Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Days 10 and 11 Sailing from Portland to San Diego - Arrival

June 5th and 6th of 2017

June 5th Day 10

At midnight I came on watch as we neared Point Conception.  Everything was going smoothly until about 1:30am when I noticed on the AIS we had a large cargo ship about 5 miles away on a collision course with us.  The AIS identified the ship as YM Mandate.  I hailed YM Mandate on the VHF and we shifted to another channel to talk about collision avoidance.  The radio operator on YM Mandate stated he could not see us on radar.  I gave them our position, heading and our bearing to them.  After a brief pause on their side the conversation went like this:

YM Mandate: CarolMarie we can't see you on radar or see you visually.  What do you suggest? Over.

CarolMarie: YM Mandate hold please, over. (I did quick calculations on plotting collision avoidance.)

CarolMarie: YM Mandate I suggest you shift your heading 20 degrees to the west to avoid collision. Please confirm over.

YM Mandate: CarolMarie I confirm we will shift 20 degree to west from our current heading.  Please stand by on this channel until passing over.

CarolMarie: This CarolMarie Standing by. (About 15 minutes pass)

YM Mandate: CarolMarie this is YM Mandate over.

CarolMarie: Please go ahead YM Mandate over.

YM Mandate: CarolMarie are you that small sailboat off to our starboard side about a 1/2 mile away. over.   (I looked at our chart plotter to see, yep its us.)

CarolMarie: YM Mandate I confirm, that is us, over.

YM Mandate: You are a small sailboat, you made us move, over.

CarolMarie: You asked for a suggestion, over.

YM Mandate: Good for you CarolMarie, good night. over.

YM Mandate
We went back to our hailing frequencies and I watched as they disappeared from our screen.  By the next morning we were past Point Conception into the Santa Barbara Channel.

Passing by Point Conception. 
The Santa Barbara Channel was full of fishermen, oil rigs, otters, seals and dolphins. A thick layer of fog surrounded us as we'd pass an oil rig or a fishing boat.

Fishing boat off Santa Barbara

About 2pm our autopilot gave out again, this time the motor stopped working.  We are now on the last one.  

After dinner the third and final autopilot motor failed.  This was odd because two of them failed in calm seas.  With them dead, the sun setting and us approaching the LA basin I didn't want any chance of an accident while hand steering.  We changed the watches to two on switching people every two hours.  This gave each man four on and four off, except for Bill our cook, how had every other shift five off to cook.

June 6th Day 11

I came on watch after midnight to a sea of traffic as we passed the LA basin.  We were now heading eastwardly.  The night was lit in all directions from the city, the ships, and the oil rigs.

Hand steering via compass heading ESE
 For the last few nights a spider has been building a web right above our heads over on the starboard side of the Bimini.  The web building has been a sources of amusement breaking up the boredom of the watch.  
I went off watch at 4:00am, when I woke up it was late into my watch.  Both Paul and Bill let me sleep in, it was about 9:20am when I woke up to a misty rainy fog.

Foggy conditions
The weather cleared up through the day, winds built back up and we were off to sailing again.  Light swells and no waves.

Southern California Sailing

So-Cal Sailing
As luck would have it the dolphins came back at us.  They would come in lined up parallel to the boat, heading direction into us, pushing fish along the way.

We continued motor sailing for a while when we came upon Warship 53 in the distance.  We stay far away from him trying to keep out of their way.

As we got near Point Loma, the Warship turned into the channel for the bay and we thought they'd be pulling in soon.  We had turned off the motor to save fuel and were under sail.

Warship 53 in the distance heading into San Diego Bay

We cut Point Loma close as we were on a heading that would round an underwater buoy at near the end of the point.  The underwater buoy marked the edge of a sewer line that we didn't want to interfere with it.

Point Loma right before our turn.
After a brief dialogue with the Navy and their "warships" we rounded Point Loma to come into the San Diego Bay.

Rounding Point Loma.

Immediately upon turning into the bay we were faced with a Pineapple Ship from Dole.  

June 7th Departing Crew