It has been a long time since I’ve experienced anything resembling “stress”, but if there was one thing that has been nagging me, it is the possibility of getting caught in a hurricane on the Pacific coast of North America. The hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific starts at the beginning of June (though there was one as early as mid-May this year) and conventionally runs until the beginning of November. Having bought the boat in Washington, I knew I’d be hard pressed to make it to a safe haven in time, so I’ve been sailing as fast as I reasonably can to make it south before the season really heats up.
It has probably been clear from the blog posts that this “hurried up” sailing hasn’t exactly been a hardship, but I haven’t been taking much time to explore and smell-the-roses either. The Sea of Cortez doesn’t get hit by storms very often and there are lots of good, protected anchorages to hide out in. Thus, my plan all along has been to truck it south to Mexico, where food / living is cheap, fishing is plentiful, and there is plenty of sunshine to bask in.
This most recent passage began in San Diego, where I was stopping to meet up with friends, collect mail and packages, and re-provision for the last time in the states. I managed to find myself a surfboard (figuring that I'd be a fool to venture down into Central America without one) and started to try and catch waves near my anchorage in Pacific Beach. So far, its not going very well and I even managed to get myself stung by a stingray, which hurts like hell. Luckily, I didn't go the way of Steve Irwin and soaking my foot in hot water helped to ease the pain.
With the possibility of storms further south, I wanted someone to join me for the passage and my friend Autumn just happened to be free. We knocked out all the errands and provisioning in a few days and pulled out of San Diego bright and early on a Monday morning.
The following morning, with a good weather window opening, and full bellies, we set sail from Ensenada to begin the long trip south. We saw a few massive whales far off on that first evening, and we were basically surrounded by sea life the entire time.