"California Here I Come!" - popular 1920's song
17 November 2016 | Crescent City, California
S/V Ubiquity and crew finally broke their bonds to Oregon, after an extended stay in Newport and a shorter stay in Coos Bay, for the allure of California, Mexico, and warmer waters.
Breaking out of Oregon came at a price. Shortly after crossing the Coos Bay bar a violent squall with winds in the 30's hit us. I got the second reef in the mainsail while the boat was pitching and the rails were in the water. After the squall, making progress southward against the winds was slow.
Then in a strong movement of the boat I lurched, crashing my head into the cockpit coaming. I felt the blood on my face and saw it dripping over everything in the cockpit. My head was throbing. I called Leslie in the quarterberth for help. She climbed into the cockpit with first aid supplies. We wanted to use steristrips to close the wound. She said she could not do it with the boat's movement. I hove the boat to, to quiet the movement. Leslie managed to apply the steristrips to stop the bleeding. Then she got sick. Blood and puke lined the cockpit. I cleaned it up somewhat and got Leslie back into the quarterberth. I left the boat hove to all night while I rested, slept, and recovered, only checking occasionally the boat's position and drift. By heaving to on a starboard tack, combined with the SW wind, we made some southerly progress during the night, albeit closing with the coast, which I monitored each time I woke up.
Near sunrise my head had stopped throbbing, but the rain and the boat's lurching in the opposing winds and wind waves disinclined me to get going. I got up regardless to try to get the boat moving southward. Then my friend Dave Mancini phoned and encouraged me, saying that if we rounded Cape Blanco conditions would be much better. Energized, I got the boat motor-sailing and making slow progress into the unfriendly seas. I encouraged my crew to remain in her bunk until we rounded Cape Blanco.
After rounding Cape Blanco in the early afternoon conditions quickly became much better, as my friend Dave had predicted. Our speed over ground went from 2-3 to 6+. My crew arose, took charge of the boat, and I texted a photo of my head wound to my sister and several friends. My friend Lisa, who also crews on S/V Ubiquity, suggested it looked like I had been in a fight. I had.
After making the comparatively easy nighttime entrance into Crescent City (Crescent City has no bar to cross), laying down in my bunk at 4 a.m. felt good.