Long-term cruising ingrains some habits that normal people may find a bit odd. Like a fixation on weather forecasts. Comparing and contrasting differing meteorological opinions. Analyzing and discussing - at length - which forecast might turn out to be the correct one. Discussing them all over again.
So it was for us on the Thursday morning of December 1, 2016.
Prairie-dogging our heads up into the cockpit, we saw the morning was pleasantly calm. However, the various weather forecasts had an outlier among them: strong winds due to blow from Friday night, 12/2, through Sunday, 12/4. The problem was, two of the forecasts we followed called for winds from the NW to NE, for which Caleta San Juanico and many other nearby anchorages offered decent shelter, suggesting that staying put would be a good choice. However, the reliable Saildocs forecast advised us that the winds would be 16-21 from the WSW, a decidedly more exposed direction that suggested moving on to better shelter. Plus, one of the other boats in the anchorage saw a forecast that called for strong overnight winds from the SE, a very suboptimal direction for Caleta San Juanico. What's a cruiser to do?
Four other sailboats skedaddled because of the SE forecast. Kia Ora and we also bailed, but because we were relying on Saildocs' WSW forecast. Our plan: head southbound a mere 20 miles to the southern side of Isla Coronados for shelter that night from northerly winds, then cleverly bug out of there on Friday into the more sheltered Puerto Escondido when all the forecasts said the winds would change direction.
Cruisers should make good craps players. Yeah.
The trip to the south side of Isla Coronados was unremarkable. Anchored in 23' depth near Kia Ora and one other sailboat. Winds stayed below 10 knots into the night. Because of course everything happens in the wee hours. It did.
At 0300 on December 2, the Saildocs forecast precisely came to be: winds from the WSW, parallel to our shore; so, like, zero shelter. The breeze bounced up and down in velocity and backed to the SW during lighter periods. I kept anchor watch and all was well:The Fox has an oversized anchor - a 30 kg Bruce - and as usual it held well with the all-chain rode we let out. By about 0430 the breeze dropped to below 11 knots and stayed SW. Thus far, the Saildocs forecast was the most correct of the 4 we had been following.
But wait! There's more! #foreshadowing