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 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
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