Gilligan's Island
At the Cove
August 17-19, 2007

August 17, 2007  The Getaway  Both Patty and I got away from work after lunch on Friday and came home, changed our clothes, went to lunch and then to Trader Joe's to get food for the weekend.  By the time we got everything together and got the boat ready to leave, it was 4:00 p.m., but we were ready for a after dark anchoring drill anyway, so we took off into the hot afternoon.  There was very little wind, so we raised the main and motored out into the ocean.


We had bought a small pizza for dinner and so we baked it and had it underway, because it looked like we were going to be in the Cove late and we certainly had time to eat dinner under way.

About 6:00 p.m., almost 10 miles out of Long Beach, we saw a pod of 20 or so dolphins.  The came toward us and put on a brief show, but did not stick around to play. A few minutes after that, a large pod, probably over a hundred dolphins came into view and a dozen or so of them decided to spend a while surfing our bow wake.  Since sailboats displace the water they move through, rather than riding over it as a powerboat up on plane will do, it creates a pressure wave at the front of the boat.  Dolphins can "surf" the pressure wave like a surfer riding a wave at the beach.

Patty put  her camera in video mode and got on the bow and got some great movies of the dolphins playing around the bow.  They probably stayed with us for 10 or 15 minutes.

We got into the Cove about 9:00 p.m., after dark, and boy was it dark.  No moon and only starlight.  We had not expected a big turnout for the "Gilligan's Island" event, but there were over a dozen boats in the Cove.  We came in and were planning to circle around Paul Haven's sailboat, but found the Senske's power boat right behind it.  I had to turn sharper than I had planned, and the stern swung out further than planned, with the rudder catching the stern anchor line on Chris Rittenhouse's boat, Zoa, and riding up toward his stern.  I put the engine in neutral and Chris came out on deck and loosened his stern line so it would drop below our rudder.  Bill and Suzette Lewis came rowing over to help out, and before long we were free and dropped the stern hook beside Zoa, and motored out and dropped the bow anchor.

As soon as the anchors were set, Bill and Suzette joined us for a bottle of wine in our cockpit.  It was warm enough that we took off our sweatshirts and sat in our shirtsleeves until 10:30 p.m.  Usually, on the water the temperature drops at night, but it was warm and balmy.  When Bill and Suzette left, we had calmed down from our anchoring adventures and got to bed ourselves.

August 18, 2007  Gilligan's Island Party   I got up, and after a cup of coffee, took my mask and snorkel and jumped into the water the check the anchors.  The water was warm and the anchors were set well.  There were a huge number of small fish in the Cove, along with three rays sleeping on the sand under our bow.   The anchors were set well, even if the stern anchor tended to go under the Haven's boat when the wind was out of the west, it was missing their keel, so I was able to leave them alone.  We mostly hung out on the boat, reading, eating and listening to the Sirius radio.  We pumped up the small inflatable so we could take it to shore. 

We often have three "tender" boats for the big boat.  We have the kayak that lives on the boat and I use when I am alone, or for kayak trips along the coast.  We have a small light weight inflatable that we do not put an engine on to use going to shore in the Cove.  The beach is steep and rocky, so it is good to have a light weight boat that is easy to pull up on shore.  Then we have the fiberglass bottom dingy that is heavy, but good to put the outboard on and go the couple of miles to the Isthmus to pick up ferry passengers or use the free internet connection.  It is also useful when Denali is along because she can climb up onto the bow of the big dingy and then jump up onto the stern of the big boat.  Getting her on board from the other tenders would be a real chore.

We both showered on the boat and got ready for the Gilligan's island party.  We put on our costumes, made and packed chicken shish-kabobs for dinner, and put together a shrimp appetizer.  We were supposed to stick to an "Island" theme, so we put the cocktail sauce  in a plastic coconut.  Patty went as Gilligan and I as the skipper.  Bill & Suzette Lewis hosted the event, and he came as the Professor and she as MaryAnn.

The appetizers were great, almost leaving no need for a meal.  Plenty of liquid libations were on hand as well, including a chest of fine rum that was found washed up on the beach by Gilligan of course.   After an hour or so of drinking and snacking, we grilled our shish-kabobs on shore and ate dinner.  After sitting around talking until well after dark, we headed back to the dingy and the big boat.

So both people don't get their feet wet, a technique is for one person to get into the dingy just as it is starting to float and then the other pushes it out so it is floating completely and then steps in from shallow water.  Unfortunately, an occasional rouge wave finds its way into the Cove from the sea, caused by nature or a passing power boat going off shore.  In the dark, concentrating on getting into the boat with the bags of dishes, etc., we did not notice one of these beasts sneaking into the Cove.  Just as Patty sat down on the seat, it hit the front of the dingy, tossing a bucket full of water over the bow, causing Patty to fall backward onto the bow tube and bruising her legs on the seat and getting her back wet.  After a laugh, and another attempt, I stepped into the now sloshing dingy.  The wave had not only brought water, but an eight inch fish, that flopped and squirmed around the boat in the dark.  At least, when we got back to the mother ship, we saw it was an eight inch fish, but on the row out, we just had something alive moving around the bottom of the dingy.  Patty rowed pretty fast.

August 19, 2007  Sunday  The next morning, we pulled anchor and headed back for the mainland.  After an engine shutdown to pull sea grass out of the raw water strainer, we got going again and had an uneventful motor-sail back to Long Beach.  We did spot a blue whale in mid-channel.  They are distinctive because they have a very small fin far back on their back.  Also, it is the wrong time of year for grey whales.  You can see him spouting in the picture.

About a mile off shore, the wheel pilot self destructed, scattering parts over the cockpit floor, so I got to hand steer the last mile.  Luckily, I think I later found the problem, and was able to drill out the broken piece and put in a screw to hold it together.  It is getting old and we will see how long it holds together.

We made it made it home in good time and back into the slip without further incident .