Saturday, August 18 , 2018, 9:38 am | Overcast 70º


Captain’s Log: Dodging Very Fast Things at Sea is Nerve Wracking

Sitting in my office one evening recently, I was listening to winds howl around the house, the creaking sounds of trees bending over deeply, and the occasional thud of something airborne encountering a wall or car to smash into.

I love the sounds of Ma Nature flexing her muscles and showing off.

It made me think about my times at sea when Ma Nature got her ire up and I just happened to be in the way.

One time was when I was fishing 100 yards off Frazer Point at the west end of Santa Cruz Island and a massive rogue wave rushed in. It took all my skills to surf my charter boat down that wave without rolling, pitchpoling or running into the island.

Another time was when I was cruising near the west end of the Santa Barbara Channel, just eight miles short of San Miguel Island. There were gale-force Santana winds blowing offshore from Ventura County and with that long of a fetch, steep waves were steamrolling toward the west.

At the same time, large waves from the west were steamrolling to the east and colliding with the opposing waves in a way I had never seen.

There we were with big waves colliding all around us and I had to do some fancy boat maneuvering to keep from being sandwiched between huge walls of water.

I shook my head remembering a time out fishing Santa Cruz Island during marginal weather and a thunderstorm suddenly popped up over the island and was bearing down on us. We reeled in our lines and put the spurs to my twin big Yamaha outboards totaling 500 horsepower.

That boat of mine lifts her skirts and screams across the water lickity-split, but as I was giving her all the throttle there was, I could see the storm was moving faster. While studying that storm’s meandering path, I managed to maneuver my charter boat WaveWalker out of her way.

All we had to contend with were the serious waves and winds, but we got through it.

I love the adventure and even the dangers of being at sea. Sitting in my office listening to winds howl outside is a good time to remember wild adventures at sea.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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