After our fruitless whale-watching attempts two months ago(!), we finally found the time to try, try again.
Lately, Uh Clem’s been getting an increasing portion of wet cat food, but when we’re away for a few days, it’s kibble for the old guy. Stock up the dish with Purina, slather onto another dish as much 9 Lives Meaty Pate (with real chicken and tuna. Nummy.) as we think he’ll eat until it no longer appeals to him, fill the water dishes and hit the road.
Jeez, we dote on that cat.
Once again, Gilligan surprised us by keeping his breakfast down the entire trip to Rocky Point. Kudos, little buddy!
There have been recent rains down here, so the boat wasn’t completely covered in dirt, thank goodness. Splash, rinse, load up the various and sundry personal effects and go claim my cheap slip at Marina Fonatur.
Hey, there’s Oscar, getting ready to put out with a load of folks aboard Tempo,
…so I quick ask him “Do you know where it is a whale?”
“About 13 miles out at a heading around 220, 230 degrees”, he informs me. Well, that would mean a 26 nautical mile day for us, and at an average speed of 3 to 4 knots, about an 8 hour-plus daysail. Our usual morning routine will need to be hurried up a bit in order to be back at the docks by zero-dark-thirty. Whatever.
Off he goes with his passengers, and I busied myself with rigging the mainsail and reefing lines. In the meantime, Pam got in a good walk with the dogs.
That evening, we enjoyed dinner at La Curva.
What is this “Facebook” thing?
This trip I did not forget the coffee. Morning ablutions performed, jazzed on caffeine, full of breakfast, we set out on what was supposed to be a light-breeze of a day.
Glad I installed the reefing lines! The winds got progressively bigger, and the swells did the same. But the real problem was the period between the swells, about 2-3 seconds, making for an uncomfortable ride in my little boat.
The tiller pilot was having a tough time anticipating which way the swells were going to toss us, so I put him on standby and took the helm. The pressure on my rudder was considerable and made for a bit of a workout, and a little voice in the back of my mind was asking “Can the rudder handle this kind of torque?”
I’m glad to say it did handle the stresses. We saw no whales that day, chalking it up to the deteriorating conditions which pretty much forced us back to the harbor. I’m such a wimp.
Dinner that night was at Tacos Marcos.
Do it again. But this time we’ll get out a little earlier.
And we’ll use the outboard on the leg out. I ran it until we were about 8 miles from port, where I shut it down and raised my sails in the light winds.
I do prefer the quiet over the noise, and that’s how we’ve usually found our whales, listening for their surfacing breaths. Not long after that, I saw what appeared to be jets of dark stuff being blasted into the air quite a long way off. Grabbing the binoculars, I looked North toward Cholla Bay to see multiple plumes of spray. Captain, there be whales!
Coming about and heading NNW, we were able to intercept at least two humpbacks.
That was as close as we were able to get, around 50-75 yards. As it was getting on towards mid-afternoon, we started heading back to port. After turning downwind, the 150% genoa was having difficulties staying filled with the light breeze.
Ayup, it’s spinnaker time!
I broke my previous distance record for flying the sail, too. 8.9 nautical miles of downwind sailing. We made good time and the sunset was pretty darned purdy.
All in all, a good day!
We dined at Fortuna China that night.
It’s a Thursday, and getting time to clear out of this town. The place gets happening around the weekends, more than I care to experience. We enjoy the quiet nights during the weekdays, and leave the noise and traffic to the revelers who start showing up about now. It also makes for short waits at the border. 😉
Pam’s already asking about a return trip. I’m game.