Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Isthmus

Up early to move on to the Isthmus and get a buoy early. Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine is having a party and expecting lots of boats. The weather forecast is for lots of winds and waves, but hopefully the westerly predictions will hold we'll get a little protection in the harbor. It's a beautiful sunny morning and no fog. This would be a great place to hang out on the hook, snorkeling and going from cove to cove, but that will have to wait until another trip.

The harbor patrol had us pick up a buoy on Row D and hooked in bow and stern, with the stern facing out to sea.

Alice and Sal and Gloria from D Dock in Ensenada came up to join us for the weekend, arriving on the 2 pm ferry from San Pedro. We dinghyed over and picked them up ( oh, we love our new dinghy) and got them settled into the boat. They brought lots of wine and goodies, so we just had to catch up before heading in to the no-host cocktail party on the deck by Lats & Atts. We ate a little, danced a little and noticed that the weather was, indeed, coming in so we high tailed it to the dinghy while we still could.

Wind Spirit was rockin and rolling on her buoys, with the waves splashing on her stern with a loud ~whomp~ every wave. The wind was whistling and howling through all of the rigging of our boat and all of the neighboring boats. It was quite a howl! Soon the wind had increased A LOT and the radio was issuing gale warnings out around the island. This went on all night......6 or 7 boats began to drag their buoys and threaten to smash into adjacent boats...they were ordered to cast off and go to another cove where there was more 3 am !!! We all were up making sure things were stowed and lashed and generally tied down the best we could, and Wind Spirit held her ground and groaned all night. We were monitoring their VHF radio chatter all night and around 5 am, the harbor patrol boats that had been feverishly working from boat to boat, impending disaster to impending disaster, dragging buoys, and rescuing run-away dinghys, were sending staff home and going to business as usual we finally were able to sleep once the excitement was dwindling.

Waking up to high winds and turbulent seas on Saturday was a piece of cake compared to the night before. We were all sleep-deprived so after a visit to the island and the "seminars" hosted by the Lats and Atts group, four of us came back to the boat for a well deserved nap. Alice, like a good girl, hiked off to the other side of the island to "Cat Harbor" for some exercise and a little snooze on the beach. After all, we need our energy to dance all night at the Saturday night potluck BBQ! Eric Stone band provided fun "cruising" music and then the DJ in the restaurant continued until the weeeee hours.

Once again, the wind howled and the breakers rolled through, only we had turned our boat "bow in" to the wind so she rode much better. It was a little less severe than Friday night and we all got a good night's sleep. Today, as I sit here writing this, most of the boats have gone, there are about 6 of us left and it is glassy calm and hot. Sal, Gloria and Alice left on the 2 pm ferry for San Pedro and Ensenada with a sushi stop in between. Its so quiet and lonely on the boat and in the harbor now that everyone's gone! Sal and Gloria will be headed farther south in Mexico and parts unknown next month and Alice will be holding down the fort on D Dock, keeping us all updated on the scoop. Be sure to look her up if you end up at the Coral in Ensenada. Fair Winds and Following Seas to Sal and Gloria and don't forget to drop us a line with your adventures!

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