Thread: What do you do?
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Old 3rd January 2008, 12:53 AM   #3
steveC
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Hi Ken,

The spot is Port Hueneme, which is about 45 miles southeast of Santa Barbara, California. It is one of the only locations that works with the classic Santa Ana winds that occur usually during the Fall and very early Winter months. Santa Ana winds can be very strong offshore wind events originating from the deserts of the Southwest states as a large high pressure area sets up and follows after passing storm fronts. These winds were the driving force for the devastating fires that ravaged many counties of Southern California earlier this Fall.

Santa Ana winds tend to be warmer events exhibiting very low humidity values. Yesterday's temperature was in the low 60s, and the water was probably about 54-55 degrees F. Not as formidible as the situation you faced temperature wise, but it's an ocean launch where a breakdown could potentially send you out to sea. Fortunately the wind is not totally straight offshore, as there is a slight angle to the wind making it somewhat easier to sail back in to the launch point. Needless to say, it's best to stay fairly tight and close to the shoreline to lessen your risks to some degree. Still though, you tend to be out a ways at your outside jibe.

Many years ago, more folks would usually show up to sail Port Hueneme for Santa Ana winds, but today the numbers just don't seem to be there. However, another sailor that I know did ultimately show up after my session while I was derigging. He was hungry for some action like I was, so he elected to sail and he ultimately enjoyed a good solo session. Seems like I'm not the only crazy person out there willing to roll the dice a bit for a chance at a good time. I have to admit though, I took the extra time and effort to reverse my downhaul line because it was becoming slightly frayed, and I also checked the integrity of the tendon and retention line on my universal. One can't afford to be too foolish.
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