Reaching for the Trades

Wisdom prevailed and we delayed our departure from Cabo until 8 a.m. on 4/4. It’s plain common sense to begin a voyage in daylight, so we slept at anchor while a sweet wind strengthened in the night. By the time we hoisted the anchor yesterday morning and cleared the wind shadow of Cabo San Lucas’ steep cliffs, we found the sailing breeze.

With the wind at a sweet sixty degrees off the bow, Anthea accelerated through the broad swells dappled with light wind waves and ruffled by white caps blown up by wind against current. We rode the current out and adjusted our bodies to the heel to port and the continuous up and down over the rollers. An occasional wave broke over the bow, channeling water along the decks and out the scuppers. All day we flew under Anthea’s favorite point of sail, ticking off the miles in fairly effortless fashion as our wind pilot steered.

Devon made lunch and dinner, with a little help, as his body has yet to adjust to cooking in the swells. We dined in royal fashion on goat cheese and crackers, veggies and humus, and chips and salsa for lunch, and chicken fajitas and greens for dinner. In a few weeks from now it will be boat-grown sprouts and dried and canned veggies, so we’re savoring these meals. You guessed it: Devon’s cook, while Anson, Mark and I share the watches.

The wind veered in the night to 90 degrees, putting us at odds with the growing swell. Rocking and rolling, we made it through night one, a bit tired and haggard, but safe and sound with a single reef in the main and full jib. We’re reaching for the North East trade winds, and their strong and steady flow. Our current plan is to sail 230 degrees (true) towards 5 degrees N and 130 W, then search for a skinny spot to cross the nasty zone between the NE and SE trades (the ITCZ). With that unpleasantness over, we’ll ride the SE trades to the Marquesas. Sounds easy enough on paper. Now factor in the heeling and rolling, the cooking and cleaning, the four hour watches and sleep deprived bodies and you’ll have a taste of what we’ve signed up for!
Kim, writing from 20 degrees 56 minutes North and 112 degrees 21.4 minutes West (4/5 11 a.m. local/ 1800 UTC)

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