Adventures on the High Seas! Santa Barbara, Part III
What I love about sailing is that things can change so suddenly and dramatically. That’s exactly what happened to us recently while sailing off of the Santa Barbara coast.
We set sail on a picture perfect southern California day to celebrate Averell’s birthday. A picnic lunch was carefully stored below board and our boat was heading north with a steady wind at our backs.
While we were staying in Santa Barbara, a huge fire was burning at Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County.
As you can see behind me, the wind had shifted, causing smoke from the fire to blanket the coastal range in a cloud of grey.
The bright August sun was replaced by a burning red ball, shrouded in grey clouds.
To my amazement, the red sun was now reflected in blood red shards on the ocean, making it look like it was on fire.
To add to the otherworldly affect, the wind died down leaving us “in irons”. The up and down rocking of the boat was now causing me to feel seasick. The celebratory mood on board has shifted. It didn’t help that my wise guy husband was egging me on with talk of milk curd… really, at a time like this?
Then we spotted a school of dolphins leaping out of the water in unison.From the pelicans and seagulls that we’re following in their wake, it was clear that they were diving for fish.We turned on the boat’s engine and sped off in hot pursuit. We trailed them captivated by their water ballet maneuvers.
When they had filled their bellies with fish, they began to criss-cross the helm of the boat. It was quite a show!