After dropping off Liz at Loreto (the furthest North I got), I returned back to Coronado Island and met my BBF (best boat friends forever) Jo and Barry on Boomarang and their friends on Hajime. However, not much socialising was done as 30 knot winds swept through the anchorage meaning everyone decided to stick on their boats. Some dolphins came and said hi

After that, the whole next few weeks was basically the inverse of the previous few – except I was sailing solo, and buddy boating with Hajime and Boomarang. Also, heading south with the prevailing winds is waaaaay easy than bashing against them!

I saw a ton of wildlife and was lucky enough to get my camera and new lens out and take some shots – these are jumping mobius rays, an unlucky fish and a sea turtle

I also flew the sym spinnaker solo in a fit of hubris, which ended exactly as you figure it would (i.e, badly as the wind shifted and the halyard jammed)

I also took the time to fix my VHF mic – a small wire had broken it’s solder join so I had to pull the whole thing apart, solder in two new wires and tape it up. What a pain, but Simrad wouldn’t replace it when I called them

Once in the La Paz area, I stuck around for a week or so and spent both christmas and new years with a few other boats, it was all very fun and jolly and a good way to ring in the new year with a beach bonfire (I made it till 10pm. I am useless).

Then it was time for Boomarang and I to head off and cross to the mainland as it was getting pretty chilly (after spending a few days helping Barry and Jo get the hang of their new speargun) and we were buddy boating across together! (Hajime left earlier and had a very exciting time – rescuing two people from a sinking sailboat! More details here)

The sail to Muertos (the jumping off point) was pretty exciting. It started off nice and easy (sidenote – I’m wearing a woolly hat. I told you it was getting cold!)

before rapidly picking up into a 20 knot close reach across the channel, turning into a fast downwind run. Most of the time the wind was 15-20, but after it started getting and holding higher with gusts of 30 (and I noticed I was going 8 knots sustained for a bit which is WAY too high) I dropped the genoa and reefed the main down to double, and continued a bit slowly but was less likely to spin out and die.

I also managed to snag a 16 lb mahi mahi which I somehow managed to land despite hurtling downwind at a rate of knots (I ended up having to heave-to). I was a bit emotional after a hard day sailing so had a bit of a cry after killing it (and in my defense, they are amazing fish that fight hard and then have these big accusing eyes once you catch one. Oh, and then they lose all their colour when they die to REALLY rub it in what a monster you are). It filled my fridge and freezer and I made all kinds of delicious stuff with it

We ended up waiting out some weather at Muertos for a couple of nights and then headed off one afternoon. We were going right to San Blas (skipping Mazatlan/Isabella) meaning this was a 300nm passage – my longest ever, and my longest solo.

It was alright. The first night it was pretty lumpy and I was seasick (as usual) and then the wind died out and there was a bunch of motoring. Which I hate. I don’t think I like solo passaging (as opposed to solo sailing which I do like a lot). Still wasn’t as bad as the crossing the other way earlier in the year though!

There were some outstanding sunsets however

Eventually, after 3 nights we finally made it into San Blas early one morning, whereupon I dropped the anchor and promptly went to sleep. I’d made it back to the mainland!

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