Central America Cruise Summary Day 1
Monday, 17 July 2017. Up at the crack of dawn. I had told Sergio, we were leaving at 06:00. I hadn’t heard from him in two days, so… that normally means he changed his mind. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve corresponded with people who are so excited, over time and frequently, only to have them disappear or to tell me they have to wash their cat the day of departure.
So far, the score is 1, who turned up as promised to 7 no-shows. Mind you, all these people contacted me first!
Chantal, the one who did show was great. Even left her alone on Dauntless for a week in the Bahamas. Oh well.
My friends who have joined me have all been great and they made the 2016 Cruise of the Baltic, the Baltic Republics, Poland, Sweden and Finland, so enjoyable.
I start with all this because it influenced my decision to leave, on a day that I simply should have stayed put.
I was anxious to get this show on the road. I was burning days and hadn’t even move a mile north, yet had almost 2000 miles to go.
So, when I realized Sergio was going to be a no-show, I wasn’t unhappy. Being alone is actually far less stressful for me is many ways:
- I’m not responsible for someone else’s life
- I don’t have to feed them or explain how not to screw up the toilet
- I don’t have to worry about them getting home safe and sound
- I can run around in the middle of the night, as I did last night, checking on strange noises, naked.
Yes, many advantages.
I now use Windyty.com as my main weather source while outside the USA.
It indicated light winds, 3 to 5 kts, Monday, increasing a bit Tuesday and much more on Wednesday. Therefore, it seemed Monday was the best day and I wanted to go in any case.
But when I got up, I could see a large thunderstorm to the west and it had been producing strong winds and rain all night. It was an extensive area, probably 15 miles by 10 miles. I don’t mid traveling in such conditions, however this storm produced strong, 12 kts westerly winds. Since I had to go west, then SW, then NW, that was not good.
And now I did what I tell everyone NEVER to do. Never ever. I got fixated on the forecast, 3 kt winds, thinking the seas will be small. Totally ignoring the fact that this storm had produced relatively strong winds, 10 to 18 knots for the last 12 hours.
As you see in the picture, I take off into this storm and immediately I notice 3 to 5-foot waves that I’m going into. Up and down we go. I slow up to 1400 rpm, and press on. I should have turned around and gone back to my peaceful, sheltered anchorage. I didn’t.
Two hours later as I turn the corner finally getting out of the Bay of Golfito, to head NW, I discover a significant swell, from the south to southwest 4 to 6 feet. Now the boat really started to roll. Of course, in my idleness, I did not stow everything well, in fact the salon was a mess.
I deployed one paravane stabilizer bird, then half an hour later, the other.
The roll was never so bad, only about 8° in each direction and the extreme rolls where just over 12°. These numbers are half of what we put up with for 21 days crossing the Atlantic 6 months earlier, but still. But having furniture roll around the salon is always disconcerting.
The ride didn’t ameliorate until the last 1.5 hours when I turned NE to go to Bahia Drake. An anchorage that given its’ 3-star rating was clearly over-optimistic.
Day’s Cruise Summary: Engine start, 05:52, stop 17:29; 11 hrs:15 min underway (uw), distance 62.2 nautical miles (nm), average speed 5.6 knots (kt)