My only birthday wish was that we not finish dead last in the Great Vallejo Race and my wish came true! We didn’t finish at all! It was an unusual year in that the race to Vallejo on Saturday was a beat the whole way — it’s usually a lovely spinnaker run. We decided just after rounding the first mark waaaaaaaaaaay after everyone else, that we were just going to bag it at China Camp but didn’t ‘officially’ call it quits till we got there. We were only one of two DNFs — I guess that party is really worth it!

We met up with some friends — NINE boats! — and had a great Cinco de Mayo celebration on shore, complete with carnitas, guacamole, chocolate flan, margaritas and a pirate pinata. Rob was the 7th to take a whack and he blew that bugger to smithereens! This was all that was left:

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By the time we all puttered home, the wind had died and the rolly anchorage had calmed considerably. We were gently rocked to sleep only to be tossed awake a couple hours later by strong northeast winds — the WORST direction for the wind to come from for that anchorage. We weren’t in any danger but it was very uncomfortable and kept us both awake for most of the night.

We woke up at 8:30 and realized we’d better skedaddle or we’d be stuck there all day with the strong flood against us. Our dinky little short-shaft motor doesn’t work in any kind of swell or chop so we couldn’t use it to pull ourselves up to the anchor. We raised the main to sail up to it, tack and break it free. We got up to it but Rob couldn’t break it loose. A friend finally came over in his dink and pushed us up to it. It broke and we promptly tacked the wrong way and drove firmly into the mud (China Camp is notoriously shallow). He shoved the bow around, we raised the jib and were off! I was worried that I’d be stuck in that spot — heeled 15 degrees — till the tide rose. Not fun on my birthday!

We had a beautiful spinnaker (I’ve named her Barbie) run home with the ebb, hitting 9 knots on several occasions. We made it from China Camp to our slip — about 15 miles — in just under 2 hours. That’s making some good time!

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Yes, there’s a small wrinkle up there but I liked this shot better than the ones where the sail was all full. I post more pix but the server’s acting weird. Gotta run!

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