Day 6, Nov 5, Saturday

Dear Friends—Another bright sunny morning. The crew was up about 0800 with Captain Melody logging 11.5 hours of sleep. She felt great and the rest of the crew were very glad that she could get some needed rest. The rest of the morning was devoted to breakfast of granola and yoghurt, plus other goodies, putting the boat in shape for the next leg. Yesterday afternoon, we transferred 5 gallons of diesel to the tank and we were able to hail a panga and get them to fill the empty fuel container. Our biggest connection to shore was whistling over a young Mexican guy in a kayak who was picking up our trash. We really needed to get rid of our bag as did, obviously, many others. The guy had artfully stacked many bags where only a few should have fit.

We started motoring to the start line at the mouth of Turtle Bay. The Poohbah called for a rolling start which means that we could use our engine without penalty for the initial sailing part of the race/rally. Once again we were all bunched up doing about 6 knots and headed out away from shore so that we can catch some wind. Winds were light and building. Our failed weather forecaster, Commander Weather, was able to forecast today’s weather about as well as he did Mon-Wed. We did have following winds about 15 knots for a while and we did deploy the Gennaker for about three hours. Our speed did get up to 7 knots with the chute. Then they it became clear that the winds were going beyond the mid-teens. The Gennaker came down and the
Genoa was furled. Winds were following as were the 8 foot long periods swells broken up by wind waves. Steering was challenging but not as terrifying as the previous passage. The wind changed radically twice and two hard jibes resulted in a broken traveller line and a torn mainsail on the foot near the clew. Mel rewove the traveler line and she and Avghi double reefed the mainsail in challenging sea and wind conditions in the dark.

At this point, we were only making about 4 knots, so Mel turned on the iron jenny and engaged the autopilot for an extended period. The seas and wind began to drop and all became much easier. We may be able to get a sail repair from the Ullman sail guy who is traveling with the fleet (he has a sewing machine on board) while we are anchored in Bahia Santa Maria. If not, we can make it to Cabo with the current rig.

Captain Melody, Barbara, Mike, Avghi and Jeannea