It was pretty much pitch black when we finally pulled into Bahia Frailes. Our vow to motor as little as possible mostly adhered to today as we sailed down the Baja Coast from Bahia de Los Muertos with our biggest headsail, “Old Whitie”. Arriving after dark is the toll you sometimes pay for sailing more and motoring less. Lucy however was very concerned about her shore leave status once we got the anchor down. None of us could see the shore but we could hear the surf. Frailes is just close enough to the southern tip of the Baja peninsula to get swells wrapping around from the open Pacific. I launched the paddle board and she jumped right on with her doggie life jacket and glow stick so we figured she was game to give it a go. It didn’t take much paddling before a wave grabbed us and we were flying toward the beach. Ahh, the thrill of riding a wave in total darkness. We might have actually made ashore relatively unscathed had Lucy not decided to bail on the whole program– jumped overboard –I guess she figured that it was safer in the cauldron of churning white water than riding on the board with me. Actually, her reasoning probably isn’t far off the mark. Anyway, I was able to reach over and grab the handle on her doggie lifejacket and drag dog and paddleboard ashore. Lucy was really happy. It’s a sweet stretch of sandy beach there and she had a great romp but when it was time to head back out to the boat, Lucy was quite unwilling to get onboard the paddle board. Finally, she sprinted down the beach and leaped on the board just as we had a good lull in the wave pattern. It was the right call on her part, we made it back out through the invisible breakers with out mishap. Hot showers for us both and a good night’s sleep before our departure the next morning for San Blas on the mainland coast. More great sailing with up to 18 knots of wind on the beam. We made it in 42 hours, arriving at dawn after the 2nd night at sea. Not bad.
After tying up at the marina, we discovered that our refrigeration had crapped out. Not our first equipment challenge of the season. In October, up north in San Carlos, as we were recommissioning the boat for the season, we discovered a crapped-out battery charger/inverter. Luckily, we still had use of our van and were able to drive back to the US to pick up a new one we had shipped to Arizona. Not so lucky with the refrigeration repair since we’re much further from the border. We heard that shipping to Mexico is unpredictable, unreliable and very expensive. The expensive part proved to be quite true but we were able to ship parts down in about 4 days. First the parts we didn’t need (bad advice from factory tech). Then the right part after the local refrigeration guy in La Cruz checked it out. Hopefully he’ll reinstall the unit tomorrow and we’ll be able to head on down the coast. Barra de Navidad for Christmas is looking like a good possibility. Mechanical issues aside, we’ve had a great fall sailing down the Baja. We’ve been able to hit most of our favorite anchorages and cross paths with many of our sailing friends. It really is a tight knit community of cruisers here even though everyone is often spread over many hundreds of miles of coast. But we just keep crossing paths with various boats and enjoying the time together.