Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pacific Ocean Passage Day 5 - Wonderful!

It continues to be mainly warm and sunny. The sky is blue with a few puffy clouds and the sea is a gorgeous sapphire blue. It was a grey, cloud covered morning yesterday, but the breeze was still warm and pockets of blue sky peeked out between the clouds.

We haven't seen much sea life, although three days ago a few dolphins swam along with us for about an hour before sunset. The first couple of days we saw some birds, but nothing again until this afternoon when a solitary gull circle the boat about five times. The nearest islands are about 580 nautical miles and Baja is about 670 nautical miles away so it has some way to go. A small flying fish landed on the deck a few days ago and a larger one startled Malcolm during his night watch when it flew into the cockpit!

It took a few days to adjust to the new sleep patterns, so the first few days were spent relaxing as we sailed merrily along. We split daylight into two shifts. Malcolm is on watch from 6 am until noon during which time I sleep the first couple of hours. I am on watch from noon until 6 pm and Malcolm watches the sunset from 6-9 pm. I am on watch from 9-midnight, Malcolm has midnight to 3 am and I was seeing the sunrise on my 3-6 am watch but the further West we sail the later the sunrise. So far this schedule has worked for us.

Our days are slowly starting to follow a typical pattern. Yesterday, I woke about 9 am, we had breakfast, and did a few little projects. Then at noon, Malcolm took a nap while I read and practiced French. Then we had lunch, followed by reviewing the weather, and discussing our route based on projected wind speeds and directions depicted on the weather information we receive via our Iridium Go satellite connection. Then we enjoyed the afternoon.

The other day we set up a shampoo station in the sunshine in the cockpit. Yes, Aveda rosemary and mint shampoo lathers well in salt water and rinses clean in fresh water. Thanks to the Commodore of the Bluewater Cruising Assoc for the shampoo. What a treat!

We haven't tried our hand at fishing yet. Whatever we catch out here will be big so it will be a lot of work to bring it aboard, kill, clean and fillet... Also, the freezer is still full and we don't want to waste a big fish. We hear of other sailors' fishing successes during the daily Pacific Puddle Jump radio network. Our friends from Kelowna, BC, Dave and Rose on Aussie Rules, caught a 7' Marlin!

We are sailing faster than we anticipated and are pleased with the mileage we are covering so far. Our average speed is 6.4 knots per hour with a maximum speed of 10 knots during a gust or surfing down a small swell. In the last five days we have sailed 755 nautical miles. Only about 2035 more to go! Initially we sailed WSW, to stay north of an area of low wind, and had steady winds on the beam. Today, after four days, we gybed (turned)! We are now heading SW and the wind is on the aft quarter. After another 800 nautical miles or so we will turn again and point directly for the Marquesas. Hopefully we can avoid too much time in the ITCZ, also known as the doldrums.

We've been sending daily position reports to YOTREPS, which are used for the map on the blog. There can be able bit of delay getting that updated. Our current position, as of 22:45 UTC (Greenwich Mean Time) on March 26, is: 19°01N 121°17W.
Dina and Malcolm

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day 1 - All is well

Yesterday, March 21, we left San Jose del Cabo at 22:45 UTC, or 3:45 pm local time. We saw a couple of whales as we motored West towards Cabo San Lucas. Once around Cabo, we set sail during a beautiful sunset. It has been warm and sunny with fairly steady winds between 10-15 knots (for nonsailors, that is ideal). There are a number of freighters in the area, but none too close. In 24 hours we have sailed approximately 145 nautical miles with an average speed of 5.8 knots per hour and a maximum speed of 9.1 kth. Our current position: 22°05N 111°50W. We received a few emails, so our new satellite system is working!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Final days in Mexico

We’ve had lots of fun here in Mexico.

We’ve seen lots of sea life.

We’ve seen lots of beautiful birds.

We’ve been on some nice hikes.

We've stayed in some pretty anchorages.

We’ve played in the ocean.

We’ve sailed in the sunshine.

We’ve enjoyed the sunsets.

We’ve been here for two winters, but now it’s time to go. Many of our friends are working their way north to Guaymas to store their boats for the summer and leave before hurricane season.  We’ve already said goodbye to them.

A few of our friends are getting ready to head to the South Pacific, just like we are.

Over the next few days, we’ll work our way down to the southern tip of Baja California and do our final preparations before crossing to the Marquesas’ Islands, the easternmost islands in the South Pacific. The Marquesas’ Islands are over 2000 miles away. Depending on the wind and currents, the crossing could take from 20 to 30 days.

Once we’re in the Southern Hemisphere, we’ll have until November to explore before figuring out what to do for their hurricane (cyclone) season.  It looks like we have a lot to explore.
Our approximate plan

Monday, March 2, 2015

Social Life

One thing that surprised us is how much socializing is happening amongst all the cruisers, whether here in La Paz or out at anchor.

We go sightseeing in groups

We eat out with friends.

Good as Gold often has a full cockpit.

We make good cocktails

In addition to the new friends we’ve made along the way, we’ve had some friends and family visit from “back home”.  It’s been great to see them before we head further afield (further asea?).  Sometimes we were too busy to take photos of them, but we have a couple here.

Tim taking a photo of a topless mermaid statue

Victoria hogging the helm

Kailey and Zophia with the standard pose

Jennifer and Campbell visiting from BC
Gary, Karina and Charlotte who’ve come down on Sea Rover II this year