Friday, June 10, 2011

200 Miles Down. 600 To Go

It wasn't long after we posted our last blog when the late afternoon wind piped up into the mid-20's. Then the seas built to 6-8' with occasional steep 10 foot sets pounding our hull. We were still hugging the coast, only a few miles offshore, and it seemed prudent to switch tacks and start heading out to sea. But, of course, the wind backed directly where we wanted to point so we patiently waited and ran further up the coast. We struggled to make 2-3 knots and continued to get smacked by the big ones stalling any forward momentum we were making. Water poured over the decks as DK shook each tremor off and plowed onward. It was a long afternoon and early evening, and our dinner consisted of a few saltines and another couple Stugeron pills, the best remedy for seasickness we know of.

Chingitos were still in effect and we hoped for the usual overnight wind die-down period. Thankfully, we weren't disappointed.
10 pm and everything started mellowing. The winds clocked around more to the north, the gusts were only in the 15-18 knot range and the bigger seas less and less consistent. We finally changed tacks, pointed a few miles off of Punta Tosca, the southern cape of Mag Bay, and started making miles again.

Supposedly the best time to make northerly miles on the Baja Bash is from 11 pm to 11 am. So far we are believers.
The Yanmar hummed and the reefed-mainsail did all she could to keep us from rolling too much as we punched through the choppy seas and worked our way around the Cape and up the edge of southern Magdalena Bay. With even better luck, we actually had a positive northerly current pushing us along as we have had almost the whole way from Cabo Falso. We would take anything we could get and were just hoping that the winds and seas would stay sleepy until late morning. They did.

The watermelon slice of a half moon got swallowed by the sea by 0200 and the stars glittered in the cold clear skies. Even though the winds layed down a bit, it was still cold. I think yesterday was the last day for barefeet. We have covered our brown toes with thick socks and sea boots. We both snuggled deep into our fleeces and foulies last night, tucking ourselves under the dodger on the leeward side, as far away from the wind and cold as we could be while on watch.

It really feels like we are headed homeward bound now. With the cold water and air come familiar sea friends. Ancient pelicans fly in formation, skimming the tops of waves. Cormorants sit seemingly comfortably in the heaving seas and scatter, their black webbed feet kicking off wave trains gracelessly as we plow through their domain. Spinner dolphins visited us once again and everything looks crisp and clear. The light is different here where the sea and desert meet.

Golden windswept and barren hills contrast dramatically with the teal green sea. Mt. San Lazaro hovers above us, creating a barrier between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Maria Bay. It seems like yesterday when we tucked in here right before Christmas of 2006.

We dropped our hook this morning at about 1100 in a mix of 10 other sail and motor yachts headed north. Some have been here for over a week waiting for better weather. The chilly north-westerly wind funnels through the notch reminding us of our old friend, Hurricane Gulch in the San Francisco Bay. We'll see how long our hook stays planted here. For now it is good to be warm and cozy.

No comments: