Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nine Hours to Nowhere

I got the sail track fixed and improved it due to some nice support from Tides Marine.  Talked with DMK about electronics. They said they would ship a replacement anywhere I wanted but not for a day. Went back to handheld GPS that got me to Hawaii last time. No AIS or advanced sailing numbers in cockpit. 

I shoved off from BYC about noon. Jackie had sailed out and was giving encouragement on the dock and over VHF. It ways a typical summer day here - 20 to 25 knots, short chop and wet on deck. Could not have been much fun for Jackie. 

Motor sailed to lee of Angel Island where it was easier to get main up.  I was early for the slack, so I slowly tacked up Raccoon Strait in fluky winds and current. Recrossed the line about 1500. Made pretty good progress under staysail and reefed main.  The wind picked back up to 20 or so. Cleared the North Tower about 4:30. Immediately outside the Gate, the wind dropped to 15. Around Mile Rock it went to 10 and variable. Got full sail up and did around 6 knots.  Across the bar, wind dropped again. Wind was still from the south west as it had been all day. My choice of headings was SE towards Ocean Beach or W into traffic circle.  I believe I heard a warning from VTS about loitering.  Fog came in and wind dropped further.

I started to feel cold and very alone. Having been out 6 hours, tired as well.  My willpower began to lag and I felt that I did not want to spend the night bobbing in shipping. Gribs had shown 20 to 25 knots NW out by the the Farrallones, but that was a long way tacking at under three knots. I cranked over the engine, hid my tail and headed back. 

I could not see the bridge until well inside Mile Rock. Wind powered up at South Tower and I dodged a couple ships. Got back to Berkeley after 2100.

Feeling very bad about the whole thing. I had hoped to be in the fleet this time for fun and motivation. I probably over reached on my and the boat's abilities.  Current weather pattern may hold for a few days, so going again soon does not look good. 

I have not read the site for a couple days. Corine said there were some encouraging comments, which I appreciate. I had received a lot of nice messages from friends and strangers.  I wish I had the fortitude of others, especially Kevin Jones. 

Don't know what my plans are yet. Perhaps Gary Burton still needs crew back. Not sure how to contact him. Corine still has reservations in Kauai. 

Thanks for all the support. Sorry I was not able to hold up my end. 


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