I was up at 5 AM and after breakfast I further prepared the boat for sea by shutting the quarter berth ports. Later in the day I would remove the solar fan from the head ceiling and put in the plastic cap sealed with silicone.
At 7 AM, first light, I started the engine then weighed anchor and motored out. If things went to plan this would be my last anchor work until Cape Town.
Unfortunately there was very little wind and the sea was almost flat, making me wonder if I would be able to sail at all this day. I was determined to break out into the Pacific Ocean even if it meant motoring for 20 hours.
Soon after getting under way I looked into a discrepancy I had noticed between the speed (SOG) reported by the Garmin GPS at the binnacle and that reported by the Raymarine chart plotter. I started the Trimble GPS and it agreed with the chart plotter. I had a close look at the Garmin display and next to the large speed numbers was "m/hr" in small print, so the Garmin had been reporting speed in statute miles per hour, yielding a number 15% higher that expected.
This means that the speed data that I reported from the trials that Bob Carroll and I ran several weeks ago must be multiplied by 0.869. However, the ratios of speed to rpm are still valid. So Pachuca's phenomenal speed on that day and the ease with which she exceeded her theoretical hull speed never happened.
I found the Garmin CD and soon had the speed reported in knots. While I was at it I included time of day as one of the four displays, which are: Time of Day, Position, SOG, and Track.
Later on I did that sealing job on the head vent. Hopefully there will be no drips when the deck is awash. I also discovered that I have 10 more liters of diesel than I had calculated. The 5 gallon plastic jerry cans come in two profiles: short and wide, and tall and narrow. But the three red ones that I had purchased at Arjona looked a bit bigger. I check and sure enough they were marked as 6 gallon or 23.6 liters, meaning that I had an extra 3 gallons of diesel on the deck. That may not sound like much but it translates to 10 days and maybe 2 weeks of battery charging runs.
In the afternoon a slight breeze arose from the south. I worried that the seas would build up and hamper my drive to Cabo San Lucas. The GRIB file had been totally wrong in the wind prediction, but they are known to not be very reliable near land. By 2 PM the wind had strengthened enough to do some sailing. The wind was only about 5 or 6 kt from the south, but in a calm sea I figured that I would be able to beat into it, giving me an apparent wind of about 9 kt. I headed the boat dead into the wind and brought up the mainsail with unexpected ease. I decided to go on a starboard tack to clear Cabo so set a course of SE and rolled out the headsail then shut down the engine at 100.4 hours. We were sailing quietly into the gentle sea at 3.5 kt and I was feeling good about the situation. I celebrated with an ice cold grapefruit which was very refreshing. An hour later the wind had faded too much for sailing so I rolled in the headsail and started the motor. Fortunately the wind picked up 30 minutes later and had veered 20 or 30 degrees so I resumed sailing on a course of 165 degrees. This was taking me parallel to the Mexican mainland 190 miles away. My plans for crossing the shipping lanes to the west would have to wait for another day.
On the positive side, I was out of the Sea of Cortez sailing south in a calm Pacific Ocean that was providing a following sea.
The Baja peninsula was receding behind me and I was on my way.
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