Catalina over our Stern
15 August 2012 | Onward March to San Miguel Island
We just put the West end of Catalina Island to our stern and now the next targets are Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and then onto San Miguel Island before we jump out around Point Conception and onto Port San Luis. We still have about 175 miles left to Port San Luis, but if we can get a little cooperation from the weather, we should be in on Friday or Saturday with a rest stop at San Miguel. Do we want favorable wind...no, not really...because after over 1000 miles of motoring into the wind, we have given up on wanting to sail. We are just happily burning 1 gallon per hour of diesel fuel while making 4-5kts and are at peace with it. At this point in the game, all we care about is the sea state! Give us flat calm seas for easy motoring and we will be happy, because the norm for this trip has been that any wind we have is dead on the nose.
Almost incredibly with all the engine running and pounding into waves, we haven't really broken much on this 35 year old boat! We did knock loose a few bow pulpit wood planks during a night that the bow pulpit was violently being plunged over and over again beneath the waves. The weld broke on (I don't know the official seamanship name) the stainless steel pedestal that holds the self sheeting jib boom in place, but since we have a stainless welder at the shop, that's an easy fix. The stern running light went out, so we have rigged a temporary stern running light with our Bibi Owl anchor light that I have been carrying around in my desk drawer for about a year now, which proves that my procrastination of not installing it atop of mast was the smart thing to do (that's for your Chuck). And we blew apart two 35 year old snap shackles beating into some wind. All in all that's a darn short "broke" list for such a hard trip.
The boat, as they typically do, is holding up better than the crew. It's a long, long, long trip bashing into the sea and wind and at this point we are all exhausted. The kids have graduated from being kids to full fledged members of the crew during this trip. Both Amy and Jason have not just been standing day watches, but have been doing full night watches complete with "active and aggressive" hand steering during rough conditions when the Auto pilot wasn't able to hold course. Without their extra hands aboard, we could still be in Turtle Bay resting and recovering. I don't know how the crews of SV Hurrah and especially Sea Raven made it to Ensenada along side us quite honestly. They have 30yrs on us in age AND Sea Raven had no working autopilot, so they had to hand steer the entire trip! Whew...
According to our GPS chart plotter, the East end of Santa Cruz Island is now 8 hours and 30 minutes away at our current speed of 4.7kts, which will put us into the anchorage at 12:30AM tomorrow morning. Based on the conditions, we may just keep plugging along towards San Miguel or anchor for the day to rest. Thursday is forecast to be 20-25kts of wind, so that could be a good day to stay put and rest up.