We had a consistent 20 knot headwind from the start, the evil we chose. Dois had cleaned up the autopilot connections and found a setting that Hal, our recalcitrant autopilot seemed to like and was much more amenable behaved for the first two days of the voyage. But Hal still refuses to play in large swell or steep wind waves, of which we found both.
It wasn't a pleasant ride, Ashika rising steeply on 10 to 12 foot waves, her bow clearing the crest and then plunging abruptly down into the trough before taking on the next wall of water. Our new coffee maker flew through the cabin on one of these roller coaster moments leaving coffee grounds and the remnants of the morning's coffee dripping down the companion way ladder filling the nooks and crannies of the teak and holly floor boards.
The conditions were very wet; Ashika taking water over the decks, Captain and crew sweating buckets. I changed three times, Dois just removed clothing. And it seemed the conditions were deteriorating as we maneuvered through a freighter mooring field outside of Salinas, so we headed for Punta Chipehua about 10 miles south. There was no moon and we risked an instrument landing again. The map showed a long sandy shoreline ending in a hook and a 25 ft shelf, so we pointed Ashika in that direction. When the depth finder said 37 feet we could hear crashing waves to our right. When the depth finder said 35 feet, we could hear crashing waves to our left, huh? We stopped the boat to listen, there must be an uncharted reef out there, but nothing bad was happening so we dropped out anchor right there. Dois was up and down all night checking to make sure no waves were sweeping us toward shore.
We could see the breaking reef clearly in the bright sunshine of morning, but the reed sheltered us rather than endangered us. Luck fairies are alive and well. It was eight am and we had 50 miles to go before the wind picked up. Hualtulco seemed so very far away.