17.6 knots

20131217-085814.jpg

Waking up within the protection of “the hook”, I knew the wind was still blowing pretty hard, at least as strong as it was at the end of our sail the previous afternoon. After looking at the waves outside the anchorage through the binoculars for a while trying to assess the conditions, I decided they didn’t seem any worse than the day before, and with our destination lying directly downwind and down swell, we decided to give it a shot. We upped anchor at 10:40 am and headed out into what appeared to be 25-30 knot winds, with 4-6′ swells, with only one, double reefed main. Our destination…Bahia Falsa, 45 miles away, lying just outside of La Paz, and moments away from the start of Sundays race.
Within half an hour of leaving the anchorage, it became apparent that the winds and swell were a bit stronger than the day before. After reaching a new, all time, white knuckle, top speed of 17.6 knots, I decided to lower all sail completely. I can’t believe we went that fast. Even with bare poles, we still found ourselves cruising around 9 knots with bursts of speed up to 15 while surfing down the bigger waves. Although everything felt totally safe and sound aboard C2F, we decided it best to exit stage left and seek refuge in one of the many anchorages on Isla Espiritu Santo. So, I fired up the motors and started to angle over to the island. At one point with G inside the totally zipped up dodger, and Beo and I on deck driving the boat, a larger wave crashed into us nearly broadsides and covered the entire deck with what appeared to be a couple hundred gallons of water. We were drenched! I looked over at Beo to see what his reaction was going to be and he clearly thought this whole ordeal was cool!!! Instantly our decks were cleaned of all the past week of kid crumbs, sand, and dust.
We dropped anchor at 1:30pm in El Cardonal on Isla Espiritu Santo. Although we had only traveled 21 miles that day, they were probably the most exciting 21 miles of our entire 267 mile trip so far!

Isla Espiritu Santo to La Paz

20131217-085632.jpg

Our night spent at El Cardonal was nice and restful, yet unfortunately, the winds were anything but. About once a minute the wind would go from a dead calm, to a 30 knot gust. Again and again. Cat2Fold was swing dancing around her anchor. Luckily, our trusty Rocna held fast and everything worked out fine. The worst part about the strong, gusty wind was not allowing any beach time for the intrepid crew of C2F.
In attempt to get to the 11 o’clock start line of the race being held outside La Paz just over 20 miles away, we raised anchor at 9 am. The seas and the wind had dropped substantially, and we had a beautiful sail towards La Paz, trying as hard as we could to get to the start line before the 11am start. When it appeared that we were going to arrive a few minutes late, I tried to hail the committee boat with no success. I scanned the area with binoculars and didn’t see a gathering of sails signifying the beginning of a regatta. We only learned later, upon our arrival in La Paz that the race had been canceled do to a lack of participation. We traveled nearly 250 miles to get to this race on time, and I find it quite disappointing that with the hundreds of boats in and around La Paz, only 4 signed up to race.
Oh well…We arrived in La Paz, came to shore, found some Internet, found our friends, did some chores and prepared ourselves for continuing our long sail to Banderas Bay.