There’s definitely something different about waking up on the day you’re actually leaving compared to the previous days where you knew you’d return home no matter what. This time everything went in the boat, because the day before we had the luxury of leaving things behind we knew we wouldn’t need, like 7 extra gallons of water for instance.
Down to our slip in the harbor and we loaded everything up again. Have we overloaded such a small boat? Maybe, maybe not. A little rowing to get us out on the main drag and down the sail comes because who wants to row when you can chill and glide along the water on a warm sunny morning. I had my knees covered up due to the previous days scorching and Heath managed to get to a sporting good store the night before to complete his “I don’t want the sun to touch my skin” kit. Black on black on black.
Some people think our boat is tiny, some people think it’s not so bad, but there’s not doubt about that fact that it looked like a fly compared to some of the Naval vessels coming and going from the base inside the harbor. When big boats would go by the wake alone would throw our whole game off, we we’re looking forward to the isolation of going south.
After we rounded the corner and truly headed in the direction of Mexico for the first time, we felt like we had finally started. The wind picked up to a nice speed and our little buddy was flying. There’s something so odd about about the rush you get from moving a boat like that. In reality you’re moving pretty slow, but it’s so exaggerated with the wind in your face and the water moving past the rails that are just inches off the water. For those who know sailing, the part that really gets me is the small difference of tension it takes on the boom to go from having some wind in your sail to that sweet spot where the boat is listing to the side with the throttle pulled. It’s feels like running on a balance beam, you could go over any time. When Heath took over the tiller and the sail you could tell he was getting hooked. “I don’t know why that Sailing For Dummies book is so thick, this is easy.” A funny and soon to be ironic statement about the book we borrowed from John’s house the night before.
I don’t think I’ve ever realized how inconsistent wind was until this trip. Yes we would have an hour or so with wind, but sometimes it died down like someone hit a switch, and because you loved the momentum you got with little to no effort, it was hard to give up and get the oars out, but you did eventually and the turns on the burn machine started their rotation. Rowing this fat pig of a boat with all of our gear was slower than I thought it’d be. When you gazed over at the shore it didn’t seem to be moving very fast. Could we possibly walk as fast as this boat rows? The swell that still remained, and was supposed to have faded drastically by now, made for a very rocky and sluggish afternoon.
A mile or so before we hit the beginning of Rosarito beach we started to think about whether we’d even be able to go to shore. Every time we looked toward the beach it seemed to be getting rocked by these big closeouts and the thought of navigating them didn’t really appeal to us. Heath says “We wanted to have at least one night where we sailed all night. Why don’t we just make that tonight since we have so many lights on land to guide us?” I can’t say that I jumped at the idea, but after we passed what looked like our last refuge (a power plant had a guarded inlet, but it was getting worked by waves), we just kind of shrugged it off and accepted our fate.
Right around the time we passed the Rosarito Beach pier a lifeguard on a jetski came out to see if we needed help. “No necesitamos ayuda. Todo esta bien.” (we don’t need help, we’re good) He heard me, but he had this puzzled look on his face, “Where the hell are you going in that thing?” He took down our names and then rode away, because really, what else was there to do? We were two gringos refusing help and rowing past in a boat that looked brand new, but we had the air of refugees going in the wrong direction.
Wow, first day in Mexico and I’m already going to sleep on this damn boat in the ocean.