sailing homepage : trip reports : 2: baja-haha : day10: last start

Nov 8, day 10: Start of last leg, enroute from Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas, light wind and lots of motoring

With an earlier 7AM start to the race, the Wanderlust crew was up at 6AM to prepare for the start. Everyone had slept lightly, occasionally checking to make sure the boat was still in the same spot. Our CQR held fine, but it was a relief to haul it up, switch it with the Bruce, and reassign it to the B team.

Sunrise in paradise


Will making sure we're still anchored

The winds were negligible and we motored to the starting line. Richard, the Haha Grand Poobah, soon came onto the VHF nt and announced a rolling start: an hour's worth of motoring at 6 knots would be permitted with no penalty. We motored until we found wind, just before the deadline, and began to sail.

The foggy rolling start


The race begins after the motors go off

The sailing was great: we were moving almost at the same speed we were doing under power, everything was quiet except the rush of water under the hull, and everyone was happy. The faster boats checked out with their larger asymmetrical spinnakers, and we did well against similarly-rated boats.

We came up on and passed a boat with a Tweety Bird spinny, but as the wind died they picked up and pulled beside us. They got closer and closer, until we finally yelled over that we had the right of way! They didn't seem interested; we finally turned to avoid a collision.

Tweety bird spinnaker


Will and Briana drive the boat

Well, no less than 30 minutes later, they were drifting towards us again, and again we had the right of way! We heard them joking about us trying to hit them. Hey, check the rules, Tweety. Port means left, starboard means right. This second time we did nothing, we didn't even make eye contact. They got the message - they finally started their engine and powered away from us. Hey, it's not like we're aiming at you dude, you could have averted the confrontation much earlier.

Sean reeling in a fish


Here fishy fishy fishy!

We were sailing along in the decreasing winds when suddenly Sean noticed we'd hooked a fish! Sweet! He donned the gloves and reeled the large yellowfin tuna in. We must have been dragging him for a while because he didn't fight until we got him close to the boat, but once we saw him and he saw us, the fight was on! We got only one picture, estimating his weight at 30-35lbs, before he jumped, bucked, and spat out the lure. Curses.

Windless spinnaker


What a cutie!

We sailed until noon, when the wind died. The wind dies a lot in Mexico, we are learning. Oh, well. We thought it would be the perfect opportunity to grill some sausage and have an American lunch--cokes and hotdogs, anyone? After lunch, we turned on the engine. Everyone was ready to make some headway to Cabo, and since we had already forfeited our 'hardcore sailor' title, motoring seemed like the thing to do.

Dogs sizzling on the grill


Briana loving life

Throughout the day we heard other boats on the radio sighting whales, but the most interesting marine-life we sighted was a large ray, about 6 feet across, jumping and doing somersaults in the air. It was pretty incredibe. Who knew rays got that big, or that they are so playful? This thing was leaping WAY out of the water, it was a real show.

With the motor running, our tummies full, and Cabo approaching at 6 knots, life was good. We were having fun, reading, talking, looking forward to the finish line.

Will and Sara take a load off


Sean and Briana look thirsty

At about 2:30PM we caught the most beautiful yellowfin tuna any of us had ever seen. With our mouths watering and all of us dreaming of sashimi, we grabbed the fish book and were looking it up when the bugger jumped off the line at the last possible instant. Sara's theory is that it saw the bat coming and mustered up one final spurt of energy to jump off the hook. Next time, we won't bother to identify you fishies: if you're on our line, you're dinner.

Gigantic blue-fin tuna


What a beautiful fish!

After the disappointment of losing two beautiful tuna in one afternoon, and with the wind doing absolutely nothing, all of us 'Lusters decided to go swimming. Nothing brightens the spirits more than jumping out of 100 degree air and into 85 degree water. Let's just say it was perfect.

Will dives in


Sara and Briana swim

As we dried off and began to prepare dinner, the idea of pulling an all-nighter for the last overnight sail came together. We would all stay up and sail through the night together.

Before the sun set we played a version of truth or dare that Sara invented, called 'truth or truth', and began to philosophize on life, love, liberty, and the pursuit of the perfect hamburger. Will's overnight attempt was thwarted at about 8:30PM, when he collapsed and crawled below to sleep. Sara, Briana, and Sean kept the dream alive and brought out some wine to keep everyone well lubricated. There was a steady, weak wind, and everyone was happy to have the motor running and Cabo on the horizon. The moon was full and bright and orange.