29 October 2014 | Current location (11 am local time): about 2 miles off of Roca Maria
We were able to sail for quite awhile today! This afternoon we put up the spinnaker and sailed for hours! The rolly swells had calmed down by then and made for a really comfortable ride. We each took naps lulled to sleep by the gentle motion of the boat and the swishing of the waves against the hull.
In the afternoon, Sean still had his three fishing lines in the water off the back of the boat and three fish hit all at once! For awhile there was piscine pandemonium on SCOOTS' swim step, which I have to admit ended badly for the three bonitos that were hooked: two we had for dinner and the third was consumed by a very large fish that gave Sean a run for his money on the rod; we never saw the big fish, but the only thing left of the bonito that was hooked was its head. Ow.
We tried the method we had read about, for calming fish prior to dispatching them: spray some alcohol in their gills. The theory is that they absorb the alcohol into their bloodstream, which then relaxes them. In any event, it certainly worked with the fish that Eric was working with. I didn't see how Sean dispatched his fish, and we already talked about how the big mystery fish dispatched the third.
As Sean was cleaning and fileting the fish on the swim step, a shark swam by, about ten feet away! A large, triangular fin (about a foot high) sliced through the water, followed, about two feet back, by a smaller tail tip that was about four inches high...so maybe a 4-5 foot shark! No swimming today!
Later on, as the sun was beginning to set, we traded the spinnaker for the Code 0, our light-air sail that is easy to put away and take out, as it's on a furler, so that if the wind changed appreciably, we could easily put it away during the night. And we kept on sailing.
We shifted night watches tonight: Eric did 8 pm to midnight, Sean did midnight to 4 am, and I did 4 am to 8 am. We did end up taking down the Code 0 at the beginning of my watch, and turning on the motor, as the wind had died. Then Sean went to bed, Eric went back to bed, and I kept watch and greeted the new day.
Morning found us rounding Isla Cedros in the far-flung company of three other sailboats, and heading for the Leg 1 Finish Line off Roca Maria lighthouse. We crossed at 9:50 am local time. Now we have about 22 miles to go until Turtle Bay (Bahia Tortuga), our destination, where we will drop anchor and stay for a few days as the rest of the fleet arrives. And we will buy some fuel, to replenish the fuel we spent getting here.
Sean is currently making omelets for breakfast and Eric is furling sail sheets and readying the deck in preparation for our anchoring in a few hours.