Steve Young, S/V Quiddity
I’ve always wanted to sail to San Miguel, and here was the chance to do it with company! So I fueled up S/V Quiddity, and with Scott Burns helping me, we set out early Friday. Neil, who is very used to going there, and handling the strong west wind, had given us the advice of motoring due west until we were comfortable with being able to sail to the island on a single tack. This worked for us, so after a rather boring 5 hours motoring, we were rewarded with a wonderful and exhilarating starboard tack to Cuyler’s anchorage.
It’s a beautiful place with white sandy beaches, and a family of elephant seals a couple of hundred feet way. A couple of males would occasionally rear up to fight each other, but since it wasn’t breeding season, we assumed it was just adolescents practicing. Soon after, we watched M/V Seagoer motor in with Pete and Suzette aboard. They joined us on S/V Quiddity for appetizers and libations (thanks to Scott’s delicious Windrun Pinot).
Saturday we went ashore and explored that part of the island. Many incredible views – well worth it. And strangely little wind on the bare tops of the hill, in spite of a continuous strong breeze in the (supposedly sheltered) anchorage. I had a couple of incidents I’d rather forget:
1) fell in the water while climbing into Scott’s kayak (and, yes, the auto-inflate life vests DO work – now I’ve got to get a re-arming kit)
2) slipped on the gravel trail and sprained my ankle.
The island is covered with scrubby dead-looking bushes, but apparently in the Spring they all bloom spectacularly. I’ll have to go again in early May.
Early afternoon, S/V Maude arrived with Neil and Sue and we all congregated there for appetizer, lubricant, and good conversation.
Mid-Sunday morning we pulled anchor and sailed all the way home. Wonderful!
Pete and Suzette Segoe, M/V Segoer
M/V SeaGoer left SB 9:30 Friday, 8/17. Weather overcast but pleasant. About 2 hours out we started to overheat. We were doing about 7 kt at the time. Shut everything down for about 10 minutes while we debated about going ahead or turning back. Pete checked tranny and linkage -no issues apparent. Maybe just a piece of kelp in the water intake. Decided to go ahead at a bit of a slower pace. Took 7 hours to reach Cuyler where S/V Quiddity was already anchored. Anchored in about 24 ft at the 4 palms. We were greeted by about a dozen elephant seals on the beach-quite a sight! After some housekeeping, took the dingy to S/V Quiddity for a drink.
Sat am decided to explore the island. Found the trail to the Cabrillo monument and hiked up with Steve and Scott. Amazing views from the top but so desolate. Hard to imagine living out there! Back down and to the boats for some r&r. Strong winds came up in the afternoon. We went over to S/V Maude for a bit after dinner, but we were anxious to get back to M/V SeaGoer as it was getting pretty rough. We rocked and rolled all night and were up many times to check on our status. At one point we knew something was amiss but it was too dark to really see what was happening. At first light we saw that we had dragged anchor about 1/2 mile! Right past S/V Quiddity and Judge Rock. Someone was definitely looking out for us! Needless to say, we secured the dingy, pulled anchor, and headed home about 6:30am. Very rough the first two hours but then calmer waters prevailed along with numerous dolphin escorts. I never get enough of that! Back to SB in 7 hours, exhausted but happy for another boating adventure!
Neil and Sue Ablitt, S/V Maude
We arrived a day late so decided to stay Sunday. While the wind blew Saturday night we didn’t expect it would blow all day Sunday, but it did sustained 20-26 knots. Impossible to go top side – and BBQ out of the question. Pete and Steve made the right decision returning Sunday.
The irony? Zero wind for S/V Maude going up AND coming back.