Hello from Mexico!
We left Marina Del Rey on a breezy afternoon and had great conditions. Cruising along with full sails up and pushing 7knots, we were a happy crew! By nightfall the wind had all but died though, and after an hour of bashing sails, we turned on the engine. The block on our main sheet traveller had broken under the stress – our first casualty of the trip. She’s an old boat, and things are bound to break – but so soon into the voyage was a little disconcerting! Still, we lashed down the traveller and pushed on for Catalina, thankful that the fracture happened in light airs. Our ‘iron jib’ reliably propelled us forward, all be it at 3knots, and it was several hours later than any sort of wind piped up.
We sailed the last miles into Two Harbors, on Catalina Island, and as we had been there twice before, the late-night land fall was only mildly worrying. It is well lit and buoyed, so we picked up a mooring easily enough, and all fell soundly to sleep.
We spent a full day recovering from the stress/excitement of leaving, just lazing about the boat and beach. Our friend Bob was sailing from MDR to meet us there that evening, but ran into serious trouble with fog, freighters and no radio. Charlie and I even went out on a late-night rowing rescue mission after we lost contact with him, though we couldn’t find him. Later we learned he had turned back and was safe and sound, thank goodness.
Another two nights were spent at different anchorages along the catalina coastline, honing our skills and finishing small tasks. By Thursday afternoon the wind looked good and we were ready to push off for San Diego.
The first few hours were hopeful, with great breeze off our beam. Once again though, by 10pm a dense fog rolled in and the wind completely abated. We were loathe to turn on the engine again, but at 0.05knots we decided it was time. Not a puff came our way until well into the morning hours, just 10miles from San Diego. The fog had lingered through the night too, and I was VERY thankful for our AIS device, which shows us nearby traffic and let’s them see us too.
So then we were in San Diego! Our final port in the USA and a great place for repairs and final projects. A whole six days went by as we rested, tromped around the city on business missions, readied the rest of the boat, and restocked on provisions. We were all anxious to get going, and days seemed to fly by with little productivity. In hindsight though, we achieved a lot and finished some important tasks. Finally, by Thursday afternoon we were off and away, ice-cream, coke and chips in hand (America FUCKYEAH), cruising out of the country on a steady 6knots.
We made great headway in such good breeze and 4 hours later were almost half way. Then the wind died. Around 10pm. Sound familiar? This time we motored in big swells and the constant rolling afforded little sleep. Thankfully, around 4am, she piped up again and we were able to make steady progress with full sails.
At 11am, we pushed into the Ensenada Chanel, jumped off the boat and begun life in MEXICO! Yeeha! Clearing into customs was simple, thanks to the helpful marina we stayed in for a night, and the tacos and tecate (beer) taste GOOD!