Anchoring Out at Berkeley Island

Categories Sailing Log

After several days of 100° weather we were really looking forward to the promise of a sea breeze and drinks with lime wedges.

We were met at the shore by Abby and Mike, who had limited sailing experience but were eager to give it a go. Although the wind meter was saying 9kts at Trixie’s, by the time we got the boat rigged it seemed like more and we threw a reef in just to be leisurely. I’m still refining my captain’s speech to capture the right combination of serious and reassuring, but the specific timbre was probably irrelevant because the sailing portion of the day was relatively short.

We sailed down past 39 and determined that the crew might want to go swimming, so we tacked and headed back. We sailed past 40, just to get some sailing in before turning around for Governor’s Mansion, but dark clouds to the south had us worried. We decided to anchor in Berkeley so that we could duck in quickly if the weather turned ugly.

Anchoring was unusually eventful for Berkeley. We had our new voice-activated headset attachments for our family-band walkie talkies, which are pretty cool, but are painfully slow to start or stop transmitting along with your voice, and may have added to the frustration instead of mitigating it. When we had practiced with them at home, we took to saying the word “Albuquerque” at the beginning of each line. This seemed to reliably trip the “transmit” function, but sounds kind of ridiculous in the real world.

“Albuquerque are you ready to drop?”

“Albuquerque yep, ready.”

“Albuquerque ok, drop it now.”

“Albuquerque are we good?”

“Albuquerque what?”

“Albuquerque did you drop the anchor?”

“Albuquerque no, there’s a knot.”

Meanwhile, we’re Albuquerque 40′ from where we should have set and we’re right up on some Albuquerque power boat, drifting backwards with 30′ of rode in the water but no Albuquerque anchor. Albuquerque.

Eventually I took over the anchor handling and Jen took over driving (with help from Mike) and we got it set. We were then able to commence with the rum drinks, swimming, and general hanging out. Abby and I avoided work talk as much as possible, so as to not disturb the general sense of peace and tranquility, and we all just swam around and chatted at our leisure. We should probably figure out a way to always sail with a chef, because the eating was pretty good with Mike on board. He brought gigantic hoagies, a nice broccoli salad loaded with bacon, and a pesto pasta salad, among other things.

After lunch there was a period of fairly significant rain, but the lightning stayed well to the south and we made it through the passing shower to more swimming and daiquiris. Evenutally the sun started to sink low and we headed back, arriving just in time to get my truck out of the park. I think we played what we were dealt about as well as we could have, and it wound up being a relaxing day on the water.



"Prepare to fend off the bridge abutment."