Tenacatita Back to La Cruz
16 March 2012 | La Cruz
Kevin/ Sunny and Warm
Tenacatita Back to La Cruz
On Friday the 9th we left Tenacatita to head up to Chamela where we were waiting to get a weather window to go around Cabo Corrientes and then back to La Cruz. While in Chamela we met our friends Dave and Leiann from Chrysallis who were heading south. I fixed pancakes and scrambled eggs and we had them over for breakfast. After that we decided to go ashore to a small hotel where you can use their pool and showers for 50 pesos apiece. Wind had been blowing out of the sea of Cortez for several days so the swells were pretty big which caused quite a bit of surf going into the beach. This means we were going to be doing a surf landing with our dingy so I was pretty excited, Bonnie was a little worried. The kill switch on our outboard has a plastic key on it that is attached to a tether. The tether is a safety device that you attach to your wrist so if you happen to fall overboard the tether pulls out the key and the engine shuts off. This saves you from getting cut up by a spinning propeller and stops the boat so you can get back on. I rarely use this device and most of the time it is left attached to the motor. Since the surf was so big Bonnie asked me attach the tether to my wrist just in case the surf ended up dunking us. As usual I thought she was overreacting so I told her I didn't think I needed to but then since she is the safety officer on our boat I decided I would appease her and went ahead strapped it on and then headed for shore. We stopped just short of the crashing breakers and watched the waves for a while trying to time our landing so we would be riding on the back of one of the waves into shore. To make matters worse there were lots of families with children who were playing in the surf pretty close to where I wanted to land. So I had to find an avenue between the families as well as pay attention to the swells. The dinghy gently rose up and down as the swells passed under us. I waited until one of the swells picked us up, chose a course between the swimmers and then gunned the motor to stay on top of it. For the first second or two I thought we were going to do just fine but then I started to outrun the wave and we were being pushed sideways towards the swimmers. I could see the dirty look on one of the dads faces as I am sure he thought I was going to run over one of his kids. I did not want to hurt anyone so I throttled back and just as I did the wave we were riding crashed, picked up the stern, shoved our nose into the sand and we went head over heels into the surf. It was a good thing I always listen to my safety officer because when we went over, the tether on my wrist pulled the key out of the kill switch and the motor stopped quickly and did not fill with water or decapitate anybody. I came up out of the water and struggled to flip the dingy back over. A couple of other cruisers on the beach came over and gave me a hand and we were able to right it very quickly. While I was doing this Bonnie was running interference with the dad with the dirty look on his face who I am sure was coming over to cause me bodily harm or at least give me a good tongue lashing with a few choice Spanish words.( To tell you the truth I wouldn't have blamed him.) She waved her arms at him and repeatedly said "Lo siento, lo siento!", which means sorry in Spanish. He eventually smiled at her and then turned around went back to his family. Afterwards I thought this was kind of interesting as my first thoughts after the dunking were about the dinghy and outboard motor and how much damage they received and Bonnie's was about making sure everybody was safe, keeping the peace and stopping what I am sure could have been and international incident between a concerned Mexican dad and a crazy cruising gringo with his dinghy of death. Though I have not read it, the book, Men are from Mars Women are from Venus could probably explain why we had such differing thoughts. Anyway after this incident we ended up having a nice time sitting by the pool and visiting with our friends. Later we went back to our boat with no dinghy dunking had a nice dinner with Dave and Leiann and then sadly said our goodbyes as they are heading south and we are heading north and we will probably never run into them again. Bonnie says cruising is kind of like going to summer camp as a kid. You make great friendships for the week or two that you are at camp and then everybody goes their separate ways and you never see them again.
Early the next morning we pulled anchor and began our trek around Cabo Corrientes and into Banderas Bay. There were about six of us cruisers that left at the same time. The night before we all had checked the weather talked it over amongst us and decided that this day would be the best day to go with NW wind in the 10 to 15 knot range and seas 4 to 7 feet 12 seconds apart. The guide books all say you should go around Cabo Corrientes either early in the morning or at night when winds are usually calmer. The forecast had the winds picking up in the late evening on this particular day so we left early enough to hit the cape in the early evening so we would miss the strongest winds. The morning started out fine with winds around the 10 knot range and while the swells were pretty big they were far enough apart that it was not real rough. Then the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed if not for the courage of our fearless crew the Minnow would, whoops wrong story although when we were finished some of the cruisers actually started calling it "That fateful trip!". Around 10:00 or 11:00 the wind started picking up and began blowing in the 20 knot range right on our nose. The waves were getting very steep and close together so that you would come down off of one wave and smack into the crest of another sending waves of cascading water onto the deck and quite often back into the cockpit. I had to smile at Bonnie as one particular large wave hit us broadside as she was at the wheel, I saw her eyes get big and she said either "Holy shit!" or "Oh shit!" right before she got soaked. (Our youngest daughter once, after she got done with a sailing trip with us exclaimed " I have never seen Mom and Dad cuss as much or drink as much as they do on the sailboat!" Sailing just seems to bring the best out in us.) Like I said this was supposed to let up in the evening but it never did. The waves stayed big, with short duration and the wind stayed in the mid 20 knot range all day and into the wee hours of the morning. We motor sailed with a double reefed main and just a small amount of jib rolled out for 21 hours before we able to get into Banderas Bay far enough for the wind to calm down. At 6:30 am we set our anchor in the La Cruz anchorage and crawled into our bunks thankful that that trip was over.
We spent the next day just relaxing and recovering from the trip. Kist did not seem any worse for wear and seemed to take the beating in stride. She was quite a mess though having been covered in salt from all the waves splashing on deck and everything that was on the v berth in the bow was now on the floor. We took laundry ashore, took much needed showers and had dinner at Ana Banana's restaurant while listening to live old time rock and roll. It was a very pleasant evening. Back on board Kist I was putting our dinghy up for the night and Bonnie had gone below decks. As I was just about to tie off the dinghy I heard a crash down below. I asked Bonnie if she was all right, she kind of moaned said she was ok and about two seconds later said no I don't think I am. I went down below to see what was going on and I found her doubled over holding her hands. Seems she was trying to open our hatch in the main cabin. She cannot reach the hatch without a step stool. As she was standing on the stool she reached up opened the hatch. As she was opening it the stool slipped out from under her, she grabbed the bottom of the hatch to steady herself and the hatch lid fell down onto her fingers causing her to fall all the way down. She ended up with a couple of pretty deep cuts on both middle fingers and smaller cuts on several others. I cleaned up the cuts and we bandaged them for the night. She took some pain killers to ease the pain. The next morning she went to see our friend Ann from Full and By who is a nurse just to see if she should go see a doctor to get a stitch or two. She advised us to use sterile strips to close up the cuts and then put splints on them so they will not bend. I thought it was kind of ironic that we spent the last 24 hours in a boat that was bucking like a bronco and neither one of us got so much as a scratch, and then in a nice quiet anchorage Bonnie ends up getting her fingers smashed. To top it off the next day I was in town getting groceries and ended up getting a bee sting on my arm. I am sensitive to bee stings and my arm ended up getting all swollen. Sheesh we were better off smashing our way into the waves and wind out in the ocean.
Today we are going to begin our trek to Mazatlan. We are going to head out to Punta de Mita and then leave early in the morning for Chacala or San Blas. If the weather holds we will then leave for an overnighter to Mazatlan to wait for another weather window to cross the Sea of Cortez and head to Lapaz on the Baja side.