Ambassador 99 – The big slalom

That’s what I’ve been doing for the last 3 days- the big slalom. During the night, the wind blows offshore from the East, so I am on starboard tack angling out to sea a bit. In the morning, the wind switches and comes from the SW, so I can sail parallel to the coast on Port tack. In the afternoon, the wind builds and veers a bit more West, so I angle more towards the shore. Then in the evening, it switches and I head back out again. My track looks like a big lazy “S”, but it has been good for me, as I am very happy with my progress.

The next hurdle in front of me is Cabo Corrientes, which I need to go around. Like the other major capes in Mexico and California (Sur, Conception, Falso) it juts out into the prevailing NW winds, causing the wind to accelerate (same volume of air going through a smaller space, makes it squirt like a hose nozzle). This also agitates the seas quite a bit, so the normal strategy heading north is to try to round the cape in the early morning, before the winds and seas build for the day.

The normal NW winds have been absent these last days, which has allowed me to make such good progress, but they are forecast to return Wednesday afternoon or evening, building to 10-20 knots. But the way it looks right now, my big slalom has worked, as I expect to round Corrientes early tomorrow morning, avoiding the mess.

After that, the next hurdle is getting to Cabo San Lucas. It is pretty much NW from here, which is straight into the winds and seas. So I expect to head north, maybe as far as Mazatlan, then west over to Cabo. It’s a bit longer sailing the 2 legs of the triangle, but it makes sense from a weather and sanity perspective.

The days continue hot and sunny, and the nights are starry.

5/15   8am    18.40N   104.06W    7170nm gone,  1564nm to go

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