Saturday, May 2, 2009

God said not today!

Saturday, May 2nd. Wow – What an interesting morning! We got up just before 4am and did the last few things before pulling the anchor and heading out in the dark at 4:30. Once we got beyond the bay, the wind picked up. I mean it really picked up. We were running with only a reefed main, and of that only one small corner of it was catching wind, and the wind was so strong we were steering almost directly into it and going over 7 knots. The waves were between 4 and 6 feet so not very big, but there were whitecaps and cresting waves because of the wind. The wind was stronger than either Merle or I had ever experienced. It blew water at us like horizontal rain, and over our boat like a little submarine. Thank goodness Kenta Anae sheds water so well! Both Merle and I were drenched after only about ½ hour of sailing, and we were in full weather gear, thank goodness! The wind was 35 knots gusting to ? So using good judgment, we turned back. On the way back into the bay, the wind was chasing us, and we were averaging 8.5 knots and up to 8.9 knots with only part of the reefed main catching the wind. That’s fast. Unbelievable with only such a small bit of cloth catching the wind! I was pretty excited but Merle becalmed me by saying that I can steer a spinnaker so I can do this. It’s really different, but at the time it made me feel in control and able to deal with the weather, which was exactly what I needed. It took us 3.5 hours to do the round trip, arriving back at anchor after 8am, totally frapped but excited at the same time. I don’t know if I could do that for 6 hours. Especially by myself, while Merle slept. It was pretty intense – I was very completely present and living in the moment! I am sure God’s angels were looking after us out there.

And boy did we enjoy breakfast in a calm anchorage!! It was so peaceful, and I was so grateful to be there instead of in the windy tempest from which we came!

When we looked at the weather information for the area we had just sailed, it said 5 to 8 knots of wind, seas 2 to 3 feet. We couldn’t believe what we were reading. And more than one weather source said the same things! We did not find a single weather source that depicted what we experienced. Perhaps it was just typical cape weather. But how 5 knots becomes a raging 35 is beyond me!

I am about to check the weather again to see what I can see. We may try again tomorrow morning, or we may wait until Monday. Looks like high winds till Thursday on the north end of the Baja, so waiting one more day would be fine on this end, since we will probably have to wait somewhere. Might as well be an amazing beach where the kids can play.

One thing the small tour today did for us was to remind us that resting is important. We both came back full of adrenalin but exhausted. And since we don’t have an extra crew member, we may go the shore route so we can anchor and rest every few days, instead of the offshore route where we have to be on call all the time. (If the wind is normal 10 to 15 knots, offshore would be easy as sailing in that wind is easy, even restful. But if we had to sail through a gale, resting becomes paramount.) There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but resting seemed pretty important this morning. The shore route means motoring likely rather than sailing, as the direction is upwind all the way. Anyway, we will still check in daily on the Amigo net so that someone is keeping track of us.

If you don’t hear from me again, it means we departed Sunday morning. If you do, we didn’t! Gotta love those plans written in the sand at low tide … But thank goodness we have the patience and guts to tell our determined egos to stand aside while we go with the flow of the weather. It is good for us, to remember to listen. This is one of the lessons we are here to remember! Thanks, God, for the lessons and being able to tell about them after the lesson part is over!

Love you all!!

Allison and the crew

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