Wow. What a ride to Turtle Bay. Arrived yesterday to a beautiful harbor needing a shower and soft dry place to sleep. The camaraderie with the Baja Ha Ha XX fleet has been utterly amazing. Every morning we call in our GPS position, giving us the assurance that someone knows where we are (the open ocean is bigger than I imagined). Most boats have arrived now to Turtle Bay and between having a beach party at noon, we are going over the boat, making water, and getting ready for leg two tomorrow morning. Foremost, we are watching the weather and a hurricane that is forming south of us. After sailing in 25 knots, I’m not keen on sailing in 50 knot winds! The fleet will stay put in Turtle Bay until the threat passes over. I’m sitting at a the Veracruz, a little place on a hill to use their internet. It’s very sketchy so this post is without many edits and no pictures. Take my word…it’s a beautiful view looking out at the harbor with 150 sailboats, blue water, and brown mountains.
Monday: Left San Diego in a cold drizzle.
Tuesday: Breezy and sunny. A whale come up to the boat!! We watched her go from several hundred yards, right up along side Seamore Pacific and then spouted as she past the stern. Capt. Chameleon estimated she was 50 feet off our starboard but I’d say more like 30 feet. None the less, we were paralyzed in excited, anticipation, and disbelief. I had the camera but couldn’t take my eyes off of the whole experience. She was graceful, beautiful, and obviously interested in our presence. Afterwards, Capt. Chameleon and I looked at each other and high fived. He said he was ready to tack the sails in a heartbeat if she breeched or bumped the boat; not to imply she would mean to but we didn’t want to take chances. Wow.
Wednesday: To avoid sailing past rocky islands at night with winds that would require lots of tacking, we headed more offshore. Daybreak came and for the first time, sadness and loneliness set in. There was not another soul in sight. The seas were rougher than I’d every experienced and winds blowing 15-20 knots with gust of 25 knots. All I could think of was my family and how very much I love them. It doesn’t take a rocky ride in the Pacific for me to realize that, but maybe it’s the taking it for granted in every day ordinary life where a cell phone or email is just a palm away.
We endured the day getting closer as a team because we were presented with one trial after another. We reefed first the Mizzen and then needed to reef the Main. Seamore Pacific was comfortable despite the rolling. Whatever we had failed to properly secure within the cabin was tossed around like a Frisbee. Because we are a two man crew, both of us stayed in the cockpit (harnessed) to back-up the watchman, and who ever wasn’t at the helm, had the fun of going up and down the companion way and into the salon to the navigation station, aboard a bucking bronco ride. Ruby was secured in her kennel and did great.
More teamwork at hand when our Main sail reef line came apart, requiring us to drop the sail. But, the sail wouldn’t drop completely into the lazy jack because of the winds, and after unsuccessfully getting the entire sail back into the lazy jack we left it. Doing anything more would be to unsafe. We chose the risk of ripping the sail to shreds versus harm to the crew. We were grateful to find, once we got to Turtle Bay that the sail is fine and the reef line is now fixed.
Teamwork again when the auto pilot failed, requiring us to manually steer through the night. The wind was down to 15 knots but the waves were still kicked up. We were sailing down wind fighting against uncontrolled gibing. I was petrified steering through rough seas, but I had no choice, Captain Chameleon couldn’t do it for 36 hours. By this time we had both going on little sleep and it came down to I had to get over my fear. So after a little cry, I put my “big girl pants on” and Capt. Chameleon placed his hand next to my hand and we steered first together and then after a bit, I took over.
Thursday: We could see land! We sailed into Turtle Bay and closed out the day with a hot shower, delicious dinner, and prayer of thanksgiving. It felt so good to get the dreadlocks (I would have kept them if they didn’t look like an Osprey nest versus dreadlocks) out and sleep stretched out in a warm, dry bed.
Friday: Listened to the morning Ha Ha net on the VHF and chucked when another boat asked for help getting dreadlocks out.
Until next time….