Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Straits of San Juan De Pucca


You think that I would learn to lay low on the booze when we are getting to do some serious sailing. Apparently not.

The previous evening had been blowing might hard in the Straits with a small craft advisory posted. We had to leave at 0730 on the last of the ebb so that we could catch the flood at Cattle Point. So we head out under moderately calm waters with a raging hangover. I think I may still be a little drunk. We motored a bit as Kathy made breakfast, but as soon as we rounded Point Wilson into the Straits the wind and waves really picked up. The waves were colliding with the last of the ebb and stacking up to 5-10' short steep mountain ... of course we were heading strait into to it. I decided to raise the main to stabilize things out just as our bow plowed into a particularly steep and nasty wave. It was interesting to be standing at the mast and to see Mike and Kathy way up in the air over me (they were in the stern). Anyway, we managed to raise the main and get some wind in our sales. That calmed things down considerably. After we rounded the point the waves ended more on our beam, with occasional rollers coming in from random directions. We were on a broad reach and doing 6-8 kts over the ground. The somewhat lightest winds didn't really stabilize the boat like I was hoping and we ended up rolling quite a bit. At this point Mike and I agreed that we had about a 50% chance of losing our breakfast (Kathy, on the other hand, felt fine and was remarking what a fine sail we were having).

We managed to make it to Cattle Point with our breakfast in tack and the waves immediately mellowed out. At this point the wind moved around to our stern and we decided to raise the spinnaker. Since the wind was dead on our tail, we had a hell of a time keeping it filled. We probably should have just dropped the main at this point but didn't. When we rounded Lopez we doused the spinnaker (no easy feat since I forgot to tie off the end of the snubber after I got the spinnaker repaired ... oops. We finally manage to get it stowed and had a nice beam reach into West Sound. We ended up anchoring right in front of Mike's Mother-in-Law's house. Mostly a fine day (37 nm in 6 hours ... 6kts avg!).

That evening Judy treated us to a fine meal in her fine house.


This morning I feel exceptionally crappy and having been visiting the head regularly. I guess some random disease finally caught up with me. As an added bonus it is rainy and crappy out. Mike is hell bent on getting under way and we decided sail over to Sucia. It is only about a 3 hour sail and I manage to sleep for an hour of it (with Mike taking the wheel). It was pretty gray out and we had the radar on looking for wayward boats. We didn't hit anything so I assume it was working correctly. When we got into Fossil bay there where two mooring balls left, one at the entrance and one way back in the shallows. After shooing off a small sailboat we took the mooring ball. I was glad I didn't have to mess around with the whole anchoring gig. I promptly went back to sleep for a bit. When I woke, the sun was peeking out and I felt a million times better. Mike and I even managed a dingy ride around the south end of the Island to look at some of the "Fossils".

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