Anacapa Isle Marina is oriented in such a way that any sea breeze comes right down the fairways. When the wind is up docking is done with it on the beam.
When we arrived the other day we had 20 to 25 knots of wind. On the beam. We figured that we would have one shot at getting into our slip, if we missed we would be blown down the fairway. Just to be sure we got it right we called the marina on the cell and asked if our assigned slip was on the north or south side of the dock. They replied we would be "facing south", only we didn't hear the "facing" part because of bad reception. We heard our slip was on the "south".
So in we came, we saw "A" dock, turned in on the south side and started down the fairway headed for slip 44 which was supposed to be well down the dock close to shore. It took only a moment to realize: 1. The numbers were odd, not even. 2. The slips were only about 25 feet long. Crap.
We were quickly running out of room to maneuver, so I jammed the bow of Grace into one of the slips and used the finger pier as a pivot to start turning around. As the stern swung about, the bow came off the pier, and because we had no maneuvering speed, the wind started blowing the it back in the opposite direction. We were being blown sideways by the 20 knot wind down the fairway, closer and closer to the rocks. Ever so slowly I was able to bring the bow through the wind, heading in the right direction, and got us moving forward just feet away from the rocks.
That's when we noticed that there was more then one A dock.
The fun wasn't quite over. Coming down to slip 44 we started our turn a bit late, got blown past 44 and ended up in 42.....almost. We just barely got our bow into the slip as we were blowing by. It smacked into the finger pier and we started rotating around again, just like on the other side, but this time not on purpose. The rocks were just feet away, so foregoing finesse we jammed the throttle forward and drove Grace in, scraping along the pier the whole way. Good enough. Get the lines out. Have a drink. Apologize to each other for what was said.