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Oct 4-6: Anchor trials at China Beach, helping a wayward mariner return home, and chillin at Angel Island

On October 4th, 2006, just before 4PM on a gray drizzly day, we left our slip at Loch Lomond Marina. We left without a dock party, without shaking hands, without promising to write. We wove to a few friends as we motored out into the channel, found a little wind, raised the sails, and were off. It was awesome.

Will, Sara and Sean: ready to depart
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Outfitted and provisioned
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Our first stop was right around the corner: a nice little anchorage off a state park called China Beach. Even though it was just an hour from Loch Lomond, for some reason we had never been there before - what a mistake! The water was just the right depth, the surrounding area was beautiful, and although we weren't in a cove, we didn't have much rocking or rolling through the night.

Sunset at China Beach
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Will and Sean after setting anchor
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This was the first time setting anchor, so we probably went a little overboard. In 8ft of water, 14ft when the tide would come in fully, we deployed almost 100' of chain and our huge CQR. It's so cool to have such massive equipment (innuendo!) - there's no worry at all about dragging or the anchor not setting. Just the weight of the chain probably would have held us!

Anchor down in the soft mud
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Croissants and homemade applesauce for breakfast
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On Thursday, we slept in. It had rained on and off all night, which made checking the anchor a chilly exercise. We cozied up with a movie and wine, and next morning Sean made little croissants and some homemade applesauce for breakfast. What a way to start the day!

After the clouds burned off and we had cleaned up a bit, we all practiced our anchor technique and hand signals. We dropped the hook six or seven times with different people in different roles. The windlass we have is so fantastic, Sara's grandmother could haul up our 200+lbs of rode and hook.

We also, for the first time, saw some current generated by our solar cells! As soon as the sun came through the clouds I was running up and down the stairs, adjusting the panels and checking the amps. With an overcast sky we generated 5A at 13V, which is almost exactly what we were expecting.

On our way south to Angel Island, we caught up to a J/24. We were hoping to find out how we would compare to this smaller dedicated raceboat, especially in the super-light winds we were experiencing, but instead they asked for a tow. I guess their outboard failed, or perhaps wasn't ever working. Anyway, we happily took the opportunity to put some cash into the karma bank.

J/24 under tow
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Sara, ready to cut the line in trouble
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After hauling the disabled boat into Brickyard Cove Marina in Richmond, we flipped it and headed to Sausalito to pick up Mike. We saw some cool seals hanging out on a channel marker. We had just enough wind to raise the sails and beat to wind up to Ayala Cove in Angel Island.

Seals lazing about
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Will and Sean posing
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We grabbed a mooring ball, chilled, and had a great relaxing evening.

Sara reading
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Will working on web stuff
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Friday morning we motored back over to KKMI in Richmond to have Mike Haley have a look at our diesel. I must digress here and mention that we are KKMI customers for life. Not only has every experience with them been fantastic, but all of my non-KKMI experiences have sucked! Mike looked at our engine for an hour, talked us through all kinds of things we should know, and charged us nothing. I will never go anywhere else for engine work. Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

We bought spares and parts in their store, and quickly sailed back to Sausalito to pick up Mike and provision for the next week.

Mike Haley examining motor
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Coming into dock
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Sara at the bow
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Docking
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We went out for a fantastic burger dinner with Sara's Aunt Judy and Uncle Mark, who were kind enough to drive down to Sausalito to drop off an antenna we had shipped to their home address. After a late night, we motored out into Richardson Bay (just off the Sausalito cityfront) and grabbed an abandoned mooring ball.


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Wanderlust shows us her keel!

 

The calm before the lightning storm

 

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