietest spots I could find on the beach before it got too crowded, got sunburnt, slept, read, watched YouTube, and cherished my ear plugs which drowned out “I’m a Barbie Girl” playing for the 200th time. The up side? I got to watch the Warriors win the Championship! I also took the bus up to Todos Santos, a cute little artsy town I’ve read so many other sailors have loved. I would have rather spent a little more time there, so I’ll have to return when I’m in the area again.

We provisioned twice and had enough food for two months, even though we were only going 900 miles. My Spanish fluency had come in handy, as I found a much better place to provision at than Wal-Mart. If anyone is provisioning in Cabo or La Paz, City Club is where it’s at. It’s like a local Costco, and they’ll give you a pass for one-time shopping so you don’t have to have a membership. Our weather window arrived and the Captain again thought we should wait for a different weather window because there were two hurricane systems out there. We could either leave and have a 1,000% chance to miss them, or sit and wait to see if the hurricanes came ashore. Much to the Captains dismay (and after a phone call to his parents) we took off north.


I can’t say anything spectacular happened, I was just enjoying being out on the water. The skies were pretty hazy from hurricanes Aletta and Bud, but the wind and swells weren’t affected. It just meant we couldn’t see the stars at night and I couldn’t get many decent pictures of the coast. So. Much. Fog!

It took me a couple of days to realize the crew weren’t talking to me. Like, at all. I didn’t mind it, they were pretty difficult to have a normal conversation with. However, I kept trying to ask questions about things they’d promised to show me, like the weather readings and coastal navigation tactics. I got only “let me look” answers. They’d disappear into the cabin, and I’d never hear what the verdict was on anything. Literally every sailing related question I asked in the two weeks we were on the boat was met with “let me see” or “oh, don’t worry about it” or “I’ll show you out there” only to be followed up with “I’ll show you once we get in.” To top it off, I didn’t know how to use the engine, the autopilot, or anything else on the boat. Of course, he said he’d show me and didn’t.


We were going a very slow 3 or 4 knots, which gave me a lot of time to contemplate why I decided to leave on a boat with a Captain who smelt like alcohol when he arrived at the dock in Cabo. Clearly these guys did not want me on board. Early on I refused to comply with their unspoken expectation that I was going to cook and clean up after them, which really upset them when I verbalized it. I wasn’t getting paid for this, and I wasn’t learning anything either. There was no point in wasting my time. I’d decided to jump ship as soon as we got to Turtle Bay, which took five days for us to reach. It should not take so long, but incompetence is alive and well with this crew.

We arrived (finally) to Bahia Tortugas around 9:30 am. I’d packed my bags and was ready to go as soon as the panga came to get me. I’m not going to lie, it felt pretty good to unplug their devices from my inverter and pack it into my bag! I knew the owners of the boat being delivered and am very grateful nobody was upset about me leaving the delivery early. They were primarily concerned about me safely getting off of the boat, which I did. There’s a reason most sailors’ advice has been “Trust your gut!!!”


Up next is delivery part two: bahia tortugas to san diego (aka: where the good part begins!!).