It was January, and the Mazatlán marina where we had berthed to celebrate the holidays with our family was falling astern. After a month, my partner, Greg, and I were eager to return to cruising and be back on our way in this shiny, still-in-the-package new year. We threaded Dogfish, a 1977 Kelly Peterson 44, through the narrow, surging, shallow channel towards the open Pacific, closely following our incoming track. I watched our depth sounder tick down: 3 feet, 1 foot, -.1 foot. Now facing the Pacific swell, the surge pushed us close to the rocks. Greg throttled up as a wave gave us a few more feet under our keel, and we heaved past the worst of it.