That was my summary of today’s sail when Geoff came up for his watch. We also solved the mystery fish mystery, but more about that in a minute.
We sailed 40 miles today, all downwind in about 15-20 knots with 2-3 foot following seas. Warm wind, blue sky, deep blue water and Wilson did an exceptional job of driving the boat. I don’t think either of us touched him all day. I spent a good portion of the day sitting in the lee scuppers dangling my feet in the spray and watching the coast go by. The other part was laying on the foredeck watching the sails and being lulled to sleep listening to the water as we powered through the waves. Today might well be the last of the pleasant, easy sailing we see on this trip since after one more short leg, it’s almost all “uphill” back up the Pacific Coast. The BASH as it’s called. Today’s forecast for the Pacific side: 17-22 knots, gusting to 29, 4-6 foot seas, all from the NNW or the direction in which we need to go. Rats.
Arrived at Bahia Frailes just a few minutes before the sun dipped below the mountains. Just as we entered the bay, we saw some serious fish jumping action. Since we had our lines out and we had not caught a fish all day, we headed right for the jumping and splashing. As we approached, we realized all the commotion was dozens of Manta Rays going berserk! Quick!! Bring in the lines! I did not want to hook a Manta Ray. We got the lines in the boat and just coasted through the crazed jumping Rays. Wild. All around the boat, the Rays were leaping out of the water, Most were 4 feet or so across and they jumped up to four to six feet in the air. Don’t know what they were up to, but definitely fun to watch as it lasted for about 15 minutes.
Speaking of fish, the fish mystery is no longer. Our new favorite fish of all time that we caught and so completely enjoyed up in La Paz, is the Sierra Mackerel. Geoff found the description online at the bar/restaurant in Los Muertos. It is considered a delicacy in Mexico. We agree, although we’ve decided to just call it the Sierra as Mackerel doesn’t sound as appetizing.
Note: As I’m typing this, Geoff just stopped by to see how the blog was going and gave me a couple cookies. My enthusiastic, but not quite coherent response (that he said I HAVE to blog) was; “ooh!, ohh!, ohh!, behind the sink, Nutella, or some Nutella-like substance!”. Like I’ve said; “simple pleasures thrill us”.
OK, back to our story: We’re getting creative on our stores these days. We’re out of rum for now, so have to use Tequila for our Charisma after anchoring at the end of the day. We’re thinking we should have a Spanish flair to the name of the drink when it’s made with Tequila, so Charismatita it is (for now: we’re open to suggestions). Dinner without fish too, so we sautéed some peppers and onions and made Risotto with canned tomatoes, peppers, onions and some canned chicken. Not bad with marinated cucumber salad.
Oh yeah, before I forget, take a lesson from two sailing instructors (you’d think we would know better): Don’t ever, under any circumstances TOW an inflatable dinghy with an outboard on it, when you have a forty mile leg to cover. This actually works fine as you leave your anchorage and think about how smart you are that you aren’t deflating the darn thing and having to inflate it again later, put the engine back on, etc, etc. It becomes a whole different ballgame six hours later when you’re five miles offshore and the wind’s gusting into the twenties with three foot swells and your dinghy just passed you as it came surfing down a wave. Realizing we had a problem and had to do something about this and quickly. Well, as knowledgeable sailing professionals (wink) we each grabbed a large dock-line and started tying the biggest knots we could manage about every three feet along the line. We then pulled the dinghy to the side of the boat (again, imagine the seas and wind and you can picture that this was an experience in itself to get the thing in without us falling out, or the dink tipping over as waves slammed it against the hull and threatened to tip it upside down). Once we wrestled it next to the boat, Geoff quickly tied the lines to the handles on the side of the dink that he could reach and then threw them off the stern and we let the whole rig back out with fingers crossed. Success! The lines with big knots acted like drogues and the drag in the water kept the dinghy straight and more importantly from surfing down waves on its own, attacking us and threatening to careen out of control and tip over with engine and gas tank attached. I don’t think we’ll do this again. OK, maybe once more to get to Cabo San Jose, but not after that. And we’ll store the outboard first 😉