Not So Sweet Vacation

For Labor Day we were part of a ‘fleet’ that escorted a boat to Half Moon Bay (about 20 miles south of SF) on the first leg of a five year South Pacific cruise. We all met up in Richardson Bay on Friday night and anchored out. Early Saturday morning we set sail for the Bridge. Being a major holiday weekend, nearly 100 boats (I’m not kidding) headed for the bridge at the exact same time (timing is everything when sailing out the Gate). We laughed and laughed at all the pseudo-sailors with their motors running full-tilt and not a scrap of sail up.

Man, we were looking good! Full sails trimmed beautifully in moderate winds. Feeling all superior to all those posers. Then we realized we weren’t actually making any forward progress, just going back and forth in front of the bridge. Long story short, it took us FIVE hours to go ONE mile! The reason is because we wasted so much time being all cool with the sailing, that we missed the last of the ebb tide (when the water whooshes out of the Bay) and were fighting a flood (when it all comes back in). Why were we being such dunderheads, you ask? Because we were ‘buddy boating’ with a friend on a tiny little boat with no motor.

Our friend Adam may be easy but he’s not fast.

Rob didn’t want to leave him in the dust by firing up our ‘iron genny’ (I plead the 5th about my opinion in that matter) so we just trundled along with him until I couldn’t take it any longer. “Make a decision! Either let’s haul ass or turn around!” Clearly, turning around would be the faster of the two options so that’s what we did.

We screamed back into the Bay and anchored in our favorite place: Clipper Cove. Excellent protection from wind and waves, and lots of room.

Our favorite Bay anchorage — Clipper Cove.

Sunday morning we left earlier, sans slow friend, and made it to Half Moon Bay by 3 p.m. Unfortunately, the bar (where ocean meets bay) was very lumpy and Freddy puked twice and was generally miserable. I got close a time or two but never hurled.

Yea me!

Poor Fred!

It appeared that every boat in San Francisco had gone to HMB for the weekend – nearly 130 boats were anchored, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the ones in the marina! We had a good time saying goodbye to Eric & Emmy and then left Tuesday morning in thick fog.

Not a square (inch) to spare.

Fog is never fun but we have a radar and chartplotter so that makes navigating in pea soup a little less challenging (but no less stressful). It finally lifted and the wind began blowing. Then it got a little stronger, but we had a reef in the mainsail (makes the sail smaller) so weren’t too worried. About 4 miles from the turn into the Bay, it really picked up so Rob put another reef in the main and brought down the jib (foresail). It was blowing about 30 mph and he was drenched and exhausted when he got back to the cockpit. Then BANG! The whole boat started shaking violently and we had no idea what had happened.

We have two masts on our boat — the main mast in the middle of the boat and the mizzen mast at the back. At the top of the mizzen mast is a wind generator that puts out electricity when the wind blows. The bang appears to have been a small bird, like a tern or shearwater, doing a kamikaze on our wind generator, taking out one and a half of the three blades and, presumably, itself in the process!

That HAD to hurt!

When we finally got tucked back into our slip, we found our new temporary neighbors were a couple from Hokkaido, Japan, who’d just sailed 48 days across the Pacific non-stop on their 36 foot sailboat. We’ve had a great time showing them around and helping them do such things as grocery shop and do laundry. Meet Motoe and Yumika — aren’t they adorable?!

Our new friends, Motoe and Yumika.

With all the excitement, I haven’t had much knitting time, though I did finally finish Aaron’s final slipper. If this doesn’t work, I give up! I’ll post a pic tomorrow.



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5 responses to “Not So Sweet Vacation

  1. Laura

    Wow! And to think all I did was bike, knit and nap! YOU are hardcore!

  2. Poor Freddy! I never knew that cat’s could get sea sick.

  3. SP11

    I’m sorry that your vaca was sucky 😦 better sailing next time!

  4. Hey! At least it made a good blog entry! Hope your next adventure out is more fun. I empathize with Freddy!

  5. bikerknits

    Sorry you had such a lousy holiday! Cats do get seasick- check out Travels With Myself and Another, Martha Gelhorn’s memoirs (ace WWII reporter and one of Hemingway’s exes) in which she boats around the Carribean with a very unhappy cat.

    I went to Port Townsend for the Wooden Boat Show and 2000 or so miles of happy motorcycling.

    Haven’t had time to do another knit and bitch aboard Huck Finn.

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