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, March 06, 2008

The first two days heading north

Our first day moving north was a very pleasant motor sail up to Chamela Bay. The second day we planed to move to a cove just 13 miles south of the dreaded Cabo Corrienties. This would allow us to leave at first light to round the dreaded cape when the winds are usually the lightest. Light winds from the south were predicted. Perfect for our purposes.

A strong south wind started the next day just after we set sail. We rigged the wing and wing sail plan and were enjoying the sail when we realized that we couldn’t spend the night at our planned stop because it was open to the south. This would let the building waves enter the anchorage. If we anchored the wind and waves would be driving us toward the shore. The large waves would make it a very unpleasant and possible dangerous anchorage.

The next anchorage was five or more hours beyond Cabo Corrienties. Further we would be rounding the cape in late afternoon, the worst time of the day to round the cape. We had little choice to continue. The south winds strength was up and down but mostly up.

Cabo Corrienties translates to “cape of currents”. As we neared the cape the seas became like a washing machine. Several currents often converge at the cape. The kicker was that one wave came out of nowhere hit us and sprayed water over the entire boat. I was driving and got soaked. Vagari has an arch in the very back of the boat that holds the radar antenna and the wind generator. Salt water sprayed the top of the arch. The actual rounding of the cape was anticlimactic. The wind and seas were moderate.

The next anchorage was also open to the south and we would arrive after midnight. We would not get to bed until and hour or so later. The anchorage would be very rough. We decided to continue thru the night to San Blas. We could anchor up an estuary (river) and would not be affected by the waves. So we started our night watch standing routine. During Rhea’s watch Vagari was hit by a blast of wind from the west then a few seconds later a blast came from the east. The boat was out of control. We only had the main sail up and it was shortened with a reef so only about eighty percent of the main sail was up. This was way too much sail for the wind. We quickly got the sail down and still had trouble getting the boat under control. I was sleeping in the cockpit when this all started and Bob Ley was on deck in a flash. As is always the case in these situations it was a pitch-black night with no moon.

After a few minutes we could hold our course. As we continued the wind and waves decreased. We resumed our watch standing.

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