Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Statistically, this is the foggiest month of the year in these parts. So we've been lucky -- mostly. These past few days, we've had a taste of how it feels to live inside a cloud. As Mark Twain famously said: "the coldest winter I ever experienced was summer in San Francisco." New friends Pat and Sid came to see us off the morning we left Noyo River, and could barely make us out through the murk. But as we got out a few miles the fog lifted, and we could see about 5 miles in all directions. We could see the wind blowing -- from the south? We knew about the fog, but we didn't know that the wind ever blew from anywhere but the northwest in the summer. We've had feast or famine when it comes to wind, so we weren't going to let a little headwind stop us from sailing.

Also, we needed to learn to use our new windvane. As we put it through its paces, I came up with a new version of the old Carly Simon song: "You're so vane, you probably think this boat steers without you. You're so vane, I'll bet you think this boat steers without you, don't you, don't you..." etc. We tacked south until we reached Point Arena, at which point the coast changes direction and we thought we might be able to sail a reach. But the wind backed into the southeast so we kept tacking.

At last it was dinner time, and we had to decide whether to keep sailing through the night or find a place to anchor. Some fishermen at Noyo had told me there was a good anchorage at Fish Rock, so we nosed our way in and found a large motor yacht from Seattle already anchored. There was still room, so we dropped our hook nearby and settled in for a peaceful evening.

No comments: