Thursday, June 9, 2011

Up the Outside Day 1

Chingitos is my new favorite word. It means fingers crossed in Spanish; it also has something to do with monkeys that I don't understand. So far chingitos has worked. We're off and on our way north.

Yesterday, after waking up early and planning on a leisurely day of projects and lazing about we checked the weather and re-checked the weather, tuned into weather guru Don Anderson's report on the HF radio to no avail, and then, finally, made a decision. Leave San Jose del Cabo pronto.

Being able to completely transform our plan for the day of our passage always fills me with such appreciation and joy. Throughout the years, again and again, we have morphed ourselves by clicking into our wondertwin powers to 'form of' something and then responded.

Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind, but in a good way. I powered out another fresh food shop and Gar did a few final boat projects. By the end of the day food was stored, soup was made, projects were done, shade tarps were stowed and we even got to relax for an hour. We had a really thoughtful evening thanks to Captain Jim Elfers, the author of the 'Baja Bash' books and the marina manager for San Jose Del Cabo. Jim kindly hosted a dinner for three circumnavigator boats in San Jose del Cabo, SV Magnum, SV Carmen Miranda and Us. Thanks Jim.

At 10 pm, we slipped out of the marina leaving under starry skies and a grinning moon in 12 knots of head-wind and bumpy seas. Motoring through chop and light 12 knot winds I prayed to all of the spirits I belive in and that my chingitos were working and the wind would behave when we rounded the notoriously windy Cabo Falso. The journey up the Baja is not generally known to be an easy one and is referred to as the Baja Bash for a reason. There are 5 windy capes we have to round, often with increased winds of 10-15 knots above wind speed as well as long stretches of windy headwinds often building to steep fetch. Patience, strategy, and perseverance, along with a pinch of luck, are required for a safe and successful passage north.

Last night Lady Luck was with us. By midnight our winds were down to 5-10 knots and rounding Cabo Falso was a gratefully graceful beginning. We raced along, motor sailing throughout the star sprinkled night in light winds making 5-6 knots throughout the night. Dawn broke with chilly dry desert air licking my cheeks and bare toes. The mountains turned the color of the flesh of nectarines for a moments before the sun splashed the sea with glittering diamonds. Pelicans dove nearby and two pangas raced into the horizon behind us. Three pods of spinner dolphins have come for a visit, their groups each over a hundred strong.

DreamKeeper is greeting the increasing winds and swell like a champion. Green water washes over our decks intermittently now as it becomes late afternoon and we are grateful we chose this weather window. I struggle to type as we hobby-horse up and down and side to side. The rig groans in weak protest and she powers on. Eighty nine miles till Bahia Santa Maria where we hope to wait for a better weather window before continuing homeward bound. Chingitos.

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