Saturday, May 27, 2017

Just Reward

...after a lot of hard work was an overnighter to Pillar Point Harbor (Half Moon Bay) with ideal wind conditions both ways. I watched the weather and waited for two days with a north westerly on the first day to blow us down the coast, followed by a southerly the following day, to blow us back.

I hadn't been getting much sailing done because of a lot of backlogged maintenance. I have been holed up:

- stripping and painting the tillers and (re-glassing the) rudders
- installing a solar panel
- sanding the topsides for new paint
- making new nets (again)
- doing sail repairs, etc.

More on all of that later, but after getting the rudders and tillers back on it was time for a decent sail.

The Bay was blustery and cold and we seemed to be the only boat heading out on Saturday morning. As often happens, once clear of Pt Bonita, it was nicer outside of The Bay than inside, and a NW settled in at 10-15 knots giving us a nice reach all of the way to Pillar Point Harbor (the blue line).

Little Cat is looking a little rough on the topsides as she is sanded in prep for paint.

Just reaching under white sails, our times and speeds were good. We hit an indicated 12 knots, and averaged 9.1 knots over our best nautical mile run. Saw a whale a hundred yards ahead just before making the turn towards the harbor entrance bouy.

Sunset. Note the ripped front tramp waiting the new replacement.

Settled in for the night at Pillar Point Harbor. I took the time to set up the awning over the gaff+extension. It takes 15 minutes but is worth it as everything stays dry on deck for a comfortable breakfast and early start in the morning.

Sunday saw us heading out at dawn with almost no wind. We motored out for a few miles with the wind from the south at 5 knots or less, and I expected to motor all of the way back. But it was not to be as I noticed that the coolant stream was dribbling out of the outboard and I turned it off to prevent overheating. What followed was a true salty experience as I had to sail all of the remaining 35 nautical miles without the motor (a la Pardy purists). I hoisted the spinnaker and ended up having one of the best ever sails on a run/reach in 5 knots from the SW. The wind built to 10 knots, and we gybed back and forth all of the way home (red line on map). Even though winds were light, Little Cat had a best nautical mile averaging 7 knots, and a best hour averaging over 6 knots.

My "pure sailing experience" also included just missing the tide to enter our bay, and I had to sit off on the mud until the tide came in at 10 o'clock. I had gone to sleep and had to get up in the dark, with cold rain and a 20 knot wind to make the last 1/4 mile to the mooring.

It turned out that the motor was fine, and there was a bit of salt obstructing the "pee" hole.

This trip: 78 nautical miles.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Rog

    well done! Excellent.

    Long time I haven't been hearing from you all.

    Was listening to J&M Chains when you popped into my mind :).

    So I came on your Blog.

    Glad you're still wind-hunting in the Bay.

    Me 26er, Walla Walla, is on land now, waiting for me to be loved and nurtured and fixed...but being busy with new house in Trieste I fear I'll have to charter in order to be on water these days.

    Hope Marta and your ladies are all well.

    See you soon , mate