Hi all, I just returned from a trip to Santa Cruz Island with my wife and two sons. We had a great time on our fairly-new-to-us Catalina 36. Which leads me to why I am posting.
First, I left the marina in heavy fog, less than 1/2 mile visibility, while the family slept. Radar and GPS got us to within 1/2 mile of the island before we could even see it. Froze my #ss off on this leg, but made it safely.
As I explained the different systems on the boat, water, thru-hulls, head, etc., the family started to get the hang of it. My wife mentioned that the water pressure pump was not working, even though we had three full tanks and the switch was on.
Hmmmm, sound of runniing water in the head. Opened the door to find the shower/faucet on full blast and everything absolutely soaked. One tank down, and we have been anchored for about 1/2 hour.
After diligently explaining the process of turning on the propane and the solenoid valve to use the stove, and then turning both off after use, I broke my own rule. I left the propane on (in an approved locker) and just used the solenoid valve to shut it off. While climbing up the ladder on the transom I smelled gas.
So, one water tank empty and now the propane tank is empty. Only a day and a half left in the trip. I took the spare tank off because it was extra clutter. Doh! We managed, but getting my coffee to perk using the BBQ took well over 1 hour due to wind.
Next, trying to get my stern anchor up was impossible. I used my dinghy from all different angles just like everybody else out there, but no luck. Finally, I brought the stern line to the bow and raised my bow anchor first. This sounds like a great idea, and it did work, but there were boats nearby and a brisk crosswind. In the midst of scurrying back and forth trying to get everything done, I kicked something on deck (no shoes) with only my little toe. Well, a useless appendage was made much more so by injury. But I wasn't done. Within about 5 minutes the same toe connected with something else solid.
Okay, both anchors are up and we are heading out into 20-25 knot cross wind. Sounds great right? Well, due to my being flustered over the anchoring debacle and my now rapidly discoloring foot, I was well out of the anchorage and into the sea before I tried to raise the mainsail. Although doable with an experienced and able crew, no so much with my wife and kids. Turned into the wind once to give it a go and started getting beat up so badly we fell of and went with the iron genny and the real genny only.
We made it back in good shape, and in retrospect, I learned more lessons to add to my limited sailing catalog. Biggest one? Wear your F##%ing boat shoes while doing important tasks. One less thing to worry about. Also, check that all faucets are closed before turning on water switch. Another is to check the connection (less than hand tight) on your propane cylinder and turn it off after every use. Oh yeah, bring the spare if you have the room (I do).
I hope I gave you all some chuckles and reminders of basic rules to follow. It was a great trip and the family hardly noticed the water and gas shortages. Now if I could just get my foot to fit in a shoe...