February 28, 2015
Just a quick note – we just arrived in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, after a 4.5 day straight shot from Isla San Andres. It was pretty cool – no sight of land from the time we left San Andres until we were three miles of Puerto Morelos. It felt like an open ocean trip, and Serafina did wonderfully well.
We had occasionally 20 to 25 knots of wind, and 8 to 10 foot seas, but it was all within the boat’s design capabilities. There was something a little outside of the design, in that a sharp windshift off the coast of Honduras caught us by surprise. We did one of those “involuntary jibes,” and one of the mainsail sheets caught on the autopilot and flung it overboard. Poor “Otto”! One instant he was a longtime crewmember, the next he was in a watery grave. At least he had a burial at sea. He had been sickly lately…
No problem, I thought. We had ever so wisely ordered a backup autopilot, so, within a few hours it was assembled and installed, and off we went, good as new. Hmmf. Not many hours later the brand new autopilot began to wail and grind, only to expire ingloriously less than a half day after it went into service.
So we drove the last two days by hand. Tiring, but good exercise, to look on the bright side. Two observations – there’s a lot of wind in the Caribbean, and there’s so much beauty in and above the sea.