Sunday morning in Paradise Cove is glorious. The wind and swell from the previous night is gone and even the feeble dawn sun is enough to warm us in our PJs as we lounge in the cockpit. Ruby, Miles, and I eat breakfast and let Vick sleep. The kids dress and ask if they could go in the dingy for a while. Ruby rows (tethered) back and forth to Convivia’s transom while I observe from the cockpit. Within a few minutes she asks to go freely. I hop aboard and let Ruby row me around the anchorage. She rowes Miles and I to shore and we spend a half hour playing on the beach, finding ladybugs, searching for the best sea glass, skipping stones and destroying sandcastles.
Back on the boat, Vick is waking up and I’m making my second (well earned) cup of coffee. I head up to the foredeck to sip it while I absorb the sun’s warmth. I’m joined by the rest of the family and we share a peaceful few minutes. As we are admiring our surroundings the wind picks up. Everyone seems to simultaneously come to the same conclusion; it’s time to sail.
I do some quick math and realize that running the windlass for a minute (@70/amps) equates to about 1 amp/hr draw. I don’t have to turn the engine on. We hoist the sail (Ruby and Miles haul the first 20′), back the jib, and Ruby takes the helm as I lift the anchor. I inch to the foredeck while Convivia zooms off (@ 5 knots) under Ruby’s steady hand.
The wind holds all the way to the southern tip of Angel Island where it starts to shift and wane. Our boat speed dips to 2 knots and the sails start to loose their shape. The kids go below with Vick to read fairy tales and I’m left to my own devices. After a while I get tired of fighting the canvas and decide to practice my singlehanding skills. I heave to and yell my intentions below (so no one worries). Then I head to the mast to drop the main. It’s as hard as I remember it being. Convivia is about 60º off the wind and the sail keeps catching on the spreaders. I have to keep running aft to tug on the leach, but I get it down and nicely flaked. I release the jib, haul it in on the other side and start making 3 knots.
By the time we round the marker at the end of the Berkeley pier I’m cruising at 5+ knots again. I’m excited to pull into the harbor under sail. It’s looking good until I go on deck to put out fenders and lifelines. We are in the channel and making good speed when I drop one of the fenders overboard. I quickly head up, then tack and try to retrieve the fender but its drifting quickly out of the channel and into the shallows. I douse the jib, start the engine and hand the boat hook to Vick. We haul the fender aboard with just 2′ under the keel and make our way back into the now crowded channel. Phew.
Back at the dock we put away the sailing gear and prepare to scrub the decks from stem to stern. The job takes all afternoon but Convivia hasn’t looked this good since we bought her. Exhausted and famished we put away the cleaning stuff and make for Picante for dinner.