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Sunday, November 14, 2010

11/13 Turtle Bay to Cabo

We left Turtle Bay late morning 11/10 reroute to Mag Bay. The sailing was great when we took off, perfect in fact. 15knot winds and bright blue skies. The next day we had a little celebration of Bills 54th birthday. I tried my hand at a home made lemon cake and even gave a try at Happy Birthday in Spanish! It was my first ever try at a cake from scratch (who bakes from scratch when a box mix is so easy???) and unfortunately either because of a lack of a hand mixer or from the constant pitch and roll of the boat in the sloppy seas it turned out barely edible, thick as a brick. Bill was a good sport but we had to pretty much choke down the pieces but the candle I had squirreled away was a nice touch and I guess it IS the thought that counts. Hey he could have been at work!

The passage was pretty uneventful save for a couple of things. First as we left Turtle Bay and motored into the sunshine and lovely winds we unfurled our headsail to discover some damage we hadn’t noticed in the darkness. The ordeal on our last passage with the whisker pole had evidently torn apart a 3 to 4 foot section of the UV protection edge that runs along the leach of the sail. I kicked myself for not thinking ahead enough to unfurl the darn thing and check for damage. In retrospect it would have been amazing to not have any damage. The good news is that the sail cloth is in fine shape and I have Sunbrella on board so the repair should be simple once we get to Cabo. The other thing is we are starting to see some different kinds of sea life. Bill spotted out first sea turtle in the wee hours as we motored into Santa Maria Cove and we both spotted one today. Also we have been catching different kinds of fish and one morning I found a 5inch squid, dried stiff as a board on the forward deck. Poor guy likely was trying to out run a big predator by flinging himself out of the water. Oh well. We haven’t seen any flying fish yet though.

As my watch was ending and the sun was just beginning to open up a new day I checked our AIS and saw that once again we had caught up with Panta Rhei. We thought they were going to Mag Bay but they were definitely headed into Santa Maria Cove about 7nm ahead of us. I went below for some sleep and Bill took over watch. He talked with Panta Rhei briefly but they too were beat so the plan was for some sleep before we talked and shared stories of the passage. After a short nap the boat needed a good cleaning and we needed to make water as we were down to our last tank.

We were invited over to Panta Rhei for hot taco salad and a movie. It was a wonderful evening as always and Karen threw together a great and easy main dish salad but I was still so tired from the crossings there was no time for a movie, we were to leave at dawn for the last leg to Cabo. The Ham radio weather fax calls for no winds so it will likely be a 155nm power boat trip in. Hopefully the winds will stay down because Cabo Falso is notorious in the late afternoon. Smack on for our arrival.

The multi day crossings are wearing me out. They are not long enough to “hit the wall” but just long enough to absolutely wipe me out. We have talked about it though and now have some plans for combating the sleep deprivation. The sailing itself is not the problem it is simply the lack of continuous sleep. The next morning after a better nights sleep started off with a bang. A tuna on board within an hour, four loves of bread in the making, another sea turtle sighting, dolphins everywhere and a blue whale!

As I write this we are only about two hours out of Cabo and we just landed a 4ft Dorado, one of the best eating fish in the Pacific. They are stunning in their amazingly beautiful coloring. The coloring has an oddness to it though. Once the fish is caught the bright florescent blues and greens quickly fades the moment the fish dies. One minute they are alive and brilliant the next it is like pulling gauze over your eyes as they fade to a dull green. The beautiful fish marks the end of a 900+ mile, three back to back multi day crossings that changed the world around us. 56hrs Ensenada to Turtle Bay, 46hrs for Turtle Bay to Santa Maria Cove and 29+hrs from SMC to Cabo.

In those 900+nm the stark difference between the states and Mexico came alive slowly around us. Creeping in at a about 5nm/hr. We are finally seeing whales again. The annual migration of Humpbacks, Blues and Grays gets into full swing about mid December. There are big dolphins that love to come out at dusk to play around the boat. They take great flying leaps landing with loud belly slaps all around us. Their acrobatics seem to be egged on by our cheering and clapping. Last night they were barreling out of the water all around us. Some had parasite fish attached which amazingly stayed “stuck” even as the sleek bodies hit the water hard again and again. Most were jumping and splashing alongside the boat following as they went but a few were actually coming back towards the bow of the boat flipping right in front of the bow with a slapping bang. Last night too we saw our first flying fish skittering across the tips of the waves.

Yesterday we caught a keeper Bonita coming out of Santa Maria Cove along with half a dozen Wahoo’s too small to keep. There are rays too now flying up out of the water like wet bats. They fly out and land in a way that you can’t help but laugh at, small 2 to 3 foot across with flashing shiny white underbellies. Then yesterday we passed a sea turtle who was just lazily paddling along in the morning sun.

The air smells different here. A scent of sweet tied up in a new warm dryness. It is warm here even in November. Just now still wearing coats during night watch but this mornings 6am watch was done in flip flops, a t-shirt and a coat thrown on but not zipped.

The language change now gives us an opportunity at every stop to practice our conversational Spanish. We get to learn new words and continue teaching our tongues and mind a brand new twist.

There is realization too that now there is no turning back. We couldn’t even if we wanted to. There is no way to get Island Bound back up the coast and to Seattle through the Novembers North Pacific. If for some strange reason something was to change our minds for us now it would require a wait of many months before a return could be made.

I remember thinking on day 15 on our way to Alaska, Oh my God! What have I done? How can I possibly tell my family and all our friends that is was all a mistake? How can I possibly explain that at day 15 I discovered I couldn’t possibly do this thing? Where is my dog? What will I do without my mom close by? How can I live without a cell phone, a car and a place in Seattle? Looking back on it now I cant hardly believe those were my thoughts.

Instead, the miles have given us a reassurance and a comfort in our decision and in our preparations. We love it here in Mexico. We can’t wait to plunge in more. Cabo will be a short stop, way too touristy but good for a Costco stop and we need fresh fruit and veggies. And a chance to share some of that 4ft Mahi Mahi with Panta Rhei and whoever else we find in the anchorage.

As I write this, ready to update the blog we have anchored, taken a refreshing swim off the boat and Bill is snoring loudly in the aft cabin. I can hear the sounds of people having fun on the beach and feel the wakes of all the passing jet skis, pangas and parasail boats. Drifting over the air I can hear a man over a loud speaker egging vacationers, counting down the seconds until the next shot of tequila. Cabo is a happening place. I can’t wait to find an AA meeting and get a much deserved good nights sleep.


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