Welcome to Vagari’s 7th winter of sailing. We have put 8,000 miles under Vagari’s keel during those cruises but this year like last year won’t be a high mileage year. We just don’t have the lust for the long cruises that we did when we started cruising but we still enjoy living on board and sailing near our homeport. Welcome aboard! We hope you enjoy our blog. Your comments, questions and suggestions are appreciated and encouraged.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On to Chamela Bay

The winds went light winds during the middle of the day.  We were so enthralled with the wing and wing rig that we didn't want to stop sailing.  We have a big light air gennaker sail on board (a huge multi colored sail like a spinnaker but its not symmetrical). With the headsail poled out and the mainsail boom tied out to the other side there was a fifteen foot gap between the two. I start to bring the gennaker up on deck.  Tom yells, "Lets do it".


Rhea gives us the "my God you are nuts" look as she reminds us we do have a motor.


We rig the sail using every block and line we have on board.  It actually works until the wind goes completely dead.  Following Rhea's advise we take all but the mainsail down and start motoring.


In the afternoon the wind came back from behind us so we rig the wing and wing setup and are flying right down the rum line when we start to slow down for no apparent reason.  Behind the boat our hand line-fishing rig is off to one side of the boat with a huge gold fish attached. "Fish On    Dorado!"


We pulled him in hand over hand.  I start to pull him up to the deck.  When he touches the side of the boat he gives one last blast with his tail jumps off the hook and tail walks away from the boat.  He was close to four feet long and had to weigh 40 pounds. Even if he didn't get off the hook I don't think I could have pulled him up because of the bouncing of the boat and the strength of large Dorado.


Just before dinner we caught a 12-pound Dorado. Cooked on the BBQ it was the best fish I have had since last season.


The last day was a motorboat ride, no wind. Worse yet as we neared Cabo Corrientes (Cape Currents) a significant current was running against Vagari.  So the last day was slow and slower.  The really good news is that rounding the cape the weather and the seas were calm.


During the previous three years Rhea and I have heard lots of stories of difficult cape roundings.  We have stayed just north, never rounding it for one reason or another for two seasons. The mental image of rounding the cape in the middle of the night got more vivid as time passed. The local marine weather forecasts always give a separate forecast for the cape. The standard advise is to round the cape in the middle of the night when the temperature difference between the sea and the land are at a minimum. We did that and the forecast for the night we rounded was pretty good. So we were thinking we may have been paranoid until a cruiser with a three hulled sailboat anchored next to us two days after we arrived with a two foot round hole in the deck at the back of his boat.  He dinged over and told us that the wind off the caped was so strong that it pulled a cleat that held the line that controlled the mainsail right off the deck taking part of the deck also. He was sailing with two other boats but they were 10 to 15 miles closer to shore than he was. His buddy boats had no difficulties. The forecast for the cape that night was pretty good also.


While standing watch just after midnight I noticed a light under the water just five feet off our side. It was a little spooky until I realized that dolphin were playing in our waves and what I was seeing was the bio-fluorescence caused by them moving thru the water.


All night we see the bio-fluorescence caused by the wake as we move along and if you stand on the back of Vagari at night while sailing you see a narrow line of light behind us where the rudder and keel cause bio-fluorescence. That, the stars reflecting on the water and the brilliant Milky Way going straight down our course line that last night can make night sailing a joy.


One item I haven't mention is our fuel usage.  We don't carry enough fuel to make this long a trip using our motor.  Fuel stops are few and far between. The navigator has to constantly monitor remaining fuel and distance to the next fuel dock.  The logbook is full of these calculations.  We arrived with almost a quarter tank left so we did sail more, which was one of our goals despite using much more fuel that any estimate the last day.


So after five days at sea you would think we would rush into town for a hamburger and/or ice cream. No. To prove Rhea's feelings about sailors, before we put the anchor down we spent an hour motoring around this beautiful bay taking in the sights.


One last comment:  our friend Tom Hoffman who joined us for this adventure is a great sailor and individual.  He has lots of cruising and sailing experience. He is also a natural mechanic who can diagnose problems quickly and fix them even faster.  He showed us lots of tips and tricks that will help us the rest of our cruising days. An example is the new whisker pole.  Our learning curve was zero because Tom has used one for years and he showed us the right way the first time.


Beyond all that he is a wonderful person.  Five days at sea in a small boat and 10 days before that getting ready for sea can tax a relationship, but we enjoyed every minute with Tom. He will be sailing his boat down here in a month and we can't wait to see him again.


Aside to Tom from Rhea…

Thank you from the bottom and top of my heart for accompanying us on this voyage which would have been a real nightmare for me without you, your confidence and sense of humor.  You are a true friend.  Thanks also for the extra trip into San Carlos to make some very necessary shopping adjustments at my favorite store

"Saggitario."  You are always welcome in either of our homes.  Love, The Country Club Girl.

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