The weekend worked out great. We ended up renting
27 and launched about 10:30 under overcast skies. The weather
channel was predicting the coastal areas to clear up by noon with 5-10mph winds.
It didn't clear until about 1:30 or 2:00 but the wind was already up as my 2 brothers and I motored out. We cleared the channel and hoisted the sails
and headed west close hauled. The wind was not strong but was steady all day and it turned out to be a completely relaxing and non-challenging day.
Between MDR and Santa Monica pier it looked like a race
was forming up with obout 20-30 boats. It was confusing to see where they were starting and what the course might be and as it turned out we ended up almost in the middle of their upwind leg as they started and roared (well almost roared) by us.
We then noticed a cluster of balloons in the water
and decided to practice MOB
drills. It wasn't the pretiest but we got the job done. My brother doesn't sail enough so it was good practice for him. He made 3 passes at the balloons and then I did one. We finished by doing our part for the environment
, hauling them aboard and putting them in the trash.
Next we came across a fairly decent sized pod of dolphin. They looked to be feeding as they were thrashing the surface a bit and there were a few seabirds dropping in on them. We tacked and closed in and ended up getting some great photos of them jumping and broaching. At one point they passed completely under the boat.
We headed west for a few hours, and cruised the Malibu beach coast for a short while before it was time to head
for home. We turned back east, set a course and then had lunch.
Bluewater sailing is an easy going group and the time limit was sunset which at this time of year is probably after 7PM. Our younger (half) brother wasn't doing so great most of the day but he did eat a little lunch and ended up sleeping for 2-3 hours.
After he woke he still wasn't in great shape and finally ended up evacuating his lunch over the transom. Interestingly he really perked up after that and we let him helm
for a while. We saw a sea lion swim by and I hadn't seen them so far out to sea before - even though we were only about 3 miles out. We were too slow with the camera
to get a shot though. We passed abeam the channel entrance at about 5PM, then ran out 30 minutes to the south to see if we could get Catalina
to come into view. Unfortunately the marine
haze was still prevalent and we never caught sight of it.
A short 30 minute run back to the channel and we doused sails
and motored in. Docking
was no drama, although my brother was a little fast for my liking, but no wood or plastic changed hands, so we called it a complete success.
Two weeks in Ohio
for me now and we are planning another trip on my way back through. My brother wants to get a couple of guys from work out so that should be fun.