Jeanneau Sloop’s Southernmost Mooring…
Avalon, Santa Catalina Island
Moitessier 1958, Sailing to the Reefs, “The deterioration in the weather was sudden and without warning— it was just a simple call to order to remind me that winds are not always favourable and that fine weather never lasts for ever. As always when I am obliged to move about on Deck at night in a squall of rain, I came out of the cabin swearing that God’s providence is a myth.”
To one degree or another admitting where our talents lend our sailing advantage is a must. Knowing what we are best and worst at is to keep our wits about us.
I am quick to change sails as the wind builds. Although I’ve suffered from sloth and torpor and been meted out punishment for the inaction.
Long Point, Catalina Island
The Length of the Trial
In preparation for the passage north from Los Angeles to San Francisco I’ve noticed a particular form of grit seeming to have been found inside. I’m determined that I will return my sailboat to her home port. I have suffered bouts of grave doubt but have fended off the demons for the moment.
Character Enhancer Seated to Left
An old now deceased sailing companion had brought his Tahiti ketch from Baja back to San Francisco’s Bay View Boat Club many times. Carl’s strategy was simplicity itself… patience.
Rather than have his will broken, rather than attempt to advance to his destination he opted to rest, wait, and pick his spots rather than have Mother Nature punish his boat or his backbone.
Carl exercised patience and judgement. His sailing skills were sufficient to the task. Pragmatism and common sense was perhaps his greatest talent—-but hardly his only. Of course he had made careful study of the weather patterns along the West coast. He knew as much as his mind could hold. Tides, currents and where the next place to anchor north of his present position was built into his plan.
I had once ignored Carl’s advice and in my haste wasted hours beating against a current. As the current slackened a fresh and rested Carl joined me in San Pablo Bay for a sail back to San Francisco. I arrived exhausted. Carl returned unruffled and rested.
We will see what we see in the next few weeks. I’ll pick my way north with my sage sailing friend in mind. I’ve a good twenty days to make a trip that ought not take more than three under the better circumstances. Toss away two rough days waiting at anchor to advance one good day seems sensible.
In that light provisioning and a second hand that can abide the captain’s strategy will bring the capable sailboat safely home.