October 3, 2018

At anchor, Drakes Bay

7am. Showers. Flat Calm.

If you’d asked me a month ago how the first few days of the F8V2.0 would go, a description including “anchored at Drakes Bay” would not have made the consideration set.

I departed the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday morning. It is now Wednesday morning, and again there is rain and calm. On Monday, a light wind came on from the south for a time, then the southeast. The rain began in the afternoon; evening brought a downpour, thick and loud and erasing any sign of the headland. Mo spun slowly on her anchor, as did the fish boats that joined her, tucked in close behind the point. I woke several times overnight to the delicious sound of heavy rain on the coach roof.

Tuesday, rain until noon. After lunch, the sky pulled back to reveal towering cumulus, and a light northerly filled in that got my attention. By then, however, I had the engine room opened up for a fluids and filter change.

Time on the hook has not been wasted. Mo was ready for sea, but the list of at-sea chores was long, chores that are infinitely easier on a stable platform.

-Rig the drogues.

-Take three more turns on the furling drums.

-Organize the forepeak (what a mess of food and gear!).

-Seal the solar panel and hydrogenerator connections (they are “waterproof” but more dialectic grease and a wrap of tape can’t hurt).

-Rewire the dead starboard running light.

-Mount the sextant box; clean and organize the navigation drawer…

By evening, the wind had died. Showers.

Besides the odd and unsettled weather here, there is the issue of Sergio, a hurricane currently well south and west of Baja. Long range forecasts show Sergio building and moving slowly north and west and to an area of ocean just a few hundred miles south of my rough position one week on. There he may recurve toward the mainland. Long range forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, but in what way inaccurate, this forecast?

Morning showers clear. I make a second cup of coffee. From the cockpit, I watch two hikers cross the long, bare ridge of Point Reyes and make for the lighthouse. What a luxury, a hike. With luck I will not set foot on land for ten months. But to be so close to land I love, to smell the pines and wet grass, to watch the elk and hawk when I should be at sea with the dancing wave and the storm petrel!

5 Comments on “Waiting

  1. Randall! I know the frustration you must feel. So neat to see the Fiorentino Drogue! It’s what I like best of all the drogues! It was those calms that would drive us crazy. But the sound of the rain on deck in a bay at anchor was always rather soothing. I LOVE your postings and photos and thank you so very much. The fair wind will come, just wait for it and stay well clear of that Hurricane!! So many are right there with you.

  2. I’m guessing you’re thinking also of the additional time you might have spent with Jo, and she is thinking the same! I’m so impressed by your list of sea chores – I think most sailors would have stayed in port to finish all before setting out but I guess life at sea is so second nature to you now that it’s natural to just continue the work while voyaging.
    I don’t understand that drogue – it seems to be the inverse of what I am familiar with, a wide mouth at the bridle, and a smaller opening at the apex of the cone. A tire with a flap cut in it and a chain looped around through the tire’s donut makes a really good drogue but would of course take up way too much space for long voyage like yours.
    And what, pray tell, are your best port options for touching land in 10 months?
    Keep up the romantic adventurers spirit and it will get you everywhere, through everything.
    Buon viaggio!

  3. Wonderful to “be there” with you on your journey. I am impressed with the technology. Love the pics and the prose. It takes me back to the sea where I love to be…..keep it coming……

  4. Ah love listening to heavy rain on the coach roof at anchor… warm with a book.
    Hope the reply finds you with fair winds.

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