| As Ithaka left the Boca Chica cut, past the sea buoy, and into the open ocean toward the Rosario islands, dolphins played in our bow wave.* * *|
As we approached our anchorage and tried to furl in the genoa, it was clear we'd wrapped the drum too loosely, and it fouled. There was no way that puppy would roll in, so at the last minute we turned back to the safety of the open sea, headed into the wind, and in 25 knots, fought the sail down its track, and lashed it on deck to await redress. Every trip needs a screw-up to mark its official beginning: We got off light. We stayed in our first anchorage only that night. We'd dropped in 20 feet, onto a hard bottom, but after my diving it, and working it a bit, we'd hooked into a crevasse, and let out plenty of scope. Not ideal, but inertia's a powerful force, and at the moment it felt good enough. When winds became wicked that night, we stretched back disconcertingly over an abyss 65 feet deep, and regretted our decision. From 7 p.m. on, winds gusted to 38 knots, and we alternated two-hour anchor watches. First thing the next morning, we were out of there to another anchorage a few miles down the Rosario chain, and after shimmying between an opening in the reef, we planted ourselves instead in 20 feet of good sand, fully protected from wind and chop by a circle of coast and reef line. Here we could relax.