Destination: El Salvador
Passage length 465 NM
Distance to go:405 nM
Speed: 7.6 knots
It's early n (3 am) I have just taken over from Gary Jackson (who joined us
yesterday for a week or so), we left Hautelco at 8 pm last night after a
barbequed fish dinner. The day had been spent getting final supplies (using
up currency) and doing bike riding with the boys on the new construction at
the marina, combined with a swim. Many discussions between skippers on
weather, and reviews of weather models.
Like all decisions in life, work etc this one of leaving the safety of the
Harbor and going across a section of water with a an "attitude reputation"
is like jumping off the deep end of swimming pool. You need to make the
decision on the best time to leave for shipping, weather etc, and then take
We delayed the departure by a couple of hours as the window seem to slip
slightly and the window looks solid, so we wanted the seas to die down.
So we left with 4 other boats 2 of which ("Sunday", and "Indian Summer")
will go the full distance with us, while the other 2 will make stops on the
way and join us latter.
The seas are 1 to 2 feet out of the North with no wind to speak of yet, and
we are pretty well exposed if anything is going to come up we are in it now.
We have 2 hours to go to get to the waypoint which I will make a decision to
cut across at the 16 degree line or go onto hug the beach, currently the
conditions are good to cut across taking off some miles. The other challenge
we have is that our current trip schedule has us arriving in the middle of
the night, Saturday, so if we can cut some distance and time and get in
before daylight that would nice as we cannot "cross the bar" in night.
As it is Easter we have a full moon, which rose just after leaving, and is
making it very visible out here, we have made good time under no sails at
this stage, we had budgeted on 6 to 6.5 and we have averaged 7.8knots so we
must have current helping, we past the other boats which are 3 to 4 miles
behind us. Surprising we have not yet seen much other traffic I had been
expecting more as we past Salina Cruz which is 10 miles to our port, I can
see the lights and glow in the distance. We are now out of the protection of
the land and we can see an increase is swell/ chop residue, and wind has
gone to 3 knots on the nose (where else!!!). The next 10 hours is the
exposed section, before we turn to have it running off our aft.
It's good to have Gary join us, and old friend and very experienced sailor,
boys love him and it allows Tracy to basically not have to go out of her
normal routine so she will do first shift 6 to 10 and then Gary and I swap
the 10 to 2 and 2 to 6 shifts, the 4 hours when cruising seem to work for
us, not too long, and gives people long enough rest time to get some sleep.
Easter has arrived in Huatelco with the population doubling since we arrived
with many Mexicans coming from Mexico City it is very popular holiday with
schools off for a week, so our timing to leave is good as the markets and
restaurants would have been full, and already the music was starting to
bellow out. We have enjoyed our time in Mexico 3 + months the culture and
people have been superb better than I had hoped, I especially enjoyed the
mainland stops for culture. The cruising was a bit to be desired with the
lack of steady wind, and rolly seas which effect passages and the lack of
protected anchorages. But I will look upon the time in Mexico with fond
memories and certainly I feel like I have got to know it a lot better.
Temperature is very comfortable out here, nice breeze but still able to stay
with shirt off.