Monday, December 29, 2014

Crossing Over to Isla Isabel

La Paz to Isla Isabel

We left at 9:00 as scheduled this am with all of our dock 3 friends there to give us hugs and send us off.  What a beautiful sendoff it was!

We motored most of the way through the channel and put the sails up to get to the San Lorenzo channel.  We ended up turning on the motor and motor sailing to get out of a shoal area and in between the channel markers.  However, once we made the turn, we had a beautiful downwind course.
First Mate Kate at the helm

Mike plotting our course to Isla Isabel

After a while we pulled in the head sail and just sailed with the main because we could run a little easier and be closer to our rhumb line.  Right after a gorgeous pink,  purple, blue, yellow and orange sunset the winds seemed to die.  We decided to take down the main and motor because the sail was just snapping back and forth, seemingly angry that we couldn't keep her sail full.

A beautiful sunset to launch our first overnight

Within the hour the winds picked up and we were raising and reefing the main.  The seas were really unruly and confused.  I felt like we were in a large, undulating  washing machine.  Did I mention it was completely dark now?  As we resumed a downwind point of sail (broad reach to run) Mike let out the main.  All of a sudden the main sheet was flying loose!  Somehow there was no knot keeping the line threaded.  So, I took the helm and Mike went forward to save the line and re-thread it. The auto pilot is a great invention and I am really thankful for how well it is working.  That being said, as we tried to get it set for the evening watch schedule we had a difficult time getting it to keep an ideal course because of the seas.  So, while I was down getting our salad course of dinner, Mike accidentally gybed.  Yep.  Broke off the hook for the preventer.  Thus, he had to repair that, too!

I write this at 2:13 am and all is well.  Mike is sleeping and the lovely auto pilot is still dutifully keeping us on course.  I watched the lovely, bright orange moon disguised as a large eye watching over us simply melt into the sea just as I had watched the sun set.  Now it is pitch black with only the light coming from the stars, our running lights and this iPad.  Suddenly, I feel alone.  I didn't realize how much comfort I felt from the moon and I was sad to see it to set.

I am wishing now that I had paid more attention in my weather and space class, as my familiar constellations include Ursa major and minor, Orion, and Cassiopeia.  There isn't a cloud in the sky tonight and I could have a hay day if I knew more! 


We awoke to calm seas and clear skies.  Mike inspected the boat and found a bunch of little squid that had a big adventure during the night and ended up on our deck.  We thought about keeping them for bait but then we both decided we didn't want anything to slow our progress. Even catching a dorado.

We had a lazy day with no wind.  I found myself cleaning up the boat just to have something to do.  

Mike and I started the Podcast "Serial" today.  We both had heard about it on NPR and wanted to check it out, so Mike had downloaded the series before we left. Essentially it is about a young Muslim boy who is accused and charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend.  The host is an ex-reporter for the Baltimore Times and is revisiting the details of the case because a family reached out to her. It is really interesting....riveting!

The night watches were uneventful except for some fog around the time I was heading to bed (4 am).  The stars were spectacular, once again, and I realized that i had an app on my iPad called Star Walk that shows you the stars, planets and major constellations as you point the iPad into the sky.  Pretty darn cool.  I now know Cetus (whale) and Draco (dragon) and remember knowing Andromeda and plan on learning a few new ones each night.

We awoke this morning to flat seas and a few dolphins as our welcome committee.  I always feel better when I see dolphins.  We also had a booby circle our boat.  I am really not a fan of diesel fumes or the noise of the engine.  I keep hoping for wind so we can sail but by the look of the calm seas, I think it's a pipe dream. Land is in sight on our navigation software.  Yay!  We should be there sometime today. Our overnight guest was a single little skipjack tuna.

The day was pretty quiet and generally light winds.  We did all of our boat chores and listened to more Serial, and before we knew it we could see land.  First it was a couple of prison islands and then Isla Isabel!!  Unfortunately it took us another 2+ hours to arrive, after sunset.  Luckily Mike had experience anchoring here with Shindig a few weeks ago.  Thus, anchoring went smoothly and we were able to settle down and enjoy a nice lasagna dinner with a fresh green salad courtesy of greens from the farmer's market. A bottle of Nebbiolo helped us bring in the New Year.  We tried to watch an episode of Homeland but I bonked and had to go to bed.  It has been a long three days.

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

First Mate Kate

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