Ravenswing pulled out of Cabo San Jose at 11:30am, rearing to jam down the track towards Puerto Vallarta. Mainsail with single reef and working jib, with reacher out on the sprit, rolled up and strapped down on deck like sausage.
North breeze was stiff out of the harbor. And kept building as we cleared a headland. Weather software had us expecting 15-20 kits and 1 meter waves. We progressed through dropping the jib and then 2nd reef on main. At that point we saw apparent wind gusting to 40 (we were doing 10 kts+) and short steep seas. Splashes doused the cockpit. All rather snotty. Carlos and Rick suggested either bare poles, or turning back. So we executed a 180degree tack and smartly got back to a slip in Puerto Los Cabos. Tonight we’re studying more weather info and make a decision on trying again, perhaps looking like Saturday. Actual reports had the true wind gusting over 30kts while we were out there. During dinner we agreed we’ve handled those winds back at home daysailing and racing, but the prospect of bashing like that for 24+ hours is a whole new ball game, especially when you don’t have to. Instead we’re choosing a weekend run that will likely include motoring across windless stretches. And that’s the right call here. Yet another day of big learning on Ravenswing.
Big thanks to the crew for keeping level heads and being prudent.
And I’m so proud tonight of the boat. Zero boat drama today and she handled the conditions very well. The right amount of weather helm when needed and the rig performed as intended, especially the new reefing lines sheave box.
Stay tuned. Now we know what a MX Pacific coast Norther looks like. Not particularly fun.
IMHO, a very smart call :)
Good call, as when cruising (unlike racing) fun=comfort (both physical and mental), and speed and schedules just don’t matter.
I found that things usually settled down after going 20-40 miles offshore, as capes (especially) tend to distort the wind and wave patterns.
For my Seawind cat in short choppy seas and stronger winds (>Force 6) it proved more comfortable (less uncomfortable?) to just plod along under jib alone or maybe also with 3rd or 4th reef in the main, letting the autopilot do its thing while the crew stayed nice and dry in the main saloon. Peace of mind knowing that not even a very serious gust will do anything.
Wishing you fair winds and smooth seas for the crossing!