You just have to see this photo of the sunset captured by John on the land camera. Yes, I know, it is of the Aquatic Park. One more way we would like to remember it when we sleep in a non rolling boat……
Or so we thought. We left the Aquatic Park’s rolling anchorage to return to our docile Richardson Bay and a decent night rest on Sunday, August 3rd. John ran an errand in to Sausalito for parts and spent some time with Sarah and Will while Deb caught up on posts. They would be taking off for another anchorage as part of their journey and we would hope to catch up with them again. We downloaded weather and anticipated a possible Thursday departure but would wait and see what the morning would bring. Little did we know….
Thank goodness the Boudin Sourdough is gone. The Chocolate Volcano is an addiction Deb doesn’t need! It was a nice little memoir of our recent stop. The Sausalito Art Festival had come to a close and soon loud pops outside indicated that they also have a fireworks display. By 10pm, John was ready for bed. His snoring confirmed that he was out for the night. Deb continued on with the computer. This has always been our norm. His quiet time is in the morning and hers is after he snores. Around 11pm, the boat began to sway a little more at anchor, a stiffer breeze came through the hatch. It was about 11:30pm when it hit. The winds which were silent during the day had decided to make their presence known! The anemometer showed 20+ knot winds. White caps started to kick up around the boat. John jumped out of bed, dressed, and was topside in a flash. Soon the 20’s didn’t seem to be so bad as the 30+ knot winds became sustained. The howling always seems more atrocious when you are below as the winds are cut by the mast and the rigging. We could feel the pull on the boat and the anchor tackle as gusts of 41-45kn were visualized on the instruments when we would pass by the navigation station. Outside, John secured the dingy even further during the lighter 30kn winds. We could hear people on other boats as they were checking their ground tackle. One boat behind us broke free and drifted off with the wind, we were unsure if anyone was on that boat or where it might have eventually stopped. We were unable nor would it be safe at that time to attempt to reset the anchor. Another boat near us broke free of its holding and the occupants were struggling to re- anchor when it appeared they may have caught another boat’s anchor line. They circled between two boats over and over before returning to their original ground. We could hear them trying to communicate to each other, yelling as the wind was voracious. We watched a boat ahead of us closely as it seemed to be closer and we were unsure if it too, wasn’t starting to drag. Our boat continued to heave to and fro, dancing right and left, hopping a little in the wind. This went until 2:30am, then the winds calmed back down into the teens and we could attempt to return to sleep.
4 September 2017
The winds kept blowing throughout the day, the our boat continued to sway. The boat that drifted off into the night had caught anchor some distance away but the anchor was now able to hold. It was safe for now. The neighbors who battled their lost anchorage during the night had left early this morning, perhaps they were done with the winds. (I have to say- if this is the norm then I would agree with them!) John worked on batteries and determined one of our batteries may be an issue of our not holding a charge. Do we really need a third solar panel? While John looked, and calculated, and monitored – Deb vacuumed the boat which also allowed us to see how the batteries were faring. The neighbors boat that had drifted now was stable as its anchor had dug in. It was safe. The wind and the waves however kept us from wanting to make the dingy trek into Sausalito. This is okay as there are plenty of things for Deb to avoid doing here on the boat.
It’s now dark thirty. Okay, 8:30pm or so. John has his earbuds in and binge watching a series on his iPad. Deb is amusing herself by catching up with Facebook posts and texting after having made a filling dinner of Jambalaya chicken over rice. Dishes are done and we are just enjoying the now quiet motion of the boat. Deb heard a small motor come close but as many boats motor in and out of here, did not give it much thought. KNOCK KNOCK. “Hello?” Deb jumped up thinking it might have been Will and Sarah having returned sooner than expected. “What’s up?” as she raced up the companionway. In a dingy, stood a young man and his dog. “Hey, I am, or was, your neighbor here (pointing behind our boat) last night. You didn’t happen to see where my boat went, if somebody came by and took it?”. Oh geez. Dude! We found out his name is Reid and his sailboat is a Landfall 39 that he brought down from the Columbia River. His boat was the boat that broke anchorage and slipped off slowly into the abyss of the night, traveling with the wind and waves before resetting its anchor in the shallower water of Richardson Bay. He had left for the weekend to take care of a family member and when he returned, his house (sailboat) was…gone! He searched for it with his dingy and with it no where to be seen, knocked on our door in hope of information. We pointed out where we last saw it less than an hour ago and where we anticipated it to be. He thanked us and he and his dog went searching into the darkness. KNOCK KNOCK. Within thirty minutes he returned, with no luck in the direction he thought we were pointing. John knew where it was, his distance vision still strong. He saw it this afternoon, he saw it less than an hour ago. We commented on it. He was sure he saw the anchor light which had been left on. The guy (Reid) and Deb chatted a bit about his story. This is his home, his second boat to own, while he is attending college at SF studying natural sciences. “No worries, man. Let’s go find it.” said John as he threw on a jacket and grabbed the car (dingy) Keys. Two small motors whirred off into the darkness. They could be heard for several minutes as they grew quieter and quieter and then nothing. Fifteen minutes went by. Twenty minutes. A boat motor sound and it’s coming closer. Nope, it passed by our boat. Soon, you could hear our car (dingy) as the engine sound became increasingly louder and then stopped, with a light bouncing around our deck from John’s infamous headlamp. “Did you find it? Did you find the nice young guy and his nice dog’s boat?” inquired Deb. Now of course, John wants to know why Deb thinks the dog is nice. Maybe because it is warm and has fur? No, it’s because he didn’t bark or growl when he came up to our boat. People can learn a lot about how to act from nice dogs…. Sorry, that was a digression. John replied “Yes, we found it . It was close to where I saw it. However some guy had just grabbed it within the past hour. Now he is giving the young guy/owner grief about getting the boat back. I don’t know why people have to be like that. There was nothing that could be done last night. The boat was fine where it was today. It had reset its anchor” “Is he bringing it back out here? Is the boat okay?” Deb continued. “I don’t know, I let the young guy take over with the crusty old guy.” John replied once more before taking off his jacket, putting in his ear buds and returning to his series. As Deb flittered about in the world wide web, she could hear an anchor being set. She popped out the companionway once more. “He’s back with his boat!”. A barely audible reply of “uh huh”. However, when Deb opened the little bag of chocolates…”Hey, what do you have there? Can I have one?” Right. Selective hearing. Let’s hope the wind is also quiet tonight. It’s midnight and it sounds like it might have other plans again.
5 September 2017
Our friends on SV TQT have secured a marina and slip. YAY! you know what that means, right? Laundry and SHOWERS. This one is not a quarter-op shower either. Well, won’t likely see Deb for an hour. Again, John was able to shower and grab some beers as a gift offering for use of the shower key! SV TQT had a new guest! Two actually. A very nice dog and it’s owner, none other than Reed from the other night! That’s right, SV TQT and Reid (and his little black dog- Ellie) had the same type of boat. We had discussed it briefly that night he came back and found it missing. When he said what type of boat he had, something clicked in Deb’s head (that happens once in awhile) and she told him about our new friends coming in within the next day or so. Now he had found them. He was enjoying going through their boat and systems as boats may share the same name but often are customized by the original customer or different plans by the designer. Sometimes the plans are altered by builder. That’s what’s really cool about older sailboats; while they might look similar on the outside, they can be very different on the inside. He recounted how the remaining evening went in his attempt to get his boat back from the towing guy. Short story is that a homeowner with waterfront property did not want a boat in his “front yard” and called to have it towed. Since the anchor was set and had been for over 36 hours in a public bay, a case could be made against the tow person for stealing his boat. The fee was extravagant. The outcome to that story remains to be seen. And yes, his dog Ellie, whom he found in La Paz, is a very nice dog.
Ahhh. Endless hot water. Nice facilities and we were happy. As another wonderful opportunity- Deb’s only girl cousin from her father’s side, Molly, lives in San Jose! While a mere forty miles, it is a two hour drive in traffic! She and her husband, Nick, made the drive to come see us and have dinner with us. It was a nice night in town as opposed to our rolling anchorage out in the bay. We enjoyed each other’s company and as darkness set in and we would each have our travels back in the dark.
It’s dark again and time to get back to the boat, our tummies are full and we are content even if we are a little damp from the ride. Ahhh…. bedtime. The winds have picked up again, not to the extent they were the other night but just enough. The boat swung, and jumped, and this is when you wonder if the wind gods hate you. After all, this is why we left the Aquatic Park earlier than anticipated.
We have watched the wind reports and almost thought to wait until Saturday, however it looks like Thursday is still going to work. We have been in Sausalito/San Francisco almost a week now and are ready to move on down the line. Thank you San Fran for letting us be there for your record breaking heat day and yet all the fog we have experienced. Thank you for the rolling anchorages. Yes, we are ready. Tomorrow we are on to the dock to fill up the water tanks (yes, we have the ability to make our own water but this is not done in the murky anchorage waters) and then to the fuel dock to top off the tanks. John has done the calculations and we typical use about 0.9gal of diesel when we motor. We will also spend one night there and hopefully, it won’t be rolling. We are going to go to the seminar held by Latitude 38 for Baja ja ja folks and possibly stay for the meet and greet with hors de ouvres after.
6 September 2017
We pulled up anchor so we could stop at the dock to fill up with water and then head over to the fuel dock. We tied up in front of our friends on SV Three Quarter Time. The Empress, a very large power yacht was at the dock and this would likely take awhile. Not to mention, the winds were pretty steady pushing off the fuel dock. The fuel dock is wedged in a small triangular area and yes, the yacht has many bow thrusters etc., but it is still impressive to watch a good captain maneuver the boat in a tiny area. As he came off after filling up with fuel, even he had the wind push him afoul, and he ended up doing a pirouette right there in front of the dock in order to get to his dock just a short distance away. Since we could wait for fuel we would. We would take our chances that the wind would be a little less in the morning and as we decided a night at the marina if they had room, would be just fine by us. We met SV Lorien who is also on their way south. We noticed their sailboat in Newport, OR on the same dock as us. Now we have met another cruising couple! Everyone’s story starts off uniquely, yet there is always that common thread of getting off the ‘fast track’. It is also interesting to talk “shop” or boats, as each boat is unique and so are its systems. There is always ample opportunity to learn something new! Deb attended the free informational gathering with SV TQT and SV Lorien while John worked on the amperage and planned to join us later. The informational setting was enjoyable and informative even if difficult to hear many of the questions. Soon more people began to gather outside for the paid portion of the program- the meet and greet. We learned this was primarily a networking event for captains to find crew and for those interested in sailing, to find a boat to crew on. We left to the nearest grocery store ( still in sticker shock!) and used our entrance fee towards our own dinner that night. Money well spent. Our last night in Sausalito and hopefully a non-rolling night! Tomorrow we are southbound!!!