Take the boat out and go sailing. That was our agenda. A nice day sail on some flat ocean water. We got the boat ready for departure and went through our pre-sail checklist. The one we kept by memory, as we had yet to formally write one down. Close all the port holes, open the engine sea cock (a valve that permits water to flow into the boat in order to cool the engine), and make sure everything is properly stowed, were all items we noted should be on our list. We fired up the engine and backed easily out of our slip. There has never been a shortage of sea life that graces our presence during our sails. Sea Lions are frequently seen basking on the end docks as we leave the harbor entrance. One quick turn around the corner and we are in the Pacific.
It was a gorgeous afternoon complete with sun and a little warmth. It was very enjoyable. So enjoyable, judging by the sun, and the distance we had traveled, we would not make it back to the harbor entrance before dark. We started to do the math (60 D Street). 60 multiplied by the distance we needed to travel, divided by our speed, equals time. Our speed was diminishing because of the lack of wind. So we fired up the engine (Iron Sail) and started heading back the way we came. It was my first experience “sailing” at night. (Technically not sailing, motoring.) It was easy to see in the dark as the sky was illuminated by the moon reflecting on the water, but looking for navigational aids on land was a little difficult. I could see how land lights could be easily confused for navigational aids from long distances. Stoplights from afar looked like red and green flashing buoys, but as we got closer we could clearly see the buoys that would take us safely into the harbor. As we approached our slip we startled a few sea lions who freakishly bolted from the area and created a large wake that all of our neighbors felt in their slips! Oops!