Hi all, thought I would share some new bonehead moves that I did last weekend at Santa Cruz Island with my two sons. We made the trip over without mishap, but did change our destination due to high wind. Had a great first night, and as I woke earlier than the boys, I pulled the anchor and decided to motor to our original location, farther North and much less sheltered.
I didn't bother checking the weather report because it was calm where I was and I didn't want to wake said sons. First mistake. And since I was only going about 6-8 miles, I decided to tow the dinghy AND the kayak. Second mistake. And since it was really such a short putt, I left items inside the dinghy such as kayak paddles and life jackets. Third mistake.
As I rounded the island and became less and less in the lee of it, the wind began to increase. No problem, as I was motoring bare-poled. Well, the wind kept getting higher and higher directly off the bow, and my speed under power began to fall off dramatically. When I reached 30 knots of wind and zero knots of forward speed, I began to get a bit nervous. My 150% genoa decided that this might be a good time to begin to unfurl near the top of the mast, even though the lower section was securely wrapped. My son Cody poked his head up and asked if I needed anything. I told him to stay down below and I would call him if I needed him.
I decided (a bit late) to abandon my plans and to head back to our original anchorage. So, heading dead downwind I checked the dinghy and noticed that one of the kayak paddles was gone. A few minutes later the kayak was upside-down and doing its best submarine impression. Well, I eventually made it back to the sheltered anchorage and dropped the hook. I'm pretty sure that I chugged a cold beer down in one swig
. It took me a while to relax after that, but the rest of the trip was uneventful and fun.
Lessons learned: 1) ALWAYS check the weather report.
2) AWAYS empty the dinghy before moving.
3) ALWAYS bring the kayak on board when moving.
4) See #1.