On passage to the Baja

Saturday 22rd April 2017 Heading from Isabela to Los Frailes on the Baja peninsula - over halfway.

Still motoring in very little wind - none overnight and probably light for the rest of this trip.

Midday Suddenly spotted a green turtle passing by, heading the opposite way. Haven't seen one of those since I crossed the Tehuantepec in 2008 - exciting! I was just finishing a late breakfast after the usual disturbed night's sleep on passage, additionally broken just before midnight by the enormous cargo-vessel 'Prime Ace' passing very close ahead after I'd made brief VHF contact.

1 p.m. Apparent wind backed enough to unfurl the genoa to add it usefully to the mainsail - we're motor-sailing close-hauled at 4.6 knots with not too much engine power needed (1400 r.p.m.). Without the engine helping, we'd be drifting along at about half a knot in SSE wind of about 2 knots, sails flapping - I just tried it! Wind might increase over the afternoon - but it might also then veer enough to make sailing (rather than motoring) on this course impossible . I don't want to head more north, off our rhumb-line course, since that would add in to the journey time and I don't want a night-time landfall as a result of the increased distance. Cruising often involves using the motor to make safe daytime landfalls in unfamiliar places.

I've been spending more time figuring out how to get and display different weather downloads, learning how to use the onboard software. It is taking a lot of time but I'm slowly getting more useful knowledge of the Predictwind/XGate software I now have use of in addition to the excellent Winlink/Saildocs systems I've used so extensively in the past and which are so simple to use and display.

I've a small radio receiver for getting realtime photos from the weather satellites passing overhead. Would be great to get that working so I'm also trying to remind myself how to get that system going with its associated software & data requirements, using a simple dipole antenna I have onboard. I spent quite some time in La Cruz downloading the software and data I needed from the Internet.

7 p.m.

Having a computer problem after a re-start (software for writing/reading satphone emails not functioning now). that adds to iPad now broken and smartphone refusing to show downloaded satphone emails, although happy to send photos and comments. Life was so much simpler before all this high-tech stuff .!! Radio works fine, as usual!!!

Tried to send this update via satphone to website blog - failed, so will do so now via good, reliable HF radio and Winlink.! See www.svnereida.com for daily updates .

Sun just about to set over glassy-surfaced sea - not much wind around to sail by this afternoon. but a lively dolphin was clearly trying to set a high-jump record!

Up on deck now to enjoy the end-of-day spectacular.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates