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The James Gang Escapes The Corona Blues

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  • The James Gang Escapes The Corona Blues

    Elliot James was geared up and ready for the 2020 Pac Cup. He had been working and planning on the race for months, prepped his Mancebo 31’ Bloom County that he and his father had purchased in 2009 into prime condition for the sleighride to the Islands, including a quiver of new sails before the news came down that the race was cancelled.

    With time on his hands, he and former classmate at Cal Maritime, Kyle Vanderspek, got the itch to get out of their respective abode’s and get some fresh air and clean perspective. The plan was to exit the Golden Gate and head south towards Half Moon Bay for a little workout and offshore tuning. With supplies to keep self-sustained for as few days, they moseyed out with all intentions to do just that.

    “When we got past Bonita, the wind was very southerly, and since we had no desire to beat into the wind all day, we just turned right instead of left” Says Elliot. “The ride north was nice pleasant, but lonely, only whales keeping us company. We arrived at Drakes Bay and set the hook by 3:30 PM and had the place to ourselves” he continues. “Finally another sailboat arrive a couple hours later, and thought maybe we would have company, but they socially distanced themselves a bit far for any communication. And just before dusk, a cabin cruiser motored in nearby, dropped their hook and closed shop for the night, and in the morning at 1st light were gone”

    As the new day dawned for Kyle and Elliot, the air was still and having no plans, decided to motor up to Bodega Bay. With glassy seas all about, and the gentle hum of outboard propelling them northward, the sea life provided the entertainment, with friendly cetaceans swimming close by the check out the 1982 ULDB MORCA hull meandering through their feeding grounds, others breaching nearby, sending loud concussions across the grey mid-morning waters.

    They reached Bodega Bay in early afternoon and refueled and got a permission to tie up for the night. Only they weren’t warned about the noisy neighbors that would soon follow. During the night a large gang of seals joined them on the dock and were clearly not following social distancing suggestions. “ They were big, and making a big commotion, and there were so many that the dock was underwater and the boat began listing. Terrible trying to sleep, at least they didn’t climb aboard!” Elliot explains.

    Bloom County departed Bodega Bay around 9:30 am with kite working nicely in 15 knots or so of wind. They cruised at a steadfast pace until things lightened slightly at Point Reyes into the 10-12 knot range. Once past Muir Beach, pressure increased steadily into the 20-25 knot range and gave Kyle and Elliot a good chance to put the new spinnaker staysail through the paces. “We were churning pretty good and hit 18 knots on the fun meter, and crossed under the gate at 4:00 PM where we were greeted by a group of kitefoilers eager to ride our wake! Winds were classic inside the bay with a big ebb and 30 knots, making the last stretch the best, and we were tied up by 4:30!”

    An excellent end to an excellent adventure, and a good way to beat the Covid 19 Blues!
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    That sounds way better than disinfecting all the produce in the house


    • #3
      Bloom County! LTNS...I'm glad she's still around.