Monday, October 06, 2008

Day 9

We went explored around Cuevo Valdez a bit - this part of Santa Cruz
Island is owned by The Nature Conservancy, so some parts are posted
off limits as private property. We were able to see a marvelous hidden
waterfall, accessed through a sea-tunnel, as well as the sea-cave for
which the cove is named. It is interesting for its three entrances
into a central cave; we took the skiff into one of them.
The day was very nice and warm, and we even went for a swim after all
our hiking around. Soon it was happy hour, and we enjoyed some snacks
on deck and appreciated the calm air and pleasant sun. However, a
breeze started coming up as the weather shifted around to the NW -
pretty quickly, there was a stiff wind. We had put out both bow and
stern anchors, to steady us against the previous night's swell, and
now the anchor configuration caused the boat to turn sideways to the
freshening wind. This caused the bow anchor to start dragging... We
wouldn't be safe in the anchorage under these conditions, so we
decided to pull up the anchors and go down to a more protected spot
around the west end of the island.
Will started getting the skiff ready to go get the stern anchor picked
up, as I motored Libertine to take the strain off the bow anchor. As
Will cast off the skiff's stern line, the bow attachment fitting chose
that moment to come undone... and the skiff started going rapidly
downwind, much to our astonishment! Will dove in after it, and climbed
aboard. Fortunately, we had left the oars on the skiff, so Will could
get back to us... otherwise, he might still be on the island :-)
We eventually got both anchors, the skiff, and Will back on board and
departed around 6 pm under increasing winds.
We made our way down the coast of the island, with big wind and
following swell making for a wild ride; we finally made it to
Smuggler's Cove around 11 pm, wind blowing 30 knots but offshore.
There were at least a dozen other boats in the anchorage, not too bad
in the daylight but tricky to navigate in the dark. We put the anchor
out as close in to the beach as we could, and had some quick soup for
dinner and went to bed.

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