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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Safe Passage

Saturday, January 6, 2007
Marina Mazatlan

All of our preparations for a return to the Sea paid off in that we had one of the easiest passages ever. For the most part there was minimal swell from the NW so it didn't take long for us to get used to the motion again. And except for the first morning when we took our only spray on the decks, the winds were light and mostly behind us. I guess it's a good thing I dug out our foul weather gear and boots from deep within the storage lockers as insurance.

Except for 12 hours of sailing it was a motorboat ride for two reasons. The first was a gale warning in the northern Sea that we wanted to outrun before the wind and seas built farther south. The second was that we wanted to arrive at the marina entrance before the dredge in the channel began operating at 8:00 AM, otherwise we'd have to wait outside the entrance until he took his breaks later in the day. With a clean bottom we made excellent speed, and we were happy to get into the protection of the marina earlier than we had planned.

The other hoped for, but still unexpected, plus was how warm it got and so quickly. We left freezing (I know, I know, but to us it was cold) San Carlos where the low air temps. were in the 40-50 range and the water was a chilly 62 degrees. By our second day out the water temp. was up to the high sixties, and by Friday it reached a high of 73. The air temperatures followed suit and John actually broke a sweat yesterday making a sail change.

It was great to discover that dolphins and whales don't hibernate during the winter, as we had plenty of sightings all three days. It almost seemed like we saw more spouts and breaches off in the distance than we normally do in an entire season, but maybe it was just seeing large groups which we're not used to. No close encounters with any of the big guys, but the dolphins came to play a few times.

Now it's back to work to get the decks finished so we can start cruising again!

Linda and John