“Screw yesterday, today is going to be totally different.”
After loading up, driving down, setting up, getting nowhere, and retreating back to John’s house I was so tired I felt like I couldn’t think straight. I managed to set up our emergency GPS unit, fix and repack a few things, and then I went into a coma. That was one of the tougher days I’d had in a while, better get used to it.
The good news was that at the time we planned on trying again in the morning the tide would be going out, helping us along instead of flowing against us. We’d also decided that we would now row one at a time and the other guy would man the rudder to help steer. With this method the rower could just concentrate on good strokes instead of having to compensate for direction as well. The sun was out, the water looked much calmer and the wind was almost non existent. It felt good to be back in the boat and I had a good feeling about the day.
Phone footage, sorry for the quality, but I think the genuine happiness at around 0:23 is worth it.
Photos and video by John Santos
Heath rowed out of the channel no problem, where I would take over and have a turn. I rowed for a bit but after yesterdays try with sailing I wanted to get the sail out as soon as possible because the boat moves so much faster compared to the oars. But…very little wind. Just enough to flop around out there wondering what I was doing wrong, and then *record scratch*…”You’ve got to be kidding me. I think I’m getting seasick already.”
The huge swells running through the water when we broke into the open ocean were supposed to have calmed down a touch since yesterday, but I couldn’t tell any difference, they were still rolling and continuous. I’d always thought motion sickness was kind of a mind over matter scenario, but I could feel the slimy worm crawling up the back of my throat and my stomach was swirling. I tried to breathe in some fresh air and get over it, but after a while I was rooting through the bags to find the seasickness pills and see if I could get some relief.
I am not shitting you, less than 60 seconds after taking a couple pills I was chumming the water with the contents of my stomach. Heath of course was a little upset for not getting video with his new iPad he bought for the trip, but the upside was, that after I threw up I felt a lot better. From there the day went pretty well. We tried to sail a little, but not much wind. We took turns rowing and aside from almost getting clipped by a couple of set waves that broke way outside around Sunset Cliffs, we did good. Picture me staring at a 8 ft wall of water threatening to break on us and saying to Heath rowing with his back towards the water “You’d better burn it dude, this one might get us.” “Is it going to break on us!?” “I don’t know, we’ll see.”
We also got our first taste of getting tangled in the kelp beds that grow a few hundred yards off the shore, not knowing that navigating these would become a crucial part of the trip (kelp is seaweed for those who don’t know. It’s like a forrest growing from the ocean floor and creates fields of overlapping weed, making it easy to snag your keel/dagger board or rudder) We rounded the corner into the harbor and set ourselves up for the last few miles before we called it a day. For the first time it became kind of fun, we even had a sailboat cross the channel and pull up next to us to admire this little wooden boat with a black sail. “El Ojo Negro? Nice name, beautiful boat.” I thought “Oh this ol’ thing? Ya, I just built it with my bare hands with my buddy Heath here. No big whoop.”
In the harbor the wind was more steady and we were finally getting the hang of this whole thing, time for Heath to man the sail for the first time and finish up the day. We tacked back and forth wondering how “right of way” worked, eventually making it into the docks where we sailed that fucker right into our slip. Boom! “We are way better at this than we were yesterday.”