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.

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