Monday, February 28, 2011

Bahia Santiago, Manzanillo, Mexico

Made it in today... 24 days.

I might try checking in tomorrow into Mexico or wait until the winds stop blasting and head over to Barra. Santiago is a nice anchorage but a bit incovenient.

The plan worked well initially. I was making about 80 miles a day along 10 North. Let go of the Spinnaker halyard like an idiot and I was in no mood to climb the mast at sea so I only had use of the 125 using the boom to pole it out... 450 miles below Tehuantepec there was 15-20knots but with a huge 10 to 12 foot swell! I heard on the net that there were storm force winds up there. At about 100 west I started to get antsy and was afraid of a hard beat up to close the mainland after listening to a boat headed from Cabo to Galapagos report daily conditions. I made the turn sooner than planned but what the hell.... I lost all wind at about 13 north. It absolutely died at about 13 N and 103 W. Then after several really low mile days, I got close enough to the corner that I had 20 on the nose for the last three days. I tried holding out for Barra but just didn´t have it in me. Santiago is only 20 miles short so no biggie.

That is the sail report. Other item of most interest is cleaning an explosion of growth on the hull when becalmed and being visited by a mixed school of dolphins and huge yellow fin tuna. They came quite close while I was in the water. Plenty of that being made conscious of my own creatureliness by heavy eye contact with the dolphin creatures.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mexico bound

I am off for Mexico. I will use the Papagayos to shoot out offshore, then will stay at ten degrees north until about 105 west to skirt the areas of calms off of Central America and mainland Mexico. I will also pass several hundred miles below Tehuantepec but should still get a boost as the winds are really blasting there this time of year. Landfall somewhere in Bahia Banderas, maybe even Cabo, but at least as far west as Barra de Navidad.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cocos Island

I hadn´t heard about Cocos Island until I reached Shelter Bay Marina about a month ago. This is surprising as I cruised Costa Rica in the mid nineties and have talked with dozens of sailors who have been to the Galapagos, yet no one had ever mentioned this island. Jacques Cousteau described this island as the most beautiful in the world and it also happens to be the largest uninhabited island in the world as well. Divers seem to be more aware of Cocos as it is often listed as one of the top diving sites. Part of the reason why this island is unknown is not only because of its isolation (300 miles off of Costa Rica and 400 north of the Galapagos) but because the only way to visit the island, aside from having your own boat, is to take a liveaboard dive trip which costs about four to five thousand dollars for seven days. Being a national park, there are no facilities onshore for overnight guests and there is no airport. There were only eighteen people on the island and they were either park rangers or scientists. Besides Pelican, the only other boats at anchor were two dive boats, the Argo and Wind dancer, and a National Geographic research boat...

Here are some radom shots of the boat graffiti at Chatham bay. It was quite a feeling reading the names of all the past sailors to have visited the island.