Monday, November 22, 2010

Cabo San Lucas

We arrived in Cabo Saturday afternoon. It was very light all the way, until we got within 10 miles of the cape, then it blew 22kts. We managed to get to the fuel dock in the high winds and take on 34 gallons of diesel and then got a slip. After we got into the slip we took care of periodic maintenance items, did laundry, checked the internet, got groceries, and generally rested up for the next passage. I also disassembled and lubed the top gear in the steering system.

We'll leave here at noon tomorrow, which is 11:00am Pacific time. Our next destination is Puerto Vallarta, which is about 300 miles from here. In some ways this will be the most challenging part of the trip so far. From Long Beach to Cabo, it's all downwind, but from here to PV, we have to cross the Sea of Cortez, which will put the prevailing winds on the beam. Right now the forecast is for strong winds tomorrow and Wednesday, then ease up for the last miles into PV. We are sailing very conservatively so I'll start with a reefed main and small #4 jib. If the predicted winds don't show up, I can always shake out the reef.
Cabo has changed so much since the last time I was here in 2005. The city now boasts a permanent population of 56,000, plus at least that many tourists on any given Sunday. They've built thousands of condos, dozens of hotels, and miles of shopping centers as well as a new marina and expanded the existing ones. But the slow American economy has made itself felt here. In 2005, the marinas were slips available. Today, we're in a slip on a gangway that is literally half empty. Most of the gangways here are in the same condition. Five years ago, there were at least 300 moorings just outside the harbor. If you wanted to anchor for free you had to anchor way down the bay. All those moorings are gone now, and I counted only five boats anchored off the beach, right in front of the Hacienda hotel.  There is still a lot of hustle and bustle in the main commercial part of the harbor, with the Rolex, Armani, Harley Davidson, Saks and other stores still going strong, but the cafes are only half full. The famous Giggling Marlin and Cabo Wabo clubs were absolutely dead when we walked through them. We wandered up the hill to my old favorite haunt, the venerable Hotel Finisterra and had a drink in the old bar overlooking the Pacific. It was quiet and peaceful. I remember wild times there when I used to do the Cabo races in the 80's and 90's.
We are well, no sickness or injuries. The boat is doing very well, aside from that annoying squeak in the steering system, which I think I fixed. The only casualty in the roughly thousand miles we've sailed so far was a broken antenna on my handheld VHF, which was easily repaired. I expected more trouble and was prepared for it, but it never showed up, thankfully. Many people might think the long hours of sailing, with nothing around but the sea and sky would be boring, but that's not the case at all. I haven't had a single moment of boredom yet. Sometimes it feels like what we are doing is enormous, sometimes it feels like it's just a folly of ours, but most of the time it's just plain fun. I should say that sometimes we get tired, keeping watch, cooking, writing up the log, tending the sails and all the other jobs that need to get done to keep this boat running. But the vast majority of the time we are happy and content to sail the boat and look forward to the next adventure, however small or large it may be.

1 comment:

  1. Chris & I are enjoying your bloggs! Thank you for sharing.