Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:41 pm Posts: 68 Location: Aussie living in San Diego, CA
The local Hobie Island Club sailing event a week ago was something none of us will forget. When we arrived at Dana Point, CA Jetski ramp it was raining and not looking all that nice with very little wind. Going sailing seemed like just another way to get wet (or should I say more wet?). Anyway we had a great BBQ and an informative session on the finer points of sailing. I remember the bit about "port" but what does a "starboard" taste like? I used to sail with a friend in Australia on a 20ft keel yacht and his favorite saying when the weather turned bad was "any port in a storm" then a bottle of port would suddenly appear ! But I digress. We headed out of Dana Point harbor and the wind started picking up so before we cleared the harbor entrance we had a nice steady breeze of around 10-15knots just perfect for some sailing.
For many of the members this was the first time they had sailed their islands out of the safety of the harbor. For me it was just the 2nd time and my first in a TI. So we set a course to sail out and around some of the buoys and quickly settled in to the rhythm of the wind and swells enjoying the occasional sliding down a wave. I definitely noticed a difference in the sailing characteristics of the TI vs the AI. The TI felt like a limousine and the AI more like a coupe.
So there we were sailing out to somewhere - not sure where exactly because we were just following the lead sail boat which was well ahead of us. Out to the right I noticed a big flock of birds on the horizon and mentioned them to Sue, who was serving duty in the front seat of the TI (already a standing joke and one that I will pay dearly for). I told Sue that those birds signaled that there was a large school of fish in the water and that there is likely to be larger fish chasing the smaller fish and the birds were taking advantage of the chaos and picking them off from the air. Sue's immediate thought was "How BIG are those bigger fish? you mean like sharks?" There- she had said the dreaded "S" word - who wants to hear that word when you are sitting 2 inches on top of the water?? "no I said most likely Tuna or dolphins or mackerel " hoping like heck I was right.
So we continued sailing following the boat in front of us. We were moving fairly quickly, I don't have a GPS installed so would be guessing about 6-7mph and I noticed that the birds seemed to be getting much closer. I knew we were not sailing towards them so they must have been moving which meant the school of fish was moving - fairly quickly. Then we noticed that the water beneath the birds was "boiling" and now I was really hoping that they weren't the dreaded "S" word. Within it seemed a minute we found ourselves in the middle of a large pod of dolphins - feeding and chasing the school of fish which seemed to be scattered over a large area. Their course of travel directly intersected ours and for a few minutes we were transfixed by the feeling of being completely surrounded by these glorious creatures who seemed oblivious to our kayak but not one of them bumped it. All the while we kept sailing and it just made for one of those magical moments of being in the right place at the right time.
Then they were gone - moving rapidly out to sea the dolphins, schooling fish and birds all moving as one doing what comes naturally for them yet an amazing experience for us.
The winds were still very favorable for sailing so we sailed back and forth for a while longer - all of the group just totally blown away by the experience.
They all denied having anything to do with this but we know Hobie secretly arranged for us to have this experience - thanks Hobie - thanks Dana Point Jetski !
This is just a 5 minute excerpt from our little adventure
Enjoy the video
And share YOUR sealife encounters on your Island adventure (whales, sea lions, orcas, dolphins etc....)
_________________ Life is the Journey - not the Destination