Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weaving through the Islas Revillagigedo's

This morning, traveling SW, we passed to the north and west of Isla San Benedicto and Isla Socorro, and will pass to the east and south of Isla Roca Partida late tonight. We gave all of these islands that form the Islas Revillagigedo group a wide berth as there are significant charting inaccuracy with Mexican charts. I tried to spot Isla Socorro, the largest island with a small Mexican military outpost, but with the large seas we are having, there was no way I could see it; in fact, I would be surprised if we could see a container ship until it was 1/2 a mile away. Compounding the navigation issues, there are a large number of sea mounts that rise from 6000 feet to a few tens of feet of the surface. The water over these sea mounts can be very rough and dangerous, especially in wind, current, and wave conditions like we are having. We are working hard to avoid these too. In 2 days, all the navigation hazards will be behind us and we will have deep open water all the to the Marquesas.

A very strong high pressure system of 1034 mb has been forming up north and the effects had been predicted for our area. While we have been sailing along nicely, this afternoon the swells and wind predicted showed up. The swells are now 12-14 feet with a 10 second period. On top of the swells are wind waves of 2-4 feet. There are while caps but generally the sea is pretty well behaved. The winds were originally predicted to be up to 35 knots but the maximum we have had are in the low 20's with the majority of the winds being 15-20 knots which is very good. We have reefed and un-reefed the sails today trying to find out what works best. With a deeply reefed main, in the bottom of the swells the sail loses the wind and along with it, boat speed. We have settled in on double reefed main and a partially furled jib. This configuration has allowed us to keep our boat speed up in the low 7 knot range without too much overpowering.

We have traveled 270 miles SSW of Cabo San Lucas in the past two days and except for a lot of salty wet close and some tiredness, all is well. In fact, at our current pace we could break a 20 day crossing! That would make us quite happy!

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2 comments:

Brie said...

Hey guys! I finally got a chance to check out the blog. It looks great! I'm glad to hear the crossing is moving along with minimal issues. Stay safe and we'll talk to you soon.

All our love,
Tim and Brie

rjblacketor said...

Hi guys!
What an adventure! Keep on grinn'n and hang on!
We'll keep thinking about you.
Hugs,
Robert and Cynthia