Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Puesta del Sol > Bahia Santa Elena, 4 May 15:30

It's been a great day sailing!

I picked up Hannah on Monday from Managua airport. We drove the 2.5 hours to Chinadenga, stopped to pick up a few groceries and then continued on to Marina Puesta del Sol. Intermezzo was in decent shape, although pretty filthy in a few spots. It had rained a couple of times while I was away, but the rain couldn't get to all the spots covered by sugarcane field ash.

Tuesday we cleaned up the boat, returned the rental car and officially cleared out of Nicaragua. Hannah was officially in the country for just over 24 hours.

It was hot and humid at the marina and the only way to sleep halfway comfortable is to lie directly under one's cabin fan. I am definitely getting tired of this climate.

Today we left the marina at about nine a.m.. The wind was light and on the nose so motored for the first hour until the wind started building and shifting enough to raise the mainsail and motor sail into a gentle swell. By noon, the wind had shifted, we had unfurled the jib and were able to shut down the motor and actually be a sailboat, something I have experienced for some time. We have been loping along nicely at just over 5 knots since, the wind at about 60 degrees apparent and blowing about 10 knots true. The sky is clear hazy-blue above us, with cumulus clouds in the distance all around us. I bet we see some thunderstorms tonight and hope we can avoid going through any.

Hannah is going to take the 9-12 and 3-6 watches tonight. I'll sleep in the salon so she can rouse me if she needs me and I'll get up every hour or so just to make sure things are okay. It will be way better than singlehanding! We haven't seen any fishing boats and there isn't a major port along our route so it should be a relatively easy sail. Barring a thunderstorm.

I hope we can continue sailing tonight, but I think the wind is from a diurnal effect, from the land heating up and sucking wind in from the ocean. If that's correct, then it should die down when the sun goes down and shift to a offshore breeze during the night. We'll see.

ETA to Bahia Santa Elena entry waypoint is currently about 10:30 tomorrow morning- about 19 hours left to go.