Saturday

0600GMT - 1am LT in Banderas Bay over on the mainland coast down to Acapulco but 11pm Friday in Cabo San Lucas where I'm headed - a two hour time difference on the Baja peninsula once I get there.

I just centred the mainsheet traveller by the light of the moon - I'd hauled it to windward this afternoon when trying to sail close-hauled. We were now motoring into quite rough seas.

Suddenly, I became aware of fluttering in the bow. One booby was already ensconced on the starboard rail of the pulpit steelwork and another was desperately trying to land on the port side - not an easy task in the darkness because the bow was pitching every few seconds into the choppy oncoming waves which were frequently breaking over it.. Round and round the bird came, repeatedly swooping in, trying to grab the rail with the beating of its wings catching the red of the navigation light and the red-lit spray of the waves. Eventually, it joined its partner on the starboard bow - but only landing on the wire, not the rail, and amid a not-too-happy noise from the first bird. The two of them were doused with seawater every minute or so - amazing that they were able to hang on and balance there, such a very wet, uncomfortable ride it must be. But stay they did.

I've had to increase the engine revs to give us a better speed with the chop slowing us down. I might have to add some more fuel to the tank tomorrow - it's nice to have a sight glass showing the fuel level directly - no guesswork needed!

I checked by torchlight - the birds had settled in for the night - look like a pair of red-footed boobies. But two hours later, when I went to unfurl the genoa, in hope of motor-sailing a little more off the wind - they'd gone.... Plan to motor-sail didn't work - we were too close to the wind, even with a small change of course, so in came the genoa after a short time, and back on course. Lovely starry sky - Southern Cross almost disappeared, Cassiopaeia high up in the opposite half of the sky.

Morning - sunrise ~1230 GMT = 5.30am Baja time = PDT Radio chat for short time with W. coast friends after contacts 2 hrs earlier on E. coast. Australia coming in well. Best contacts made before sun gets too high. Had tried unfurling genoa to motor-sail but had to bear away 10 degrees off course to keep wind in sail & even then it tends to get backed in quite a strong wind from W.... Speed is varying a lot. Presently heading towards San Jose del Cabo since Cabo San Lucas is just a tad too upwind at present. Off to get another short nap...

Midday - Well, it's about time I learned the lesson - when sailing, sail the boat properly and don't be misled by trying to use the motor to help to make directly for a given place, to arrive at a given time...! The boat ends up being sailed badly... and you can't fight a good-strength wind, you have to work with it... "Nereida" isn't a motor-boat...!

We're sailing fine now, making 5kt or more SOG but headed only just W of N.... So we'll have to tack at some point to make San Jose del Cabo - which is less upwind than Cabo San Lucas and will hopefully not charge quite as much for refuelling. I've heard it can cost US$100 or US$150 just to tie up to the fuel dock in CSL.- and I'm sure their fuel price will not be cheap! If a night entry becomes necessary, I know San Jose from 2014 and entry is quite straightforward..

6pm Tried tacking - ended up heading SW - so not a good option. Nearly lost the small staysail pole when a genoa sheet got tangled with it. Have tacked back onto NNW course but slow progress with WNW wind having died down a bit. Sun getting low... Might not make San Jose Sunday without using motor, just 70 n.mls away, bearing 305T - but possible if wind lightens more and I've fuel enough.

0210GMT (Sunday!) 7.10 p.m Saturday LT/PDT Just went to check if the lovely red sun had set below the horizon - and a solitary booby landed on the port pulpit - clearly settling down for the night. I wonder if it's one of the two that perched there last night? Transferred last of my fuel reserve - now have about 85 litres in the main tank - enough to motor for over a day @3 l / hr so we should be OK to get to San Jose - still dead upwind and 63 miles away as the crow flies - but we'll probably take twice that getting there, unless the wind dies away completely. Sailing gently at 4.3kt NNW. Time to cook before it's totally dark - I've some potatoes to use up...

Written by : Guest