We went into the harbor fairly deep, just in front of the mooring balls and some kind of barge that I think was filled with farmed fish. We had a wonderful dinner, I smoked one of my cigars, and we settled in for a relaxing evening reading, then off to bed fairly early. About 9pm the winds started to fill as predicted and we were soon being rocked to sleep by gentle wind waves. By 10pm we were beginning to be pitched about by the increasing wind and waves, and by midnight we were being pounded. The wind was up to 20 knots and the waves were high enough to make sleep in the v-berth uncomfortable. An hour later sleep was impossible. We were being slammed by steady winds of 30 knots with gusts to 35.
What happened to the "Safe Harbor"? Instead of being protected by the towering hills on either side of us, they created a venturi through which all the winds hitting them were being directed. Out there somewhere the winds probably were only 10 to 15 knots, but here in the middle of the venturi we were getting beat up.
The fish barge that looked so far away in the afternoon was now a threatening presense. If we were to drag a little, we could swing against it. Just in case I put out fenders. Then got dressed in my foulies, put the key in the ignition and settled in for a night in the cockpit. About 2am the wind dropped and it began raining. I was hoping that the front had passed and the worst was over. No way. The wind returned, stronger then before, gusting over 40. The rain was horizontal and visibility was almost nil. We were hit by several gusts that knocked us down to the point where we were taking water over the bow and side decks. I was beyond thankful that we had an anchor down that is designed for a boat twice our size. I was concerned a bit we might drag, but thought it not too likely, and as it turned out we came through the night just fine.
The fenders I had place out had been blown or washed back on deck, and our anchor was so buried that the windlass was pulling the bow down rather then the anchor up. It finally broke free, and we were glad to be out of there and on our way to San Diego