Sailing To Cabo San Lucas. Part 2
A Questionable Anchorage At Isla Cedros.
Also see my article sailing To Cabo San Lucas Part 1.
While dinner was being fixed, I stayed out in the cockpit to make certain we weren’t dragging our anchors. The stronger gusts would roll down the cliffs and push the boat around. None of the charts told us what kind of bottom we were over, so we had no idea if we were in good holding ground or over slick rock.
As soon as dinner was ready I went below to grab a quick bite, and while everyone else crawled into their berths, I went back out to the cockpit to sit a while longer and make sure we were secure.
Occasionally nodding off, I was awakened by every gust that made the boat tack back and forth on her anchors. After a period of time, feeling the boat was secure, I was ready to go below and see if I could catch a few winks. We needed to be under sail before daylight.
As I sat up I heard a thumping on the side of the hull. In Ensenada we’d had to deal with a large timber with nails sticking out of it, and that was my first thought as I looked over the side. To my amazement, a bottlenosed porpoise was staring back at me.
His eyes were a-sparkle and there appeared to be a smile on his face. I’m not sure exactly what I said, but whatever it was the porpoise thought it was great, and did a quick couple of circles in the water. The agitation of the water got the phosphorescence (created by tiny animals that glow like fireflies when disturbed) going and a basketball-sized ball of luminescence grew bigger and bigger and finally disappeared. The porpoise came back and bumped his nose against the hull. I called for the others to come up, but only my son was awake enough to respond.
The more I talked to the porpoise, the more excited he became. Two or three times he went completely around the boat. As he zoomed off, he was followed by a stream of phosphorescence. It looked as if he was being chased by a shooting star. The more the porpoise stirred up the phosphorescence, the more it reacted. Even the small waves that lapped off the side of the boat were glowing.
After long days and little sleep, even with all the excitement, in about half an hour or so, I had to go below to get some rest. I heard the knock, knock on the hull a few times before falling into a deep sleep.
I was up before daylight and the first thing I did was go up into the cockpit and look over the side in hopes the porpoise had stayed the night, but he was gone.
I was sure it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and, if we hadn’t been under adverse conditions, I would have jumped in the water and been able to say I’d swam with a porpoise.
Later in Hawaii, my wish was answered and I was able to swim with porpoises while anchored off the Napali Coast of Kauai.