Posted by: Sailing Camelot | May 20, 2011

Tue May 17th – Leaving Mazatlan

We depart at 9:30, leaving behind Mazatlan, the luxurious El Cid Marina with its wonderful pool, and a bunch of Iguanas that are probably wondering where’s that strange creature that fed them lettuce and tomatoes every day…

We’re headed to La Paz, ideally. In reality, the wind and sea conditions will ultimately decide our final destination. After a few calm
hours of peaceful motor-sailing the wind picks up. Of course it comes from the wrong direction, right on the nose, no good for sailing; excellent, however, to make the ride pretty uncomfortable. We soon abandon our feeble attempt to sail by the wind, it’s pushing us to Cabo San Lucas or Hawaii, but not where we need to go. On comes the engine.

It remains like that for the rest of the long haul to Baja California. Actually, it gets a little worse: the wind increases in speed and viciousness, so much so that even our powerful engine struggles to maintain a decent speed. After a few hours of riding the “Water Rodeo” Tom decides to divert for Ensenada de Los Muertos in order to get a slightly more comfortable ride. So what if we’ll be delayed…

Traveling on a bucking bronco is no fun and very tiring. I find it quite impossible to stay awake for long, so we adopt the 3 hours on-3 hours off routine and both get some rest. The full moon is of some comfort, I busy myself watching the traffic on radar, but honestly it’s still pretty miserable. The bow of the boat keeps either plunging in the waves (is Camelot trying to snorkel?) or bashing on top of the waves with much noise and shuddering. Poor Camelot! It feels like she’s on the StairMaster, occasionally missing a step and going down on her face. I try not to think of the war-zone we’ll find in the cabin later on…

I’m surely not my chirpy self. Not even my junk food helps, no amount of chocolate and potato chips improve my mood. Tom, bless him, is calm and collected, resigned to endure this mess. He’s just puzzled about the weather prediction that called for much calmer winds and seas. Oh, well. Such is life on a sailboat.

With the long night finally behind us, we welcome daylight and slightly calmer conditions. Soon we also “welcome” sightings of fishing nets. At least these are marked by big white foamy floaters, which would be pretty visible if the birds didn’t rest on them! We’re both tired and admittedly not terribly alert, so we both get a jolt of adrenaline when we pass one of these floaters not three feet away. We sure didn’t see it until it came under our nose! It could have been a messy inconvenient, but there is a God who looks
after tired sailors, I can swear to that.

Finally at 16:30 we arrive in Ensenada de Los Muertos. After such a rough trip it feels like getting a hug from a loved one. Paradise found! We throw the anchor, settle down, eat a quick and early dinner and then we both turn in for the night. We’re safe, the
boat is fine, the bay is calm. We both get one of the best night’s sleep on record.

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