We left Loch Lomond Marina, San Rafeal on September 2nd and sailed a short distance away to anchor off China Camp. We swam, we tanned, we ate, what could possibly go wrong? Well nothing did until the night of the 4th.
We were in bed and I said to the Captain that the boat sure seemed to be rocking and rolling quite a bit compared to before. He agreed and decided to get up and check the chart plotter to make sure we were still anchored in the same place. We were not! He checked and rechecked but there were no doubts, we were drifting away. 0.5 knots, 0.7 knots and quickly climbing.
Now while this was happening the wind really began to howl and the waves were getting rougher. We turned on the instruments and found the winds were now blowing at 30 knots. Really??? This is a bay (although large) and had been lovely, sunny and calm only a few hours ago. We turned on the VHF radio and heard that a boat (not ours) had broken free in our very same area and was drifting quickly away plus in Sausolito one boat had drifted away, ran into another and their anchors were now tangled together. Chaos everywhere!
The wind and current were so strong that we were being dragged with a plow style anchor, 100 feet of chain, in 10 feet of water backwards at 1.5 knots! Things were happening quickly. Windows were being latched down, motor started, anchor was coming up as I was steering us into the wind. Captain realized that the anchor was not going to hold (he had tried several times to get the anchor to hold over the course of a couple of hours but no success) and now he had to change to another one.
That is where I come in, steering the boat into the wind as he changed anchors. Thought he was a goner several times as the bow of the boat went down and a wave came up and over. It is now three in the morning. Captain has switched to a different anchor and returns to take over the helm.
Down I go into the cabin to double check the windows are latched. We have drifted quite some ways out into the bay. The wind, opposing current and waves are not letting up.
Much earlier I had noted the forward windows were latched in the V berth but had not checked that the hatch above our bed was closed. As I went to do this I could feel that the bed was soaked and just as I reached up to pull the hatch down a bucket of water tumbles into and onto me and the bed! Really??? Grrrrr!
We motor back to our original anchorage, put the anchor down and without difficulty it digs into the mud. Captain said that in all his years sailing he has never had an anchor drag like this. Different conditions, different sea bed. Lesson learned for both of us.
Once we were stabilized again I gathered all the wet bedding into a pile to hang outside in the morning. Then I proceeded to put clean sheets on a bed shaped like a V that are made for a bed shaped like a rectangle. There is an art to this. Video will be available in stores soon!
The next morning comes along. What could go wrong?
Captain hangs up the bottom sheet for me, ties it onto the back boom. Looks good and secure. The day is windy, excellent drying day. I look at my email and find that another boat anchored in the same location has looked up our boat name on the internet, found my blog and then sent an email to us! The name of their boat is the Wunderlust and there she was, off our port side. Captain hops into the kayak and paddles over to say hello. It is far too windy and the current is racing, think I will read my book instead.
Captain returns and is settled nicely in the cabin when I yell out – “oh, no!” That bottom bed sheet had become a sail and with it gained enough strength to pull free and away she went! I watch as it hits the water. Captain hits the water also. Into the kayak he leaps and retrieves the bed sail.
What went through my mind? Salt water sheets! A friend of ours named Doug, laughed at me very early in our journey stating I had better get used to “salt water sheets”, I laughed back and said, “no way man!”.
He was right.
This blog is for you Doug.