We splashed down on Guaymas on October 20 and have been putting Stolen Kiss back together again. Adding to our bits and pieces, Peter has done a fabulous job installing our new wind instruments and autopilot. Now we have wind speed..do we want to know how big the gusts are???? Wind direction is a bonus as we can't see the windex unless we stick our headws outside the bimini! We are cruisers now, remember!!! Thanks to Peter, as you could imagine, we have the best trimmed cruising sails....many people comment on this!
We also have our new headsail and profurl to enjoy! Being actually able to furl the headsail in a growing breeze is a bonus! Our old headsail almost fell apart when we took it down in July. We were surprised that it did not blow itself out. The good bits are now our fore and aft deck covers.
On line, Peter found Stecktronics - a company that sells a LED anchor light and tri colour. Its pretty neat as it only uses two wires, (which meant we could use the existing anchor light wires) and depending on how many times you flick the switch, you get your tri colour, anchor light on/off as normal, or on/off with sunlight! It also does disco style flash and SOS.
We have finally purchased and picked up our liferaft, going for the Viking, canister, hydrostatic release option for under $3000. We also had to get a new inner forestay as the lifter driver tried to drive the lifter through it! Peter was just undoing the forestay...luckily. The marina is (hopefully) going to reimberse us. We breathed a sigh of relief when we had our last successful border crossing with our bits and pieces.
Our plan is to depart Guaymas by Nov 7 and head over to the Baja and down to La Paz; main purpose to pick up a second solar panel. Then its back to the Mexican mainland and jump south...all the way to Huatulco, (just south of Acapulco), mostly day sailing. Then its waiting for an important weather window to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec, which is one of the roughest seas in the world when a gale blows. Mountains are great weather blockers, except for when there is a gap!! We have to watch for building high pressures in the Gulf of Mexico. The winds can reach up to 60 knots, but the largest threat to safety are the short period waves. The tactic is one foot on the beach..which is long, sandy and flat apart from two river mouths.
Heading further south there are the other gap winds called Papagayo winds, which can be a little breezy at 50 knots. With clear skies, there is often no notice of these winds, except perhaps the sand and white water heading towards you if you are near the beach..so there will be no lazy days of sailing around these areas.
So why do we want to do this passage?? Good question!! Heading back into the tropics, there are some nice sandy beaches and interesting places to check out. Theoretically we should have nice northerly winds to push us down and as the ITCZ is its furtherest south in February, it should sit just north of the equator so once through it, we should not have far to go to Ecuador in the 15-25 knot SE breezes behind the it. Easy peasy in theory!
We have a few choices of where to leave Stolen Kiss next year, including Nicaragua, Coast Rica, Panama and Ecuador. Some haul out options and some in the water options. Ecuador is the most favoured at present as it gives us access to travel in South America and although on the equator, the Andes act as a rain shadow here and there are no hurricanes. Although getting the paper work for the Galapagos is lengthy and convoluted, it can be done.
We will do our usual and suck it and see!
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