San Diego Bay w/Don and Ginny
Don and Ginny joined me for a weekday sail, and were game to get out
to the ocean as quick as possible, so we motored from 11-12, and were
tacking to the south outside of the channel by 12:30. Avoiding a
Navy warship we tacked back to the north and had a nice romp as the
wind picked up to 12-15 knots with Mandala doing a handy 7 knots
thru the water. The sailing was so nice that we got almost halfway
to Mission Bay before deciding to turn back.
Although we were keeping our eyes out, we saw no whales.
We sailed back and made the long dogleg into the bay as the wind
settled a bit by 4:00 or so. We kept pace by another Catalina 36 in the
lee of Point Loma. The wind was slight, and directly aft, so both boats
were struggling with running wing and wing. We seemed to gain as Don
went forward and held the genoa out to keep it from luffing.
As we were passing Shelter Island the wind picked up a bit again
as the sun was starting to set. The other boat jumped forward
in the wind, but we caught up and were still pacing her as we passed
our turn to Harbor Island in favor of continuing into the dark.
About that time the weather changed quite abpruptly. We had seen a bank
of clouds on the horizon more or less all day, but it was sunny and clear
out on the ocean and promised to be a sparkling sunset as we were sailing
back in. Then it rolled in around Point Loma like a wall. A Huge Wall of
Fog just enveloped everything. It came rolling in over the Coronado Bridge
on one side and up the channel blanking out Shelter Island on the other side.
In the middle it rolled over Coronado Island, and engulfed us. The whole
thing only took about 10 minutes from when we noticed it until we couldnt
see 100 ft.
It was kind of weird. They even reported it on the news that night.
The sun was still up and above the fog, so as the bank hit us, the
sun was still visible, glowing like an orange ball. Then it too was
blanked out and we were in near darkness. I think it set in that 5
or ten minutes, but you couldn't see it anymore.
Anyway, we dropped and folded the mainsail in the encroaching night
and fog, and didn't do too neat a job of it neither! Don, not
familiar with the GPS, had us going in circles while I was taking
in the sail. When I looked at the GPS, we were headed directly
cross channel, tho still a good 100 yards from the jetty.
After getting back on track we still had to go around
Harbor Island to get to our slip, which we did without incident.
Perhaps the coolest thing was, after looking for whales and not seeing any,
nor any dolphins, all day, when we were motoring around the corner to go to
the marina, we see a dolphin, in the channel, going out to sea.
He was just swimming along lazily, breaking the surface slowly and just kind
of mozying along. And by the time we motored the remaining 1 mile or
so back to the slip, the fog had pretty much cleared, and we put
the boat away amazed at the changes in the weather, as we watched
a grey, but visible sunset.