Yesterday we went out for a pleasure sail. We sailed out of Catalina Harbor in the morning and puttered around the Outer Santa Barbara Channel. The wind was promising when we left the harbor. It had been assaulting our transom all night, smacking the harbor against the hull loudly enough that we almost turned the boat on our mooring.
By the time we got under sail the wind died. This has been the great frustration of sailing here. We can see wind on the ocean all around but wherever we are seems to be becalmed. Since we didn’t have any destination I wasn’t inclined to turn on the engine. We just wallowed, boom creaking in the light puffs of wind that would occasionally grace us. Our speed over water was 0 knots for at least an hour.
By lunchtime the winds had picked up enough to hold the sail’s shape. We crept along at ~1 knot. The highlight of this part of the day was reading fairy tales to Ruby up on the bow, while Vick nursed Miles to sleep.
Then just after the Ruby went down for nap the wind kicked up. Suddenly we had 15 knots off the starboard bow, and we were surging through the channel at 4-5 knots. The exhilaration was incredible. I dialed in the sails to eek out every bit of power they could provide and we gracefully cut through the swell.
The kids slept right through it. By the time they woke up I was on a deep broad reach and the seas were rolling across our port quarter. We got almost all the way back to the harbor on sail power. We did have to turn the engine on about 1 mile out in order to make it in before sunset. As we entered the harbor the sun touched the horizon and reflected pink, orange, and gold hues over the water. It was a beautiful way to bid goodbye to the two thousand naughts.