We headed for Chacala, a small village north of Puerto Vallarta. It was about a 300 mile passage and took 62 hours. There was no moon those nights so the seas were dark. Winds were 25 - 30 knots at their peak. We sailed all but 17 hours at a broad reach, reaching a top speed of 7.4 knots with 6 – 8’ following seas. In one sense it’s a thrill to hear waves breaking right behind you that you can’t see. In another sense it’s terrifying to hear them when you are down below trying to sleep before your next two-hour watch and are wondering if the skipper is still seated at the helm.
At 3 AM on the last morning winds died and we had to start the engine. Oil pressure was unusually high so Doug had to siphon off about a quart of oil in tossing seas. Chandler pitched in to help and in doing so got squirted with oil. P.J.’s, face, and even her hair were splattered with what looked like black ink. She learned some of life’s lessons that night…school never stops around here. She handled it like a champ! No tears, just patience and grace as Ann did her best to clean her up…enough so she could get back to bed. She slept the rest of the night with the oil-soaked portion of her hair wrapped in a plastic bag. What an amazing team player Chandler is!