|Nearing Los Muertos - Friday am - a welcome sight!|
|Sunrise - St. Patrick's Day|
|Sunset over Isla Cerralvo - Thursday evening.|
INTREPID II was on track for Isla San Francisco and all was well until the seas started to build extremely quickly around 12 midnight. The wind rose equally fast and we were suddenly hobby- horsing into large 'bufaloes' - short, steep waves. We were seeing 4 feet at 3 - 4 seconds. Of course it happened just after the Captain had finished his watch and headed below for some well earned rest. All hands on deck!
Our position was still east of the tip of Isla Cerralvo and over 50 nm from our destination of Isla San Francisco. It would be a long bashing trip if these winds increased and kept up all night. After falling off and doing some quick calculations, the Captain asked for input. He suggested plan B which was running down to Los Muertos, about 5 hours away and would put us in the lee of Isla Cerralvo within an hour or so. Go for it!
Conditions eased somewhat once we changed course. Seas were still 3 - 4 ft. and off our starboard quarter. We caught our breaths and debated whether we should turn back to determine if this had been a brief blow. However we chose not to second-guess ourselves and continued towards Los Muertos. By now neither of us had had any of our 'naps'. We were running on adrenalin. I did go below to catch a few minutes sleep around 4:30 am, only to have the Captain call out: "get on the radio to contact a fishing vessel who was on a collision course". No answer of course. Kelly had taken evasive action after following all the right-of-way procedures and using practical judgment. We ended up dodging and going around the vessel with considerable "editorial commentary" between ourselves. Finally INTREPID II made her weary way into Los Muertos at 07:00 hours.
A welcome anchorage!