We got a late start leaving Avalon yesterday. We had planned to take it easy and head out sometime mid-morning, maybe 10:00 at the latest. We should have been tipped off that something was up when we went ashore to use the facilities about 8:30 or so. We tied up to the dinghy dock on the basin side of the Green Pier only to find that the ramp that connected the dock with the pier had been hoisted into the UP position. We couldn't get to the pier from the dock. So, we motored over to the other side where the ramp was still down. Took care of our business and headed back to the boat.
I had noticed the "Small Craft Warning" flags flying but they've been flying for several days and it didn't seem all that rough. However, today the NOAA weather page also had Small Craft Warnings posted. Well, the ride back to the boat was just on the edge of what I want to do in the dinghy, given a choice. The water was getting pretty riled up. But we got back aboard safe and sound.
But then things started getting crazy. There were big swells coming in and the water was hitting the seawall and shooting way up, even getting the roof of one of the seafood restaurants wet at one point. The photos don't do it justice:
We were pitching up and down like we were out at sea. Even took some water over the foredeck a couple of times.
It was way too windy and rolly to even attempt to pull the dinghy aboard and disassemble it. So we just sat and waited. The prediction was that things were supposed to calm down around noon. While we waited we saw one sailboat come into the harbor and have a hell of a time getting secured to a mooring ball. Lulu was down below working on croissant dough and was getting a bit green around the gills. We both decided to take some Bonine (meclazine) to ward off seasickness both now as well as during our crossing, which at this point we were still hoping we'd be able to make.
Finally, around noon, things did start to calm down. We got the dinghy aboard and stowed, the engine warmed up and finally managed to slip our moorings at about 1:00 PM.
The rest of the trip was a non-event. We started out motoring and were only doing maybe 4.5 knots. We raised the sails and, on a beam reach we were also able to do about 4-4.5 knots. At this rate, the GPS was telling us we'd reach Dana Point about 11:00 PM. That was kind of late so we kicked on the engine and sailed with the engine helping out at low RPMs. doing this we were able to make an extra knot or so. Now our estimated time of arrival dropped closer to 9:00. After an hour or so, the wind dropped enough that we lost the knot we had made by turning the engine on so we dropped the sails, increased the RPMs to 2500 and continued on at about 4.5-5.0 knots the rest of the way. The wind came back up an hour or so later but soon dropped off again.
However, this lack of wind did not translate to a lack of sea motion. All that earlier wind had stirred up a bunch of 2-3 foot wind waves on top of the 1-2 foot swell. Nothing earth-shaking but not particularly comfortable either. As we neared Dana Point about 7:00, the seas settled down and we had a very pleasant 2 hours. Well, I slept for an hour of it but that was pleasant, too. While certainly not summery, the weather was still fairly warm (at least to us). We were tied up at the guest dock at 9:00 PM. The docking was blessedly smooth and uneventful.
Today we hooked up with Adele and Vince who drove us to San Diego to get our Mexican fishing licenses. The also took us over to Downwind Marine where we managed to get a bunch of stuff that was on our list, and several things that weren't. What a great store. Smaller than I expected but a very friendly, knowledgeable staff. And they had most of the stuff we were seeking.
We took a scenic drive back to Adele's in San Clemente. They showed us a bunch of the beach towns whose names you remember from surfing songs and episodes of "The OC" followed by dinner at Adele's. Then, Adele gave us the keys to her car to use for our errands tomorrow. Pretty nice, huh?
Just before we left to go to San Diego, I saw a familiar-looking boat dropping anchor just outside the west marina entrance. Pulled out the binoculars and, sure enough, it was s/v Odessa.