Well, we've obviously made it here. We had an amazing trip. We left La Paz around 3 pm on Thursday and arrived in the El Cid marina in Mazatlan at 10:30 am on Saturday - about 46 hours. We were slower than normal since we only had one engine, but we averaged about 5.5 knots over the 235 nautical miles.
The crossing went very well. The winds stayed light to moderate (5 to 10 knots most of the time with gusts up to 16 knots at times) which made for very comfortable sailing. We mostly just put our jib up, but also our main for a spell or two. There was not enough wind to only use sails, so we always kept our working engine on to keep the speed up. The winds stayed mostly to our stern and so we really did have fair winds and following seas for most of the trip.
On a crossing like this, someone is always at the helm "on watch" 24 hours a day until the destination is reached. We all took turns on watch and it went very smoothly. The boat is generally steered by an autopilot, but someone has to be there to turn the boat if it is on a collision course with something. The person on watch is mostly watching for other traffic (big ships and working boats don't alter course for us little guys) but we watch also for fishing gear like nets, lines, and pots and maybe a sleeping whale. You don't want a net wrapped around your propeller. And I have personally met a man whose boat sunk when he hit a whale! At night, you don't have much hope of spotting anything that doesn't have a light on it, but on our trip we happened to be sailing into the moon and our path was lit up for us like a spotlight. It made it a lot nicer and very beautiful.
We saw fantastic wildlife on our trip. We caught two dorados. Some Orcas came at our boat on a collision course and then swam under it and up the other side. They were about 100 feet off our bow when they submerged. One night, some bottle nose dolphins came and played in our bow wake. Dolphins always seem to approach the boat right at the helm and look at you for a little while before they continue up to the bow to play. It's almost like they are asking for permission! Jack and Patrick laid out on the nets and talked to them as they played. Near Mazatlan we saw two humpback whales. We also were followed by small sharks after we cleaned the dorado.
On Tuesday our boat is pulled from the water and we find out what repairs are needed. From that point, we can make more decisions. In the meantime, we are enjoying El Cid and all of the amenities it offers - a fantastic sugar sand beach, three pools (one with waterfalls, slides, cliffs to jump from, a cave system, and hot tubs), a rotating happy hour going from pool to pool, large iguanas roaming the beautiful grounds and lots of friendly people. One couple we met in La Paz is also here with us, Colin and Sharon on Mama Bird. So all in all, no complaints here!
5 days ago