SAILING IN WARM SUNSHINE!

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Mirador sailed  about 3 NM south of Pt. Conception at 7:30 PM on Monday, September 13 in light NW winds and easy seas Now that we were in Southern California waters the crew was becoming anxious to have the trip end.  With that in mind, we set our sights on Oceanside where we planned to arrive just after daybreak on Wednesday morning.   The wind continued to decrease and we furled the 120% genoa and started the Yanmar about 8 PM. 

Just for your viewing pleasure; the picture to the left shows you the captain and first mate of Mirador at sunset near Point Conception.

As was our usual watch keeping pattern, John and I went to bed about 8 PM and Jim stood watch until about midnight when John relieved him.  I came on deck about 3 AM to discover ENOUGH WIND TO SAIL!!   The problem with that is: Jim sleeps in the aft cabin, right under the cockpit, so any winch handling, engine changes, or walking about makes a lot of noise.   I couldn't resist the chance to sail so unfurled the genoa and set the boat on a close reach at seven knots. 

The wind kept increasing and the boat speed stabilized in the low 7 knot range - but the seas became steeper and more confused.   Mirador was 11 miles south of Santa Barbara and 10 miles north of Santa Cruz Island - the area known as "windy alley" because the NW winds get squeezed between the Santa Barbara mountains and the high hills on Santa Cruz Island.  The NW wave train also gets deflected eastward and the seas can become pretty confused.  And, indeed they did get confused!  The mainly WNW waves were about six to eight feet but about once every minute a large wave would hit Mirador from abeam and really roll her. 

I tried changing course, both heading up wind and down wind but the rolling continued.  I am sure this was all very annoying for Jim but he didn't come on deck to yell at me to stabilize the boat.  After an hour or so we were far enough east that the waves smoothed out and we continued on a nice reach until shortly after sunrise when the wind died. We continued to motor south in bright sunshine and slowly increasing winds as the Los Angles basin landmass warmed up and began  and pull in the daily sea breeze.

By early afternoon we again had the drifter up and poled out for a nice downwind sail directly to the Oceanside sea buoy.   The wind continued to increase as did the air temperature.   As sunset approached we kept expecting the wind to die off but that was not the case as the following YouTube Video Good Sailing at Sunset Southbound shows. 

Shortly after I shot that video the wind did die rather quickly and completely so we again started the Yanmar at about 8 PM.   Our plan had been to slow down and enter the Oceanside Harbor, which does have a small bar and can have a bit of wave action, at sunrise.  But I had talked to the dock master earlier in the afternoon and he had told me that I could pick any slip that was open and a night time entry would probably be easy.  Jim had also fished  from a small boat in the harbor entrance and felt he could get Mirador in there safely.   So we made a quick pace toward the Oceanside Harbor entrance where we arrived at midnight.

Despite some confusion caused by the myriad lights on shore behind the entrance buoy we did find the entrance range and did manage to make the two sharp turns required to clear the jetties and enter the north boat basin.  We backed into the slip, shut off that noisy diesel and declared Mirador to be home in Southern California!

 

SUMMARY

Half Moon Bay California    Oceanside California

  September 12 September 15  2010
Nautical Miles   388
Elapsed Hours   65
Engine Hours   58
Sailing Hours   7 - reaching & downwind with sail poled out
Sailing with engine on   10 - all downwind in 8 to 14 knots true
Maximum Wind   NNW 24 at Pt Conception
Sails used    Code 0 or Genoa mostly on pole downwind
Biggest Seas   8' from WNW - occasional breaking wave
Sunshine Hours   16
Rain   0 hours
Fog / Mist   10
Max & Minimum Temperature   72 - 58