Click here to read Part 1.
“I’m in” Captain Rod texted at 08:33AM that morning.
After our aborted mission, we were on again for tomorrow!
Captain Rod and I had worked together before, in the 2014 and 2016 edition of the Great Pacific Race (a rowboat race from Monterey to Hawaii). I was the Safety Officer and Captain Rod skippered the support boat with his Jeanneau 49 The Galen Diana. As Deployment Officer and Master of the Battleship respectively, we coordinated the rescue of one rower with snapped wrist, one with dislocated shoulder and a third with severe sea sickness, emergencies which naturally occurred at exactly the same time. Captain Rod sails some 356 days of the year in and around the bay of San Francisco. He also loves heavy weather!
It was Captain Rod’s idea to meet at 04:00AM rather than 05:00AM. This would give us more time to ride the outgoing tide to Point Bonita before the hour of magic light, at dawn.
Overnight the second wave of the storm passed through. Captain Rod saw 41 knots, while docked in Sausalito!
By 3:30AM I was down at my boat, readying to depart. By 4:50AM the tow was in progress.
It’s hard to explain to your body at 3AM that it’s time for breakfast. I managed to force down only a modest amount of cereal, so by the time we reached Point Bonita, I was feeling unusually queasy. I could see that Christian on The Galen Diana was feeling the same. He was going through the pre-seasick motions: breaking out into a sweat, stripping off clothes, turning his head into wind a pained look on his face, burping…
Years of experience tell me to neutralise stomach acid and eat something. ‘Raspberry Yumberry Gummy Pandas!’ That will do, I thought. And it did do. I was fine.
Christian alas was not so fortunate and after a while was feeding his breakfast to the fishes…between shots, naturally.
Out beyond Point Bonita the size of the waves dropped. The day after the storm can be the worst, because the wind has died but the waves are left with no wind to organise them. The result? A mess. A mess of waves, new collective noun.
North then south I rowed with Christian and Rod snapping away.
A big roller approached and I squared the stern to surf my boat, 7, 8, 9 knots!!! When the wave finally fizzled out from under me, I looked up with a big smile. Christian’s expression of delight told me that he had caught the shot too – on camera!
As the sun ascended behind the clouds over Ocean Beach, The Galen Diana left me to row back.
And what a row it was. By the time I reached the Golden Gate Bridge I was the happiest an ocean rower can be!
Next all hail broke loose! HAIL! I was being attacked by snowballs! The deluge was intense. I was in the hands of the tide pouring through the gate and my boat rocked from side to side so viciously that a passing Coast guard vessel diverted towards me. I picked up the oars and they diverted back.
At the dock of The Canvas Works, not only the Bay-Area-best at what they do, but a bunch of superstars who let me keep my boat at their dock, Mike the owner was measuring up covers for a boat.
“What are you going to do the rest of the day?” Mike asked. At that point it occurred to me that for most, the day was just beginning.
“Eat… and sleep,” I replied.
A massive thank you once again to Christian Agha and to Captain Rod for getting up so ungodly early and being part of chasing the storm!
Captain Rod and The Galen Diana are available for charter in San Francisco Bay and beyond. Book today 🙂