Friday, September 19, 2014

Elephants under the carpet

We did our final provision, placed our car in storage on San Juan Island and said our goodbyes and farewells to our friends in Friday harbor and departed our slip at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Having had a look at the weather forecast before we left we decided that we would not stop in Neah Bay but just head down the coast. The winds were light as we motored down the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. The westerly swells started to build as we neared the ocean and built further still as we headed about 60 miles offshore to catch the NW winds which would push us south strait to San Francisco. The fog set in after dark and another swell joined the existing one to give us a bit of a rolly ride. We had reefed both head and mainsail but were making good speed in the 20-25 knot winds.

We were working to 3 hour watches which gave us 6 hrs of sleep between watches. Sailing in fog and with radar can be challenging to the senses in rolly conditions until you get used to it. The morning came with a beautiful dawn and there was no sign of land. As you looked to the horizon you could see the odd rogue wave standing out amongst the rest which TC likened to “an elephant running under a carpet” Occasionally these waves came up behind us and lifted us up from the stern so that we would surge forward achieving 12 knots at times.

The winds died so we had to start the engine and motor along. The swell died along with the winds so I set the fishing line, lost a couple of lures, whether it was my poor knot tying or a large fish we will never know. On the third attempt, with TC’s knot tying, we caught a nice big eye Tuna, heaved it on the deck and filleted it. Jude bagged it and put it in the freezer for later in the trip.

We settled into a routine enjoying seeing the sun rising over the water and setting on the other horizon over the water, just us bobbing about in between.  

As we approached San Francisco we raised the sails having to head a little to the west but it was nice to have the engine off and hear the rush of water off the bow. Dawn came, the wind died and we motored down the channel into San Francisco bay with gray skies above us.

Having stayed 3 nights at the South Beach Marina we decided that we needed a change of scenery so we headed over to the Sausalito Cruising club, which had been recommended to us by Richard and Gerri on Panthera We had heard that Sausalito was a good place to visit but the fact that the wonderful cruising club was FREE to stay for 4 nights then only $10 a night thereafter. I think I mentioned all that before.

Sue heading back to her boat

The Cruising club gang

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