Ambassador 100 – Gone Swimming

Yesterday saw me sailing off of Manzanillo, which is famous for its fishing. And it seems every Mexican with panga or an innertube was out there. Problem is, they fish using long nets (as long as a mile across on the surface), and sometimes long lines with hooks and bait strung together, also up to mile across the surface. And they mark these hazards to boating with empty water bottles and old 2-liter 7-up bottles, every 50 meters or so. In other words, with a little waves, swell or white crests, they are impossible to see until you are on top of them. And they seem to criss-cross the area from the shoreline out to 20 miles like a big spider web.

So my track yesterday looks like some kind of Aztec drawing, with hard turns and zigs and zags every which way. It was tiring and frustrating, detouring around some of the nets, but also crossing many of them, too, as I didn’t see them until it was too late. Sometimes I would slide over without a problem. But sometimes I would get snagged, and I would go head to wind and try to back down, and that could work. If it didn’t, sometimes I could reach the offending line (they mostly use fishing line for everything, occasionally a real rope, though) with the boat hook, and pull it up and cut it. Once though, nothing seemed to work, so I had to drop the sails and go swimming with a knife. The water was warm and clear, which was nice, but it was still a hassle, and a delay. I am very glad to be past all of that, at least for now.

Now, do you remember all that stuff I wrote yesterday about the two legs of the triangle and going to Mazatlan and then west? Fuhgeddaboutit. As unbelievable as it is, the weather forecast was not completely accurate. It seems the NW winds are behind me, at least for now. The conditions I am seeing tell me to go straight to Cabo, and not sail the extra 100 miles to Mazatlan. So that’s what I am doing. I figure even if the NW show up afterall, I can always run with it and go to Mazatlan anyway.

If all goes well, I should be in Cabo early morning on Friday. And after that looks to be a classic Baja Bash up to San Diego, but I will finesse that when the time comes.

5/16   8am    20.15N   106.24W    7330nm gone,  1403nm to go

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