Saturday 23 January 2016 Sea of Cortez
It's so good to be underway again - even though it looks as though there's to be a lot of motoring in light winds...
The old solar panels have been replaced with two large new ones, with lots of help from Joseph DiMatteo (and his friend Tony) who drove me back down with them from Tucson to San Carlos just over a week ago - very many thanks for all his efforts and help.
My outboard motor has also been repaired, despite the main part I brought out from England not being correct, so the old part had to be welded together for re-use - it's probably now stronger than it was and certainly the motor seems to be running fine.
I wanted to get away as soon as possible for several rreasons, .... and the cold night air in San Carlos at this time of year was certainly a contributing factor!
As it turned out, there has been a very strong 'Norther' blowing for most of the week, giving nasty short seas. It was due to abate this weekend - which galvanised me into trying to be ready to leave during that 'weather window', so as to meet up with friends in La Cruz soon... It's a five-day passage to La Cruz from San Carlos, with a possible brief stop at Mazatlan on the way.
Tom and Bobbi, with crew Martin, are maknig the passage to Mazatlan on 'Persistence' and we're keeping in radio contact. They left several hours before I did (I needed some sleep before leaving!) and so are about 30 miles ahead of me - useful, since if they see any problem fishing activity, they can let me know. Shrimpers are busy now and other small fishing boats are also a worry on an overnight pasage hereabouts - especially the unlit ones! Unlit fishing nets and the chance of meeting a long-liner (illegal but they're around) add to the worry... So far I've not seen any small fishing boats but I've deliberately kept well offshore in the hope of avoiding most of vthem - but it's early days yet.
Mid-afternoon, it was good to be playing with the sails again, when the onshore breeze strengthened - but a few hours later the sails were flapping in the light wind again and motor-sailing turned to motoring once more - I keep checking on deck, hopeful of making good use of the sails again.
Sunset was beautiful tonight, enhanced by the far away mountain tops of the Baja, loooking for all the world like nearby islands outlined in black against the rosy sky, with a big, orange, full moon rising in the East.
Position is being posted daily on www.winlink.org under kc2iov (as usual) and at 0600 GMT (11pm local time) we were at 26N, 110W.... 53 miles NW of Topolobampo entrance channel - a likely source of small fishing boats and nets....