Date: Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 8:33 PM
Subject: Back in Mexico….
Hola from Hula….
Well all right now. This morning, the intrepid Team J World started
the 800 mile sprint down the West Coast from Newport Beach, CA to Cabo
San Lucas….. Land’s end, Baja California! Our gang of nine started
about a half mile off the end of the Newport pier into a light
westerly. With the big #1 jib up, we were able to punch out at the
start and seemed to have great boatspeed. We climbed away from the
coast in an attempt to get to a bit more breeze offshore, and it
seemed to be working great.
Then there came a bit of a bluffing and waiting game… all the boats
around us knew that as the wind freshened, it would shift around
behind us, and it would be time to hoist the bigger sails, and the
“Code Zero” would be the call. We were poised and ready and wanted to
make the move with the first boat, but no earlier since we didn’t want
to separate from the pack. Horizon, another SC50, was the first to
go… they got the sail most of the way up, then had a bit of a
problem, but sorted it out quickly. By that point, we were going up
with ours too, and suddenly we has almost the same problem they had…
except we weren’t able to sort our out as easily. The top of the
sail came unfurled during the hoist, making the sail impossible to
unfurl all the way. We were forced to go back to the #1 jib and drop
the code zero to sort out the issue… as we watched all the boats we
had managed to get behind us sail right by… Before long, we got the
code zero up, dropped the jib, and set a genoa staysail. Five or 6
knots of breeeze, sailing at 7-8 knots. Nice.
The wind shifted farther behind us, and it was time again to change
sails… down with the code zero, up with the 2A spinnaker. We stuck
with that sail until about 5:30-, when the wind shifted back towards
the south a bit, and we changed to the 1A with a spinnaker staysail.
So that’s where we are right now. True wind is about 12 knots. We
are doing 9 to 10 knots, and we just crossed the border into Mexico.
We are picking a lane to keep us outside the light coastal breezes,
but a bit inside out competition… it’s tough to say no to the nice
header we are getting right now, and we need to make up some of the
time we lost with the sail snafu earlier.
And we need to push south quickly. There’s a cold front moving into
the area tomorrow, brining with is some strong headwinds. We want to
be well down the Baja Coast before it gets here. Andele!
We have just finished a full rotation on the helm (everyone has had a
chance to drive). And the stew dinner wend down nicely, just as the
(nearly) full moon came up. Man, it is beautiful outside right now.
Seriously beautiful. The moon, the shimmering reflections on the
water, the distant coastal glow of San Diego, Tijuana, the Hula Girl
scooting along into the night.
Time to take a look at weather, then maybe go sit in the cockpit for a
while. I’ll be in touch again soon…
All the best,
Wayne Zittel & the Hula Girl Crew
32° 27N 117° 33W