Years Of Sailing In The Sea Of Cortez
By JOHN M. DERBY
December 7, 2017
Little did we know, when we sailed under the Golden Gate
and headed south, that we would be sailing around the Sea
of Cortez, Mexico, for the next 18 years. It was not
We were sailing around the world, but we decided to make
a detour when we got to La Paz, and we sailed north into
the Sea of Cortez. We found the most beautiful bay in the
world call Bahia Conception, and fell in love with a little
beach community called Posada Conception.
five years we realized that the Sea of Cortez, with it hurricanes
was no place for a big boat in the summer months, and so
we sailed the "Day Dreamer" back to San Francisco
Bay where she remained docked. Meanwhile, we trailered another
boat called the Flying Dutchman to Mexico, and found it
perfect for the hurricanes because it could be launched
from the beach.
Dutchman is out there now bobbing on the water, about 500
yards off shore, moored to a couple of engine blocks and
an anchor. It gets a new paint job on the bottom because
the heat of the water causes almost any animal to grow to
Dutchman was built in 1975 by Bayliner, and it is an amazing
boat surviving the worst weather conditions imaginable.
It has been through a dozen hurricanes, the last one just
this last year.
bring the sails back to California, when we come, but other
than that, the boat seems to have made a home of Mexico,
just like we have.
is no simple task as it takes the very highest tide to make
sure there is enough water to float the sailboat off the
trailer. We picked last Wednesday as the day to launch and
we knew the drill.
important. Make sure the outboard is running smoothly. We
started it the night before, and then just to make sure,
we started it again the day of the launch. Then when we
floated the Dutchman off the trailer and spun her around
to head out of sea, the motor came to life and then died.
The second try came with the same results.
and fourth tries to get the motor running were no better.
We had to wave to shore that we needed help and fortunately
we had a backup. A friend with an inflatable came out and
side-tied to our boat, taking us out to where our mooring
was embarrassing but nothing that had not happened before.
The fact that half the park was watching the launch made
it just a little more embarrassing.
took the next day to clean all the bird stuff and the dirt
off the top of the boat, but had the motor worked, we would
have been ready to sail. It is not that sailboats need a
motor to sail but without one there could be some real difficulty
if the winds turn wild … and they have been known
to do just that.