Saturday, March 2, 2019

Passing by Acapulco

16 35N 99 48W
Enroute to Huatulco

We sailed most of last night, not starting an engine until 0500 this morning when the wind disappeared. We ghosted along with the Code 0 pulling lightly from the bow, collapsing gently with a crinkling sound every once in a while when the wind shifted or we slid slowly down the slope of a swell. The autopilot clattered quietly as it held its course. Acapulco was a long smear of twinkling lights ahead, it's lighthouses blinking bright white, on and off. A constellation that clearly forms a cross stayed fixed in position to the south- I wondered if it was the Southern Cross, not sure if it is visible this far north of the equator. The sea was calm but every so often a little whitecap would break with a noisy hiss alongside the boat.

Most people, including me, think of sailing from Mexico towards Panama as traveling south. Yet from here on, most of the coast runs in a more east-west, so we are making more distance eastward (longitude) than we are south (latitude). It puts us on a good angle for wind, when it decides to blow.

The forecast is for light winds until this afternoon. According to the latest ECMWF model, we might enjoy decent winds from then on until the night if we head a bit further offshore. So that's where we're heading.

I made a radical navigational change yesterday- switched course display from "Magnetic" to "True". OMG! How bold! (What a nerd!) In the past, I thought it better to know our desired course per magnetic north in case the electronics failed and we had to use the compass and paper charts. Intermezzo's compass deviation is so great on some headings, due to its proximity to electronics, that I realized that doesn't really make sense. It's better and easier to know the true course and work out magnetic variation and deviation manually to determine a ship's compass course to steer, if the need ever arises. The other 99.99% of the time, working with true direction makes periodic plotting on the paper charts much easier.

Roy and I are both suffering from mild discomforts. Roy has a mildly infected eyelid that's bothering him but looking like it will get better on his own. I have a stiff neck that limits comfortable sleeping positions, which has nothing to do with being older. It is punishment for not doing a minimum of 30 minutes of yoga each day like I vowed to do. My body is talking to me. So boat yoga starts today on the forward deck at noon, under a blazing tropical sun. Good medicine!