Saturday, April 11, 2015

Katabatic Motorsailing - Gilligan's Island to Ponce

We are starting to get the hang of the early morning jumps along the Puerto Rico South Coast. Following "Gentleman's Guide to Passages South" we wake up before sunrise, raising anchor and motorsailing with ENE or NE winds coming off the land. We watch the sunrise and then turn slightly northeast towards our destination after the sun gets higher and the wind starts to pick up and veer towards E or ESE. We usually get in and anchor around 9 or 10am at our next stop, right before the trade winds fill in.  With our 14 hp engine cranking along with the mainsail (and sometimes jib) we average about 4 to 5 knots towards our destination in calm ESE swells. Much more preferable than making 1 knot beating against 20 kts of wind with 4-5 ft chop during the rest of the day. We also get a chance to see the sunrise every morning!

Pre-sunrise on the way to Ponce

These are the mountains that provide  the katabatic winds, keeping the trades from beating us up all night.

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