We almost never pay for a mooring ball. After all, the reason that we bought our new Mantus 65 anchor is
The first night was nice. We arrived on
The next day the weather was calm and there were no signs of any Santa Ana winds, so we went ashore without worrying about anything aboard. Later that afternoon we went back to the boat for sundowners and had a nice evening. We started wondering what the big deal was about the Santa Ana winds. They had not been an issue and in fact, the wind was very light. It wasn’t until the next night that we figured out what the harbor patrol was talking about regarding the Santa Ana winds.
As it turns out the Santa Ana winds are not the issue. The problem starts when the winds blow offshore at the mainland. The winds whip up wind waves that are three to four feet. That doesn’t seem like much until you realize that the wave period is about two seconds. When you put that together with being on a mooring ball we could see how a boat could pop a cleat and slam into other boats causing a lot of damage. And there is also the matter of how uncomfortable it is.
We were awakened about two in the morning when the chop started rolling in. Our Morgan started hobby horsing up and down in a very uncomfortable way. About every 15 seconds or so we would start rolling side to side very violently. I went up in the cockpit to see that all the other boats were being tossed about like toys, too. From small sailboats to 50-foot power boats – none were immune to the force of the chop. That is when I noticed our skiff was floating away. It broke loose from the cleat it was on and was slowing drifting towards the bow. I ran (crawled) to the bow and wrapped one arm around a stanchion and while laying down reached as far as I could over the side. Although I could not reach the skiff when the Morgan was bouncing up, when it came down I could just reach into where the painter was. On the last bounce before it floated out of reach I said a prayer and blindly reached down as the skiff came up. Just like
Before we could untie and sail out I needed to climb down into the skiff and pull the outboard into the up position. Normally this is a non-event, but with the
We tossed the mooring lines off and slowly motored through the remaining boats. Once we made it into deeper water the chop was a bit
Sad thing is that no one mentioned that the problem with the Santa Ana winds was not the wind, but the wind waves. Not one person. We’ve experienced Santa Ana winds for many years