Friday, November 12, 2010

Night Time Approach of Bahia Santa Maria

Surfing on our cat at almost 18 knots! 10-31-10

Had a nice nap during my off watch and upon stepping on deck for my 1500 watch, the crew informs me we had caught a large yellow tail tuna. The filet's were in the cooler and waiting to be marinated. Fresh fish is always a treat. Winds were in the mid teens and we are cruising right along. I took the helm for a good long while as we neared the finish line of leg 2. I calculated our 24 hour run and it was just shy of 200 miles! Our second one of the trip. We had an awesome dinner at sunset and I mentioned to the crew that the conditions were perfect for a green flash. Five minutes later were had a brief green flash over the wave tops. Our VHF is on 24/7 and many of the other boats in the fleet chimed in that they had seen it as well. It can happen at sunset and sunrise and is caused by the refraction of the light over the horizon. I estimate that I see it about once every 100 sunsets that I watch, so it does not happen very often and is very cool so keep an eye out if you are looking at a sunset over the ocean. Dinner was rice pilaf, broccoli and fresh tuna. The skippers wife had put together goodie bags for the crew for Halloween and we got our chocolate fix. Nice. As I type we are sailing into the anchorage and getting ready for three nights on the hook at Santa Maria. There is nothing here but a beautiful bay, a small fishing camp and 600 Haha'ers and their boats. Let's have some fun!

Our first morning in Santa Maria was filled with shock and disbelief. A solo cruiser from San Francisco had run his boat up on the beach on the other side of the point. We heard he had fallen asleep at the helm and his auto pilot steered him into the surf. How very sad. Word went out that we needed to help him and volunteers were needed. The crew on Rainbow was up for the adventure and in short order were on our way to the rescue. We jumped into the dingy and headed up the Santa Maria River about a mile or so. From there it was over land and a 5-6 mile hike to the beach. We arrived at the stricken vessel named Tachyon and 30 or so Hahaers were stripping the boat of all the supplies, hardware and equipment. It was a sad sight indeed. The owner was there and had given the word to salvage as much as possible. With so many folks already on the scene, there was not much we could do. We stayed for about an hour and then headed back. There is a small chance that the boat could be pulled out on an extreme high tide on Thursday. We got back to the boat and Sea Chaser was headed in to the bay after the crossing from Turtle Bay. The father/daughter crew had been beat up pretty bad in the tiny Cal 2-27. Even though is was a difficult sail for them, they still had a smile and made us laugh with their stories and insights. We invited them to stay for dinner and we talked about their adventure all the down the the coast from Coos Bay, Oregon. We gave them a special treat of ice cream and carrot cake for dessert and we all enjoyed that a bunch. After dinner, three of the larger boats hosted a party. A great time was had by all and I got to met some more of the fleet. The main boat was 47 foot cat that was sailed by a crew of five. The skipper, Bill, had it down. He had 4 ladies as crew. They sailed the boat and he worked the radio and relaxed while his crew sail the boat. He did not stand one watch during the trip. How cool is that? Will get some rest for the beach party tomorrow.

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