Well, the ride from
Francisco was a real adventure! The weather predictions at the time of our
looked pretty good to us amateur forecasters.
Winds would be light as we rounded Coos Bay Cape Mendocino
(“the major navigational challenge of the south of Pacific
and even though they would pick up a little during the day and turn to
southerlies, which isn’t great, they would have a westerly component and we should be able to sail into them.
Our first mistake was in underestimating the discomfort of bashing into winds and waves from the south (we were headed directly south, so it was basically them against us!) Our second mistake was in disregarding the fact that the storm we sat out in
would still have lingering
effects in the form of big and confused seas.
Mistake number three was that we should have known that the weatherman is
never right and realized that the 4—8 kt SW winds forecast would really be
12—18 kts SE and would be directly on our nose making for an extremely
uncomfortable ride. Hoping to stabilize
the boat by raising the sails, we tried a few tacks but made little way, so
down came the sails and we just settled in for some very lumpy motoring for
most of the day. Finally, we should have
realized that believing Coos
Bay Cape Mendocino was going to be
kind to us was just asking for trouble of one kind of another! As Tanner puts it……we were sucker punched!
Once around the
Cape, we experienced
just about everything mother nature has to offer. Light to no winds, requiring more motoring,
medium winds from the west for some good sailing, and even a perfect downwind
run with the spinnaker. But, again……this
sort of adventure teaches you to take nothing for granted and just
to make sure we’d really learnt this lesson, our autopilot packed it in about
12 hours shy of San Francisco,
meaning that we had to hand steer through our night watches. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds
as we had some pretty big swell going on which makes it very hard to steer and
monitor the chartplotter/AIS/and RADAR at the same time. Thank goodness for our extra crew. We doubled up our shifts so two people were always
at the helm, one steering and the other dealing with the equipment.
Coming into the traffic lanes on our approach to SF in the pitch black of night was a little nerve wracking, but we managed to avoid Noonday Rocks, Point Reyes, and the freighter “Bum” (yes, that really was its name!) and by dawn the Golden Gate Bridge was almost in sight. What a thrill to motor under it and into
. We were lucky to have no fog and beautiful
sunshine to enjoy the experience. Tony
almost started to cry at his first sight of a palm tree! San
Our fabulous crew, Tanner and Tom, have both left for home and we are feeling a little shell shocked! Not to mention that our land legs are completely gone and we tend to list a little as we walk the streets of Sausalito. It will take a couple days to get re-energized, re-orientated and re-organized and then we plan to head up the
Napa and to visit wine country. Life sucks! Sacramento
PS Rizzo, being the fine sailing mutt that she is, did manage to poop on the boat. Sorry, no pictures.
Nobody out here but us
Helm station during night watch
No wind and calm seas are still good for something
The Gold Gate Bridge......finally