Under clear blue skies and in the heat of the tropics, we are sailing blissfully along in the storied tradewinds, on our way to the islands of the South Pacific. Flying fish are soaring over our deck, bananas are hanging in the rigging, and life is good.
I felt like Donald Crowhurst writing that paragraph. The fact is, we've made only 50 miles since leaving La Paz two days ago. Del Viento and her crew are sitting at anchor in a place called Bahia de Los Muertos (the Bay of the Dead). Here's how things have gone.
We motored out of Marina de La Paz at about dusk on Friday evening, waving goodbye to friends. Two hours later, we dropped the hook in a nearby anchorage, ate some soup that we were given, stowed the last of the perishables, and hit the sack. This was a planned stop as Windy still had some computer work to do and we still needed to stop and take on about 150 liters of diesel.
Early afternoon the following day, after a good night's sleep and Windy's work completed, we raised anchor and ducked into the outlying Marina Costa Baja for some fuel. Then we got underway.
For the rest of that day and early into the evening, we motored very slowly on flat seas, whistling for wind. When five knots piped up around 7:00 p.m., we raised the main and glided downwind into the Cerralvo Channel at 2.5 knots. All was well aboard.
Windy and the girls retired and the wind built steadily. When I first saw it peak at 20 knots apparent, I woke Windy to help me reef. She never got back to sleep. We reefed again an hour later, when it was clear the wind would stay pegged in the mid-20s. The seas were building. At 3:00 a.m., neither of us had slept and the apparent wind was now holding steady in the high twenties and gusting to 35 knots. We kept moving along at 7 knots under only our fully-reefed main.
At 5:30 a.m. we heeded the Sirens of Bahia de Los Muertos . We slept like logs until mid-day, today.
The good news is that this un-forecast storm is passed, the girls rolled from cabin side to lee cloth and slept soundly, and the only casualty from all the rolling action was some fruit that escaped its' hanging basket and suffered bruises.
The bad news is that Windy just realized that our water gauges were not accurate and we failed to take on about half the water in a 50-gallon tank. So when we leave here, we're headed straight to San Jose del Cabo at the tip of the Baja peninsula. But only for some water—then we'll be underway for sure, next stop French Polynesia.