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Re: First Time Crewing
Since this thread drifted way off course I'll get'er back on track.
For the record; Tour complete! It went well. My first offshore voyage, several overnight passages, night watches, night sails, too strong wind, not enough wind, confused seas, flat calm seas and eight too twelve foot seas, dreaming crazy dreams, whales, sea turtles, dolphins, flying fish and squid. It was a pretty complete package.
I showed up in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico on a Wednesday afternoon for my first face to face meeting with the Captain/ Boat owner. I had seen a picture of him on-line while doing my research into who the hell I was leaving my family for for 3 weeks to sail 1200 miles with in which I had never done. He was pretty much exactly how I pictured him via the picture...It would be nearly a week before the boat projects were complete, the other crew member arrived, the boat put back in the water and the seas and winds conspired to conform to our plan. During this time on the hard I helped with installing a new roller fuller for the jib and other little projects. Hanging around a boat yard for a week you meet some interesting characters, hear some intriguing stories and get to ask lots and lots of questions regarding boat designs and features. I felt as if I had learned a ton before we ever set sail. Just to be sure you know, this wasn't my first time sailing, I've got a WWP 19 and had a Catalina Capri 14 that I started with just 2 years ago after the brilliant idea of re-kindling this relationship with free wind occurred.
I had grown up on the Chesapeake Bay wind surfing as a kid and sailing a Catamaran and a little sun flower in North Carolinas' Currituck Sound at our families cottage. As a life long surfer I had the dream of which many have of traveling the world on my boat and surfing perfect waves and absorbing local customs and cultures in order to expand my understanding and appreciation for my brief visit on this planet. Well after damn near 26 years of rock climbing and messing with ropes I yearned to get back to the sea and things that could provide new adventure and meaning in my life, now, my families life too! Sailing would be it, we will take this adventure on as a party of 3, they agreed (hahahaha) and hence the Capri 14 began this journey where I find myself at 2 am some 50 miles from land on a 1973 Cascade 38....
This was however my first time at sea staring the unknown straight in its face. Finally leaving Ensenada with the co-operation of Mother Nature the Tuesday after I had first arrived the decreasing seas were still 8-12' winds light in the morning forecasted to increase to around 10-15 kts. or so, 'or so' would be the common denominator. We motored out of Ensenada passing between Todos Santos island(s) and La Bufadora. This would be the one and only time I got sick. I think it was due to an empty stomach filled with coffee, pop tart, an apple a dose of diesel fumes combined with 8-12' seas and a dash more of diesel exhaust. I heaved too, took some dramamine and was ready for some saltines a little while later. A 2 night passage ensued where on the third morning we would be beating into Bahia Tortuga thus the first leg was in the books. We spent that night and the following at anchorage. On night 1 the Capt. stayed in a hotel on land and the other crew and myself had the boat and the beers to ourselves! That gave us time to discuss certain demeanors and such as my judgements of character are pretty damn spot on. Fortunately for me the original 'other' crew member bailed last minute and his replacement was a younger guy by 30 years (not from me but from the original crew who bailed) who I hit it off with and we would be each others sounding board when there would be communication issues from the top. Like what is organic and what is not! Wrapping my head around what types of organics I would put in my compost pile at home versus what type of organics a person may discard in the ocean are two completely different definitions. It didn't require a masters dissertation to convey these differences. The communication improved. Two more nights to Magdalena Bay. Two more nights at anchorage, a provisioning run into Puerto San Carlos, mainly for water and more fishing lures. Only ever caught a bunch of Bonito, threw those guys back, as we were chasing giants. Never happened. One more overnight passage to Cabo San Lucas. A night in the marina where showers and laundry were done. I'd have to say the 'Baja Naval' marina up in Ensenada had way better showers and nobody once tried to sell us a bunch of cocaine or offer us trips to the moon. Get me the f*$% out of here!! Second night at anchor off the beach, east of all the time share/ condo mayhem. The northers were forecast to be nil rounding the east cape and making our way to La Paz. We had a brief morning sail past San Jose Del Cabo followed by a long day of motoring. We opted for a short 6 hour bivy in Ensenada de los Muertos, Cove of the Dead. I dreamed that night as if I had ate too much acid back in the 80's, geez! What with the name of that place? As the nights we spent at anchor in 'Man of War Cove' up in Mag Bay were capped full of crazy dreams as well. Coincidence? Awoke at 3am and motored all the way to La Paz, giant margarita ordered!
Great experience and good times, shopping for the next boat and planning our escape!
Last edited by Lanealoha; 02-13-2019 at 11:14 AM.