So, I finally got a few minutes to finish telling you all about our sailing class last weekend. We woke up Saturday morning to sun, glass-like seas and a lovely warm breeze. Gone were the clouds, the wind gusts, and the crazy waves. I let the guys fix breakfast and took myself to the bow of the boat to stretch.
Way past the dinghy there is a wide space that just fits me. When my family would sail in the Virgin Islands every year, this is where my sister and I would sleep – on top of the deck. A blanket was all we needed and it was quite comfy. Much better than being below where it was stuffy and hot. On this trip, the cabin wasn’t hot – it was perfectly chilly and that’s how I like to sleep – the colder the better. Still, the boat doesn’t have the nice mattress we have at home and let’s be honest, I’m not 18 anymore, so a hard deck is less than comfy. It was, however, the perfect place to stretch and work out the kinks.
Would you like to see some shots from the inside of the boat? Sure you would.
Here’s the dining area – yes it fit all 5 of us comfortably.
And the teeny-tiny kitchen – the guys fried up all those potatoes and onions for breakfast. We ate like kings on this trip, I tell ‘ya!
On the first sail, we got all the way around the front side – the windward side – of Santa Cruz. You can see the full map of our trip plotted out by Steve here.
The second day, the guys did a lot of navigational practice. We circled around, and practiced heave-to and the heave-to crew overboard drill multiple times.
It was a good day, plenty of fair winds and nothing too gnarly. We scooted into a second bay (can’t remember the name right now) early to rest and let the guys study – they had to take their test the next morning. steve and I hopped into the dinghy to get some land time here – isn’t it beautiful?
There were probably 12 or 15 boats in the cove before nightfall.
In the evening, a good strong wind came up (it dies down at midnight every night) but it was pretty strong. That’s Anacapa in the distance.
We set up the anchor watch schedule and headed for sleep and just as everyone was almost out, we heard BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! That’s 5 blasts on the air horn which is the danger signal. Everyone was scrambling to get on deck and see what the risk was. BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! Again. Turns out, one of the small power fishing boats had lost their anchor and because of the relatively high wind that sprung up right around dark, they were drifting fast toward us and another sailboat.
The two boats got their anchor lines tangled, there was a lot of rushing around and shouting. The sailboat got yanked around pretty badly, but no real damage done. Somehow in the dark they got their lines figured out and everything settled down again, but it was a little while before anyone in the bay felt safe.
We sailed the next day across the channel in between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa with the guys navigating sans electronics the whole way. They got lots of practice and we found Becher’s Bay on Santa Rosa for our anchorage that night.
In the morning, the guys settled in and studied after breakfast and then took their tests.
That night, we had to sail at night back to SB. This meant getting bundled up in layers, and putting on safety harnesses and setting jacklines. The sailing back was just as swell-ridden and gnarly as the sail to the islands. It was also very frickin’ cold! And wet. And cold. After battling sea sickness and trying to keep my eyes open for many hours past any normal bedtime, I couldn’t take it anymore. I crawled into the berth and pulled everything on top of me. I was shaking all over and probably near hypothermia, so it was the only call I could make. Steve crawled in around 2:30 a.m. exhausted and cold and said, “The second it’s dawn, we are getting off this boat!” So we slept in the harbor. In the morning, we packed up as quietly as we could and escaped.