Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Very Blustery Day

We were scheduled to move to the Coronado Cays Yacht Club today. A strong low pressure system was passing through San Diego from the south. I had measured gusts in the 17-20 knot range at the dock. Any loosening of Maitreya's dock lines sent her scampering further into the slip and towards her neighbor. We decided to dry out and play some cards below while waiting for the wind and rain would calm down. The rain increased followed by louder howling of the wind through the masts.

We decided to check the anemometer mounted on top of the SDYC clubhouse. Readings there were peaking at 37 knots. We went back to the boat where we played more cards. Corine baked some brownies, saying that the oven would "heat up the boat". Once the brownies were done she prepared to take some to the dockmaster, thinking she might bribe him for another night. As she climbed out through the companion way, she noticed that the winds had dropped.

We quickly slipped our our lines and headed out of Shelter Island for the main bay. We saw a couple of boats being towed by the police and vessel assist, but things remained fairly calm until we passed under the Coronado Bridge. The wind picked up again as we passed towards the low sand beach of the Naval Amphibious Base, home of the SEALS.

A little way past the bridge our keel thumped on the bottom a couple of times. San Diego has been experiencing extreme tides along with the latest full moon. We headed further east into the deep water channel next to the naval shipyards. Rain and about 15 knots of wind cut visibility and we missed the oddly marked channel cut across the bay to the Cays. After a loop and a lot of studying of the depth sounder, we found the channel and crossed over. Our problem, was that we did not have the harbor chart and Coastal Explorer did provide any information about soundings or buoys south of the bridge.

About quarter of five, we tide up at the club's guest dock. What we though was a short ten mile jaunt in protected waters, turned out to be a full day's adventure.

Oh bother.

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