_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Heading South - 70 miles North of North Channel Islands lat 35 deg 01.74'N long 121 deg 51.82' W Sat 8/19 1:50PM (Leigh)

We left Santa Cruz just before noon yesterday and started sailing south headed for the Channel Islands. It was great to be on shore and do normal shore things. Most of our time was spent working on the boat and at the coffee shop with free wireless access. There are even new photos posted (Niemann Photos button at right - "The voyage" folder).
I decided the anchorage was too iffy at Monterey and the aquarium was pretty far from the anchorage and marina so we skipped Monterey. We sailed out of Monterey Bay and only had to tack once to clear the Southern point. Peter was kind enough to alter our watch schedule by 2 hours this trip so he was on 6PM - 10PM. When I came on watch the phosphorous was beautiful. All around us the wind wave tips were glowing and our wake had a deep green glow that trailed us by 30 feet. It was a cloudy night but the clouds would clear in small patches revealing thousands of stars. I never saw the moon which made the phosphorescence more dramatic. The wind had been shifty on Peter's watch and we were headed down wind at about 4.5 knots. Soon after I came on watch the wind picked up and we were making great time at 6.5 - 7 knots on a beam reach with a reef in the main to make it smoother. An hour into my watch I saw a ship on the horizon. I turned on the radar (this time I was ready, much better than last time but that's some sleep Peter lost one night last week) and saw that the ship was headed right for us at 20 knots. It was hard to figure out which way they were going as they kept changing course slightly, but they were definitely getting closer fast. When their course finally settled down our CPA (closest point of approach) was 27 feet! After a couple of minutes I woke Peter up because we were under sail and I couldn't just steer away from the ship without adjusting sails. By then they were 7 miles away and pointed directly at us with both red and green lights clearly visible. Fran is a great teacher and I've needed much of her advise so far on this trip, as she taught me, I got on the radio and called twice but there was no response. Peter and I were back on deck removing preventers and the running back stay preparing to jibe when there was a garbled response on the radio and the ship altered course. Not sure if the radio call got his attention or if he finally just saw us. We heard him calling San Francisco pilot for the next few hours with no answer so he wasn't having much luck with radio response either. We're still looking for our hand held radio after we misplaced it in that storm last week. One of these days it will show up where we least expect it. We're keeping the boat much neater now, it's great for discipline living in moving house.
Considering we're in a major shipping area we really haven't seen many ships and for the most part we've stayed well out of their path. A flashlight shining on the sail is an impressive lantern at night and that is our low tech "here we are" warning.
We're still sailing down wind. Now we've got the jib poled out and we're sailing wing and wing and going about 5 knots. The swell is directly behind us and it a fairly comfortable if not rolly ride. Still overcast and we're looking for that sunny weather for which this state is so famous.



At 2:01 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Ginger & Peter--I tried to send you this message when I was with Ethel (Ginger's grandmother)at her "Adult Family Living" home last Sat. When I arrived at 1PM, four residents and "Saint Isabel" (their caregiver) were still sitting at the dining room table after their lunch. I asked what they had all been doing and Isabel said they had all been on a trip to the Channel Islands on Thurs.(on the Travel Channel) and then they each told me what they had done there. Ethel was seal and whale watching; Bob was bird watching; Isabel's 11 year old son, Matthew, had gone scuba diving, etc.
Half an hour later when I opened your blog, there you were, north of the Channel Islands. I hope you get lots of pics from there to compare notes with the "Armchair Travellers".
We all loved the new entries and photos. Keep 'em coming!


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