January 6, 2011

Laughing All the Way (La Paz to La Cruz)

We set off from La Paz in a norther. It was supposed to be a little norther—sort of trade wind strength. We decided it would be a good 400 mile downwind sleigh ride in preparation for the upcoming 2700 mile one... A final shake down to test a few modifications.
The wind was under forecast though and came in somewhere in excess of 25 knots—which wouldn't be terrible except for with the heavy currents found in the Sea of Cortez the steep, square 6-8' waves were turbulent, at best. So it wasn't the 'one horse open sleigh' variety of sleigh ride. It was more like luge, or bobsled—kind of a breakneck hurtling down the mountain (we surfed at 16 knots, for longer than we'd like) where the mountain smacked us, regularly and our sail was just a bit bigger than a handkerchief.
Normally we wouldn't have set out in weather like this. But we have guests arriving in PV in a few days—and the norther was only predicted to keep building. I know most people argue that we should never change our schedule and set out in bad weather for guests. The saying is that guests can choose a date or a place to meet, but not both. The problem with this idea is that in the real world, is unless our guests have a long window to visit, it doesn't work. And we love having guests. So we sailed out in crappy weather.
The good news is the boat handled the conditions beautifully. Nothing went flying and nothing broke. The bad news was I was a sick as I've ever been. It may have been the combination of antibiotics (the reason we were late leaving La Paz was my persistent cold had morphed into pneumonia), anti-nausea and cold drugs caused an unexpected contraindication. Or it may have been the simple fact I should still be in bed. But I was barely able to keep water down or give Ev more than a few 45 minute breaks here and there...
when I have a choice I'll take this, over that first picture...
 But the bad weather passed in a foggy dream for me—and this morning I woke to a pretty sunrise and the ability to eat again. Evan is napping and we have long pacific swell sliding under our hulls. We're dashing all the way to Isla Isabela today. There's a chance that that anchorage won't be tenable (we still have that norther--it's just somewhat moderated on the mainland side). But if that's the case I guess we'll dash on past—laughing all the way...
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