Tucked In in Turtle Bay
23 November 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
It's a wonderful feeling. To wake up to a 25-knot wind event and realize we are safely anchored in harbor. The wind picks up the seas, but since we are in a bay and not out in the Pacific, Sea Dancer dances over the white caps, rocking the boat gently. All is good. If only that darn halyard would stop banging against the mast.
It was Sunday at 0730 when we left San Quintin with no wind and four to six-foot rolling seas. Despite the roar and fumes of the engine, it was a welcome respite from our previous leg. This went on for several hours and we relaxed into a rhythm, our movements in concert with the boat.
Once again, the weather gurus were off the mark. (I really have to hone my own prediction skills.) All called for 12 to 15 knots from the NW during the day and the winds to lessen during the night. Only Solmate Stan called for winds from the east. He got that part right.
Around 1500, the winds started picking up and the engine went off. Little by little, the wind and the seas continued to rise. We were sailing dead downwind with the waves off our aft quarterdeck.
This is another instance where our journey south is different this year. Cadenza is a heavy boat with a full keel and when sailing in these conditions, she digs in and becomes one with the sea. Sea Dancer is a lighter boat with a wing keel and she flies across the crest of the waves (Not that this is bad. It's just different.) and we were in for another night of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. The seas were back up to eight to ten feet, splashing over the rail, while the wind howled on at a steady twenty knots.
After twenty-six hours, Jay was at the helm and said something to the effect of “Oh, come on! Give me a break!” And with that, a huge wave soared past my back and slapped Jay in the face, dumping a bucket full of water into his lap. Perfect timing! And so personal. We couldn't stop laughing.