Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bahia Santa Maria to Los Cabos

It's 1600 and we're sailing on a broad reach toward Cabo San Lucas. The wind is just strong enough to keep us going at 6kt. I came off watch and am lying in my bunk listening to the sounds of the boat, the wind and the sea. If this wind holds, we'll have a glorious night of sailing. The moon, already aloft, is nearly full and will light up the sea tonight. This is a big part of why we chose to travel by sailboat. There are certainly faster and more comfortable ways to see the world, but nothing quite compares to the ineffable pleasure of being at sea on a beautiful moonlit night, with a warm (well, at least not freezing) breeze and following seas. I wouldn't trade this for all the five star hotels on the gold coast. Even the work I do while sailing is pleasant. Aside from the actual sailing of the boat, trimming sails, steering and keeping the boat well organized, there are maintenance and repairs that are constant. I listen to the rush of the water along the hull, the creaks and groans of the hull and rigging, the sounds of all the systems from the watermaker to the autopilot and I know what the boat is doing. In my mind I can isolate each sound and tell if it's normal, or something needs adjustment, or if it's a sign of trouble. Right now there's a squeak in the steering pedestal that has developed over the last few days of sailing. It started as the tiniest little chirp when the autopilot moved the wheel. Now it's clearly audible, especially for the person sleeping in the quarterberth. I took the steering wheel off while the autopilot was steering the boat and tried to lube the bushing there, but it didn't help. After investigating it, I know it's nothing serious and I'll disassemble the top gear in the pedestal and lube it all when we get to Cabo.

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