This morning came bright and early. I was up long before my two shipmates, so wandered off to use the shore-side facilities. Unfortunately, I didn't know where our captain had stowed the dock card. "No problem," I thought, "I'll just prop the gate open a little bit and be able to get back in." Excellent plan. Wonderful plan. After all, the gate isn't far from the facilities. Unfotunately, the facilities were still locked, so I resigned myself to using the head on the boat and headed back to the propped open gate. Except it wasn't propped open anymore. I was now locked off the dock.
When I was in my 20s, that wouldn't have been a problem. I'd have scrambled over the gate quick as a wink. Nearing 60, I'm not quite so... cavalier. Fortunately, the dock has another gate onto it. Unfortunately, this one was locked too. Fortunately, there was a thin ledge around the side of the gate and, being tall, I could grasp a high ledge with my fingers while keeping my toes on the small ledge at the bottom. Oh the adventures of sailing! Safely back on the boat, I watched the sun come up until my shipmates stirred.
After boarding our forth crew, we headed out and started messing with sails. Our spinnaker was still wet from yesterday, and that made it a bit uncooperative. We resolved to let it dry by using sail ties to fasten it to the safety lines and let it air/dry out while we messed with the drifter - which proved far more cooperative. So today was a bit of a repeat of yesterday - beating up north against the wind (or motoring) then messing with the sails downwind. Today was the drifter and after working with that a bit, we went back to the spinnaker and worked with that some more.
Slowly the kinks got worked out of procedures, though it's a bit of a difference between working on it in relatively calm waters and trying to deal with it when pitching and heaving at sea. We need more practice, though a lot of the key here will be to have everything rigged and ready long before it's needed so that we're not under time pressure as well and can take as bloody long as we need to get it all set.
In the evening we sailed down to where we met up with a number of other boats also planning on sailing south with the Coho-ho-ho to San Diego. Some of them are even planning on continuing on with the Baja-ha-ha to Cabo. It was nice to see them all being sailboats too. While any seaman is good to meet and socialize with, there's something special about a sailing get together where we can share stories about our own slow-and-steady view of the world.
Dinner was a pot-luck and aboard one boat. I'm sure we exceeded the actual specified crew size by the manufacturer, but nothing sank and we all had a wonderful time before retiring to our boats and headed off to sleep.
Yeah, yeah. I know. More pictures. I promise I'll do better about them on the next trip.