Monday, October 5, 2009

Good Bad Decisions

Channel Islands, CA
October 5, 2009

One of the "FAQ's" that we have gotten often while embarking on this adventure was, "What is your itinerary?" It really seems to frustrate some of our friends and family that we don't have a solid schedule with dates and times that we will be in certain places. I have tried to explain that while cruising it is actually a very bad idea to try to keep to a schedule of being at certain places at certain times. When one tries to keep to a schedule on a boat, one tends to make bad decisions in deference to keeping to said schedule rather watching the weather and other conditions that affect the boat.
Well, I made a bad decision yesterday, but I want to say it was a bad decision for which I have come up a long list of good side benefits. We should have just stayed put in Ventura yesterday, but we didn't.
No. Even though it was blowing a steady 25 knots with gusts up to 35 knots, I decided that the 5 mile run down to Channel Islands Harbor was short enough that even in bad conditions, we would be fine and we were. However, it was tricky getting the boat off the dock, the waves were pretty huge and very close together (not a comfortable ride and a little scary, too), it was no picnic getting inside the first breakwater here and we were lucky docking the boat that we had friends on the dock to help! Also, note to self: when other boaters are making the rational decision to stay instead their planned leaving, the space promised to you may still be occupied - we were again lucky they could squeeze us in. Those were the reasons that we just should have stayed put.
Now for my rationalizations or the benefits of braving the bad conditions that are not at all present today.
  • We had great people from the Ventura Yacht Club who came down to help us get off the dock (most of them were hanging out at the Club waiting to see if there race would be canceled - it was and we provided them with some entertainment as I am sure they watched us bash out the channel from the comfort of the bar).
  • I have not done much sailing of my house in these kinds of conditions. I now have a little feel for how Capaz sails in heavy air and heavy seas going nose into it, then pretty much broadside and finally with following seas. A taste was all I needed to know that next time the vote to stay should be seconded, but I can do it!
  • I am getting better on the radio as I did the hailing, "Channel Islands Harbor Harbor Patrol" repeated three times to ask about the conditions at the harbor entrance. He decided to come out and make sure we came in OK and then, complemented Brad on his handling of the boat given the conditions.
  • We ended up having a very nice relaxing afternoon by the pool here and then spent the evening with two other boats of friends from Seattle. If we had waited, we may not have been able to check in here at the PCYC and take full advantage of the amenities that they have to offer, because they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. As it is, we got checked in, checked out and needless to say, are taking full advantage of our reciprocity.
  • Finally, we were in the process of "scrubbing" our water tanks. This is when the water tanks get "funky" and need to be cleaned which requires draining the tanks to about the 1/3 level, adding a soap and bleach solution to each tank and then taking the boat through some conditions where this could slosh around the tanks a bit. Boy, did it get sloshed!!!! Brad was able to complete the process (draining the solution, refilling the tanks for a rinse and then, draining and refilling them with fresh water!!!!) and take a quick dip in the pool with the boys and a little soak in the hottub with me!
Despite my bad decision having so many good benefits (this may be yet another one), we have a new rule on Capaz (co-opted from our good friends, Brian and Erin on Delos) : When making decisions about staying or going, the more conservative opinion ALWAYS wins!!!

Final Note: Sorry, there will be no pictures to accompany this post as the photographer was too busy holding on in the cockpit to venture her way into the cabin to retrieve the camera, but suffice to say they would have been incredible!

1 comment:

Barbara and Harry said...

Hi PJ. I am really enjoying your log! When we lived in San Diego, we would go to Cat Harbor for Thanksgiving. The restaurant cooks your Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings and you get to take all the leftovers back to your boat. We met families who had made this a tradition for years, and arrived dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians! Can't wait to hear where you will celebrate Thanksgiving. We are still members of the San Diego Yacht Club, so let us know if you want us to call about your docking there. Should be no problem since SDYC is a reciprocal of SYC.