18 November 2012 | Bahia Santa Maria
Michael / Sunny
SURE IS BEAUTIFUL HERE IN SANTA MARIA!
We crossed the finish line for this leg about 5:30 am and cruised slowly enough to have a full sunrise before entering the bay. It was a long two nights at sea about 50 miles offshore but it was beautiful with moon and stars that rival those admired at Timothy Lake on Mount Hood back home. We had autopilot issues again and I had to empty out the stern swim deck lockers again and crawl down inside the hull to remove the rudder drive unit in a rolling, bouncy sea. I pulled the drive apart and upon dissecting the internal motor found an issue with the insulation on one of the armature brushes hanging up so, after addressing this problem I am fairly confident that I have finally repaired the unit for good. Anyway it has held faithfully since.
The day sailing has been fun but we haven't gotten used to the nights. It seems that some situation always deteriorates after dark. The spinnaker may foul as the night wind picks up and then become nearly impossible to douse. Or more simply, a problem with the main sail or a jib sheet caught under a cabin hatch. It is always something to bring you forward on deck in the dark when you can't see the seas approaching and you never really know which side she wants to pitch you over. You only know that in spite of tethering to the Jack Lines, if you go over the side and the tether doesn't hold, you are probably gone in the darkness for good
I am learning that sailors always pray for wind because we can't move without it, but when it comes, it usually is not coming from where you want it, nor does it arrive in the volume you would desire it. So the skill of cruising becomes not how to make your boat go without the motor, but how to best combine the wind and seas with the imperfect and often dangerous elements that have been dealt to you to in order to improve your course over ground, speed or at the very least, better the ship's motion to make your hours more comfortable and less exhausting.
Alas we are in a "safe" anchorage. The sun has set and the winds are cranking up. I hear the surf crashing on the beach just a half mile away from us and anticipate attempting a shore landing tomorrow without flipping the dingy. This will be our port of entry to receive out paper work and we'll then be able to fly the Mexican flag on Desert Vision.
All is well here but the beauty, the serenity, and the sometimes violence of nature makes me miss you all back home in ways that I've never experienced before.
That's all for now because I'm starting to feel a little melancholy. So know I love you all and I will get pictures off as soon as we make a real port with wifi.