What A Trip!

Greetings! Where do I begin?!?  I’m not going to lie.  It was quite a bit more of an ordeal than I had anticipated. I really do believe the main cause was that thanks to El Nino, weather models aren’t very accurate right now and consequently the weather software I’m using wasn’t much help at all. The day I left Turtle Bay it was showing winds no greater than 20 kts and swell no larger than 2-3 meters.  It turned out to be as high as 27 kts with 4 meter swells.  The seas were always in such a confused state with multiple swell patterns coming from numerous directions which makes for a very rocky ride.  Just when I thought the winds were going to calm down I got a gust of wind that caused the boat to round up. I had the luxury the other night of being able to turn my deck light on so I could see what was going on with the sails.  On this night it was dark and I couldn’t go below and turn the deck light on so I had to furl both sails in the dark.  I anchored at Bahia Magdalena (Mag Bay) and got a good night’s sleep. I got up checked the weather which once again showed that I shouldn’t see anything over 20 kts.  From Mag Bay to Cabo there are no anchorages and it’s a 2 1/2 day sail from there.  But my weather software said that things weren’t going to get crazy.  Come dark though the winds picked up again and the seas got sloppy, so once again I furled the sails and motored through the night.  I was able to grab a couple of cat naps during the night and when I got up things had calmed down a bit.  I put the sails up and tried a couple of different reefing combinations but the best combination was with the main furled and only the headsail.  The boat was riding much more comfortable and I thought I had it all figured out and that I would be able to sail through the night this way and get some sleep.  Weather software showed that the winds were supposed to decrease after dark but just before dark a wave hit me broadside and laid me over on the side more than I had experienced and that rattled me a bit so I decided to furl the headsail.  When you take the sails down you have to start the motor and get the boat moving or the boat goes wherever the wind blows it which I did.  I’m pretty sure if I had done things just a little differently I’d have been able to furl the headsail without issue but it was sloppy and the lines from the sail were flopping all over the place and apparently one got caught up on the radar and ripped it from it’s bracket.  That was bad enough but it was lodged in the rigging and secure.  Somewhere along the way it became unlodged and was flopping and slinging all over the place while I sat below and watched tenuously waiting for it to come crashing down on the deck smashing one of my top windows or worse. Luckily it lodged itself back in the rigging again and that didn’t happen but it was something I was still very concerned about because the seas were still pretty sloppy and the boat was rocking quite a bit.  I was just outside of Cabo San Lucas about 7 am and I knew the marinas wouldn’t open until 9 and I had numerous people tell me and I’ve read numerous articles about how bad the harbor is in Cabo.  San Jose Del Cabo was another 2 hrs up the coast so I made my way here and I’m glad I did.  They put me in contact with a marine electrician to replace the radar which was irreparable.  The guy Gregg Rhew is ex Navy seal and a gringo and I’ve been  extremely impressed with his punctuality, his rates and his overall service.  He told me that I should be pretty damned proud of myself to single hand the trip I had just made because he said he knew how bad the weather was that I had just sailed through.  Numerous other people have told me the same thing for whatever that’s worth.  He also told me he had seen radar units ripped off before but never seen one stay up being held only by the cable so I guess I was lucky in that regard. I’ll admit it was way more challenging than I had anticipated and I knew sooner or later I was going to be faced with conditions like that. I just didn’t expect it to be this much right out of the starting gate! Sorry not having luck uploading any pictures at the moment but I really didn’t take a lot.  I pretty much had my hands full with that whole sailing thing most of the time.  It sounds like I’m going to be here a couple of weeks before I can get my radar replaced and once again my plans have changed. I’m now planning on heading up to La Paz.  It’s a well protected bay that I can anchor in and everyone keeps telling me I’m crazy to pass up seeing the Sea of Cortez which is nicknamed the Aquarium of the World.  Also it sounds like it’s much less expensive and not a tourist trap.  When I first got in the harbor here at San Jose Del Cabo there was a dock with a guy walking along it and I wanted to pull up and tie off long enough to call the marina and make sure I could get a slip.  I understood him to say it was $20 US just to park at the dock.  It’s a small harbor and the wind was blowing so I couldn’t just sit there and make the call without worrying about drifting into shore or one of the many boats in the harbor.  I was so tired that I said to heck with it and pulled up and tied off and then he informs me it’s $50 US for 2 hrs.  I couldn’t believe it!!  It took me about 5 minutes to get hold of the marina and get a slip and the guy was really cool and gave me my $50 back.  Just finally getting rested up and getting the boat in order. On the bright side I learned so much about sailing and that my boat can handle some pretty nasty stuff but it also showed me how difficult single handing really is and it does have me question my hope of circumnavigating solo.  La Paz is a about a day sail from here and I’m almost positive at this point that that is where I’ll head next and relax and then go from there.  Thanks again for all the support!  I know I’ve said it several times and I’ll say it again. You guys really have no idea how much it means to me to have so many of you cheering me on.  Until next time.  Warm regards.

Marty

8 thoughts on “What A Trip!

  1. Bob says:

    Marty, you’re a bad ass mofo! Wouldn’t want to run into you in some cantina. Marty, if you had made this trip in the year 1492 they would be writing a book about you for hundreds of years. Now you have to write your own book, and I sure like the beginning. Oh by the way it’s Friday, Jan.15, 2015. I know it’s had to remember when you’re retired. Stay safe!

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  2. friedfish says:

    Thanks Bob. Love you man!

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  3. ROBBY says:

    SO MARTY, I THOUGHT WORKING AT THE MILL MESSED UP YOUR SLEEP? GLAD TO HEAR THAT THIS SAILING JOB HASN’T CAUSED YOU TO MISS ANY SLEEP! BUT HEY THE SUNSETS ARE THE BEST. HANG TOUGH.

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  4. Scott Falconer says:

    Hi Marty, Thanks for posting your story. I enjoy reading it. Don’t forget that there are folks praying for you on your journey. What an adventure!
    Scott

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    • friedfish says:

      Fcott Salconer! Congratulations in your retirement! I was meaning to text and congratulate you but I’m busy as a bee on the boat but I thought of you and I’m so happy for you! I know and Lindsey will make most of it! Thanks so much for the support and prayers. They are warmly appreciated. Wishing you and yours the best. Warmest regards my good friend!

      Marty

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  5. Ken Bruce says:

    My daughter just got back from a cruise – LA to Ensenada. She said the seas were quite rough – and that’s on one of them Big Boys. I thought about you. Glad you’re safe. And keep writing. I love your stories.

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    • friedfish says:

      Kkkkkkken!!! So good to hear from you my obstinate, sarcastic, dry, witty singing partner rock star guitar playing brother!! Miss all that about you!! Hope all is well with you and your’s my friend. Thanks so much for the support! Love you man!

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