Safe Harbor

Drake’s Bay     Aug 21



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJerry and I have been Jerry and I have been sailing sailing and motoring south along the CA coast for two and one half days and nights, and we are tired. Late this afternoon we stretched time to anchor in Drake’s Bay prior to sunset. Successful. We were on the hook when the sun lights went out. Now we’re only 20 miles from the entrance to San Francisco Bay.

We’re grateful for a safe harbor. The winds are 2 knots and the seas are flat and we are fully protected. We have a chain rode of 7/1 out, and we’ve put the anchor alarm on watch and instructed it to alert us if the anchor drags. We set switches, coiled lines and finished up the tasks of putting the ship to bed. And soon we can replenish our deficit of sleep for our final 20 mile run to San Francisco tomorrow

Work done, it was now time to be extravagant and open a fine bottle of Aterbrook Malbec from 2012.   We celebrated by toasting to an excellent 2 1/2 days of dancinig with Mother Nature. We had been thrilled by a 25 knot downwind “sleigh ride”, bored with windlass flat seas, and punished by rollers making sleep impossible. We had moments of bliss and moments wondering why the f*** are we out   here. But overall it was not a heroic trip…a few thrills and no stories of survival — a modest sailing effort really. The partnership of Raven’s Dance and Jerry and I had done well, and the glow of the wine is mixed with a sense of satisfaction that brings a personal meaning to the term “safe harbor”.


Sleep deprived, exhausted, hungry numb. There is another word to describe our condition: bliss.  We fell into a conversation we could not have anticipated… those rare moments when the brain shuts down and we begin to speak from the heart — a place where men are seldom comfortable. I’ll remember Drake’s Bay for being for being a safe harbor physically and emotionally. I’ll mark it on the chart and on the map of my mind.   It is the place that Jerry became my life-long trusted friend.




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