Cruising Yin and Yang

We’ve discovered there’s a definite dichotomy to our cruising life, and lately we’d been feeling a bit heavy on the “ordeal” side.

Life is good when we’re at anchor, filled with simple pleasures: a full night’s sleep in a horizontal bed, coffee in the morning, reading, swimming, going ashore, etc. But our overnight passages have definitely become the yin to the anchorage yang. We’ve had some great sailing and witnessed some spectacular beauty at sea for sure, but our recent passages have been something of a grind. It’s probably because they’re too short – usually just a couple days – not long enough for S’s stomach to adjust to the constant motion, and we suspect, for us to become exhausted enough that we can sleep heavily on our off-watches through all the noises and motion. On our last passage, 50 hours from Bahia Tortugas to Bahia Santa Maria, we had fluky winds, pesky squalls, and the ever-present northwesterly swells to carefully present our backside to (or else roll obnoxiously). At the end of it we were sleep deprived, queasy (S), rather low on humor, and quite ready for some R&R.

Thankfully, we have little doubt of our anchor set here in Bahia Santa Maria. When we arrived Saturday morning the 18-knot winds blew the boat sideways downwind as K deployed the anchor and chain, but we felt the anchor bite hard as it whipped the bow around to face it. We slept soundly well into the afternoon.

Yesterday we set out to increase the fun quotient of our trip, and it was a resounding success. This bay is beautiful. The blue water is warm, and there’s a spectacular sandy beach that extends for miles. We collected pretty shells and went body surfing and snorkeling. We were also pleased to find we could successfully land and re-launch our dinghy through the surf – an important but intimidating cruising skill to learn. Today we started getting ready for the next leg, the 345 miles to La Paz, down around the corner in the Sea of Cortez. We scrubbed the flora and fauna off the boat’s bottom, to the delight of the local population of juvenile jacks, and switched out our big genoa for the lighter version – a former Halberg-Rassey headsail K salvaged from the Shilshole dumpster giveaway pile last year and recut to fit Khamseen. It ain’t pretty but we have high hopes for its billowy power. We’re refreshed, S is armed with a full pack of Stugeron, and we’re eager to go again.

24°45.89’N 112°15.67’W 16-Nov-09 23:15 UTC

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