San Diego Whale Watching: December 31, 2018
With a 60% chance of rain and low forecasted winds, the crew of the Yacht America prepared the boat for showers. How do you prep a 139 ft open air sailing yacht for rain? Well, we have nifty canvas awnings that are quite effective for such occasions. The lines were tied, the guests boarded, and we were off.
Light rain ensued as we made our way out of the San Diego Bay. The water was pretty calm in the bay, but as soon as we passed Point Loma, it was as different story. Since we could not hoist our mainsail or our foresail, we did not have the luxury of our normal sailing stability. Out in the open ocean, we did not have any protection from the storm swells. Up and down, up and down, we experienced an exciting ride. Captain Troy immediately turned down towards Hotel Del to get as much protection from the jetty as possible. Although we were in the open ocean, heading close to shore decreased the amount of swell we experienced. Captain Troy decided that we needed to hoist the staysail in order to improve our stability. Between looking at the current weather report and the sky above us, we determined that we were free from rain for a while. We would be able to take down our awnings and hoist our mainsail and foresail.
We came up to Zuñiga Point and found calm waters back in the bay. The sails were hoisted and we headed out to the ocean again. This would be our second attempt to find a whale. We were hoping that the sails would provide enough stability to cut through the waves. As soon as we passed Point Loma, we noticed that the ride was smoother than the first attempt. Periodically, however, we experienced a very large swell that rolled the boat. Despite our efforts, the weather conditions were simply not suitable for whale watching.
Captain Troy wisely made the decision to head back to the bay.
Once in the calm waters of the San Diego Bay, we went on an enjoyable sightseeing adventure. We stopped by the bait barges and got a close look at the sea lions. There were a few cute pups cuddled close to their mothers. The males arched their backs, displaying dominance as we sailed by. Our guests warmed up with complementary hot chocolate and we got a great view of the USS Midway.
Did you know it only took 17 months to build the USS Midway? She was built to serve in World War II, but the war ended only a week before she was commissioned. The USS Midway is the longest serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century.
Unfortunately we did not see whales, but it was not for lack of trying. As always, safety is number one. Good thing we have a whale watching guarantee. Everyone gets to come back to free.
See you next year!