While traveling with the kids back to Idaho, Deidre did an OK job watching the boat 🙂 She only let one boat hit my beloved Cat2Fold while I was away. Luckily, she had put the fenders out and so there was no damage! She did manage to completely clean the boat and stock us up with food and liquor, so I could not have been happier upon my return. We left around noon the day after I returned from the snowy mountains, to head up to Isla Espiritu Santo. Our goal was to find a private hiding spot to keep us out of the northerly’s that were heading our direction. In hindsight, we should have left a lot earlier than we did….
This was ‘hands down’ my worst sail so far. The winds were picking up, we were heading out when the tides were coming in and as a result the waves were growing by the second. At points, we had 100-200 gallons of water coming on board over the net every few seconds. Not good for a cat. I think the friction from my dirty bottoms added to my noses digging in a lot. At one point I had to re-adjust the paddle boards on the front of the boat and while Deidre was driving, she pointed to high into the wind until the boat went into the irons, the rudders were shoved over hard by a wave, and a linkage piece slipped causing the rudders to be way out of alignment. From this point forward we only had the use of one rudder. I was pretty ‘pissed off’ at this point, and even though I was boiling over with anger, I pulled myself together. Then, Deidre mentioned that the motor was looking crooked, I was pretty stressed and told the motor to ‘go ahead and fall off in the water!’ Guess what….it did exactly what I told it to do! With the motor hanging off the back of the boat by the control cables, fuel line, and battery wires (the safety leash failed), I realized I did not mean what I had said, I did NOT want to lose my motor and so I ran to the back of the boat and held onto it for dear life!! I am not sure how I actually stayed on the boat as we were going top speed when the motor went over. Deidre being a novice sailor, still managed to slow the boat down to an almost stop & I was able to get the motor back on board. She did an amazing job! So, for the rest of the sail, we had one motor, one rudder…pretty much no steerage, high winds and huge waves.
We finally made it to an anchorage, not our goal, but we were thrilled to have anchored the boat and still be alive at this point. We soon saw Christian pull up on s/v Altair. He anchored and kayaked over to us, he also had a pretty crazy day as he had ripped his sail. He pretty much made our day though, by bringing over a Dorado he had caught while sailing. Deidre cooked up some rice, made us some cocktails and I grilled the fish and it was a pretty amazing end to a crazy day. Next morning, we were up early fixing the motor, rudders and Christians sail. I love the sailing community! My motor is working again and the rudders are fixed. We are back at Playa San Gabriel and here for a bit, as the winds are still really strong. We did a really short paddle board excursion yesterday and went on a hike that led us up to one of the most beautiful views I have seen in a while. After our hike, we were finally able to just relax, so we sat back…. drank some pina coladas and played music until the sun went down.
Today, the winds are still pretty strong. Deidre tried paddle boarding, but could not make it 5 feet from the boat without getting blasted backwards. Looks like we will take out the dinghy with some margaritas and do a hike instead.