A Day in the Life of Cruising
05 March 2017
February 23, 2017
1045 – We are rounding Cabo Corrientes. It is named this because the currents converge and can cause this area to have mixed seas. Somewhat like a washing machine. We are told the best time to round it is early morning or late at night. The last two times, we have done an overnight, and both times, hit rough seas. Today, we left Punta de Mita at 0705. There are swells, and some are coming onto our quarter beam, but they are one to two feet, and still it is a much smoother ride than before.
I spotted some dolphins who came to play on our bow. Jay was below, checking in on the SSB radio, hoping to hear some weather. A little while later, Jay spotted four whales, off in the distance. I missed them. There were lots of birds, fishing, early this morning. Nothing more now.
The sky is mostly clear. Gone are the clouds that filled the sky last night, hiding the stars. There is a 12-knot breeze from the SW. On the nose, of course. We are hoping they will turn west. For now, we are just motoring along at a five-knot pace, falling into a meditative state, directed by the rhythm of the sea.
1120 – I just saw the strangest thing. Off the starboard bow was about 10-12 spurts of water, shooting up about a foot high. It reminded me of the fountains that are placed in the city, to cool children off in the summer. The fountain water shoots up, on and off, and the kids run through, laughing, pretending they don’t want to get wet, when all the while, they do. So, what was it out here in the Pacific that caused it? As quickly as they appeared, they were gone.
1140 – Another whale sighting by Jay. He saw his fluke off the starboard beam of our boat. Maybe waving goodbye?
1220 – I just saw two whales off our stern, just about 100 yards away. I was excited, but nervous. So close. And they were following us. We waited, anxiously, to see where they would come up. They never did.
1255 – We spotted them again. This time, about 100 yards off our port beam. I guess they have been with us all along.
1307 – Two more off our starboard bow. Again, very close. Which direction? Right in front of us! “Jay, stop the boat!” He put Cadenza in neutral. They moseyed along across our path. I must have missed the sign, “Whale Crossing.” We waited. I tried to get a picture, but failed. Ugh!
1330 – The weather has completely changed. The clouds have reconvened overhead. The sea state has changed too. We now have long swells of following seas. Parts of the ocean looks like oil slicks, it is so smooth. The wind has all but died. The whales continue to surface now and then. I am hoping to get a photo.
1353 – I have given up on getting a photo. It doesn’t do them justice – besides the fact that I just can’t capture them. Two more (Are they the same ones?) were about a half mile in front of us. They started playing around. They completely breached, their full bodies coming out of the water. One, then, the other. One would stick his flipper up out of the water and then drop it – splat! The other would follow suit. They were frolicking about, oblivious to us, until we caught up to them. A few more waves of their tails and down they went.
The clouds that had gathered have since dispersed. Some, but not many, are still hanging around.
1445 – We see a pod of, what looks like, baby dolphins. Teenagers, maybe? They are small.
1550 – We are anchored in Ipala. It is our first time here. Three boats are tucked in. I think that is all that will fit. A sweet cove. Small. It reminds us of a cross between San Evaristo in the Sea of Cortez and Pelican Cove on Santa Cruz Island in California.
1615 – Three Mexican boys, about nine years old, ride on an ocean kayak to our neighboring boat. They stay quite a while, talking to the cruisers. Maybe the boys know English? Or, maybe, the couple knows Spanish. I’m not sure. The next time I look up, the boys are on the boat, surrounding the Captain, who is showing them something. Maybe on the IPAD? This converging of cultures is a sweet picture. The boys’ mother calls them in from the beach. Time for cena.
1700 – A Mexican man in a wet suit comes to our boat in a panga. His wet suit is torn at the shoulder. His face is a deep brown from the sun. He has brought with him, his son. His English is limited as is our Spanish. We gather he is looking for supplies for the local school. We had heard this but, unfortunately, the day before we left. We didn’t have time to shop. We give his son some candy to share with his friends. He asks for money for the school. They have forty children in their school. We give him a few hundred pesos and promise to bring back supplies on way back to PV.
2030 – All night, there is a bright light that shines from the beach over the water. I think it is there to deter theft of the pangas. We are going to sleep now, so I put a towel up over the window to keep the light out.