Thursday, March 5, 2015

Tehuantepec

     Chiapas…..our final stop in Mexico, then we will be exploring new territory in Central America.  The tour to get to Chiapas from Huatalco is a 48 hour trip, and it requires extra planning.  It required extra planning because we would have to cross Golfo de Tehuantepec as the wind and weather permitted. The Captains of the two vessels (Velvet Sky and Seahorse V) had been  monitoring the weather for about ten days to plan the passage. Scott was using three weather sites that I am aware of, passage weather.com, zyGrib.com,  and magicseaweed.com.  The agreed upon day and time to begin the passage was March 2nd at midnight, however a weather check at 23:45 (fifteen minutes before departure), prompted us to hold off until 05:00.  We were underway at 05:20 and while adjusting the halyard on the mainsail, the halyard made a one in a million loop around the radar reflector.  The solution we could see at the time was to go up the mast and un loop it.  The seas were a bit rolly and neither one of us was fond of the idea of breaking a leg or falling around trying to grab the mast.  We called Seahorse up ahead and informed of our problem thinking we may have to turn back and wait for the next window.  Several ideas were thrown out and a couple of solutions attempted with no prevail of freeing up the halyard from behind the reflector.  We did, however, improvise.  Scott rigged the spare halyard (not completely main halyard worthy) and yanked up the sail.  We were underway with plenty of time to spare.

     The trip started out rough.  I was certain that Velvet Sky had transformed into a wild mare and we had become her bareback riders as she bucked and kicked in the semi confused seas.  We made it through the morning and into early afternoon then everything calmed down and relaxed.  We ended up with one casualty, our first broken dish, my coffee mug.  I was sad and cried.  I am sure the crying part was an accumulation of emotion that had occurred throughout the day, it felt good to let it out.  Scott might have thought I had lost my mind and still showed sympathy for my grief, assuring me that we can replace the mug.

     We are into the third day now, with 7 hours left of the tour.  We have yet to be strictly under sail.  The motor has been on or idling the entire time.  I suppose it is better than being in 40 knot winds.  The plan was to leave Huatalco and hit the timing just right to catch optimum sailing conditions.  We are through the Golf of the Tehuantepec safe and sound.  Nature has surely made up for the lack of sailing.  The sun rose on seas of glass.  We were surrounded by sea life.  Turtles, hundreds of turtles.  Floating turtles, swimming hurtles, turtles with birds on their back, large turtles, small turtles.  We were a part of tortuga paradise. The looked like rocks floating on the crystal blue water.  The rays were jumping and flipping out of the with the joy of a new day.  March 4th morning has become a good memory.  Later in the day, after lunch, we called together a swim party with the Seahorse V tribe.  We were within 5 mile of each other so it was easy to move close enough, put the boats in neutral, jump into the deep blue and experience the feel of the tropical waters that the turtles were delighting in.  15 25.26N 93 43.06W  21 miles off shore…..the most clear, blue-est, and warmest water I have swam in.  This is now rated one of the top 10 amazing things I have done.  I believe Scott and Bucket feel the same. We had a nice fresh water rinse (We made 30 gallons of fresh water today) in the cockpit after our little jaunt about  and got back on course to Chiapas.  
The friendly neighborhood dolphins….can you believe the clarity of the water?

Bath in the cockpit 

8-11 watch 

8-11 watch, day 2

Turtles, turtles, everywhere turtles 

Laundry (underpants) underway

Washed, rinsed, hung out to dry

This is AWESOME!




Seahorse V joining the swim party in the middle of the ocean




     Last night we were able to see the southern cross constellation, that was cool too.  It is 23:52 now, my watch ends at 02:00.  It is cloudy and not many stars are visible, although the moon is full and when it comes from behind the clouds, the night lights up like it is day time.  The wind is holding steady at 2.7 knots (in turn the motor is set at 2200 RPM), our course is 123 degrees, position 14 55'.99N  092 58'.40W our ETA is March 5, 2015 at 07:20. 

  


     

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