Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Amy!

What a day. We woke at 2:30 am to find that we were one of the only boats left in the anchorage, the remaining having left an hour or two previously. By 3am, we were also on our way to Los Muertos, in hopes of arriving at daylight. As we listened to the radio chatter, we realized that the seas were larger than forecast, but we pushed on regardless. We also decided to take advantage of the wind, and take a course well out to sea, and tack back in again later in the afternoon, in order to keep the wind at a favorable angle, instead of bashing into a headwind. Of course, this adds more distance to our total distance, but we hoped for faster boat speeds, and a more favorable motion...not to mention saving some $$ on diesel costs. This was contrary to our usual method of favoring the straight line on our GPS...regardless of wind angle and sailing opportunities.

As it turned out, we took much longer than anticipated, and endured some pretty rough sailing conditions. Waves broke frequently over the deck and cockpit. I received a shocking soaking, as I lie in the sea berth (our main 'couch', so to speak) and we hadn't tighted down the main hatch...which is under the dinghy! The cockpit was frequently drenched in spray, and even our main v-berth up front received water through a solar hatch vent. We had the sailed reefed down to small scraps of canvas, yet still the boat was heeled right over, with the leeward rail regularily dipping into the water.

At some point, our furling line for our main genoa broke, and we struggled to control the large sail that we had to drop to the deck and stuff into a bag, all while the boat leapt up and down seemingly huge seas. But we worked together, and managed to get it tamed, and tucked away in the cockpit. We still had use of our staysail, but decided we needed to change out the regular sail that we kept on deck for the tougher, stronger, storm staysail. So of course, that required another sail to be brought down and bagged. We both got thrown around the deck now and again, and John almost went over the lifelines, but was saved by his harness. If all that wasn't enough...the pump on the head finally quit, and we lost another fish.

Our last couple of hours into the anchorage were uneventful, and we arrived shortly after dark, in the company of three of four other boats. The boats that had made their arrivals before nightfall gave a summary of the anchorage, and lit up the area to guide us in. What a great group of folks.

After a simple dinner, and a beer to celebrate Amy's birthday, we fell exhausted into bed.

No pictures today - camera would have been soaked!


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Hi - thanks for leaving a comment on the blog! Cheers - John and Naomi