Happy Dance is Unplugged!

Happy Dance is once again unplugged and back on the hook! With the threat of Simon finally past, we pulled out of San Carlos Marina at 9pm Wednesday night under a bright full moon. The forecast called for the winds to blow out of the south for the first few hours of our 100 mile trek, then to shift to the northwest which we hoped would come to pass as it would make for a nice sail with following seas. We did see the winds clock around from south to north, but with the changing winds also came changing seas, making for a pretty lumpy ride. We also ran into a few rain squalls that soaked us with gusty winds and plenty of wet stuff, but all in all it was an uneventful 16 hour jaunt from San Carlos over to Caleta San Juanico on the Baja peninsula.

Even though the sail across wasn’t particularly comfy due to the confused sea and intermittent squalls, we did have moments of ahhh, and kept grinning at being back on the water. We were surrounded three times by schools of dolphins dancing in the moonlight, gave a ride to a hitchhiking brown boobie, and even glimpsed a shark slowly swimming by. It was beautiful and wild, and felt like home.

As we approached the peninsula we kept remarking on how green everything was! The mountains were covered in bright green bushes and the red rocks showing through made me think of the heather covered hills in Scotland. It looked as if we were arriving in Hawaii rather than the desert of the Baja peninsula. All the rain from hurricanes Odile and Simon had given the peninsula a good soaking and woke up the dry hills.

After we set the hook it was time to jump into crystal clear blue water for a swim. We’ve missed our pool! The water was cooler than it had been just three months ago when we were sweltering from the summer temperatures. The clarity of the water is back too, so that we are again able to see the bottom 30 feet down again.

We soon discovered that we’d lost a full tank of fresh water down the bilge while on the crossing over, so we had to do some hose following to see where the water was leaking. We were both pretty tired after an all-night cruise, so after isolating the leak to a probable cause, we turned off the pump and planned on solving the issue in the morning. We had a bite to eat, sat in the cockpit enjoying a gorgeous sunset and moonrise, and then headed for bed. The world would look much more promising through unblurry eyes after a lovely 12 hour nap!

The next morning, Marty was hard at work on the water leak when suddenly I heard a loud bang, followed by a stream of sailoresque profanity spewing from the cabin! I jumped down the companionway to see Marty holding his foot and dripping blood everywhere. The wooden door to the bilge had fallen onto Marty’s big toe and essentially cut the toenail clear through right at the quick. OUCH! I soon had him bandaged up and laying down with his foot up to help stop the bleeding.

While Marty was resting I took the kayak and my snorkel gear and headed for shore. When we’d been here before I had found a bunch of chocolate clams and hoped to do so again. With my kayak tied to my ankle I started out, but wasn’t having much luck finding any. Then while diving for one deeply buried clam I must have kicked the line off my ankle and before I knew it my kayak was nearly across the bay! Oops. I sprinted over and rescued it, and after catching my breath started my search again. I guess my kayak has a CFD (clam finding device) because on my first dive I started filling my bag. Yippeee! Chocolates (choo-co-LAT-teys) for dinner tomorrow.



Meanwhile, I’m happy to report that we isolated the leak and it was an easy fix to tighten a fitting that had come loose at the stern shower. As I write this a day later, Marty’s toe is healing and the water leak has stopped. And another aside is that the extra solar panels are making a huge difference in keeping up with our battery load. A triple header of wonderful.

We spent two nights in San Juanico, and the second night two friend boats from San Carlos, Celebration and Delphinia, also joined us. We had Happy Hour onboard Happy Dance and enjoyed being back together and off the dock! It’s always a fun sight when you’re at anchor in a bay and see a familiar sail round the point. In the morning we all headed for different destinations, but I’m sure we’ll be meeting up again soon since all three of us are heading toward Panama in the next few months.

We are currently anchored next to Isla Coronados, in a beautiful aquamarine bay next to an extinct volcano. We were able to sail downwind in 8-12 knots with just the genoa to get here, a lovely relaxing sail. We had the fishing line out, but no bites even though I saw a couple of good sized wahoos jumping nearby.

As I finish writing, the wind has settled down, the sun has set in a fiery show over the mountains and we’re filled up from a yummy dinner of pasta with garlic, clams, and broccoli. It’s fantastic to hear the waves on the hull, watch the frigates soaring overhead, and soon to be rocked to sleep at anchor. Life is good.


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