Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smoke and Ashes

Last weekend the winds came up in the early AM and blew all day Sunday. The weather predictions were for somewhat of a repeat with lots of wind Saturday and a little less on Sunday. So with this mind I set off for the boat and as the approach to the freeway came near a large black cloud was seen rising over the the foothills. It wasn't a cloud of welcome rain it was the horrible sight of a fire out of control. As I drove west towards San Pedro the smoke stayed on my starboard side and the fire in the Santa Ana Canyon fueled by acres of dry brush blew west in the direction I was headed and we finally met at the marina where the ash began to settle as the winds slowed. One of my first chores is to clean the boat for Sunday's sail but the ash kept falling so cleaning was put on hold and there was zero wind. Listening to a classical music station does not keep you abreast of all the current events and after turning to AM radio I became aware of all the fires in progress then I promptly turned back to classical music.

The wind for Saturday stayed around 1 knot most of the day in San Pedro while winds with destructive fires blew in the east and north. When the sun came up Sunday morning the ash falling had ceased and the cleanup crew began. There was a litttle light breeze going out from the dock into the ocean but a total lack of waves and in some spots the water was mirror smooth with areas of small patches of pertubation possiblly casued my schools of small fish. Something was in the water as there were lots of birds and seals swimming about. There was enough air to get a hull speed of 8 knots for a while and the boat never heeled more than ten degrees. Usually in the afternoon the entrance back into the harbor by the light house is met with white caps and 25 to 30 degrees of heeling but what a pleasant surprise it wasn't.
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