SOMETIMES IT SUCKS …
This is the third in a series of six posts I am publishing every day since Sunday, with the daily highlights of our non-stop passage from Ensenada to San Jose Del Cabo. Click here to see the previous post.
(Sunday, April 12th) Ok, I have a confession to make. I suffer from seasickness. In the past, it has produced some very embarrassing moments and cut my yacht racing career short when I stretched my luck crewing for a race boat in Brazil many years ago. Over time, I got to understand what triggers my seasickness, and by proactively avoiding these triggers, I had successfully managed it on Pesto. Until this day.
Day 2 started with light winds, a larger swell, and cloudy skies. We motored for most of the day with the mainsail up, but Pesto was rocking considerably. There wasn’t much to do onboard and Paulo was chasing me to watch a movie with him. To stare at a screen at sea is one of my worst seasickness triggers, but since we had been sailing for over 24 hours then, I thought I would give it a try. Less than 30 minutes later I was green, and knew I had fallen into the deep, slippery and stinky trap of seasickness.
To add insult to injury, our Autopilot started misbehaving again – we thought we had it fixed in San Diego, but the problem came back in full swing. Out of nowhere, the autopilot disengages, and lets Pesto freewheel. When we are under engine, it’s not much of an issue. But when the sails are up, it can create quite an ordeal. The consequence is that either Adriana or I have to be constantly monitoring it, so that as soon it disengages we grab the steering wheel, put Pesto back on course, and reengage the pilot. This heightened level of attention, coupled with our 3-hrs-in / 3-hrs-out watch discipline over night, took its toll on us and we were both feeling physically tired.
The day was mostly uneventful, other than uncomfortable, with the occasional commercial ship passing by a few miles to port or starboard to break the monotony.
When night came, a light wind was blowing, and the swell got bigger still. We kept on motorsailing, with Pesto rocking a lot. At some point, we had the impression that kelp had once again wrapped around our propeller, and so we reduced speed to minimize vibration on the shaft, progressing at a slow speed for the rest of the night, which increased the rocking even more (the faster the boat goes, the more stable it gets, and the less it rocks to the swell).
But there were also positives on this day. First, all was working well onboard (except the Autopilot). Second, the kids were both OK and having a good time. Third, we had the visit of an Albatross – a majestic seabird, of which I had read a lot on the books of great sailors, and which I was finally seeing with my own eyes at sea – not a milestone to be underestimated. Fourth, by early evening we had completed the first third of the trip. Fifth, also in the evening my seasickness finally peaked to a “gran finale”, and after that I started feeling better.