up at 6, boat ready to go by 7… and everyone ready to STOP THE MADNESS by noon. Of course, there is no going back.. the winds kicked up, the waves turned sharp ( 4 second intervals, even a four foot sea seems insurmountable when they come every four seconds or less)… with a few biggies thrown in. Throw being the operative word, of course.
We were not warned of impending bounciness, as the weather had given us indication of relative benign-ness today and upcoming nasty-ness tomorrow. Of course weather is never to be trusted but what can you do? It’s anyone’s best guess based on best information and best practice, so off we went. We battened hatches but we didn’t stuff cushions everywhere as we would normally do if we knew the banging and crashing was about to begin. And by the time it began, if I had opened the cupboards to stuff, stuff would come crashing out. As it was, we did have a few bangs!
The whole thing would have been more tolerable if we didn’t have the Grady bouncing around behind us. I watch it occasionally and decided that the boat itself is built to handle almost anything, and she does have self-bailing tendencies, so there was nothing to do but maybe worry a bit. Tom, however, saw her almost broach a few times. Glad I didn’t see that. A Grady would make a very good, very short lived, and very expensive sea anchor. We have ways to cut lines and sever ties pretty quickly but it would have been heart breaking.
We were not alone in our craziness, however. I spotted some AIS signals on the chart plotter and quickly realized they were two or three sailboats heading straight for us. Once again, all that sea out there and they choose our reciprocal course to follow, heading right at us. And of course, with sails up. We dodged and turned, and were still able to pass close enough by them that I could get some decent shots. Pretty spectacular! The first boat was flying a handkerchief of his mainsail, the second had almost every foot of canvas out there ( maybe a reef in the main and the jib) … first was pretty controlled, second looked as if he were going to take flight or go under, or both. Both were going significantly faster than our 6 knots, and of course had the waves on their nose whereas we were taking them on the rear port quarter ( pure ugly).
I looked at my photos later and was surprised to see that in both cases, the man at the helm was staring as closely at us as I was at them. In one shot , I can see a significant other peering around the dodger at us too. “See honey, they are out having a good time too! hahahahaha”…. as she is plotting mutiny or divorce or both.
And then they were gone! We were hoping to find shelter from the wind and the waves as we headed down the side of Partida and Espiritu Santu but no such luck, we were way too far out ( trying to minimize the nasty effects of the waves) – so had to bypass our intended bay on Partida and head into the same anchorage stayed in before. It was heaven coming in out of the bumps, and we were quickly anchored between four sailboats almost exactly where we were last time, although the wind is going to continue and come right through the gap. No rollers though, at this point.
Phyllis made lunch ( I had been fantasizing about the tomato and lettuce sandwiches we had decided upon, all day!!!) and now – everyone else is napping.
Banging and Crashing and rolling around takes a lot out of you. Well, that, and the chocolate cake we had for dessert. Yum.
Later… sundowners and sundown – every one up from their naps, I was on turtle watch and saw a lovely green one swimming around our boat! and me with dead battery on the camera. Ah well.. one for the memory banks.
Phyllis has made white chili, we are enjoying the sunset, and star rise, and the wind is whistling through here at times but it is relatively calm. Another good day – we are all in one piece, the Grady is happily snugged up against us feeling very sorry for herself because we are a bit mad at her.. may be the last trip she does down here! More trouble than she is worth… sorry, dear…
so another adventurous day comes to an end, and we are thankful our boats are more capable than we give them credit for!