Catalina: New Year’s Eve

January 1, 2010

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.

1 comment

  1. Comment by Verne Bradford

    Verne Bradford January 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    What a wonderful way to spend New Year’s Eve.

    “Two thousand naughts,” huh. Sounds like something Aladin would have said.

    I have seen at least one other witty blogger refer to the past decade as the “naughties.” So, what will the new decade be? The “nice-ies.” No. Maybe the “teenies.” I never knew what to call the last decade until it was over. Sort of like thinking of what one should have said to an insult a few hours later. So, I’d like to be on better terms with this new decade. Ideas?

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