As mentioned in my last post, I was crossing the Gulf of California to Mazatlan, a ~200nm crossing. Looking at the winds I had guessed around 2 days and it was pretty much bang on, with me arriving into Mazatlan as the sun rose on the third day.

The weather was good, with flat water for most of it. The wind was kind of annoying, with it blowing from almost directly behind me for a lot of it (a tough point of sail) and I was too lazy to drag out the spinnaker solo. The strength was 90% under 10 knots, with the remainder being around 10-15 (aside from one brief squall of 25 at the end). I motored probably around 10 hours total and sailed the remaining ~40

I was pretty glad for gudges light wind sailing abilities as she kept on trudging along, even when the wind dropped under 5 knots (although pretty slowly, we were going around 2 knots for a good portion of the time).

The biggest problem I had was rest, and being comfortable at night. Being 100 miles from land in a small boat with this view

is a really strange experience and I am fairly comfortable with it, except at night. Nights are long, hard and scary. Every noise is amplified and I was worried about the wind picking up (it never did).

The upshot being I didn’t get much sleep either night of the crossing which definitely affected my ability to sail the boat well. Hopefully on longer passages, I’d get more used to it and be able to sleep better. Or just start eating the furniture. One of the two.

The sunrises/sunsets are pretty amazing though!

Saw a bunch of birds, and found a couple of little squiddies on deck one morning

I popped them in the freezer for later bait usage.

I also managed to hook a big tuna – at least 20lbs. I’m pretty sure it was a yellow fin as it was way bigger than a skipjack and was hooked near a pod of dolphins (where they often hang out). Got him to the surface three times, but each time he’d go on a huge run, stripping off line. The third time he shot under the boat and the line must have got snagged on something as the 40lb test snapped. On a related note, I am going to start using shock leaders!

The hardest part of the whole trip was at 3am on the last night, when I noticed the wind shift 120 degrees very suddenly. As I went on deck to look, I saw a bunch of lightning and figured it was a squall line approaching – which it was! I took the sails down as a precaution and good job, as within five minutes it was 25 knots right on the nose with lightning everywhere – very unfun (lightning at sea scares me more than most things). Luckily it only lasted a few minutes and I powered the remaining few hours into harbour safely, while I contemplated a change of underwear.

I’ll spend a few days here while my friend Emma arrives and then it’s heading further south for a bit!

The climate here is a lot warmer and more humid than La Paz – for my Canadian friends think ‘Ottawa summer’ instead of ‘Victoria summer’. But at least the water is warmer!

Oh and another HUGE thank you to all my patreon supporters – I just bought a second-hand hydro-tow generator using just the proceeds from my patreon over the last year – so again, thank you so much!

 

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