On our way to our summer cruising grounds
29 May 2015 | About halfway across the Sea of Cortez
Yesterday morning, we pulled out of our slip at Marina Mazatlan, fueled up (see we did learn!), and headed out of the estuary, waving goodbye to some of our friends, as we passed the El Cid Marina. The most eventful part of the trip was navigating the channel from Marina Mazatlan to the ocean: halfway along the narrow channel, we had to stop and wait while some workers in a panga dragged a fifteen-foot-long section of concrete floating dock out of the middle of the channel, and then we had to negotiate the breakwater entrance while another sailboat was entering - keeping to the right to avoid the shoals and the entering sailboat, but not far enough to run into the dredge working the channel. It all went fine.
And then, a month after arriving in Mazatlan, we were riding on the ocean swells again, SO happy to be back at sea!
We hoisted SCOOTS' sails almost immediately, even though the wind was still quite light, and settled back into the rhythms of the sea. The water was so clear that we could see thousands of jellyfish at all depths, and even some rays swimming by. We also saw a snake! I will have to confirm whether it was a sea snake, but it was a few miles off shore, so if it was a land snake, it had a long way to swim, to get home.
The wind soon picked up, giving us some good sailing, rising steadily throughout the afternoon and into the evening, until it was about 20 knots apparent. The pointy waves that characterize the Sea of Cortez met us in the afternoon and hung around until after sunset, making walking, cooking or doing anything below decks an acrobatic experience.
We saw no other boats - except on the AIS - for the entire day and night.
After a beautiful night sail, complete with stars, bioluminescence, and gentle winds (but no squids on deck this time), the sun rose and illuminated the gorgeous dark blue-green, crystalline water of the Sea. I'd forgotten what a lovely color the water is here, after five months sailing the Pacific Coast, where the water tends more toward green and is sometimes murky.
The winds and seas cooperated to provide us with a gorgeous sailing day today. So of course, we spent it fixing our toilet, because that's our glamorous life. It stopped pumping, the outlet hose was full of a sandstone-like buildup that forms from liquid waste and seawater. We removed the hose, reamed it out on our newly painted swimstep and replaced it. It needed to be fixed so we fixed it. While underway, gliding along at a smooth 4 knots. Yes, it was yucky and disgusting, but it's fixed now, so that's good. We only have one toilet (head) on board, so we like it to be working.
After cleaning up our toilet fixing mess, we took showers on the swimstep. Unlike yesterday, the water today is smooth and almost glassy, clear enough for us to see that it's full of millions of things that look like glass filaments, each less than an inch long. I don't know what they are, but interspersed with these are jellyfish that consist of one nickel-sized floaty bit and a long, purple filament dangling beneath them. It looks intimidating. As welcoming as the water looks at first glance, I think we'll pass on swimming for now.
We start our night watches at 8 pm, each of us taking two 3-hour shifts. Eric gets the sunset and I get the sunrise. We each get a fully dark watch in-between. It works for us.
We are traveling to Caleta Partida, a pretty little cove on the northern end of Isla Espiritu Santo, north of La Paz. We expect to arrive sometime tomorrow. For now, floating along on SCOOTS is just fine.