April 9, 2010

Well, we bailed

Our goal was to head straight to the anchorages outside of La Paz. The next pictures I planned to post were of us frolicking in azure waters and climbing rugged desert peaks.
Instead we’re sitting in Mazatlan’s rather smelly (thanks to the sewage treatment plant) and busy old harbour--in 100% humidity (the interior walls are wet) grouching at each other.
  We're not keen on night entries, but the wide breakwaters and easy anchorage made Mazatlan a good choice.

We knew the upwind ride to La Paz would be a bash. But when motor sailing at reduced RPMs (for fuel savings) was only netting us 2-3 knots toward our destination yesterday afternoon, we knew something had to give. The 300 remaining miles would take a LONG time at < 3 nautical miles an hour.

We decided to give up motor sailing in a direct line, cracked off to a close reach, turned off the motor and started hitting the high sevens in boat speed. That felt much better, we are a sailboat after all. The problem is La Paz was still directly upwind and with the steep nasty seas our VMG (velocity made good) still had us arriving sometime next week.

This is around the time when I started to wonder if I’d gone soft: If two months in a marina (punctuated by two pleasant day sails) had turned me into a sailor who couldn’t hack a few confused seas. I want to sail around the world for goodness sakes, and here I was finding being tossed made me want to go to bed and wake up after it was over.

While I was busy beating myself up for my wimpyness, I happened to hear two boats hailing each other on the VHF. They complained about what a miserable time they were having. “These seas suck,” was the exact quote. They did suck, which is when we realized that one of our tacks would take us straight into Mazatlan. And Mazatlan started to seem like a really nice place to be.
  The old harbour anchorage puts us between ferry docks and sport fishermen moorings

So we made a night entry, dropped the hook in blessedly flat seas and then woke this morning with mixed feelings. In many ways we made the right choice, the seas and wind built through the night and continued to clock around, probably making the seas an even bigger mess.
But we’re not where we want to be and I feel like we quit.


boatbaby said...

Damn girl, give yourself a break. It's CRUISING, not a contest. In Hawaiian the word for it is HoloHolo... just meandering along, going where the wind blows you. That's exactly what you did. Buck up and enjoy where you are.

Diane, Evan, Maia and Charlie the cat said...

At least I get to have a cup of coffee this AM. ;-D

Seven C's said...

And I can only imagine the delicious cup of coffee you are having after your description of coffee! Well deserved I might add!