Monday, October 31, 2016

En Route to Bahia Culebra: Miserable Then Tolerable

Our passage has gone from miserable to tolerable.

At first, bashing through choppy waves- bash, smash, bash, smash- into 15-plus knot (true) headwinds, the engines working hard push through the chop at 5 knots, burning double the diesel with two motors running.

I kind of lost it for a little while. Not so much over what was happening at the moment, but from thinking about sailing like this the 660 miles to Puerto Chiapas over the next 10 days and, worse yet, the next 1,200 miles to the Sea of Cortez in February. Bash, smash, bash, smash and the drone of diesels for days and days and days and days. What a horrible ordeal to consider. And then I fucked up dinner, somehow failing to cook rice properly (how I could do that, I don' t know) and then breaking eggs into cold oil in a frying pan because I thought the gas was on, but wasn't. Mmmmmm, raw eggs stirred in oil with undercooked rice. Yum.

In any case, my inner toddler rose in all his juvenile glory and pitched a fit, threw a tantrum, had a meltdown. All expressed with an adult XXX spittle-flying prose that rivaled the script of "Deadwood" in its ability to string together expletives without a single word for polite company between them. Renee watched quietly, until my adult self prevailed and sent the toddler to his room for a timeout.

Adult me asked, "What was I so angry at?" The wind? The waves? Being angry at the weather and planet obviously was stupid and futile. Renee? Myself? Nope, all good there. (Well maybe a little towards myself for not turning on the gas for my eggs.) Which left me nothing to be angry about. Crisis solved. Reality is that I want to get Intermezzo to the Sea of Cortez and the wind and waves will be against us most of the way. I just have to suck it up. Remain calm, carry on. And buy a bunch more fuel jugs to make sure we have enough to run two engines more than I figured we would.

An hour or so after I got a hold of myself, the wind shifted, favorably for once, and let us motorsail on our rhumbline at 5-plus knots with only one engine running. The chop diminished, leaving only the southwest swell to roll us, not comfortable motion, but tolerable and much, much better than the bash, bash, bash through the chop. Conditions remained this easy for the whole night. The only bummer was the rain. It rained all night and Renee and I stood our watches in soaking wet foul weather gear. The boat inside of the boat looks like an outdoor clothing store with our wet gear hanging all over.

It's early morning now. Still raining, on and off. Not enough wind to motorsail, but the engine is keeping up a nice pace as the seas are very calm, with just a gentle swell from the port quarter.

Embarrassing as it is, I'm glad my inner toddler had a chance to get his juvenile frustration out of his system and get it over with at the beginning of this uphill bash. It gave grown-up me the opportunity to prevail and to consider and prevail on the circumstances. We'll get through this trip okay, hard as it might be at times.

Hey, the sun has just come out from between the clouds. That always brightens my spirits.