Genoa repaired, wind is up, crew set and ready, final stowage completed…so at 4 pm with theme song blasting we head out for our first-off shore leg of the trip! We had one reef in the main with the Northeast blowing up to 20 knots and forecasted to strengthen. By the time we were around Cape Flattery heading west southwest the wind started to pick up. Seas were about 4 feet with a 3-4 ft westerly cross swell. Speed 7 kts.
Okay now its about 18 hours later, 10 am the following morning. Winds were up to 35 kt with a 7 ft wind swell and a 4 ft west cross swell running through it. Basically the sea state is super crappy. I had prepared and frozen a few dinners for our crossing; this was totally unnecessary as all we could eat were a few soda crackers. Josh and Kayto were doing fairly well, I felt nauseous but managing, Captain Ted was a little worse off and made the additional mistake of going below to access the 500 millibar chart off his computer. Yep, the captain woofed his cookies and had a good dose of vertigo. We continued with this wind and sea state for about another 8 hours. Upside: lots of mileage!
By late day 2 we are running with spinnaker, seas are calmer, but it takes another day or so before we want to eat anything. Funny how we went over 48 hours with almost nothing to eat, and were not hungry. By this time we have settled into our 3 hour watches. On the morning of day 3 the wind has completely dropped to 3-5kts and we are just wallowing around trying to keep the spinnaker afloat. Puhleeease! Spare me die-hard sailors who are content to bob around going nowhere. Fire up the iron sail!
For about 2 hours on Day 3 somewhere north of Mendocino, 60 miles offshore, we have some excited guests show up! Dolphins, lots of dolphins! They love to catch the bow wake and take a ride. There were up to 15 dolphins at a time playing playing off both sides of the bow. Looking out you could see them spot (or hear) our boat from a 1/2 mile out and they’d come leaping and diving over, so excited to come and play. So the new batch would join the party. Such beautiful animals with amazingly positive energy.
The other exciting thing that happened on Day 3, right when we were trying to set the spinnaker, was that Josh caught a 30 lb tuna! Yahooo! Good thing Josh got toughened up on the farm this summer with whacking and plucking chickens. He rolled up his sleeves and leapt right into gutting, and filleting his prize. We’ve had 2 huge feasts so far and there is plenty more in the freezer!
Day 3 and 4 ended up being mostly motoring, motor sailing, and a tiny bit of spinnaker running as wind was almost nonexistent. We made landfall at about 1:30 am on the 15th in Drakes Bay which is about 20 nautical miles north of San Francisco. Its exciting making landfall…and finally we get a sleep in!
Mishaps along the way:
– one lost cowl vent – lesson learned: remove cowl vent if you are going to do a lot of gybing with the main
– malfunctioning cockpit mike caused a DSC to send (a distress signal); we are determining the source of the malfunction while in Sausalito