We need to make our way to the mainland, so our little group decides to leave this Paradise in the early morning of Sunday 5th and head down to Ensenada de Los Muertos to spend a night or two before crossing The Sea. We had to motor-sail for quite a while, but once out of the Cerralvo Channel –the body of water between Baja California and Cerralvo Island- we had enough wind to run Camelot the way she’s supposed to.
We were having such fun, Tom tweaking the sails just so, getting the best speed possible for an overloaded boat, even overtaking Red Sky (a bigger and faster boat, not to mention gorgeous). Tom’s competitive streak showed up, his faraway days of racing coming back as he let out a joyous whoop, long sun-streaked hair flying in his eyes, a mad grin splitting his tan face. What was I doing in the meantime? Hanging on for dear life, of course…
Anyway, the perfect moment lasted for maybe 8 minutes. While I was –as usual- scanning the horizon, I heard Tom’s surprised voice: “Shit, we lost the main sail!”. I looked up to see our big, precious sail still attached to the mast but totally detached from the boom, flapping in the wind like a proud flag. Before my brain could even register what was happening, Tom was barking precise orders. I turned the engine on and pointed Camelot directly in the wind to depower the boat while Tom lowered the sail at best he could, wrestling the monster and securing it on deck. While we worked I saw a few worried stares from the other boats traveling close to us, it was nice to know that people were around and ready to help just in case. Luckily we were soon safe and well underway again, even if our perfect sailing day was over. The whole ordeal lasted maybe 5 minutes, we were a very efficient team, thanks to Tom’s cool head and my superior driving skills (right!). Luckily, we were close to our destination and within an hour we were anchoring in Ensenada de Los Muertos, a little stirred but not shaken.
Tired, but with just enough strength to pull down the behemoth and lay it in the cabin, away from the wind. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t easy, but we did it ourselves. And I’m proud of that.
Later that night all the cruisers gathered at the local, excellent restaurant on the beach. Over a delicious dinner plans were laid for the next few days, weather forecasts compared and analyzed. For us, it involved an extra day or two of forced rest to repair the sail. Our friends were all wonderfully supportive, offering help and equipment to solve our problem. Luckily, we had all we needed aboard to repair the sail –thankfully not too seriously injured-. But it’s always so heart-warming to see all this goodwill.
In any case, early the next morning I pulled out my trusted Sailrite machine and with quite some trepidation executed the repair.
Maybe half an hour of work, all in all. The worst part was folding it so that we could move around the boat! By the time the sail was ready to be repositioned, the wind had picked up speed and it wasn’t possible to install it. So I took advantage of having the sewing machine out to sew together a harness for the dinghy, which will be used to easily pull it up and out of the water at night to prevent theft. Something I wanted to do for a long time. Special thanks to Eric of Perfect Wave -who needed one- for taking all the necessary measurement and passing them on to me. I sewed his harness too, since we have the same dinghy. All in all, a pretty satisfying morning.
At first light the next day we put the sail back in place before the wind would start blowing. We had to stay an extra day, as the weather wasn’t optimal for our passage. Oh, bummer.
We spent it at the pool of this beautiful resort, me swimming and reading to my heart’s content, Tom enjoying good company and conversation with other cruisers.
Our two buddy boats decided to continue on for a short trip down the coast to do some surfing and cross the Sea at a later time. We’ll miss them after two months of company, but we’ll catch them later.