|Jeorgia and Saben in Eureka, CA|
|Leaving the Humboldt Bay bar, behind a local fishing trawler|
I had to drive, so this left Chris to manage the sails. She clipped her harness into the jack lines that run the length of boat. Staying real low, she crawled to the mast, positioned herself and started clawing down the main sail. It probably took 15 mins or more to get that sail down. It felt like an hour. While Chris was at the mast, I was trying to drive the boat as straight as possible to make sure we didn't broach. In these conditions that would have knocked the boat down and probably added to Chris' bruise collection. Once the main was down, Chris crawled back to the cockpit and we reefed the head sail down to postage stamp size. Things calmed down pretty quickly. The boat was doing 5 to 6.5 kts. Steering was easy and I put Otto (our autopilot) back to work. Then started the work of cleaning up the deck mess. Chris went forward to the mast again while I kept an eye on Otto and the waves. She donated a couple of sail ties to Neptune and managed to get one around the mainsail. Otto was behaving, so I took a long line and went up to the mast to corral the main sail. I once saw a picture taken from an aircraft of a boat in the famous 1998 Sydney-Hobart race where so many boats and people were lost.This boat was in horrendous conditions and had the mainsail perfectly folded on the boom with a long lashing of single line with hitches in it. Something tells me they didn't do this with just one person. I got the line around the main, but most of the hitches ended up bunching up on each other. Oh well, good enough.
We spent the rest of he night in these conditions. Tiring, but feeling pretty secure. We talked on the VHF to our friends on Saben who had rounded the Cape closer to the shore. They been hit with the conditions hours before we did outside, but now were in moderate conditions inside. It is interesting how you perceive wind speed and conditions. When the wind is increasing and you hit 28kts of wind, it sure feels like a lot and you know you need to be careful. When the wind has been in the 40's and it decreases to 28kts it feels like a nice time for an easy sail. Sitting on watch
|My Nexus instruments keep track of the maximum wind speed and boat speed. The left hand one shows the max boat speed in the bottom number, the right hand one is max wind speed in the bottom number.|
When the sun came up we cleaned up the mess on the deck, set the double reefed main and started getting some boat speed on. Shook out the 2nd reef pretty quickly and had a great sail toward Bodega Bay. Chris made eggs, bacon and toast and we both felt a lot better. Chris made eggs, bacon and toast and we both felt a lot better. I've been down this coast from Seattle to San Fran 4 times now. I'm now for 4 for 4 in getting hammered at one of the Capes in each trip.
|Entering Bodega Bay|
We spent the night in beautiful Bodega Bay and are off to Drakes Bay, Point Reyes later today.