|Sailing from Mission Bay to Oceanside was hard against the wind all the way!|
Here's a story where I was really daring and in hindsight - maybe a little crazy (what on earth was I thinking!) I sailed to San Diego and back without an engine.
Okay, sailing to San Diego is one thing but sailing back up without one is just asking for hardship!
I'm guessing you already know why but just in case - here's the answer. You see, when you sail down to San Diego you have the current and the wind on your side. But sailing back - you don't.
I'm guessing that for every 3 miles you go you lose one and it may be worse than that!
Well, here's a true story about this where you can feel what I was going through sailing back up to Los Angeles.
Sailing from San Diego to Oceanside:
"The wind was up and all seemed well until I got a ways out to sea. From that point it was apparent that the wind was going to continue from the north making it clear to me that I could only sail north-west close hauled against the wind and current. It was going to be a fight - I could feel it now!
After a couple hours I got about five miles out and then the wind promptly stopped!
So much for getting anywhere today. I watched the sun go down and then darkness came on.
I could do nothing but take the sails down and wait for the wind. But there was nothing but sheer calm all night!
I took notice of all the land sights and lights around me. Tonight I decided to sleep in the V-birth instead of out in the cockpit. Basically the reason for this was because of the dead calm. The ocean waves were pretty flat too.
Throughout the night I would wake myself up every fifteen minutes or so and look out the hatchway above my head to see if any boats or ships were coming my way. Nothing came.
I could see the fishing boats bright lights however, scattered here and there over the ocean horizon. For some reason this night is etched in my memory but for what reason I am not sure. Not really anything happened!
But perhaps it was the feeling of being alone at sea overnight without any stress or adventure that I remember.
The dark night at sea passed peacefully. I remember the faint glow of the candle I had lit glimmering in the cabin, the occasional flicker of my flashlight on the countertop to get a snack.
Slowly through the night I drifted with the current unawares a couple miles south down toward Point Loma.
In the morning I was not aware I had drifted so far as the landmarks had not changed that much. It was only the visit from the Coast Guard that woke me up to the fact that I was further south than I realized!
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After giving them permission to check my boat for drugs and hideaway people - they promptly believed that I was not hiding anything after I confirmed I had nothing and after checking my drivers license. They then decided not to come aboard.
Revving up their four huge outboard engines, they took off.
I was then left alone to wait for the wind. And I waited and waited.
Usually the wind picks up around 10 am but not today. I waited while the suns heat beat down upon the boat. Thankfully I could go down into the cabin and open the hatches for ventilation and get some relief from the sun!
Finally around 1pm the wind came out and I slowly began to sail north past La Jolla.
But it was a slow ride as the wind was not exceptionally strong an I was fighting the current too. What should have taken a couple hours took all day and I was just clearing the San Diego area by nightfall.
Thankfully the wind kept up nicely till 11 pm and even after this there were enough spells of wind to leave the sails up and I very slowly made my way toward Oceanside.
I just kept on sailing as long as there was wind and by early morning had made my way to the two big smoke stacks near Carlsbad. It took a while to clear them but by morning I could see the Oceanside area.
I remember the feeling of sailing up the coast that night. The wind was constant but not very strong. Sometimes it seemed like it had completely disappeared but when I looked at the sail it was still full - so there was must have been some wind somewhere!
By sunrise I was closing in on the harbor. But I couldn't see it. In fact only the landmarks I could identify on the map confirmed I was even at Oceanside. Without the map, I could of been anywhere!
The closer I got though, I started to identify a lot of tall masts rising up. But for some reason I couldn't see the harbor entrance.
The wind came out stronger as the morning progressed and I kept heading closer and closer. The thing that surprised me was how long it took to actually get in. By 11am I finally came in through the rocky harbor entrance! I docked the boat at the harbor patrol extra dock and finally got to get a solid hour of rest!"
It had taken me a day and two full nights just to get to Oceanside! Wow! what a struggle. When I left San Diego, I had thought I would arrive there sometime that first night. In this instance, having an engine to motor during all the calms i experienced would have saved me a lot of time!
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