The forecast called for 20-30kn NW winds, with a warning of "steep hazardous seas".
COASTAL WATERS FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEDFORD, OR
259 AM PDT FRI SEP 6 2013
COASTAL WATERS FROM FLORENCE OREGON TO POINT ST. GEORGE CALIFORNIA
AND WESTWARD 60 NM.
WATERS FROM CAPE BLANCO OR TO PT. ST. GEORGE CA FROM 10 TO 60 NM-
259 AM PDT FRI SEP 6 2013
..SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR WINDS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM PDT THIS
AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON...
..SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM
PDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING...
..GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY
..HAZARDOUS SEAS WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY EVENING THROUGH
|WeatherFax for Sept 10, 2013: Surface and Wind/Wave(m) forecasts|
By 3pm, the winds had built to 20 knots; at 430pm, seas were building and winds were 24-27 knots. By 9pm. we had winds up to 38 knots with steep confused seas (12 feet with 7 second period!), sailing under mostly furled yankee only. Fin our Hydrovane was having significant trouble holding course, and we found our hydraulic steering was significantly slipping with any weather helm sailing. We decided to run under bare poles with the autopilot holding course while we made 5 knots. There were definite times we (or, at least, some of us) feared for ours and Pelagia's safety!
Next day was supposed to decrease to 20-25 knots. However, that night, we again had gale-force winds up to 36 knots and large seas. A lousy night. We kept the motor on due to our concern for the hydraulic steering. We also had Fin steer while motoring for about 12 hours -- but we stopped that after the Hydrovane rudder tube was found to have turned a bit off centre (turns out, the bolts all needed tightening: note for future routine maintenance).
By Day 7, winds and seas were down considerably. Such a relief! Nevertheless, concerned over the hydraulic steering, we motored on to Pt. Reyes, arriving at Drakes Bay in thick fog at 11:45pm.
Regardless of the late night, anchored in Drakes Bay, we quickly caught up on or "state-line" rums, plus a "few" more.
After arrival in San Francisco Bay, we headed to Alameda to arrange repairs. We were exhausted and needed days to catch up. (But at least our underwear were clean.... ;-)
The first 3-4 days of the trip were a good, albeit rough, sail. The last 3 had bad weather (gales and hazardous seas), significant equipment issues, fog and way too much motoring. The three of us -- David, Michelle and crew Jim -- did well together. We were very fortunate to have Jim join us as (very experienced) crew: Thank you Jim!