As soon as we cleared Point Loma the last time for quite a few years, we set the auto pilot for due South and relaxed in the cool, breezy sunshine. I had been nervous and on edge all morning, and the lapping of the water on Sonrisa's hull soothed me. We were overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted from the unique blend of excitement and sadness we felt and our family and friends expressed as we left.
As the distance slowly grew between us, my littlest sister's thick eyelashes and my middle sister's funny "I'm going to bed" dance haunted me. I could feel the texture of my Dad's shirt on my cheek when I gave him a hug after his toast. I could feel my mom's little shoulders that I squeezed with my catch-you-later hug. I worried. Did I hug everyone? Did I make everyone feel as loved as they are? I risked getting caught up in the longing to keep the people that I love near, and I shed a few tears.
...I needed a nap.
We started our watch schedule almost immediately. From all the books I read, it is important that your very first leg be short. All of the excitement of a cast off means you need some recuperation time to finalize the order of the boat, get some good rest and tie up any loose ends you left at the dock. Thus, Ensenada is a perfect first stop with only 12-24 hours of sailing from San Diego, customs close by, and open marinas.
After my nap, I felt better. Neither of us had a very good appetite, but I made us a little snack anyway to keep us going. Andrew fussed around with the water maker, and toward evening the wind died. We floated along making only 1 knot (approx. 1 mile per hour) toward Ensenada. It was quiet and the sunset was beautiful; I spied a couple small whales in the distance.
We drifted through our night watches, so at midnight we turned on the engine. The waves were rocking the boat and causing the sails to whap-whap-WONK with each sway, so we figured it best to take down the sails and make headway using the engine. I listened to Amy Poheler's Yes, Please and she made me giggle. First light was a murkey, foggy gray. As we approached Ensenada, three separate pods of dolphins 20-30 each approached us from the South, slid beneath Sonrisa's bow and then disappeared. They didn't resurface again to the left, right or stern. I considered that to be good luck, because dolphins are always good luck and always magical. (Though, they are also always difficult to capture on camera.)
As we pulled into Ensenada, we made our first foreign port. We tied Sonrisa up at the dock and headed in to check into Mexico. We crossed a line, from talking about going to actually going, and it felt good.