I opted to join a group sail on Saturday versus trying to pull together a crew. I was super stoked because it was going to be on the 34 ft. Catalina versus one of the 22s. The forecast said that winds would be less than 5 knots, but we got lucky with them blowing between 5 and 10.
It was a clear day. So clear, we could see the Hollywood sign, downtown Los Angeles and even the snow on the mountains. And it was quiet. There were hardly any boats in the water during our five hour sail, and it was nice to just hear the sounds of the boat through the water and the wind in our ears.
Last week’s rain here in Los Angeles made for a wet and wild sailing day in the Santa Monica Bay. We headed out well past the breakwater to avoid the larger 6 to 8 foot swells inshore. But when the wind came up just past noon, we were able to get some nice heel on the boat and get our feet wet.
As I wasn’t the skipper in charge of the boat I took full advantage of my crew status and spent some time up at the bow, dangling my feet over the edge, lying back and looking up at the sails, checking to see if we were properly trimmed for the course we were on, and listening to how the wind and water sounded when we were and how they sounded when we weren’t.
It was a perfect day. We even briefly tested a symmetrical spinnaker to see how it would fly when we were headed downwind. I wish I’d had my camera at the ready for that. But I’d stowed it down below due to an unexpected drenching I got whilst lying on deck, getting a few moments of shut eye.
There wasn’t any marine life to speak of, but the views on land more than made up for their absence.
It was really nice not having to be in charge, getting to take in all the sights without having to worry about what was going on in the cockpit, and getting to have some time alone to appreciate being on a boat in the ocean on a gorgeous day.
I may never be lucky enough to have my own boat or get the chance to head out to sea every day. But I consider myself pretty fortunate to be able to do so just about every week.
And it seems there’s talk about a possible sailing adventure up in Santa Barbara in the new year. I already have my fingers crossed that my schedule and my budget will allow for it.
I’m not sure whether I’ll be going out next weekend as I really need to prep for the holidays and study for that Advanced Coastal Cruising exam I swore I would take before the end of the year. I’m just not sure whether or not I’ll be able to get by for an entire week without my sailing fix.
With wind and water like we have in So. Cal. can you blame me?