Unlikely Weather - 21:09.90N 109:58.87W

Alex Belmont
Sun 6 May 2012 21:15
Let me tell you about the last few days...

Here's how it went: Wind fills in - as for what direction it would blow each
time, your guess would have been as good as mine. We hoist sail. Get the
boat moving and pointed as close to our desired course as conditions would
allow. Sit, feeling good that we're moving again. Carry on like this for
between 0-10'ish minutes. Loudly bellow some curse as the wind disappears.
Hand all that sail you just finished hoisting, leaving only a staysail and
reefed main, both sheeted flat so as to not slat themselves to ribbons.
Watch helplessly as the boat spins around until beam-on to that little
windswell coming from somewhere north in the Sea of Cortez. Hide in the
shade. Carry on like this for 0-90'ish minutes. AND.... Repeat!

The night of May fourth was quite exciting. We were about 20 miles east of
San Jose del Cabo, becalmed, as black clouds and lightning began forming on
the coast. These began blowing SW, surrounding us on all sides. It is too
early in the season for a cyclone, but with the weird weather we had been
seeing and now these ominous black clouds forming, I was getting a bit
uneasy. I grabbed a GRIB file real quick to make sure nothing big was on its
way. It wasn't. But still, we had to deal with this nasty little system. It
was unlike anything I have been caught in before. The wind was totally calm
except for occasional heavy squalls. We were hit by three of these. The
longest lasted less than a minute and a half, but they all carried enough
wind to lay us over, rail in the water with only the staysail and a
double-reefed main. It must have been over 45 knots of wind. Then as
suddenly as it had started to blow, it would go totally calm again. There
was very little rain through the whole experience. just the occasional light
drizzle. We didn't even get wet under the cockpit cover. There was lots of
lightning for a few hours. Luckily it was in fairly well defined patches,
seemingly independent from the sudden wind-squalls. We were able to use the
squalls and the occasional breath of air between to keep the boat moving
between and around these areas of lightening. The whole thing was actually
quite easy to handle, but stressful. I have never seen a system quite like
it. I was relieved when the skies cleared and we could see no more

Yes, it was a trying few days. It took a bit over five days in all to get
from La Paz into the Pacific. I will say that I am proud of the fact that we
did it without starting the engine. I'm not sure why that makes me proud
though. A smarter sailor would have burned a bit of diesel and made that
part of the passage in a mere day and a half. But we made it nonetheless!

Yesterday, near Cabo San Lucas, the breeze filled in - and actually kept
blowing. From the SW, which is where we're trying to sail to, but at least
we were moving again. Moondance really showed her joy by putting on a good
turn of speed. We haven't dropped below 4 kts since yesterday afternoon, and
for a few hours last night we were just rushing along at over 6.5 kts. We
saw a few minutes of 7+ kts, but I think there must have been a bit of
current in our favor. Still, not too bad for a heavily loaded boat of only
22'10" on the waterline!

So, life's not too bad at the moment. We're heading almost due south at bit
over 5 kts. I wouldn't mind the wind going a bit more west, or even NW. Is
that so much to ask? So far we have had very unlikely weather. My experience
in the Sea of Cortez is mostly made up of unlikely weather, so I really
shouldn't be surprised. Now that we are in the Pacific though, I would
expect NW winds, not the southwesterlies we see now. The best we can do is
point our bow south, which is not too far off, but when the wind shifts more
north, I will be relieved to put a bit of west in our heading.

Bonjour a tous! Hey guys!

Un petit resume depuis notre depart et ma derniere entrée, la mer de Cortez.
Haha! Ca commence avec peu ou pas de vent, puis de difficiles manoeuvres
pour attraper ces dits vents... Nous echangeons de shifts aux 4 heures
pendant lesquels un ou l'autre dort. J'ai eu la chance de voir beaucoup de
creatures, c'est incroyable! Des meduses bleues avant de quitter, a des
planctons fluorescents pendant la nuit ET le jour! Des raies (mantarays) qui
des ''double back flips'' et atterissent en flat (belly-flop)! Des ecoles de
dauphins qui surfacent pour prendre leurs respiration de maniere
Des ciels bleus a des ciels noirs de nuages suivi de quelques goutelettes...
Des vents incroyablement changeant, de 5 noeuds de vitesse a NULE! Des
POISSONS VOLANTS, Thons geants, requins et autres! Wow. J'adore et
vous assure, je n'ai a date rien a questionner de ce mode de vie... A part
maudit mal de mer! Mais on est maintenant dans l'ocean, le PACIFIQUE!
Alors mon mal s'est discipe asser rapidement (heureusement) malgre que je
n'ai pas ete malade, j'etais quand meme sur le bord de... J'ai survie grace
gingembre et a la magie de la nature! Bref, sur ce, notre hamak rempli de
verdures diminue a vue d'oeil et on est deja dans le processus de sechage de
fruits et legumes! Ca sent la banane et les oignons comme jamais auparavant!
On va mettre des photos un de ces 4, c'est juste que maintenant on veut
notre temps d'antenne satelitte pour les meilleurs moments, ou les pires...
bisous, je vous aime! Vous pouvez toujours m'ecrire quand vous voulez! A la

Hey guys! So you got the update already, but here is my resume of the last
of sailing and bobbing around... It all resumes to the sea of Cortez! Haha!
I think
we were in there for the longest time, but we are now done with the Sea and
done with Sea Sickness! Guurrb. I got over it from the
ride of Cortez when we switched officially to the Pacific! It still was a
great time
in the Cortez while on watch (4 on 4 off) I got to see some pretty awesome
glowing creatures at night, from phosphorescent blue or white plankton and
bright blue jelly fish, to double-back-flipping-manta rays landing in
Schools of fish swimming away from bigger ones, swimming away from bigger
ones, etc! Dozens of dolphins coming up for air at the same time, mixed seas
because of squall-ish looking skies, flying fish, tuna and more! Wow... Am
questioning this life style for one second! (Ok I might have for a while in
Our fresh produce hammock has lowered to approximately a 4th of what it was
when we left! So we are now in the drying fruit process and elimination of
goods such as lots of tropical fruit hmmmm... Alright guys, write when you
stay posted for more and pictures will come when something exciting happens!
Talk to you soon, love you all.