Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Finally Underway

Last night the cruisers on our dock at Costa Baja had a happy hour to say bon voyage to us and some other cruisers who are heading out in different directions. It was really nice to talk with these great people. People we had just met here were giving us all sorts of great gifts--wine, peanut M&Ms, sour dough starter, and one surprise gift for when we cross the equator. A good time was had by all, but we finally had to leave so that we could finish putting things away on the boat and get ready to go.

We were up at 3:15 and at 4 o'clock we pulled away from the dock. Robert and Cynthia from Summer Rain actually got up to help us shove off and take pictures. Wind Dancer left with us. We didn't mind leaving before dawn because the channel into the marina is well lit with red and green buoys. Well, the buoys weren't lit (perhaps they fear that a boat will skip out on its bill), and it was a bit stressful to pick the buoys up in the dark with 9 feet showing on the depth sounder, and we draw 6 feet. Actually, it is probably closer to 6 ½ now that we have loaded all our food on board.

We had to motor for the first few hours until we went through San Lorenzo Channel and headed down Canal Cerralvo where the winds finally picked up, and we were able to sail. Then, of course, the winds died so we put up the spinnaker. It took awhile to rig every thing, but we did pick up speed. Shortly thereafter the wind died, and we were bobbing around like a cork. We finally decided to motor for just a bit until the wind picked up again, which it did about an hour later. We got a great down-wind sail the rest of the way, reaching a top speed of 7.7 knots several times. We also got to see several whales moving up the channel--one even breached the water.

We pulled in to Ensenada de los Muertos and set the anchor without a problem. Gingie had come in yesterday and Wind Dancer and Prairie Oyster pulled in a little behind us. These boats are all planning to cross to French Polynesia this season. We will check the weather tonight to see if we will continue tomorrow or wait a day for some wind. It was a good first day on our voyage, but we did get a little sunburned.

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