Portobello To Linton - 10 nm sailing and 10 nm motoring to go 12nm

From Portobello, we decided to go next to Isla Linton. The weather forecast was showing the distinct possibility of a tropical wave moving through, and we wanted to be in a very safe anchorage for the duration. There are many possible places to stop on this stretch of coast, but the most protected and easiest anchorage is Linton. The other main alternative, Isla Grande, is somewhat more exposed, and we had heard from several cruisers that it was quite rolly as well. So we decided on Isla Linton.

There was a good breeze blowing from the northeast as we pulled up the anchor and got underway at 9:00 am or so. Several other boats left Portobello 10-15 minutes before us, and we could see them setting their sails as we motored out of the anchorage. Soon, we too were outside and there was a good sailing wind, so we put up the sails and turned off the motor. The wind direction was not ideal for heading northeast ... it was blowing right on our nose, forcing us to either sail north outward, or turn in toward the land, which was untenable, so our first tack was to the north.

The other two boats were perhaps 1 or 2 miles ahead of us as we set RHAPSODY close hauled and beat into the wind and waves. The seas, although not particularly high, at 4-6 ft with occasional 8's, were somewhat rough due to being only 5-6 seconds apart. And with us beating into them, making almost 7 knots, they were hitting the boat every 3-4 seconds. Depending on where RHAPSODY was in her motion, the waves would usually break harmlessly on the bow, but a couple of times she dug her nose into them and large sheets of green water would wash over the entire deck. We could see the dinghy bounce and the obvious stress on the fuel tanks strapped to the stanchions as the water came through. Not having sailed in months, nor in heavy seas for even longer, although we closed all the hatches, we forgot to screw in the covers for the dorado vents, and so one ramification of the sail was that a bit of water got in and wetted one corner of the bed and left a small pool sloshing around in the master cabin.

But it was exhilarating to be sailing again and soon RHAPSODY was catching and passing the other two boats. We passed the slower of the two, a ketch, quite easily. We know we're not racing, but we're also aware that the other boat is doing everything they can to not be passed, and so we were very happy when, after about an hour of sailing, RHAPSODY overtook ATTITUDE, a nice 45 boat, not only passing her, but also gaining the weather gauge in the process, as we were able to point slightly more into the wind. As luck would have it, the crew of ATTITUDE took some photos of RHAPSODY under sail and gave them to us a week later in the Chichime anchorage.

Soon, however, it became time to tack into shore. We did not know the other boat's destination, and in the excitement of the outward sail, had perhaps gone a little farther than we needed on the north bound tack. We put RHAPSODY over and headed towards the shore.

We toughed it out and after about an hour and a half of getting beat up, were finally at the entrance to Linton where it smoothed out considerably. We were surprised by the number of boats at the anchorage. There were 15-20 boats at anchor and thus there wasn't a lot of room to move around the anchorage or pick good spots. We settled on a spot just southwest of the isla, between a catamaran and an untended monohull, where we dropped in about 35' of water and got a good grip on the sand bottom.

In retrospect, it would have been better to motor here directly from Portobello rather than sailing. We would have had a consistent manageable angle on the seas and would have gotten here in half the time. As it was, we still motored nearly 10 nm to get here, after sailing 10, to cover the approximately 12 nm from Portobello!