The full impact of what we're doing has hit me cerebrally and only just. Viscerally, this feels just like what we've done in the past, and I don't know how many days at sea it will take before I finally realize that no anchorage is shortly impending.
We took off from Banderas Bay yesterday after waiting about a week for a weather window (we were both happy for the down time, and I was particularly happy that the calm winds coincided with good swell ? I'm finally sore from paddling). The winds were forecast to be in the 10 to 12 knot range yesterday and then picking up today to be in the 15 to 18 knot range. That forecast fell a little short, however: we had been sailing for about an hour when we put the second reef in, and we've been seeing 20 to 25 knots since we left. The bad news is that we've been in pretty uncomfortable seas ? short period wind chop with a fading ground swell underneath in the 6 to 8 foot range. Nothing scary by any means, but our course has us beam on, and she's been pretty rolly all night. The good news is that we're flirting with our first 200Nm day. If we keep this up (which we won't) we'll be in the Marquesas in less than three weeks.
It usually takes us a few days to get into our rhythm at sea, and this has been no exception. I've had a head cold for the last day or two, so I was uncomfortable anyhow. I think we're both operating on about 2 hours of sleep.
We're happy though. It's exciting to think that this passage will culminate in a truly exotic destination, and the winds and seas have died enough to be tolerably comfortable (we're down to a single reef, and doing 7.8 knots as measured by the GPS), and the air has the heavy damp feeling of the tropics which is enticing.
The only true misadventure we've had so far is our autohelm dying about three miles from shore. We've got a spare, but if the spare takes a dump, we'll be in for a challenge. I thought about heading back since we were so close to land, but we've been waiting for this window forever, and we've got a lot of boats with us who have been waiting as well. It's also getting later on in the season to burn another week or two trying to find parts in Mexico which is a challenge. I'm optimistic that we'll be ok ? the spare is in good shape thanks to the parts that Suzy brought with her when she visited in La Paz.
We've heard feedback from folks that the SPOT tracker may be, well? spotty. So please don't worry if we disappear. Likewise, I can only guess at how long this email connection will last as we get away from the coast of North America. All concerned friends and family should rest assured that we've got a good Sat Phone, an EPIRB and buddy boats that are still less than a mile spaced.
Special thanks to Tucker for helping us to post this ? we love you man :)