Currently we’re 60 miles off the Pacific coast of Baja. It’s 7:30AM and in the mid 70’s! We’re approaching the 72 hour mark of departing Ensenada which is now 450 miles NW of us. We’ve had some truly incredible downwind sailing, the kind where you set the sails, engage the autopilot, and let the boat do what it’s meant to do for hours upon hours. Allowing the wind and sea to silently and gracefully propel you along. At one point we saw 12.8 knots surfing down a wave. I never imagined our 40,000 lb cruising boat could go this fast, if only for a few seconds. For the first time since Ensenada we lost our breeze at 3AM this morning and have been motoring since.
Life at sea has achieved a unique rhythm divided into 3 hour chunks as defined by our watch schedule. For not having more than 3 continuous hours of sleep in 3 days we feel fresh and rested for the most part. When not listening to Pimsleur Spanish lessons, music, or staring at the sea naps help pass the time and keep you charged. Neither Erin or I have done any reading. I suppose it just seems like to much work and attention is required. Even Mishka, who spent the first two days in the bottom of Erin’s closet has come out and is acting mostly normal. It’s funny to watch her try to stand still as she sways side to side compensating for the motion of the boat.
We decided not to stop in Turtle Bay because of the good wind, and we’re also skipping our next planned stop of Bahia Santa Maria. We’re anxious to get to La Paz and the Sea of Cortez, and feel that if we stop for a day or two we’ll lose our rhythm gained so far.
Yesterday morning a whale broke the surface not more than 50 feet off our port side as I was enjoying my morning coffee. Heshe came up, took a deep breath, and silently slid into the deep. This one wasn’t as large as the Blue whales we saw before but was probably around 50 feet. I’m not sure if it was a sperm or humpback. As I’m writing this post a school of 20 dolphins joined us to frolic in our bow wake before taking off in search of their next meal.
We’ve had our share of flying objects land on deck as well. During Erin’s night watch a flying fish made an unfortunate take off and smacked right into our cabin top, making a crash landing on our starboard deck. He made a racket that Erin described as crumpling cellophane as his wings beat against our deck. Erin was able to push him back into the sea before to long. Right after this I found 3 squid on deck. They were small, only a few inches long. I understand how the flying fish got there but didn’t know squid could clear 4 feet of freeboard.
We’re having great luck keeping in touch with the other We-He boats and feel connected to our cruising friends. Eric on Secret Agent Man by SSB radio, and Petter and Octavia on Bella Marina by Sat phone. We even made contact with the Baker’s in Cabo via SSB yesterday afternoon. The SSB is working great for checking weather, updating this blog, and sending emails. The Sat phone is faster but the SSB is free!
We’re about 300 miles N of Cabo. After rounding the tip of Baja La Paz is another 100 miles north. Hopefully the breeze will fill in over the next day so we can continue on under sail.