Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Santa Cruz Island

So after Santa Rosa Island, I headed on downwind (east) to Santa Cruz Island. I've been to this island before, aboard a high speed catamaran (is there a slow speed catamaran?) and visited Scorpion Anchorage to camp for a few days. I had talked to Jeremy (my brother) about him coming out in one of those catamarans and meeting me at Scorpion, and then we could take our time getting back to Ventura, spearfishing and sailing around. So he arranged to catch the Saturday trip out, and I was going to meet him there. I left Santa Rosa on friday, and figured I'd just anchor out in the bay next to Scorpion for the night and wait, but the wind intervened. So as I arrived, it began to pick-up to rudder breaking speeds, and LaFawnda slipped one of her rudder footings out, so I had to use my main rudder instead of LaFawnda. Then I got in and was fixing that up, and I noticed that I was dragging anchor, which (since I have tons of chain on the anchor) I had thought I had cured last summer. But no! The Bruce style anchor I have on the front is not the best in sand, in fact it slowly drags through the sand and the only way to stop that is to use a bigger anchor (not more chain) or to run a different kind of anchor out. So I moved to another spot, a little further away, and with more room to swing about, but still I was dragging. So now I moved to a spot on the other side of the island from Scorpion, nowhere near where I was going to meet Jeremy, and was going to spend the night there. As I rounded the eastern corner of Santa Cruz island, the wind came head on against me, so I cranked the motor on full power to go against it. I watched my speed go from 6 knots to 4, then to 2, and finally, to rest about 1 knot, which is REALLY SLOW. And I was at full, even more than full power. Give 110%, right?
So finally I got to the anchorage and then put out two anchors, one danforth, and one Bruce (my normal anchor) and set them securely. Ok. I'm set for the night. But what will Jeremy think when I'm not there in the morning? So I pulled out my NuCanoe and readied myself for a paddle ashore. I set a long line off the stern (you can barely see it in the pictures) with a float on the end, so if I couldn't paddle against the wind (oh, it was WINDY, something like 45 knots) then I could at least grab that before being blown out to sea. Then I got in and managed to go forward, albeit slowly, so I headed to shore. The beach faces south, and there was a good sized south swell, so I tried to time it coming in, but of course didn't do a good enough job, and got sucked in a bit too far as a big roller came through and WHEE! I got ashore without too much damage, though, so I hiked up to the top of the mountain to try to call Jeremy on my T-mobile phone.
Unfortunately, I discovered at the top, T-mobile doesn't work out on the islands. I think there is an AT&T tower on the top of one island nearby, and since I'm in the "domain" of that tower, my phone will not see any other tower, but it can't connect to it, because I'm not part of that provider. Its frustrating. I know cell phones are line of sight (or close to it) and I could see the mainland. My phone could see the mainland. But no signal.
I also managed to lose the eyepiece to a birthday present from two years ago, a little telescope that you pull out in sections, like pirates would do 200 years ago. It saddens me greatly. (sorry Danny)
Anyways, it was a great little jaunt up the hill, and the anchors held fine, though I watched another boat dragging as I climbed the hill.
The next day it was pretty calm, and since I didn't really sleep much during the night, I woke up strangely refreshed at 5:30 and got up to sail over to Scorpion. I ended up waiting around for a while, so I paddled ashore to talk to the rangers (its a National park) and saw a ranger that I had seen a couple years ago. I also talked to the naturalist of the island and we discussed different kinds of boats and cruising, as well as Materials Engineering, because she had done the same undergraduate degree as me. Small world, huh?
Finally my brother arrived, and we paddled everything out to the boat and got ourselves settled, and then headed on over to the southern side of the island to try to dive somewhere. It was really calm most of the time, and just as we go to a place to anchor, the wind picked up a lot, so we had a fun time trying to figure out a good way to anchor to keep the boat from being to uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable, however. The wind, current and waves were all from different directions, so impossible to reconcile.

1 comment:

Aimee said...

Sounds like you're having quite an adventure! I'm sorry to hear about the telescope too, but glad you got some use out of it (I helped pick it out with Danny). I'm hanging out on Maui for two weeks on my break, so I'm finally able to catch up on your blog (thanks hostel wifi). I wish you well on your travels south, and keep writing - we are reading!