Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, Bahia Frailes

We arrived in the protected waters of Bahia Frailes today at 1:30pm after one of the best passages of my short history as a captain.  As noted before we left Mazatlan at 8am yesterday with rain and about 15 knots of wind.  There were several squalls and localized storms the night before which left the Pacific Ocean in a bit of a confused state with no one dominant swell pattern.  Pretty much the entire first day until just before the sun disappeared below the horizon the sea was very lumpy and we sailed under main and genoa in 12-15 knots of wind.  A good sail but a bit uncomfortable with the sea state.

No matter how hard I think of the right words I can't properly describe the sunset as we both were standing on the bow watching the sun  say goodbye to another day. The sun was a bright, almost day-glo colored orange, pinkish color and it was the shape of a perfect ball.  It's movements were slow at first but as it finally set atop the ocean it was a mere count to 20 before it was completely gone.  The clear sky continued to hold the colors that she left behind, like the dust flowing behind an old model T rumbling down a worn, dusty, country road.  I asked Marne if she had EVER seen a sun that looked like that before and received the quick repy "never". As I said before, my words don't even come close to doing it justice.

After the sun went down the seas calmed a bit but we continued to have good winds from off the starboard beam which pushed us along nicely at 6-7 knots.  On a night passage it doesn't really matter how good the sail is or how calm the sea is; it is still a long night.  As the captain, especially under sail, it is impossible for me to get much sleep as I am always worried about sail trim, wind changes, sea state, mechanical issues and the list goes on.  During Marne's shift from 11pm - 1am I took down the genoa and ran just the main assisted by the motor so that there was very little to worry about even though we could have easily sailed during that time too.  

After a short, interrupted nap I went back up top at 1am, turned off the motor and continued to sail.  Sailing at night is difficult.  Sail trim is art and requires constant visual inspection, comparison and adjustment to sail efficiently.  A black night does not aid in that process.  By the time the sun was peeking over the eastern horizon I was too tired to enjoy it's beauty.  I looked aft over the stern, acknowledged it's arrival and laid my head back down on the damp cushions of the cockpit.  Once the light had fully enveloped us  we continued our sail westward under a beam to broad reach, the wind pushing us toward Frailes.  Hours and hours went by with no other sounds than the water pushing briskly past the hull at 7 knots or so and the wind flowing across the sails.  It was magical.  All counted up we had motored a mere 3 hours throughout the 30 hour passage.  And of that 3 hours, really only a about one hour was completely necessary, the other two, just convenience so that I might rest a little easier.  Overnight passages are not my favorite thing but this one was pretty awesome and it is pretty cool to think that Marne and I could travel from Mazatlan to Baja, over 165 miles, by the power of the wind.  Meanwhile the systems on the boat, like radios, refrigeration, navigation aids and others were being powered by the batteries that had stored the sun's power from the energy collected by our solar panels aboard from the day before.  Not gonna lie...that's pretty cool.  Loving the life.  Loving the freedom. Loving the simplicity. Loving the adventure.  Loving Marne.  Life is good.

Bret and Marne
SV Liahona

Tarren - I did get your email. Thanks!  Would love to know more about your schedule, I def want to have you and Natan on the boat for as long as you can be here. You mentioned leaving your car in SC.  Not sure how that helps anything as that is my end game at the end of May.  Better to have your car in BV, maybe bus down to me wherever then crew with me back to BV where your car is.   Love you mucho!

Clint - No need to bring towels as I have plenty aboard.  As for needed items, nothing that is necessary. However, if you would like some famous Liahona Kahlua Brownies bring a box or two of brownie mix.  Favorite Girl Scout cookies...Samoas! DUH!  So pumped to having you guys aboard and now I am in place to pick you up as I am just a mere 28 miles north of San Jose del Cabo.  

Dr. Layer - Marne is still anxiously awaiting your email with her "instructions". haha

Tanner and Tallen - So missing my boys!  Can't wait to spend the summer home with the 112 crew!

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