17 January 2019
We've had a delightful past few days, snorkeling at every opportunity. We stopped for a few days in a beautiful 2-boat anchorage called Paraiso, rocky shores, sea caves, and arches provided good snorkeling and exploring.
Presently, we are in Bahia Tenacatita. A well protected calm bay. There's about 26 sailboats in this big bay. Yesterday we snorkeled in the "aquarium", about a 3 mile dinghy ride west, near the mouth of the bay. Beautiful healthy coral and lots of colorful pacific fish, tangs, angelfish, puffers, to name a few. A ray put on a show for us, jumping out of the water as if trying to fly.
Today was "race day" in Tenecatita. It was a pursuit race marked with waypoints. We decided to get Pinocchio a little lean and do the race. We left our dinghy on our anchor, then loaded up the dinghy with the outboard, a large bag of dinghy accessories and anything else easy enough to take off.
Spinnaker sheets set, maincover off, awning rolled up. We were ready for the 1100 hrs start. As usual, we were the smallest boat in the race fleet. (we have been the smallest boat at every anchorage and marina so far).
We got out to the starting area early to check the winds and lubricate our rusty joints from being sedentary too long! As the boats were maneuvering around, Carmanah, a 42 foot C&C passed by us port to port and they chuckled over our boat name! Ok!!! We will try to show them little Pinocchio can play with the big boys!
We had a good start, right behind Carmanah which had it's #1 up. All we have is our new furling jib. It will have to do. We kept our speed up and stayed clear of "dirty air" and didn't let too much of a gap come between us and them. We looked behind us and the rest of the fleet, all larger than us, were left behind.
Looks like it's going to be Pinocchio (David) vs. Carmanah (Goliath)
After rounding the first waypoint, it was a race of tactics and strategy. Very little wind to get to the second waypoint. The C&C was gaining distance between us, but then they got too low of the mark.
They rounded the second mark first and put up their spinnaker; It appeared to us that they were too far downwind and not heading for the final mark and finish.
We hoisted our spinnaker and put a preventer out on the boom to keep the mainsail full. We were gaining on them.
Seeing the next mark in the far distance, we decided to jybe early; which turned out to be a good thing. We kept the same jybe all the way to the finish. Our point of sail had us in the lead, for maybe 30 minutes! We hoped Carmanah's crew were at least a tiny bit impressed.
In the end, Carmanah finished about a minute ahead of us. But we sailed a good race, with good decisions and strategies. I like to think that my "hanging out" on the low side helped us a bit. David said perhaps it made a difference.
After the race when all boats were back in the bay, participants headed to the palapa on the beach for a goofy award ceremony and cervesas! I swam in to the beach using my fins with David along side in the dinghy, just in case I pooped out.
Lots of laughs over cervesas. Pinocchio gained a bit of respect too!