On passage at last!

Up early and away from Ensenada in total calm & bright sunshine! Spent quite a time trying to check the alignment of my radar before I realized that the problem I was having was due to the scanner being offset to starboard, so 'boat heading' wasn't the same as what the scanner was 'seeing'. I aligned it using a couple of buoys in the calm of the harbour near the entrance. Noticed what looked like a tiny harbour seal pup with its mother close by on one of them!
I also raised the mainsail before the swell outside the protection of the harbour made that difficult - as I was tidying up the lines a fast, grey Mexican 'Costa Garda' boat came by and then turned and headed back to me. I could see several military-looking guys on board and just hoped they didn't want to board me (as they had 'Nightwinds' when they came towards Ensenada harbour entrance recently). Fortunately, my Spanish was just about good enough to gather they just wanted a routine check over
the VHF on my name and boat details. They were very pleasant and soon went on their way, once they gathered I was headed south after clearing in to Mexico 3 days ago.
As I headed out, thinking this was to be a day of solid motoring, I was delighted to find that close to Las Islas de Todos Santos the wind suddenly picked up - there were even lots of white horses ('white caps') out to sea. With the engine running, I'd started up the watermaker to top up my tank on leaving the harbour but soon I cut the motor to sail in a strong NW wind. The swell got fairly large (6-10 feet) but we were making excellent speed with full canvas downwind - it got up to force 6-7 by
mid-afternoon but has been mainly force 5. There has clearly been a helpful current, so I've ended up seeing mainly 7-7.5 knots SOG up to now - excellent!
One job I felt obliged to do this afternoon was to raise the wooden slats & clear the cockpit drains - something I'd not got around to before leaving, but the big seas reminded me of the need to do so - having shipped water into the cockpit in big following seas off Cape Mendocino on the way south from Port Townsend last October, I didn't want a repeat of water slopping about and not draining away...
Well, I'll sign off now for food and to start my sleep routine - I just called up the 'Santos Express' headed my way 15 mls away at 24 knots - nice to be warned of big boats coming close via the AIS system - the captain used the position I gave him to locate me - so hopefully, he'll avoid me!!

Written by : Mike

Trackback URL