Sailing All Night!
Carl and I left around 10pm for our sailing all night adventure! Before we left we made sure we had extra supplies and gasoline. I always carry extra jackets and food, so I wasn't too concerned if we forgot something. The one thing you don't want to forget when your sailing all night is an extra supply of water - which we definitely had.
There was some wind blowing when we left so we sailed out into the marina, but it was fairly light, so we then turned on the engine and sailed out to sea where the wind seemed to now be blowing quite nicely. We sailed out into the dark night heading for R2 buoy three miles away. After reaching that we kept going on toward Redondo Beach - another three miles away. It was now my watch and Carl was to sleep for a couple hours or until we reached Redondo Beach - which ever happened first. I was okay with being alone for a while as I enjoy the solitude. However, after sailing much of the night, I began to get sleepy and got up and made something to drink to keep me awake. We had hot water already made so we could make coffee of hot chocolate. I made sure to keep the Captains Log up to date whenever the wind shifted or whenever I altered course. When arriving a mile away from Redondo Beach, I altered course away from the harbor as the wind was coming directly from there and it would have been difficult to go there tacking straight into the wind. Instead I headed for the more mysterious Point Vicente Light Beacon a couple miles south toward Catalina Island.
Suddenly a bunch of dolphins showed up and cleared the water with blasts of air. I immediately woke Carl out of a deep sleep (as it was his watch anyway now) and he came out to see. By now the dark clouds had cleared and the western sky was ablaze with stars. Long four foot swells passed under the boat and ran past the boat on there way to shore - miles away. At night they had a silver tone to them and the big rollers were fascinating to watch. Along with the dolphins and the stars, it was a magical moment! This is what sailing all night was all about.
We were now out by San Vicente near the second red buoy from MDR. The oscillating light beacon could be seen shining out to sea in our direction every 17 - 20 seconds or so. I remember sailing out here one night on my way home from San Diego and losing my wind here all night. As I didn't have an engine at that time, I was helpless to get underway and slept and awoke keeping watch off and on all night long. Other times on the way to Catalina island I remember passing here just before heading into the shipping lanes. And the one time I will never forget being here was in that terrible gale with giant twenty foot waves pushing us on toward Redondo Beach. The wind was howling in the rigging and the white water atop the huge waves behind us threatened to submerge the cockpit. I remember being almost numb to the seasickness and roller coaster like motion and suddenly seeing that red buoy floating atop a huge wave as we passed it by about a mile or two to the north west.
I shared some of my memories with Carl about this spot and then at last laid down in the V-birth and gave the helm over to Carl. Every once in a while I peaked my head out of the forward hatch to see how he was doing but I was not disappointed as he did a great job and kept the boat headed for the ships lights and home. I closed my eyes and put my hands under the blankets to keep warm. The sound of the waves moving under the boat and along the side were very relaxing and interesting to listen to. I tried to completely shut down and sleep but my mind was still too excited and I had a very hard time. I had thought that if I sailed all night with a friend, that I would be able to sleep - but surprise, surprise!
Eventually Carl needed some assistance with the sails and I got up to help him. After pulling the head sails in tighter, I then went up to the bow and held on to the bow pulpit watching the waves pass us by. Looking up at the stars, I was surprised how many had disappeared already in only a couple hours by the dark rain clouds coming in!
In little less than half an hour, we passed the big ships once more. The dark night sky was turning grey and then gold as the sun was slowly arising in the early morning sky. I took a picture of a sudden burst of gold coming through the rain clouds just above the still brightly lit ships. It was an amazing picture!
Soon the morning wind that had been so constant all night finally began to subside and we turned on the engine and revved it up to full blast and headed for MDR harbor. As we entered the marina and sailed down the channel, I had had such a great trip with Carl and even though we were both tired and worn out we continued to talk all the way back to the slip.
Thanks for leaving a message about our sailing all night trip!
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I made this blog because I wanted to share my adventures at sea with all of you! Some of you may be wishing they had their own boat or just want to 'get away' even if just at home on the web. So each week I decided to write down my feelings while out at sea and share them with you. If you enjoy them, please feel free to come back here weekly and see what's new. Also please share the blog with your friends and with those who you know like sailing!