Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Stockton to Capitola
Well we made it to San Carlos! It was an event full trip. Lauren and I left Stockton on September 26th with Alex Kennedy at the marina to help us cast off the lines. We made it to Angel Island in the SF bay and spent 2 rough nights there finishing last minute projects. We left at 4:00am to head out the Golden Gate, it was actually pretty smooth and we had an outgoing tide to push us along. We made Capitola early in the afternoon only to discover that the moorings we intended to use were being removed for the season, but after talking to the bait shop on the wharf we were told the anchorage was good and for a few more days we could use the dingy dock. It turned out to be a great spot to spend a few days, if only that was the case. A weather front moved in and really brought in wind and swell. Since we had a lot of extra time built in to our schedule we decided to wait it out in Capitola. It was the right call but in the mean time while at the Wharf House bar we heard a tsunami warning! All the locals were really speculating on the potential impact, we decide to be cautious so we let out all but 25' of the anchor chain, disconnected it from the chain locker and then tied a buoy to it. Our thought was if the tsunami did hit us at 9:00pm we would have the motor running, the boat pointed out to sea and we could drop the chain and head out. Turned out the tsunami wasn't even noticeable so after idling for 45 minuets we turn the motor off and breathed a sigh of relief. The next morning I made a bad call, instead of bring in the excess anchor chain I decided to leave it out, more is better right? Well on our last day in Capitola we went to town, had lunch and a few beers to say goodbye to our new friends at the Wharf House. When we got back to the boat the wind had picked up and the boat was really being pulled down at the bow, I mean trying to tear the bowsprit off! I really expected to loose the rigging! I grabbed two 5/8" lines and made tied them to the chain then to the mast to try to take off some of the tension. At that time I didn't have a clue why we seemed to not have any catenary, the chain was like a solid rod! Next the snubber line pulled the cleat right off the boat and the lines I added started to really stretch taut and the chain was actually over powering the winch and trying to rip it from the boat! I managed to get another line on the chain and take the pressure of of the winch. Finally I was able to stop and think for a bit, suddenly I realized what had happened, even though we were told that this was a clean anchorage and all sand we had to have wrapped the anchor on something. Fortunately I had Vessel Assist at the time so I called them, by this time it was 9;00pm, the dispatcher said they couldn't dive until daylight and could we make it through the night? I didn't like the idea but there weren't any options so I stayed up all night watching the lines stain. Early the next morning a dive b oat showed up with 2 divers, they had us pass our chain to them then stand off a ways for them to work. It took two divers an hour to unwrap our chain, seems we found the only pinnacle of rock in the area and with every tied change we swung around it wrapping the chain tighter and tighter. Finally at 10:am we were free and on our way to San Diego.