Our SPOT device recorded our trip last weekend.
The track was not what we’d intended for the journey. We’d planned to spend night 1 in Smugglers (which we did) and then go to Scorpion for hiking and kayaking the next morning, then spend another night in an anchorage farther to the west.
We were underway from Smugglers fairly early. OK, it was 1000 before the anchor was stowed, but we had no place to be. Rounding Pt. San Pedro we noticed a pretty heavy chop and argued among ourselves if this was a potato patch (my analysis) or some serious wind.
It was serious wind and the crew elected to jump on it and ditch the kayaking/hiking plan. It was a strong westerly and backed to WSW. The chart plotter showed our vector straight into Santa Barbara. Most of the crew had never been there, and we churned ahead with the intention of anchoring in the “seasonal anchorage” depicted on the chart.
The wind was brisk all the way and natives skimmed the whitecaps coming out to greet us on their kite-driven boards. They called to us in their native tongue “Yipee,” they cried.
Where were we, we wondered, 1950?
We approached the anchorage. Winds were over 20 and not forecast to abate until after midnight, winds that put us on a lee shore.
Now we had to pick between Plan d, Plan e and Plan f.
Plan d was to disregard the lee shore issue. After all, a dozen boats were already anchored there. It must be safe.
Plan e was go back to Santa Cruz, probably Smugglers because of the building winds.
Plan f was a straight shot home.
A lee shore certainly wouldn’t work for us no matter how many captains had elected to drop the hook there. The next days’s forecast was for light winds, so sailing home from Smugglers would be less than thrilling. On to Plan f - a straight shot home.
Gotta be flexible, right?
But mere flexibility may be too rigid. We’re working on becoming fluid.