September 7, 2015-Sailing to Yelapa.
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Pulling in the Jib
There are times in our sailing lives when we yearn for excitement; like perhaps sailing a Volvo ocean racer through the southern ocean or rounding the Horn. Mostly these are in our younger days when we’re filled with energy and exuberance and we think we are immortal, although for some of us that yearning lingers on far longer than it should. I admit that from time to time I like the thrills and I’m not above pushing things a bit. But just as often I am happy with the easy life and simply having a lazy day on the water suits me fine. Judy and I were ready for just such a day last weekend and since the hydraulics were fixed we were free to go sailing. Except for the propeller.
A welder has set up shop here in La Cruz; a pretty crude shop with lots of hammering and grinding going on and not so much machining or measuring, where they probably never saw a propeller before let alone a Martec folder, but I let him recondition our old spare prop a few months ago because some other boaters had given him a good recommendation, although that in itself isn’t always a good reference. Anyhow, he’s close by so I went there but when he delivered the finished prop I didn’t like the look of his work nor the trouble he was having as I watched him try to fit it together and I don’t trust the thing. Consequently I thought that until we can get a new propeller we shouldn’t stray too far from home.
Then Mike said he and Katrina were taking a borrowed Santana sailboat to Yelapa to celebrate Katrina’s birthday and he asked, “Are you guys going to come?”
Now Yelapa is this scenic little town in a tiny harbor across the bay which you can’t get to by car. Yes, it’s a tourist town, but as tourist towns go, it’s pretty nice. Beautiful in fact. Small, mostly quiet, and pretty much unspoiled. But it’s 15 miles away. What if the wind died and we had to motor?
I made some excuse about the propeller but Mike wasn’t buying it.
“Hey, you’ve got a sailboat right? Anyhow, the boat we’re taking doesn’t even have a motor. So let’s go.”
That’s how we got signed up for the Yelapa trip and it was nice that we did because it turned out to be one of easiest, laziest, most pleasant sailing weekends we’ve had in a long time. No thrill or excitement here and that was fine with us.
Given our propeller problem we were hoping for wind which we got, not much, but enough. At 2:00PM a gentle 8 knots from the west filled in which made the leg to Yelapa, on a heading of 195, a close reach and we set off in pursuit of Mike and Katrina who started on the Santana half an hour ahead of us.
We set the genoa and trimmed onto the reach and sat around on deck letting the autopilot run the boat. Catching Mike wasn’t too hard and I finally took over the helm to steer down next to them and we chatted a bit. As we sailed by his first comment was, “Yep, she’s a duck.” I guess he was referring to how slow his boat was but they were clearly having a good day too. We took photos of each other.
Yelapa was terrific. After a little negotiation with the panga driver who came out to meet us, we got a mooring fore and aft which would keep us from swinging sideways to the swell during the night, I paid him, and we were set. A little swim and then dinner in town with M & K at a Mexican restaurant where they served cool strong Pina Coladas in tall glasses as big around as cantaloupes. We had a few.
Sunday we dove on the boat, just to check out that propeller for cracks, and then, at 2:00 PM (of course, that’s when the wind comes up around here) headed back to La Cruz. Once again, one long single reach, this one a little broader than the trip over, and in another 2.5 hours we were there. We used the autopilot the whole way. The best part was while we were sailing along and I was enjoying myself sitting on the high side with my feet over and Judy was napping below. The sun was shining and the wind was gentle and the warm Pacific waters were splashing up on my bare legs. The feel of it made me laugh.
You know, sailing doesn’t get much easier, or better, and I didn’t miss not having any excitement or thrills. We might even do that again.
Click here for a few more photos.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle