En Route to Mazatlan

Sunday 5th January

Lovely sailing 48 hours into our leg from Acapulco to Mazatlan. The winds are fairly light, giving us SOG (speed over ground) of not more than 4 knots, often less. They also back and veer depending on the time of day.

But we’re getting to see the Mexican coast unfold, parts of it reminding me very much of the foot hills of Canterbury. They’re rugged but with bits that have been cultivated and bits still forested. Beyond you can see the silhouettes of the bigger mountain ranges further inland, much as the Southern Alps takes over at home.

Our charts tell us there’s a lot of small estuaries and little lakes too, but we can’t appreciate those from here. You can just see the bush clad surrounds that hint at rich water ways. And some nice wild, lonely beaches too. Last night I could hear the waves crashing on one long stretch of sand, though we were a good three miles off. The depth went from 70m to 7m fairly close to the shore, hence the serious wave action.

And, as seems to be usual here I’m happy to say, so many dolphins, mostly Pantropical Spotted dolphins. They’re quite big. We’ve also seen lots of turtles. This continues to thrill me!

I’ve been very up and down, emotionally the last couple of days. In a way being at sea is therapeutic but it also seems to make me feel the pain of Danny’s loss more keenly. Maybe just because there’s no one to see my distress and judge my lack of control, and because I feel Danny had a very similar feeling towards the ocean that I have. The fact that the whale, Tohora, is his guardian spirit, kai tiaki, emphasises that for me.

6.1.20 @ 0730

I’m on watch. A frustrating night of damn all wind. Again! We are coming up on Ziahuatanejo (Zee wah ta nayoh) which means we’ve done 110nm since Acapulco! Slow going, huh!

The promised Internet has not arisen which is bothering me as I need to get in touch with Fizz.

I just tried to raise a ship, a fuel tanker, on the radio to let them know we were on their port bow with a CPA (closest point of approach) of 0.13nm, but no reply. So we prudently altered to starboard. She’s a lot bigger than us!

7.1.20 @ 0417.

My watch again, though Bernie and I have been sitting up together as we’ve rounded a very prominent headland, Punta Mangrove, with a massive shipping port on it. Lots of vessels anchored off as well, so we watched together for a bit. Safety first!

We actually made reasonable way yesterday, looping in close to Ziahuatanejo, to get the Internet long enough to catch up with everyone. Timing was fortuitous and I spoke to Matt, Fizz, Mum & Dad, Johan and Mehrez. And a lot of messaging and emails as well. Fizz isn’t coming, sadly, but I did wonder if the cost would prove prohibitive at short notice. We’ll catch up when I get home!

I saw a beautiful sea snake during the afternoon. One of those yellow and black stripey ones, like we get in Fiji. It was just lazing along on the surface. And lots more dolphins and turtles. I forgot to mention the display the dolphins and Sting rays put on last night. Just on dusk, Bernie and I were sharing a beer on the aft deck, and both species started leaping right out of the water, high in the air, doing graceful airborne manoeuvres, before disappearing again. Wonderful treat to see. One dolphin shot up right next to Momo, easily as high as the boom, literally a metre from the side of the boat!

I’m reading three books at present. One called ‘Momo’, a kids story and the source of this yacht’s name, another on the history of South Africa and one of my warry stories!

1817. Slow but steady going all day, with the odd patch of no wind at all. I was just contemplating a swim when Bernie noticed lots of tiny jelly fish in the water. So decided against! We’ve watched a couple of documentaries and generally been pretty quiet. I washed a few clothes. It’s easier to do a little each day. I live in singlet tops and shorts. Bernie lives in Thai short trou. Neither of us bother with underwear much! Too hot and more washing!

I’m struggling to get enough sleep. I’ve never been good at sleeping during the day, was a useless night shift nurse, losing weight hand over fist. But I cannot expect Bernie to do all the night watches. So, yes, I’m losing weight again! But we eat well so it’s fine. It doesn’t help that every time I close my eyes, images of happier times with Danny in our lives pop into my head. Sometimes I feel I’ll never work properly again. It’s so terribly unfair. I wish I could turn back the clock, get home earlier, see my baby one more time. Or switch off my work ethic and have just left Lucky Wave and visited the boys in Athens. One more hug. One more “I love you, Mum”. Fuck, its hard.

8.1.20 @ 0637

I came on watch at 0500. We’re about to round a headland, Punta Tejupan, hugging the coast line. Less than a nautical mile to port is a big ship, somewhere from 50-100m long judging by her navigation lights. Looks to be on the large end of the scale! I gave her a quick call on the radio to let her know a sailing yacht a fraction of her size was ahead of her! We don’t have AIS. I also put our deck Nav lights on, not strictly legal when we have a masthead tricolour but I’d rather be seen! Dawn isn’t far away. I’ll stick our fishing lure out now.

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