Woke up: La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Went to sleep: Bahia de Las Muertos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Into the Deep End
Why not just jump right into the deep end, I always say. Our first day out was more than we bargained for. We both knew a north wind was in the forecast and had intended to go just as far as San Gabrielle on the Isle of Espiritu Santo, 12 miles south.
We were underway by 7:00 am and conditions were good. For some reason, which I can’t remember right now, perhaps because Gabrielle was somewhat out of our way and we are both anxious to get on down the road, we decided to turn east, crossing the Canal de San Lorenzo, past Isla Cerralvo and on to Bahia de Las Muertos. Big mistake.
Isla Cerralvo is an island, approximately 16 miles long, lying about 6 miles off the Baja peninsula. The waterway between the island and the peninsula is known as Canal de Cerralvo. At the narrowest, the channel is only 4.5 miles wide. The channel runs approximately 25 miles in length and currents can get up to 2.5 knots. With adverse current, strong winds and steep waves, the channel can become very challenging.
The wind picked up to 30 knots as we maneuvered through the narrow channel. Our heading was due east so with the wind and waves out of the north we had eight foot seas every eight seconds right on the beam, for over six hours.
I tried to sit outside and keep Peter company but every once in a while a rogue wave would rise up from out of nowhere and douche the cockpit. Once my clothes were wet I said, “To heck with this.” and went down below.
To make matters worse, I’ve been on land for so long I was feeling pretty nauseas. I’m sitting in a spot down below, trying not to think about throwing up, where I can keep my eye on Peter in case he falls down, falls out or has a distressed look. Everything is on the floor once again. I don’t even bother to pick anything up, I just try not to trip over it on my way to the head.
We’re not in any danger, really, except possibly being nailed by a random projectile or falling to the floor trying to move around. Penelope thinks it’s fun! Of the many improvements Peter made while I was away, today I am most enamored with the new latch on the bathroom door. Under these conditions, in the past, the door would loudly slam open and later loudly slam closed without the slightest warning, startling anyone within ear shot to near heart failure. For all my many blessings, the new latch on the bathroom door is deeply appreciated today.
We dropped anchor at 5:00 pm. It’s always the same. The relief and the joy of being “home” safe and sound pervades our conscious awareness. Peter joyfully goes about replacing the sail covers and the dodger while I joyfully go about cooking up an awesome dinner – with all the fresh food we have on hand. The added benefit of a day underway is lots of water, lots of hot water and lots of power. “Let’s watch one of those new movies I brought back!”