Friday, April 10, 2009
Crossing the Dreaded Gulf of Tehuantepec
We were getting ready to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The place where lots of wind blows because of the gap though the mountains that goes straight through Mexico. And we just started sailing out. After a good 30 miles we saw a small turtle that Tim, my Dad, jumped in the water and swam with. He said he scared the turtle away.
“It wasn’t that big of a turtle anyways,” he said after he got out. Then we kept sailing and kept looking for turtles.
In a half an hour we saw a bigger turtle. Ruth, Maya and I got in with the turtle. When we were really close to the turtle Mommy said, “Don’t get to close to the turtle, it might bite you.”
So we went back to the boat.
At the end of the day we put our spinnaker up. Then took it down in an hour and had dinner then went to sleep.
We woke up and went into the cockpit then ate oatmeal for breakfast. In a couple of hours we saw a school of sailfish. They were jumping 4 feet high! They were so cool but they went away.
One or two hours later we saw a manta ray! The ray’s wings were sticking up out of the water.
Then we sailed about ‘till ten at night then Maya and I went to sleep.
I woke up got out of the aft cabin. Then I realized I had a loose tooth!
When I went into the cockpit, I noticed we were now sailing. Ruth said we had started sailing at 4 in the morning. In a few hours we put the spinnaker up and went 9.2 knots for a second! We kept going pretty fast. Then at night we had to take the spinnaker down.
During Tim’s watch we heard spouting.
“It’s dolphins!” Tim said.
“But we won’t be able to see them,” I replied.
Maya told me to “Just wait and see.”
Maya went up to the bow, she had her life jacket on. And she came back saying, “there are dolphins all right.”
We all went to the bow and saw shimmering trails of dolphins. They were zooming everywhere. You could even see their outlines! But in about 10 minutes they went away.
In an hour or so, Maya and I had to go to bed.
I woke up, and went into the cockpit to eat breakfast. We had crepes since Mommy was feeling better. Maya told Tim, “I’ll make a deal with you. If Kai and I will go to bed at 7:00 pm, will you wake us up for the 11:00 pm shift?” My Dad agreed.
That day we caught a female Dorado.
When we were pulling her in we saw another female dorado swimming right beside her. She went away when we pulled the fish out of the water. That means we got to eat sushi for lunch. We ate yummy dorado sushi. At dinner, we had tempura, a Japanese breaded fish. Then we were getting ready to play Yahtzee, but it was 7:15 so Maya and I went to bed because that was part of the deal.
Tim woke us up at 11:00 o’clock and we stayed and helped with the watch. We saw dolphins again at night. It was better because it was darker and we were going faster. Then we went back to the cockpit and my Dad said he felt sick so Maya and I agreed to stay up and finish his watch. At the end of the watch, Maya was asleep and at that time it was Mommy’s turn. I stayed up with Mommy and went to sleep in the cockpit.
We’re almost there. When I woke up we had less than 20 miles to go, about ten, but the wind was really light. So we started motoring.
Then after a few hours, at about 12, we anchored outside the estuary. After an hour or two, this guide came.
We pulled our anchor and first Sunbow, the catamaran, went over the bar of breaking waves. Not much trouble as far as we could see. Then we went in. We were doing fine. Then a big wave came and Tim said “it’s going to break on us,” We started riding the wave, like a surfboard. But after that we did not have any trouble.
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