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A Requiem: Frangepan, my beloved Sailboat

September 3, 2017

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Sailing Entrada de Diario (No. 3/7) PV, Mexico

 

 

We woke up to calmer waters in Punta Raza. The southerly wind seemed much lighter and more consistent than the day before.  It can only mean one thing for our journey north to Chacala: FLYING.

Getting the boat ready, Paul declared that it was time.  Calm seas and steady light winds makes hoisting someone ideal.  And the person to be hoisted is me. Of course.

 

 

I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the rigging up close.  Paul took out the red “Seat” which was rather too big for me.   It was attached to the spinnaker halyards with a chunky safety knot.  Endre started to winch me, and inch by inch I was going up.  The seat kept on slipping off and that made me uncomfortable.  The mast was swinging and did not make it easier to overcome the first 2 meters of height.

 

 

I hugged the mast like a teddy bear, and started to direct the pace of the pulling.  I made it to the first spreader, when Paul started to wave “Bye bye”.

Great.

I made it close to the head of the jib furler which was a nice helpful piece.  I looked back down and saw the 2 men completely busy looking out of the boat and into the water.  

Great.

It seemed that something fell out of the mast and into the water.

Great.

I checked on all the stops and bolts (there were not so many) and everything looked alright and complete from my side of the world.

 

 

I went further up until the knot stopped my ascent.  I was getting really comfortable, and the swinging, although has gotten bigger, did not bother me so much.

I felt like King Kong.  ***Chest thumping

 

 And so I took more photos of the hardware for Paul to inspect and talk about.

I have never seen bird poop so up close.   On my way down, I was reminded that a wet rag was tied to my seat on the left.  Great. 

 

We then motored out farther into deeper waters.  Everyone got excited as Paul brought out the big stuffed bag like Santa Claus.  We are going to fly the “Kite”.  Yippee!

Such a light, strong, and beautiful fabric!

 

Once the spinnaker filled, I felt a slight tug and the boat speed got another 2 knots of kick.  The Kite was so billowy and so beautiful to watch, and she is truly the boss.  She commanded us. We had to “sail to a sail”, experimenting how She (the kite) flies, fills, and deflates with a few degrees of steering.  We only sail to keep her happy and flying.  Such a glorious moment to sail.

 

But when it was time to pack her up, she has become a completely different animal.  We assigned and positioned ourselves to each of her “Parts”.  Paul was a bit tense.  Once we changed course, all hell broke loose.   She was a beast: wild, beating, in tantrums, deflating, inflating… ugh.

 

The key is to move quickly and grab as much of the fabric back into the dock.   Timing is important because a wet spinnaker is a disaster.

 

We got through and packed her back into her “cage”. Dry.  Whew.

 

We arrived in Chacala just as the drum beating started on shore, like true welcome greetings from the friendly “natives”. Haha. Chacala, where mangoes are reputedly abundant, is a stretch of touristy soft sandy beach.  The waves rolled nicely and the sand that they carry can be seen suspended through the sea glass column that the low sun makes translucent.

 

 

We quickly inflated the dinghy to explore the town.   What a sturdy piece of rubber, the dinghy.

To my dismay, the mangoes were not in season.

 

 

I had to ask 3 times in disbelief, and in Spanish.  “Porque no?!!!” in Mexican telenovela drama-style.  I have been for months craving for mango con chamoy (a sauce from dried cherry/plum spiced with salt, paprika etc). My heart was broken.

 

 

The sunset was among the most beautiful I have ever seen.  From the boat we had front row seats to the show as the sun disappeared in the horizon.  We could also see the picturesque village and the hills turn purple and pink from the dusk light.  It was too beautiful, I had to swim and frolic around.

 

 

The sea seems to be rolling still, and so Paul decided to put another anchor at the stern.

At night, the moon cast a soft light on the waters.  I imagined marine life coming alive to party from under.  Que bonito.

 

Cont'd...

 

 

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