March 31, 2015

Bogart Avalon Race | Robert Langan Reports

Bob Langan sends in this great report from the Bogart Race to Avalon and back to Newport.  We love to hear from our sailors so please follow his lead and send in your stories!

As part of Sue Griesbach's birthday celebration this past weekend, we entered the two-day Bogart Race to Avalon, Catalina Island and back to Newport Beach. Strong winds were predicted for both days and we were looking forward to it. The Saturday start from Newport was pretty good, but within two hours, all the boats were floating aimlessly 18 miles from Avalon. We even hit 0.0 knots in the water and spun in a complete circle. The "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" comes to mind. None of the boats finished in the allotted time and all motored into Avalon. 

Sunday started out much better, with a glorious ESE wind driving us at 6+ knots directly towards Newport Beach. We had a race! But it was not to be. After an hour we all ground to a halt and started to float. The end result was the same--no boats finished in the cutoff time allotted (7 hours). 

We were, however, treated to some marine mammal entertainment. A whale (probably a gray) surfaced close to the starboard side of our drifting boat and announced it's presence with a startling "blow". Sue grabbed her camera and waited for him (a "he" is probable this time of year) to resurface on that side of the boat. But, enjoying his game of hide and seek, he surfaced at the back of the boat, maybe 40 ft away, again with a sharp "blow". Sue was jolted. A few minutes later he surfaced on the port side, before disappearing permanently.
On Monday we returned to Dana Point after tying up in Newport Beach Sunday night. Well into our quiet 14 mi journey we found ourselves surrounded by hundreds of dolphin and a couple of dozen of them adopted our boat, playing for 5-10 minutes around the boat in the various wakes we created, fore and aft.