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A couple of weeks ago, I made a solo trip down to Puerto Penasco to do some work on my little boat.

Replaced the house battery, the VHF antenna’s coaxial cables and connectors, and the original duplex lamp wiring for the anchor light, which I don’t foresee using in the immediate future, anyway. The wife and dogs are too tied to their shore-side amenities.

It was mostly successful, in that I resurrected my inoperable deck lamp, but lost my steaming lamp! Out of time on my temporary Mexican auto insurance, I headed back to the Ranch after some electrical tests revealed either a blown or improperly installed bulb in the mast-mounted unit.

According to some, the steaming light is really only a legal requirement in the US. It’s something that lets other boaters know that you’re operating on auxiliary power, not sails alone.

I’ll get to that on another solo trip.

So last week, February 15th through the 18th, Pam, the dogs and I headed back down for what appeared to be a weather window of about two days, and it was perfect timing!

We arrived about mid-afternoon and immediately put in, cleaning up the omnipresent sand and gravel donated by the boatyard next door. Thanks, guys!

There was still a bit too much breeze for my comfort however, so I ran over to Marina Fonatur to claim my cheap slip and bend on the mainsail and reefing gear.

Dinner that evening was had at Tacos Marcos, because we’re nothing if not predictable. And cheap.

Day 2-

After our usual dockside breakfast we confabbed with Oscar, the captain of Tempo, and he said the whales were out about ten miles or so, towards the SSW.

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With light winds out of the NW, Sovereign moved beautifully, until the Sun decided to sneak behind the mainsail, making it a bit chilly for us in the cockpit.

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So I tacked to the North, letting that Sun know we’d not be intimidated, and that’s when we saw our first humpbacks of the year.

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And that’s also when I found out that the camera’s battery had begun the quick process of dying. A new one’s on order.

It seemed that the whales were moving toward the Northeast, so I turned along with them, putting us on another excellent beam reach. But, as soon as they appeared, they were gone, and I was headed back to port.

According to the iSailor app, we reached a top speed of 7.8 knots (!), averaging 3.8 over the 5 hour sail. A good day afloat, albeit without photographic evidence of whales.

That evening, we enjoyed dinner at the new Ramon’s Old Port, just around the corner from the marina. It was pretty good, dining al fresco in the courtyard amongst potted petunias.

Day 3-

Almost a carbon copy, right down to the winds we enjoyed. Seeing as how yesterday’s whale-watching advice was worthy, we made our way out along the same course, just a couple of miles further this time.

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And the whales did not disappoint, showing up close to the same position as they had yesterday, about 20-25 yards from the boat.

As we were making our way back towards port, I heard a booming sound way off to starboard. Looking thataways, I watched as a couple of humpbacks breached, rising up and slamming back down onto the water. This was from at least a mile away. Way cool!

It’s theorized that breaching is a method of long-distance communication, the distance part being something I can certainly attest to. Imagine how far the sound should travel underwater.

As we were tying up at the docks, Oscar gave us the remains of some leftover sandwiches and fries he had from his whale-watching foray that day, so we contented ourselves with a free dinner. Nice guy!

Day 4-

Morning clouds.

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Beautiful, huh? But it meant our weather window was closing, and it was time to get out of Dodge.
So we breakfasted, folded and rolled the mainsail, and had Sovereign hauled out by high noon.

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