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Sunday, June 5, 2011

6/5/2011 - Ensenada Grande to San Evaristo

Last night could not have been more different from the night before. It was totally still. Hot and muggy and absolutely no breeze.

Got up fairly early today and had a cup of coffee in the cockpit. Saw a big sea turtle swim by close enough to hear him breathe. Lots of small manta rays jumping out of the water and doing belly flops back in. After an unhurried breakfast, we upped anchor and departed Ensenada Grande about 0915. Put the mainsail up right away but there was really no breeze to speak of when we left. Probably about halfway into our 28 mile trip, the wind started to pick up. Unfurled the jib and the staysail and trimmed them for a broad reach. In the past, when I've talked about "motorsailing" it's really meant "motoring with a sail up". The sail in question is the main and it's primary duty in those situations was to steady the boat, not to drive it. Today we did true motorsailing. That is, we were motoring along at about 4.5 knots with the motor turning about 2200 RPMs. After hoisting all sails and trimming them we were going 6 knots which is pretty close to the maximum possible theoretical speed (hull speed) of this boat. Although we had enough wind to just sail, we wouldn't have been making any 6 knots so we decided to leave the motor running and get some benefit from all our modes of propulsion.

Had a great motorsail for a couple of hours and then the wind started to die. And then it picked back up but from dead ahead. First we furled the headsails but, after awhile the seas started to get rough and the main wasn't doing us any good so we struck it as well. Most of the trip was very smooth and placid but the last hour and a half was anything but. Started getting swells with whitecaps directly out of the north down the San Jose Channel. Not as bad as our first crossing from Isla San Francisco to San Evaristo but still pretty wet. Lulu took care of securing the forward bunk so it wouldn't get wet if we had any leaks like last time and I hand-steered as these were the exact same conditions that kept the autopilot from doing a good job last time.

Finally got into the bay at San Evaristo and were securely anchored at 1530. And I mean SECURELY anchored. Thought the chain was going to pull the windlass right off the foredeck when the anchor set. Better that than yesterday when I never really felt like the anchor dug in. Turned out there was a good reason for that. When I raised the anchor this morning, there was a big old rock sitting right on top of the "plow". Finally fell off when I tipped the anchor to stow it.

We've decided to spend a couple days here. I need to fix the gas leak on the Nissan outboard and we just feel like kicking back for a day or two. Supposedly there are going to be big swells out of the north tomorrow but that prediction may have been off by a day as that's what we got today. However, also supposed to be some 20 knot winds out of the north coming in the next day or two. San Evaristo seems like a good place to wait those out.

Had dinner and played cards with Dave, Marj and Claire on s/v Kievit this evening.

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