Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 13, Santispac, Bahia de Concepcion

It was a long day today covering almost 60 miles from San Juanico to Santispac here in the Bay of Conception and during the day I got it all!  The highlights were strong winds (at times), fish and bees.  Today and tomorrow were predicted to have some nice southerly flavored winds which enticed me to make the long haul north to the Bay of Conception.  As soon as the anchor was secured on deck I put up full sail, turned off the motor and pointed her north.  The first two hours were a near perfect sail with about 12-15 knots on the beam.  The next 3 hours I saw winds from 10 knots all the way up to 27 knots with the majority in the 20+ knot range.  Being a single hander I sail conservative so during that period I had the main and the genoa double reefed. Not a lot of sail area but I was moving along between 7-8 knots.  Plenty fast. Fortunately the winds were coming from offshore just a few miles to my port side off to the west which kept the swell height to a minimum because there was not very much fetch (room for the waves to build).  So strong winds with a somewhat flat sea made for some fast sailing. 

Then I rounded a point and headed more northwest and the wind completely died. Sails come in, motor goes on then 15 minutes later I had 20 knots again.  Motor goes off, sails go up and Bret is getting his exercise in for the day.  The wind changed directions several times and pretty much was a roulette wheel but with lots of sail adjustments it kept me going.  Around 2pm the wind died to about 6 knots so I had to motor sail for a bit which allowed me to also put out all of my lines.  Two handlines and two rods with reels.  Very shortly thereafter the wind picking back up to 20 knots and wouldn't you know it, I had a double hook up.  One on the handline and one on a rod and reel.  I was busy!  Roll the genoa in, reef the main and turn up into the wind to slow the boat down.  Then get the other two lines in so they didn't get tangled with the fish then work on the fish. Whew.  First I pulled in the handline, it was a Bonita so I tossed him back in the big blue. Then the rod and reel.  By now it had spooled out a LOT of line.  After about 20 minutes of reeling another Bonita revealed himself. Dang. Oh well, at least there was some action.

About a half hour after the fish were given another chance at life a swarm of bees decided to come aboard.  Yes, a swarm.  They were not very big, about the size of a fly but they were definitely bees.  Within 5 minutes there were hundreds, maybe thousands all over the back of the boat and in the cockpit.  The captains seat that I sit on behind the helm was completely covered.  I could barely see any of the blue material, the whole seat looked black.  They were not really aggressive but a few of them found their way into my shorts and I definitely got stung, or bit or whatever they do to something that pisses them off.  I got out a broom and started swatting them away or killing them with the broom but it was like the old movie "The Birds", there was way too many of them.  I'm sure I looked ridiculous swinging the broom around my head, swatting myself when one landed on me and running around the boat trying to protect myself.  My aggressiveness with the broom yielded a broken broom handle, ya, I was going crazy on those muthers. Thank goodness for autopilot because there was no way to be in the cockpit.  After about 45 minutes they just kind of all went away leaving behind just a few stragglers for me to kill.  Crazy.  I was glad to be rid of them. However, about an hour later another swarm came aboard.  The same kind of bees.  I went forward on the deck and hung out for a half hour and they slowly went away.  Oh but wait, we're not done...a third swarm came. Really?  How is this possible?  I got stung several times with the last group so I went down below with all of the hatch screens up and waited them out.  It took about 40 minutes before they decided to leave me alone and probably molest some other poor sailor.  All told I think I got stung about 15 or 20 times over the course of the 3 swarms, and yes, I have the welts to prove it. I have never had that happen before and I am hoping I won't get that opportunity again anytime in the near future.
The aggressive bee/fly mutants.

It is nice to be here in Santispac.  Kind of feels like home.  Went onshore to Ana's Restaurant and said hello to my friends Edelma and Carlos. They were happy to see me and they are going to give me a ride into Mulege tomorrow so I can pick up a few needed items.  Tarren, they asked about you and Nathan and I told them you were working up in Oregon trying to get enough money together to come back down.  It was a long day today full of many sail changes, fish stories and crazy bees.  Definitely a day to remember.  Ciao for now.  Bee free! (haha, see what I did there) lol. 

SV Liahona

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