23 39 North 111 00 West. Next stop San Diego

We’re underway again. A fast 24 hours in Cabo was essential. Refuel, service the engine, rig and steering checks, clear in and out of Mexico, water up, reprovision, fix the leaks, find the bilges full of water as they were blocked by toilet paper and then clear them. Last but not least an evening off for all the crew – a meal out in Cabo and to relax.

Cabo is little America. Starbucks, MCD’s, all the food chains and brands. Welcome respite though in this small enclave where everyone speaks English making it very easy living. Another fun place to return to and use as a base to explore the Sea of Cortez, up to La Paz and beyond.

Yesterday morning after checking our weather, routing with Chris Tibbs, with fresh starbucks takeaways we slipped lines and motored out.

For the first few days we have company – Michael and Amanda on their yacht Perseverance. They too are heading for San Diego but will be stopping on the way, We chatted yesterday on VHF and have a plan to speak twice a day on SSB at 9am and 6pm. Its nice to have company out here and swap stories – they are planning to circumnavigate when they have kids in the years ahead.

Straight out and into 35 knots of wind around Cabo False. Blowy as hell. Reasonable sized seas. Motoring at 2-3 knots was all that was possible. Had some sharks swmming alongside us for company.

Around the corner and heading North we have wind bang on the nose. We are tacking our way North – 15 miles North. Tack. 15 miles west. Tack. Thats it. Huge seas already and Aretha a submarine as the white water regularly breaks over the saloon windows and floods into the cockpit. That bit is fine. The bit that jangles my nerves is the slamming off the waves when the whole of Aretha shudders. That and the whole rig vibrating when we pinch too much on the wind and rig shakes violently.

Unexpectedly. It’s freezing cold. The sea temperature has dropped around 12 degrees since leaving Panama 18 days ago. The air temperature is cold. Full foul weather gear essential. I have sea boots somewhere on Aretha. Only wish I knew where!! David just emerged from on deck with large gloves and hood on.

Sail changes and reefing is fun. The foredeck crew rising and falling a good 10 feet on each wave and getting a little damp. Big grins all round. Its like a fairground ride.

Columbus taking it all in his stride. Tucked up underneath the duvet in my room (first time that has been used since the UK) and fast asleep through all the wave bashing.

Nursing Aretha through the seas the order of the day. 700 miles until we reach US waters and make landfall in San Diego.

Team Aretha, Out.

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