S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

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Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Optimistic that there will be more cruising on the horizon!

March 19, 2011

Anchored in Bahia Los Muertos (change of plans, of course)

Nearing Los Muertos - Friday am - a welcome sight!
Hola...running on battery power at anchor so this will be short and sweet.  We left El Cid marina at 1700 hours Wednesday afternoon (16th), with the help of many hands on the dock.  Thanks to all our cruising friends who saw us off and wished us fair winds.

We motored with the main up into chop for a time, then settled into fairly calm seas and wind on the nose as anticipated.  There was no opportunity to raise the jib to have any positive effect the whole trip.  Beautiful sunset, almost full moon lighting the way and a fairly cool and damp night watch.  St. Patrick's Day dawned bright and clear and the wind continued on the nose, but not too strong.  Seas were rippled, at times a long, low swell....nothing too hard to take.
Sunrise - St. Patrick's Day
We succeeded in checking  in on the Sonrisa ham net and heard about fog banks ahead from SV Juniata, who were about 5 hours ahead of us. We too encountered the fog for a time and watched the radar closely.  An eastbound freighter finally appeared off starboard and the fog lifted. The day passed quietly.  Dolphins at times, a huge whale crossing our bow from starboard to port, a few seabirds from time to time.  A lovely sunset over Isla Cerralvo in the distance.

Sunset over Isla Cerralvo - Thursday evening.
Radar was checked periodically and we had a small cruise ship of sorts about 12 nm ahead on our bow, then passing to port, possibly heading down the coast to Cabo San Lucas or over to Puerto Vallarta.  This was followed by a fishing boat lit up, but without any proper running lights, which headed in the same direction.

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!

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