Cruising down to Banderas Bay

Distance: 190 nm

Length: Depart 0900 February 24, Arrive 1330 February 25

Having just spent three nights at sea with only two of us on watch rotation, this passage with Ben and Katy was going to be a piece of cake. Early-ish Thursday morning we said goodbye to the hot-tub, showers, and wonderful laundry service at Marina El Cid, as well as new dock friends – including another YOUNG! cruising couple. We had heard rumours of them the minute we docked and they turned out to be true. The day before had been spent at Playa Bruja – a cool spot about a 20 minutes from the marina – and despite the oversized waves which made surfing challenging, everyone had a good time.

Open air taxi

Beers at Playa Bruja

Happy Hour!

The swell coming into the marina canal was intense as we departed and we had to motor full tilt into breaking waves. Trusty HydroQuest made it out no problem. We sped along all day on a broad reach listening to CD’s on repeat (our lazy sun induced stupor made it hard to get up to change the music).

Lots of time for reading

Night watch summary (detailed to give the non-sailors a good idea of how things work):

1930 – 2000: Dinner time. I made a salad (nice to finally have some greens) and plain pasta with a bottle of Prego on the side. Compliments to the chef – everyone was happy to have a change from Mexican food.
2000 – Dolphin sighting. Amazing once again.
2000 – 2400: Meant to be my watch. At about 2200 the winds picked up to 17 knots and came around so that we were heading straight for Islas Marias. These are a group of three islands that host a penal colony. We were far off, but I still started to feel uncomfortable with the course. Then a bright light appeared directly in front of us. A boat, no doubt, that wasn’t showing up on the radar. I woke Will up.
2240 – 0040: After a necessary jibe, Will kindly took over as the winds were picking up.
0040 – 0300: Sarah on again. I had tried to sleep in the aft cabin, but it was too rocky and damp so I didn’t sleep. The boat was creaking and squeaking away (my query to Will the next morning was “Are all boats this loud?”) so none of us were really sleeping. Once back in the cockpit I had to sit out in the wind to stay awake. The winds started to die down so I woke Will up to confirm starting the engine. Ah the joys of being Captain.
0300 – 0800: Ben and Katy’s turn. We had just turned on the engine – Perfect timing for Will and I to sleep. The engine noise drowns everything else out. Ben and Katy, who also had hardly slept a wink all night, waited a few long hours for the sunrise, and finally it came.

All in all it was another good, but still very tiring, night.

Jump jump!

It was all worth it once again when we were visited by a group of over 200 dolphins in the morning. The came towards us like a tidal wave, dolphins as far as the eye could see. The video fails to do it justice.

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