It was 575 nautical miles from Providencia to Isla Mujeres. This may not mean much to you, but it meant a whole heck of a lot to us — our longest passage (ever!), our fastest passage (575 miles in 4 nights and 5 days 😀 ), and the passage that would at long last bring us back to the land of tacos.
Seriously, the rest of Central America does not know what it’s missing. Tacos are the best.
But back to the passage 🙂
Our first two days were the stuff sailing dreams are made of — picture David Gray softly singing “sail awayyyy with me” while a gentle 10-15 knot breeze pulls your sailing vessel swiftly across the flat seas, blue skies all around, and a minstrel feeding you grapes and fanning you with a palm branch. Minus the grapes & the palm branch, that’s what it was like.
Day three was a motor. Not a breath of wind in sight, but some of the most beautiful cloud-reflections I’ve ever seen.
Day four was a slow transition from the glassy calm seas to a nice sail to the ugliness of 20-25 with gusts of 30… yuck. The waves got bigger, the sails got smaller, the motion got rougher, the leaks re-appeared (does this chase ever end??), and every time I heard a sailing song on my iPod I wanted to smash things. STOP SINGING ABOUT SAILING LIKE IT’S FUN! 😉
Random aside: If you re-discover your iPod after a year of it being missing and then proceed to listen to said iPod for 5 days straight because it makes you feel better about the scary parts of sailing and is a good distraction from the boring parts of sailing, then when you finally take your headphones off your ears will feel really weird. I discovered this today.
Random aside #2: I’m not sure why it took us three years of sailing to figure this out, and I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit that we didn’t really get it until this trip, but windvanes are. the. best. Our monitor steered every hour (other than those flat motoring ones) with a speed and stamina and backwinded-sail-avoidance that we mere humans cannot even come close to. That baby is a champ.
And day five? Well day five was mostly a continuous monitoring of the little “Estimated Time of Arrival” window… 5:30… 7:00… 10:20… 6:45… would we make it in by dark? Would we have to sail another night in this ugliness? Could we go into Isla Mujeres in the dark?
A math problem: if the sun set at 7:10 pm the night before and we’d made another 120 miles of north progress, how many more minutes of daylight could we expect?
Actual answer: 11 minutes.
Eleven precious minutes of golden sunshine that let us sneak around the corner behind Isla Mujeres and drop anchor. Not quite in the inner harbour anchorage, more perched outside in the middle of nowhere, but in a flat middle of nowhere, one that didn’t require watches or rolling or sail changes. Perfect 🙂
With the light of the early morning we tucked in to the actual anchorage in Isla Mujeres and have settled into a happy contemplative little mood. 3½ months ago we left Mexico, unsure of how far we would actually make it this year… and now here we are, 6 countries and I’m not sure how many miles later, tucked back into Mexico’s lovely folds again, and ready to eat some freakin’ tacos 🙂
It is very nice to be here!