Whales and “Santa Ana” Winds

We’re finally coming up off Ensenda.  I’m mentally calculating whether we need to stop for fuel or not when I see something out of the corner of my eye.  Whales!  Finally.  They have been pretty elusive this trip.  Two Grey whales came over to check us out.  We’re headed North, they are headed South, so our passing was brief.  They came to within about 50 yards, surfaced four or five times, then one final dive and they were gone.  (My camera was below and I didn’t want to miss seeing my friends, so you’ll have to imagine what they looked like).   Wow, I always love seeing such huge majestic and gentle creatures.  You can always “sense” an intelligence when they are around.  It’s an eerie feeling.

 

A little later in the day a dozen or so dolphins swam over to visit and ride the bow wave.  I love to go up on the bow and watch them as they trade places riding the wave up there.

 

Dolphin

 

Later that afternoon the wind was up to 25 gusting at least to 30 knots.  Too much wind to be able to motor anymore as we were down to making about 2 knots headway.  Sails up.  We had a double reef and staysail and were doing 6 knots through 4 foot, fairly closely spaced swells, so we were burying the blow a lot and there was a lot of water flying through the air.  The forecast had not talked about such winds and I was trying to figure out how it had been so far off, but the answer appeared at sunset.  As the sky started glowing some amazing purple, orange and red colors, I could also see a brown haze across the sky-Santa Ana winds blowing the dirt off the land.  We were nearing San Diego and they HAD been talking about these, but I thought we’d be too far South for them to be an impact.  Wrong again!  Fascinating colors and cloud forms.  At one point the clouds actually looked like the rings of Saturn, blown flat and curved with brown, purple, lavender, orange and more colors.

 

The wind and waves lasted until about 0100, when they dropped and we were able to shake out the reefs and have a more relaxed sail as we neared San Diego.

 Santa Ana Sunset

 

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