What an absolutely fabulous day it was, especially for a Monday. We loaded up the Hooligan with beer, ice and a fantastic crew of people at 10am and then departed from the Paradise Village Marina shortly after. The water was calm and the Hooligan breezed out of the marina entrance without even so much as a bump or a wave.
Cruising out into the bay it was apparent that we wouldn’t be sailing as we were making our own wind and the water was almost at a dead calm, so the Capitán put the healthy Yanmar motor into full speed ahead and we motored towards Las Animas at a comfortable 6 and a half knots. There was a slight morning haze lingering across the bay but it was still a magical morning, and it wasn’t long before we saw our first turtle and then the glistening wing tips of a manta ray.
The cruise across the bay to Las Animas took 2 easy hours. We snagged a mooring buoy and then hopped aboard one of the pangas to take us in to shore where we grabbed a table at El Coral restaurant and then ordered lunch just in time for the football match of the day to start on the big screen. After a couple of cervezas, the most amazing Zarandeado grilled fish was placed on the table and we all dug in.
Once our bellies had been filled, the young guns accepted a challenge from the seasoned sailors for a battle of bocci ball on the beach. There was no question as to who would come out on top, however it was all in great fun and we ended the 10-1 beating with cheers and a couple more beers before rounding up the furry pirate Mason and hailing a panga to take us back to the Hooligan.
What a spectacular sight she was as we approached her from the beach, bobbing on the water and glistening in the brilliant light of the mid afternoon. We boarded her swiftly and fired up her engine, it was time to point due north and head her back to the marina. We opened the main sail, but alas, it was to no avail as the wind was still less than a gentle breeze.
About 30 minutes after leaving Las Animas, we encountered a pod of dolphins who playfully swam alongside and ahead of the boat while good ol’ Mason had a bit of a hay day leaning over the railing and barking at the curious dolphins who were probably laughing right back at him.
“Ahoy mates! Let’s unfurl that big jib and see if we can’t sail for a little bit!” jeered the Capitán, as he prepared the lines and directed his helping hands about the boat. The jib opened slowly, and then paused, the wind was all but lost. “Arrrrg, she just won’t go!” he muttered as he gave the sheet another tug, and then… calamity! The halyard for the foresail snapped! The sail dropped down at almost terminal velocity, and she spilled overboard into the sea.
“All remain calm! It appears that we have a minor emergency at sea! Ian, to the bow my man, we must gently pull the sail from the water and get her back up on deck!”
Just like that, the panic was over and it was as if nothing had even happened. With the main sail raised, we continued motoring back to our destination at Paradise Village Marina.
Not far from the marina entrance, Capitán lowered the main sail and prepared the fenders just before cruising back into the marina and smoothly docking the Hooligan in her slip.
After the guests had disembarked the Hooligan and departed the dock, the Capitán wasted no time in climbing to the top of his mast and hoisting the jib sail once more.
What a fabulous day at sea and Las Animas beach it was, and the best part of it was all of the wonderful people that joined together to make it such a great day.
This is what sailing is all about my dear friends, and it was such a pleasure to share it with you all. I hope that you all enjoyed it as much as I did, so please, come back again soon!