01/09/2008, Bahia Santa Maria
Due to the fact that we are making fairly good time and the weather has calmed down a bit, we will continue pressing on to the north. Last night was a bit of a rough ride, although we did just fine. Cisnecito got banged around a bit, but she kept moving on without the slightest complaint or creak. The more time I spend on this boat (especially in rough conditions), the more respect and admiration I have for it. I think about all of the other sailboats in the world and what it would be like to do this same passage in something other than a Swan. Quite frankly, I wouldn't want to do it on anything else. Cisnecito sails incredibly well upwind, handles large waves and swells with ease, and looks sexy while doing it. What else could I ask for?? Well, a big, fat, and juicy "Double Double" cheeseburger from In n' Out wouldn't be all that bad, but that will have to wait for a few days.
San Diego doesn't seem too terribly far away at this point, which is pretty amazing. Even more exciting is the fact that we will reach our half way point sometime tomorrow evening. This is a big milestone (at least in my eyes), as the second half of the passage should be easier, in terms of sea-state and wind. So, we will keep plugging along and take things day by day. I know that is a horrible cliche, but it is quite true. In fact, sometimes I over-simplify things and divide up my days into different portions, and focus on each one. I find that it helps me stay focused and calm during uncomfortable situations, and ultimately keeps me happy and in good spirits which is incredibly important when living on a 46 foot floating piece of fiberglass. Keeping watch is my most intense time as I want to finish my trip on a positive note and perform well. We've sailed over 3000 miles thus far, and I've been fortunate enough to avoid any serious mishaps. Obviously I'd like to keep it that way, so I take my time at the helm very seriously. Additionally, a major screw-up could potentially present the ultimate "worst case scenario", which I don't plan on being part of for at least another 65 years or so.
Tomorrow is just another day, although another day closer to the end of my journey. It is becoming quite difficult to put the entire trip in perspective, although I am starting to put a few interesting thoughts together which I hope to share someday. But for now, I will simply focus on doing the dinner dishes without dropping a knife and putting a dent in the gorgeous teak floor.
01/08/2008, 100 Miles South of Magdalena Bay
Well, for those of you who don't know, they call a northerly passage on the outside of the Baja the "Baja Bash". This is because that is exactly what it is, a bashing. We pulled out of Cabo San Lucas at first light and rounded "Lover's Rock", the famous arch just outside of town. The morning was beautiful with fair winds and light seas. As we turned up north, we spotted two huge Humpbacks not more than 50 feet from the boat. I figured that had to be a good omen right? I hope so.
The wind and swell picked up significantly as we passed Cabo Falso, although it was not nearly as bad as I anticipated. Sure, the swells were quite big, and the wind blew hard, but Cisnecito handled it all like champion. After all, this boat has been around the world's oceans on two separate occasions, so a little run up the Baja is no big deal. We've been beating into the waves the majority of the day and tacking back and forth. We are making okay time and spirits are still high. Stomachs have also cooperated, which is nice as it is no fun to have a sick person aboard, especially not me! I've settled into my offshore routine which consists of lots of little activities and mind games to keep me busy and free of boredom. However, I do enjoy wedging myself into a cozy spot in the cockpit and staring mindlessly at the horizon, studying the coastline, and thinking about anything and everything. The remainder of the time I either sleep, eat, brush my teeth (plenty of time for a full 2 minute cycle on the electric Braun), stretch, listen to my ipod, read, or reorganize something. For instance, today I listened to the entire "Evita" soundtrack, read a fascinating National Geographic article about our world's depleting fish supply and the dangers of over-fishing (think twice next time you order that Chilean Seabass), and took a nap. During my watch however, I am very alert and focused on exactly what the boat is doing, our heading, etc.
We hope to make Bahia Santa Maria by tomorrow evening, but that all depends on the sea-state and wind. There is a possibility that we will push on through, and continue north towards Cedros Island. However, this isn't my decision as I ain't the captain!! But the good news is that things are going quite well and we are bashing our way up the Baja.
The attached picture is me taking care of some last minute work on our lifeline system. We re-rigged the system while in the marina. I was putting on the finishing touch with cotter pins and electric tape...about an hour before we rounded Cabo Falso.
01/07/2008, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
We had a great shakedown cruise from La Paz, and made Cabo San Lucas by 3 pm today. The weather was clear and warm which was a nice way to ease our way back into things. Things will be quite different on the outside as the wind will be on our nose and the temperatures will be much cooler. Additionally, the crisp seawater will inevitably make its way over the decks of Cisnecito which is sometimes fun, if you duck in time. We have a small dodger over the companionway which keeps the watchman dry. However, if you peek your head over the dodger timing comes into play in a big way. Taking a nice big cold wave on the face isn't the most fun thing to part of. Especially if you wear glasses, which of course, I do.
We are anchored just off the beach where all the hotels and fun is. Unfortunately I won't be taking upside down tequila shots at the 'Gigglin' Marlin", stopping at "The Office", or checking out "Cabo Wabo" tonight. I like to think I got that out of my system on my last trip to Cabo San Lucas, which was a real hoot, however long ago it was. In fact, Cisnecito is anchored just in front of the where we stayed, which is funny to see. This time around, it is quite different, in more ways than one.
We are scheduled to leave at 5 am tomorrow morning and round Cabo Falso at first light. This particular section can be somewhat hairy, so I am prepared for the worst, yet hoping for the best. Currently the swell is rolling down at 10-15 feet with Northwest winds at 15-25 knots. So yes, I am ready to rumble and begin the Baja bash!