The same old story, two steps forward – one back. Last night the wind came on very strong. As we approached Cape Mendocino all hell let lose. The wind was howling – no shrieking from the North with great gusts thrown in. It felt stronger than the forty knots predicted. I was unable to carry any sail and rounded Cape Mendocino under bare poles, once reaching nine knots! Steering in that wind is a good workout.
Really a mad morning. My wind vane can’t handle gale force winds in its fragile state so I headed for Shelter Cove and anchored. The scenery is spectacular on this stretch of coast and the day turned out beautiful. Real Californian sunshine, I am feeling warm at last. Now I am considering breaking the shorts and jandals out – but don’t want to jinx it.
When it comes to weather forecasting NOAA are pretty good. I downloaded Gribs for the route yesterday but the strongest wind they were giving was twenty-five knots. I also found the same when using weather routing on big ships. A couple of years ago in the Bering Sea, NOAA prediction was different from the weather routing company. I took NOAA advice and it saved us a beating.
NOAA have issued a gale warning for this evening. I will sit in Shelter Cove, relax in the evening sunshine and crack a bottle of wine I have been saving for a special occasion. Tomorrow is another day. Voyage distance 765.8 miles.