Tuesday, 22 May 2012

a swell night

Before the fun began
We arrived at 1800 hours, and left 13 hours later. Los Gatos is a fair weather anchorage. According to the forecast, we were there in fair weather, or so we thought. Overnight, it became windy elsewhere in the Sea. Wind creates swells. And swells can travel far. Although there was little wind where we were, we ended up broadside to an uncomfortable swell. Imagine getting thrown side to side by a 1 to 2 foot swell, every 2 seconds (this is a guess); it may not sound like much, but it’s abrupt. Needless to say, there were loud grumblings in the v-berth.

I don't know who named them swells. There's nothing swell about them. They should have named them awfuls. Hugo Vihlen
It was too bad. Los Gatos itself was lovely. Surrounded by neat rock formations and beaches, it looked and felt like somewhere we would have liked to hang out for a few days. After waking up at 0300 hours to set a stern anchor, (in our desperate attempt to get some shut-eye), we were less keen on Los Gatos. (We were trying to use the stern anchor to force the boat to point into the swell, as pitching tends to be more comfortable than rolling.)

Early morning
When 0600 came around, Nyon was still bucking like a wild bronco. Sleep deprived and grumpy, I stowed the boat in record time and told Rick we were leaving. Bleary eyed, he didn’t disagree. He pulled the dinghy on deck and after I weighed anchor, I encouraged him to go back to bed and motor-sailed us out of there. I couldn’t leave fast enough. I was going in search of a FLAT anchorage NOW. [I would like to point out that every boat anchored in that bay was gone by morning. Everyone single one of them. It wasn’t just us. There’s rolly and then there’s stupid-rolly.]

Two hours later, we had enough wind to actually sail! This turn of events put a smile on our faces. We drank coffee and ate fruit. The sun was shining. The night before was nearly forgotten. (Okay, not really.) Things, however, were definitely looking up.

A zonked out Ricky
 [Note: Our first night in Agua Verde was quiet and flat. 
We slept like logs, thank you very much.]

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