Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Huatulco to Puerto Chiapas, 1 March 19:00

Via satellite.

We had a nice passage today in calm waters under a clear sunny sky, a combination of sailing and motor sailing. For a couple of hours we were reaching beautifully under full main and the Code 0, making six to seven knots in 10 knots of wind, even with a one knot current against us. Very enjoyable sailing!

We're following Swagman very close to their speed as they have been a consistent 10 nm ahead of us, although we did catch up to within 7.5 nm last night. There is a saying that the definition of a yacht race is two sailboats within site of each other. It's true. Although in this case, we only see them on AIS as there is a bit of haze and we haven't been able to see them visually, even with the binocs.

When the wind died this evening, I went to start the starboard engine and it wouldn't. Fortunately I had paid for a couple of hours of an excellent diesel mechanic's time at the KKMI boatyard to walk me through the aspects of a diesel engine that are most likely to go wrong and how to fix them. So I bled the fuel injector system and 10 minutes later, it fired up. How the air got in their I do not know, but perhaps last nights boisterous seas had something to do with it. Or maybe some air got introduced when I changed the primary fuel filter before we left. Funny that the engine started right up and ran for hours no problem earlier though. I'll be keeping an eye on it. One thing that I am happy about is that the fuel we bought from Pemex has been really clean, so I'm not having to deal with a clogged fuel system, just a bubbly one.

Renee caught a 20 pound-plus tuna this morning, which was fun to clean instead of sleeping at the end of my watch. For dinner tonight we had seared tuna medallions with mixed vegetables on brown rice with a garlic-butter-lemon sauce. Yum.

We have about 100 nm left to go and our ETA is 16:00 tomorrow. Sometime this afternoon, we sailed our 3,000th mile. That's more than an Atlantic crossing, although ours is stop-and-go sailing, with plenty of pit stops and less impressive. I suppose we earn some points compared to transoceanic sailing in that we have anchored, docked, raised and lowered sails, navigated coastlines, ports and anchorages many dozens of times over these 3,000 miles. My sailing and navigation skills have improved tremendously from practice.