A short shake-down cruise from King Harbor to Paradise Cove on Thursday. I'd just added new mizzen rigging and a new staysail rig to see how it behaved. I left at 12:30pm headed out towards PV Cove out to sea then did a port tack headed towards Malibu Pier (17.5nm). For the 6 hour tack was done by a few mere adjustments using my pendulum/counterweight on the wheel.
Although the title, "Couch-Potato Sailing" belies the notion of ease, that I did nothing during sailing. My whole concentration of the boat; worried about the boat, it's gear, direction, speed, sail shape, other boats and the sea-state. It's important to always be alert. Just sitting on a rolling boat will give you a work-out using your muscles to resist to the movement; your mind stressed a bit by the changing of constant horizon, wind and noise....will burn calories,
Since the boat take care of herself (mostly), I make runs below for making coffee, meals or snacks, navigation. But, always popping out the hatch every few minutes looking 360 degrees around the sea.
At around 8pm, the wind died. I knew I was closing in towards the Malibu Pier and I still had another 5nm to get to Paradise Cove. So, I dropped 100' chain on a 25lb CQR in 35 feet of water in front of the pier. I know this cove well. It's a great spot while the SW or West wind is blowing. But, at night the northeast land breeze leaves your boat abeam to the swell. I was too tired to row out on the dinghy to employ out a stern hook. Instead, I sat in the cockpit drinking a glass of wine. Watched the last few surfers surfing in the dark. Listened to the traffic noise on Pacific Coast Highway and watched the speeding police cars with sirens and lights. I could see from offshore, I could see the accident a half-mile away. I looked into the darkness of the open sea. Then, I heard lots of splashing. I couldn't see them, but I could hear breathing hard, swimming, unmistakenly dolphins. I rolled around in my bunk (forever) until I fell asleep.
The next morning, I was tempted to surf Malibu, but I weighed anchor. I cruised slowly with the staysail and mizzen, (charging my batteries) in 40 feet of water along the Malibu Colony. I was tempted to surf the other private point above Malibu. There were four stand-up (extra large) paddle surfers getting good rides. So, I passed on that.
Paradise Cove has four breaks on the cliff. A lot of boaters anchor close to the pier. I usually anchor between the 2nd and 3rd break on the cliffs, to the left of Merv Griffin's big mansion in 30 feet of water. I like to keep my eye on the boat when I'm surfing. I usually use the electric dinghy to bring the board and anchor it in front the line-up. It gives me a faster way to get back to the big boat during an emergency, or to give me save some of my energy. During the three days, there was another sailboat hooked near the first surf break with three surfers, using an inflatable with an engine to anchor just outside the line-up. If you are really wanting to surf there, you must walk about a mile north and climb the stairs at Dume Point or walk from Broad Street from the south where the private beach rights are very jealous from outsiders.
You cannot bring a surfboard at Paradise Cove Road. They will ask you to give up your surfboard at the parking lot or leave. Parking is $15.00 a day. However, if you want to enjoy Bob's Beach Hut (a great restaurant/bar); lounge outside at the beach on their big beds with umbrellas (after a few drinks many people recline), big beach chairs with outside service, a good wifi connection...a lot of business is done there. So, if you buy a drink and a snack or dinner, they will validate free for two hours. It gives you just enough to walk along a very beautiful beach, rock upcroppings, clean sand, dogs run free, stand-up paddlers, kayaks, lots of antics worth your ticket.
On the fourth break in the cliff where the locals unlock the gate in the canyon and drive on golf carts down a dirt road. They congregate with chairs and umbrellas, friends and family watching the water all day until a high tide and big waves moved them quickly. Bay Watch from Malibu Pier cruises the cove. The lifeguard used his water cannon to dance the plume high in the sky, twirling the boat, playing to the wealthy locals or perhaps impressing a girl...lots of applause after the show. See more http://www.facebook.com/#!/Coverunner