So, what have the Altairians been up to this month? You might not ever have asked that question to yourself, but in my conceit I will show and tell you all about it. First of all, the weather has finally begun to be more like the "normal" winter conditions, with a thermal wind every day and great sailing conditions. The water is getting cooler now, so I am ususally cold when I am in the water, unless I am swimming hard (and surfing hard) the whole time. Sitting around gets chilly. A wetsuit is too warm though. We've made some friends with other boats, and one such invited us to go for a walk from Sayulita (a touristy town to the north) to another town further up the coast. We had a nice time walking on the beach,
After a bit further walking we came upon the river that flows down through San Pancho, and explored the life around it. There was a Green Kingfisher perched in the trees, watching for fishes...
Shamaness and I took off on a 4 hour sailing race around some islands and back to the anchorage where we started. I like that they are willing to do impromptu racing like this. Shamaness is a much heavier boat, but also longer, than Altair, and consequently, in light air I would have the advantage, but in lots of wind she can go faster. There was plenty of wind on this day, so I was nervous. Also, there was a good amount of waves, and a heavier boat can take the waves better than poor little Altair.
Initially, I had a spinnaker up and we were running nearly the same speed, with Shamaness ahead by 100 yards. The wind shifted and I had to change sails (which took me a few minutes by my self) so I fell further behind. Then at the corner around the island I put the spinnaker up again and gained to near even, and then in changing sails for the upwind run lost about 400 yards. For the long upwind leg I chose to go a bit lower to the wind and it paid off, and I won the race by 30 seconds. It was marvelous.
And last night I had a campfire on the beach, to watch the sun go down and roast a little bit of sausage. There is a lot to do down here that is nice and peaceful, including surfing.