Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cabo to La Cruz, Mexico

The lovely anchorage at La Cruz, Mexico

This map shows the giant 270 mile chunk of ocean we crossed when we sailed 
southeast from Cabo San Lucas to La Cruz, which is close to Puerto Vallarta

The 2 night passage was brisk, the sea enflamed -- thanks to 20 knot winds and big swells coming down from the Sea of Cortez.

The hills of Cabo San Lucas fade into the distance

On night two I was on my watch at 2AM. We had big wind and big seas, but the main was double reefed with the smaller jib/staysail. Suddenly we got sideswiped with two big waves in a row and heeled way, way over. Ocean water began flooding over the low side where I was sitting -- it poured over my legs, filling the cockpit with gallons and gallons of sea water in about 10 seconds.


A good shot of a typical sailboat "knockdown" 
where the keel and rudder pop to the surface

The good thing about sailboats is they have heavy keels that pull the boat immediately back upright after a knockdown, which is what happened in our case.

I was so stunned that I sort of sat there in shock for a couple of moments as the sea water sloshed around in the cockpit.  Weirdly, my first thought as the ocean washed over me was this:

The water is so warm...

I then snapped into action, called Chris up from his sleep, and prepared to start bailing.

Fortunately the bilge pump and scuppers did ther work and the water drained from the cockpit.

The knockdown was a fluke, pure and simple. The conditions were not that bad and the skipper had Espiritu well prepared for heavy seas. But sitting in the cockpit by myself at 2AM, miles offshore with ocean water pouring in over the side (and over ME!) is not a position I hope to ever be in again.

P.S. I was tethered to the boat in my lifejacket, in case you're wondering. :-) 

The anchorage of La Cruz was certainly a happy sight for my tired, sore eyes

I was so excited to drop the hook and settle in here. 

The next morning we heard on the news that there was a new hurricane brewing.


Fortunately, the rare January hurricane
 (named "Alex) was in the Atlantic, not the Pacific (it's since burned out)

In other news:

-- I've been using baby wipes to clean inside Espiritu, and weirdly, now her surfaces are as soft as a baby's butt.  

-- Of course I've been reading tons since heading south. Along with the typical female fare (we love you, Jennifer Weiner) I'm determined to challenge myself, use my brain and learn. Hence, I'm now reading Stephen Hawking's 2010 book "The Grand Design." 

While I admit there are entire sections of the book on quarks, photons etc. that I'm skimming (OK, it's more like skipping them altogether), but I AM learning some things. 

I've been trying to understand the theory of relativity for decades, and every once in awhile the planets align, the stars line up and I GET IT.

But my epiphany is always short lived. Before long I start overthinking it again, and the idea, like a mirage, dissolves into the ether. So, I'm still working on it.

One school of thought I'm learning about from Professor Hawking's book is the concept of different realities. 

I've always thought there is only ONE reality, with many perceptions. But according to Professor Hawking, the truth is that there are many different realities, with different natural laws -- infinite ones, in fact -- throughout the universe. 

For example, we're all familiar with Newton's Law's of Motion. We all see them and use them in our daily activities walking around planet Earth. They ARE reality, and we can make mathematical calculations to prove them.

Now, imagine a goldfish in a curved bowl. He lives his entire life inside that bowl. It is all he knows. All that he sees are the humans moving around him outside the bowl. The movements of the humans appear distorted because the curved bowl makes them that way.

If the goldfish were very intelligent -- and of course he is -- after all, he went to SCHOOL!!!!!! 

-- Please stop me. I hate puns. Forgive me. It will never happen again. --

Anyway, as I was saying, if the goldfish were smart enough he could write up mathematical laws of motion based upon his observation of the strange movements of the humans he sees outside of the glass.

Not only would these calculations be HIS reality, they would be real.

They would be REALITY. 

The goldfish and humans are not just perceiving different realities.

They are two, separate distinct realities.

Right next to each other. Each equally real. 

Another thing Professor Hawking touches on in the book is the nature of humanity, and the question of free will in the light of bending time and/or belief in a God that has predestined humanity and life on Earth.

While I've always believed in "free will," I can also say after reading Dr. Hawking that our behaviors as human beings can pretty much be pre-determined. This is because the laws of nature determine that for the most part, human beings (and other living things) are drawn to food, drinking water, sexual intercourse and all such physical pleasures. Likewise, we withdraw from pain. 

We are also drawn to beauty, mystery and spirituality, and will pursue those things.

These are the laws of nature, and with rare exceptions, we will behave according to these laws.

Therefore it could be argued in a general sense that we do NOT have free will.

(Interesting, huh? Thanks, Professor Hawking!)

Anyway, we're diving into life here in La Cruz. 

There's a new dinghy dock over by the marina office (the old free one is no more).  
$40 pesos daily. Ah, well. 

The new La Cruz dinghy dock

This gigantic huanacaxtle tree in the center of town is 120 years old

That's it for now. Hasta luego!


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  2. Happy to hear you guys made it safe and sound!! Sounds like an exciting trip to say the least. Warm regards!

    1. Thanks, Marty! We're here with Richard and Lisa so naturally we're all missing you! I know our paths will cross at some point. Stay safe and keep in touch! XOXO Liz and Chris

  3. I like your choice in reading! But quarks are not hard to understand. 2 up quarks and 1 down make a proton, 1 up and 2 down make a neutron. Hundreds of particles now can be explained by only 6 quarks. Very nice : )

    1. Ha! Thanks, Art. I won't give up in understanding these complex to you both! XO Liz and Chris