About Last Night...
28 November 2014
The Morning After
November 26, 2014
Nothing says a rough night than Ramen for breakfast.
It was dusk and I was at the helm. The seas and wind had calmed down and it was a mellow ride as we sailed with the sun setting to starboard. In my last hour, the wind starting picking up and when I handed the helm over to Bobbi & Don, it had increased to 10-15 knots from the east. On Bobbi's watch it kept increasing and when she handed it over to Don at 2300, she was seeing 19-22 knots. At 0100, Jay took my watch (I would take his watch at 0300) and the wind had decreased to 15 knots. But not for long.
Jay was blessed with our first gale of the season. What had started out with 15 knots from the east with seas building (also from the east – which meant waves on the beam) became 32-35 knots with seas – well it was too dark to measure - but suffice it to say they were breaking over our boat. We had one reef in. We should have had two. But again, no one called for this wind. Actually, they called for it to calm in the evening to 10-14 and then to 2-4 knots in the morning. No such luck. (We were passing a low-lying and narrow part of the Baja pennisula and Jay wondered if these winds were the after-effects of the Screamin' Blue Norther that was haunting the Sea of Cortez.)
We saw a few white outs when the seas covered the boat. We were actually in the curl of the waves! And the mainsail got dangerously close to a knockdown way too many times. Don was on the low side. I was on the high side but I couldn't stay there. It was wet and slippery and the seas kept throwing me around. I wrapped my arms around the winch and held on. I was collecting bruises one after another.
This was not distant. It was up close and personal. Nor was this romantic. It was a long and uncomfortable night with lots of prayers. We could only hope the butterfly angels were watching over us.
This was not fun. Not fun at all.
Dawn came and the seas and winds calmed as promised. All of us were exhausted but Jay, my hero, was the most exhausted as he stayed at the helm for the entire gale. He kept us safe and I am most grateful.
We rounded the cape around 1200. I must say, it was great to see civilization again. All the way down the Baja coast we passed few boats but now we saw plenty of fishing boats, a few sailboats, and even a few tourist boats taking their passengers on a snorkeling trip. A whale blew off our starboard and then slowly dove under, leaving its tail to wave hello.
Welcome to Cabo.
As we headed north to San Jose del Cabo the seas and wind were on the nose as expected. We hit 20 knots before we entered into the marina. Upon entering, I think we all exhaled a communal sigh of relief.
We docked at 1555 and went out for a much-deserved margarita and dinner. Sleep came easily as the wind howled on. We were safe at port.