Early yesterday morning, just at sunrise, we pulled in the lines with Mikes help and headed out with a warm easterly breeze at our backs. Two clues should have warned us that the breeze was not the benign zephyr we thought it was: 1. It was from the east. 2. It was warm. Folks down here would have known a Santa Ana wind was kicking up.
|Ventura Harbor Sunrise|
Santa Anas originate in the Great Basin, a giant bowl lying between the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain ranges. When high pressure systems cover the area, the bowl becomes filled with dense air which spills out through mountain passes and rushes down the valleys, sometimes with hurricane force, toward the southern California coast.
|This us not from yesterday,|
but shows Santa Ana winds over
offshore waters near LA
By the time we were a couple miles offshore the wind was up to about 15 knots. Time to sail, except I needed a nap, having woke at 2:30 that morning. Down below I went, thinking after my nap we could pull the sails up. Judy woke we two hours later. The US Navy was on the VHF telling us we were entering a live fire area and to get the heck away, plus the "benign zephyr" was now blowing 25 to 30 knots with gusts up to 35. And it would soon be right on our nose as we followed the easterly turn in the coastline toward Marina Del Ray.
No point in fighting our way through the wind, only to be shot by the Navy, so we called it a day and headed into the Channel Islands Marina, our home last week.
We are probably going to leave later this afternoon for Newport. It's about 80 miles, so we will do an overnighter, planning on arriving in the morning.