Friday, March 8, 2019

Crossing the Tehuantapec

15 54N 54 52W
Enroute to Puerto Chiapas

We're ghosting along again, sailing gently downwind. Crazy how just 24 hours ago it was blowing 35-40 knots here.

This afternoon, a panga with three fishermen came alongside and asked if we'd seen any of their fishing gear- the buoys, flags, strobe lights, and hooked lines between them that they leave drifting to catch fish. They must not have been able to retrieve them before the gale. I figure they are halfway to the Philippines by now. I felt kind of bad for them losing their gear; it's a big financial setback. I feel worse for the fish hooked to that gear which are now just "by catch" instead of food. Well, I guess their food for something; nothin goes to waste in the ocean.

When you cross the Tehuantapec, you're supposed to "keep one foot on the beach" and follow the shoreline to avoid big swells from strong northerly winds. Well, the winds are light and from the west, the waves are small, and winds are forecast to diminish. So, I'm going to live a little dangerously and cut right across the gulf, reducing our sailing distance by 20 miles.

We're sailing in a patch of phosphorescent jellyfish. They're all over the place, about a foot in diameter, flashing like miniature green fireworks. The keep me company on this dark, moonless night.