Friday, 16 November 2012

sparkles and smiles

Nyon doing what she does best

Rick pointed to a distant red light: “Looks like there’s a boat over there, we’re not alone in the Sea after all!” It was midnight; I was taking over the watch. We were more than half way across the Sea of Cortez. I kept looking over my shoulder thinking, “That’s a strange light, is it really a boat?” And then I saw it: The moon’s smile. The waning moon’s red crescent rising over the horizon had fooled us into thinking she was a boat.

Meanwhile, the water was glittery with bio-luminescence, and the stars were crowding the sky above me. I heard a dolphin’s breath, and turned my head in time to see him jump out of the water in a shower of sparkles. “Oh Rick, look: Bio-luminescent dolphins!” Unlike the first time, these dolphins were amorphous sparkly shapes swimming along Nyon, not the defined ghost-like versions of our passage to Mazatlan. Yet, they were no less magical. This was one of those good passages.

We had been feeling ho-hum about San Carlos. Sure, we’d met and reconnected with some great people there. Among them, were Brian and Mizzy from SV Alegria. We enjoyed getting to know them better, having crossed wakes often over the summer. Going to the grocery store was also pleasantly overwhelming – what with the array of produce and supplies available.

It’s not that we didn’t like San Carlos, even if it had been a lot of work to be there, hauling out and re-supplying. We were hankering for our friends waiting for us on the Baja side; and of course, we missed the fishing and exploring. I guess we just longed for the simplicity of life away from this gringo-infused town.

Rick, happy to be out
there again

Along with SV Time Piece, we weighed anchor just before two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon. Rick had been helping out John with a wiring issue, and that delayed our loosely-planned departure by a couple of hours. This turned out to be a good thing; the winds were almost too much in our favour. On our 98 nautical mile journey, even with a reef in the mainsail, we averaged over 7 knots for three and a half hours, and then we averaged over 6 and half knots for even longer. You wouldn’t think this would be a problem. And really, it wasn’t. That’s because we eventually tweaked the sails in order to force the boat to slow down. We were having such a great sail southwest to the Baja coast, that Rick was worried we’d arrive in San Juanico* in the dark. We like to arrive in an anchorage in daylight whenever possible, it’s just safer.

My night watch was spent adjusting sails and counting shooting stars. It was beautiful out there. It was also surprisingly easy to readapt to an overnight passage, even though it had been a long time since we’d done one. It seems like passages have become a matter of course.

Sunset during our passage
We arrived in San Juanico early in the morning – to our surprise, there were quite a few boats anchored 
there. (They left soon after.) We spotted our pals Derrick and Trisha (SV Interabang) waving at us from their deck. There is nothing like being welcomed by cheerful calls from familiar faces and at the end of a journey.

Almost immediately, we could feel ourselves relax into our new surroundings, we liked the vibe of this place. And the company certainly sweetened the deal.

*San Juanico is located just on the south side of Ramada, on the Baja, where we anchored early this summer. Due to summer’s prevailing southerlies we did not get to anchor here before. Ashore, east of us is the cruisers’ shrine. This is a lovely bay we are about to begin exploring.

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