The Voyage

September 19, 2009

We are here in Monterey, sailed in yesterday with 8-16 k winds. After the beating and the sail shredding we did last time we all made some agreements about reefing early (thanks Tom-advice well given). So we reefed the main with about 15k of wind and rolled in the jib. We also were able to work with the windvane and hurray it seems to be working!! It was such a wonderful sail, in the sun, no fog, shorts and tee shirts for part of it, and no major failures it was a boost in the arm for all of us!  We even sailed by a otter laying on its back eating something, very cute. Also saw some more white sided dolphins on our way. Larry says ‘it feels like we are finally in California!’ Andrew misses the barking seals (yeah right) but he will adjust I’m sure.  

Today it is foggy. We got up and put the bikes together and the 3 of us with the 2 bikes loaded the dinghy down pretty well, I am sure we were a sight. At least we dropped the bag of trash off last night.  Larry and I are exploring the city by bike, there is a jazz festival that we would like to check out at the fairgrounds. From here it is 17 miles around the bend to Carmel on what looks to be a beautiful bike trail all along the coast, Andrew took off to do that today, Larry and I thought we would do the trek tomorrow since it is still foggy and chilly and we have some computer work (updating the blog :), sending post cards to grandkids, and bills to pay(drat they don’t go away!)

September 17, 2009

San Francisco was very fun and exciting. We spent our last night in an anchorage at Angel Island. After paying the 30.00 per night fee we were pretty disappointed, a little anxious about our next leg and tired so we ended up not really exploring the island much. We also wanted to get an early start and still had to check the post office for mail in Tiburon. Everything was lagged down, bikes were stowed and tanks empty or filled, depending on what they needed, we picked up our mail and headed out of the Bay.

We left San Francisco on the 14th under power due to pretty heavy fog under the GG Bridge. We had a rather uneventful trip mostly motoring to Half Moon Bay. Half moon bay is pretty, lots of room to anchor in about 10 feet and very calm and quiet except for the horn on the buoy that sounds every 10 seconds. Looks like it would be an interesting little town to poke around in but we wanted to get to Monterrey Bay and the weather said we had a day or so before some harsher weather was to come in.

We left after breakfast the next morning for Monterrey Bay, the forecast was for 10-20 k winds and pretty calm seas. About 1pm I made some lunch and we were still motoring with the main sail up, we had been having anywhere from 3-8 k of wind all morning and were wishing we would have something consistent to sail with. I laid down to nap for a few minutes and when I awoke the boys were busily pulling sheets and setting sails. ‘The wind is up hu?’ I said, ‘yeah about 15-18 k’ said Andrew, ‘Great!’. I came out to the cockpit we were sailing along pretty well at 8 k, the waves looked like they were kicking up and the swell looked bigger to me than what had been forecasted.

We put a reef in the main about 30 minutes later, we had 20+k winds and increasing. We thought about putting in another and before we could really get it together we were having 25-30k winds. Well maybe it will be short lived, everytime I looked at the wind meter I kept thinking that it was calming down. After another 30 min Larry and I fought to drop the main while Andrew struggled to keep us into the wind. The wind was so strong on the jib that we couldn’t get it pulled in and the wind was ripping it to shreads. After the main was down we headed off the wind to ease the pressure on the jib sail so we could furl it in, Of course the lines were tangled and caught up in our preventer line also, after untangling the mess the jib was rolled up.

We were about 10 miles out of Monterrey Bay so we motored the last bit, discussing how our latest adventure had gone. We had too much sail up for too long, the wind really picked up quicker than we realized and caught us off guard-maybe we won’t be so relaxed next time.

The anchorage here is right by the pier and we hear the barking of the California grey seals. It is pretty protected but we still get some surge and that makes the boat rocky and rolly. After taking down the tattered sail we hoisted our other jib, it is slightly smaller and newer too. Along with replacing the sail we noticed there were some wear spots in the halyard and the sheet of the jib so we cut and whipped the ends and retied the sheets.When we are in port for a few days I will take out the old sail and make repairs so we have a spare.  We went to Santa Cruz today walked along the beach the amusement park and the pier. Larry and I stopped for some appetizers for the happy hour price at one of the pier restaurants, Andrew hoofed it into town to look for the local library.

Today was going to be the shower day-we all needed one badly after being doused by waves during our dealings with the high winds yesterday. The marina was full and required rafting onto another boat and paying moorage fees to use the shower facilities two things I felt were not worth the effort. After we were done with sightseeing we came back to the boat. I had filled the sunshower with water earlier and took advantage of the slightly warmer water to shower(who am I kidding it was cold!). I am sure we would have been a sight showering in the cockpit but we are now all fresh and clean.

Tomorrow we plan to go to Monterrey for a few days. We’ll check the weather tonight but it should be an easy sail across the bay. Sweet dreams to all. Vicki

September 5th, 2009

Well we had planned to stop in Eureka Ca. after leaving Newport Or. due to storm warnings on the weekend. Well throw those storm warnings out the port holes! What are 20-25 knot winds if not to sail in!! We passed up Eureka thinking we would go straight to San Francisco–we were all feeling well and resting the first 2 days of the journey. Vicki was complaining about 3 pm about the 6 knot winds we had with a full main up ‘where are those 25 knot winds we were promised?’ Larry ‘they’ll be here and more’. About 5 pm the winds whipped up, we took in one reef (first mistake), and left it in until we had been battling 35 knot winds for 6 hours (second mistake). Vicki then became sick, same story different verse, and Andrew and Larry were left to do battle. We lost the boom vang and broke a part on the traveller and the  ignition for the engine was broken in the meelee, it’s a sailboat right!? We hove to, great time to practice this, it didn’t make the winds and waves go away (was much smoother) for about 1/2 hour so we could talk about our plan. Thankfully we were only about 30 miles offshore (we did learn something) and decided to try for Shelter Cove.

We arrived in Shelter Cove about noon the following day-thankfully Andrew was feeling strong and he was able to stand watch all night and navigate us into the cove. After throwing out the anchor, assuring we wern’t dragging we all fell into a comatose state until dinner time. It wasn’t much less active-very rolly anchorage, but we were safe from the remnants of the storm.

After seeking some shelter at the appropriately named Shelter Cove to make repairs on the boat and rest and recover for the crew we took off again down south. This time we were hesitant to say we were going to San Francisco, I didn’t even put it in our log at the time what our destination was, afraid I might jinx our efforts.

We had repaired the most important items needed for the next leg, the ignition plate (we could still start the engine) would have to wait until we got to port. We were able to leave several hours earlier than we had planned, timing our departure with the weather forecast and when the small craft warning would no longer be in effect meant the first few hours we were still being thrown around a bit by some large waves and swell that was left over from the storm (we kept telling ourselves this), hoping that we hadn’t left too early.

The remainder of the trip was quite calm, we left on Monday hoping we would get to San Francisco by Early Wednesday morning knowing we may need to deal with some fog, the tide through the Gate and of course unknown winds. By about 10 O’Clock on Tuesday it was apparent with our speed through the night (we powered most of the way) that we would be able to make it to the Golden Gate by the evening giving us plenty of light to navigate to our final destination somewhere in the Sausilito area. The winds remained steady so we raised the sails and our speed under sail remained about 6 knots. The excitement grew as we ticked off the miles marking our position on the chart.

Our excitement grew even more once we were able to see the south tower of the golden Gate through the light mist -looking through the binoculars every few minutes, checking our course to miss the shoals which are well known and marked in Bonita Channel and adjusting the sails to get every knot out of the wind, it was an activity filled time.

Rounding Bonita Point the Golden Gate came into full view our thoughts came pouring out. We had all talked about being excited to go to San Francisco, Andrew bought a book about what to do in San Francisco, we were really looking forward to our planned 2 weeks here. In disbelief we all talked about our thoughts that this was kind of surreal we weren’t sure we would ever make it, didn’t think that coming into this port would be such a big thing but now that we were looking at our accomplishment in the form of sailing our little boat under this huge steel icon made it all real and a very big thing indeed. After not seeing many boats this leg we are now looking at no less than 3 huge container ships, one cruise ship exiting the harbor, 2 ferries, countless wind surfers, kite surfers and sailboats adding to the excitement of this passage. Right before we passed under the bridge we looked down and saw several porpoises swimming around the boat as if to say ‘welcome home’.

Our trip under the bridge was celebrated with a little bubbly and calls to our kids and close friends to share the momentous occasion-there is a great place for technology! Of course the wind changed and left us scrambling to prevent an accidental jibe and the bubbly went on the cockpit floor. We never pass up a chance to christen our sailing vessel, she worked as hard as we all did.

So here we are, very graciously berthed at the San Francisco Yacht Club with showers and coffee in the morning, being hosted and driven everywhere by our good friends Jackie and Mark Kenziorick and having a great time seeing all the sights in and around the Bay area. The weather has been wonderful, not typical according to the locals with very warm sunny days, no fog and pleasant nights.  So far we have seen Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere and San Francisco, we have ridden the Trolley Cars and been to Ghirardelli Square and to Golden Gate Park (we plan to return there to really take in the museums and sights next week when we have more time). Yesterday we were treated to a limo tour of the wine country-this is the life.

Black Cat was as ready to get on land as the rest of us, wasn’t more that a few minutes and she was on the dock exploring the other boats. She has really adapted well to this cruising life-I am sure she would have a great story to tell about the Tuna we caught –“what the !@#$@ are they doing now?” She is a trooper and we enjoy having her aboard to share our adventures.

There are still a few repairs that need to be made we ordered the engine plate, purchased some very needed items (a cup holder which swivels for the cockpit-I used to think that was a frivolous item:), we plan to attend the BAJAHAHA get together in Alameda on the 9th of Sept. for the first kickoff and spend a few more days sailing and exploring the Bay area before we head south. The remainder of the trip down California is going to be short trips to the many beautiful bays and islands along the coast. We are looking forward to increasingly warmer weather and water temperatures-can’t wait to jump in and swim.

Our love to everyone-life is a great adventure live it.

Vicki, Larry and Andrew

 

August 22, Sunday

I think that is the date and the day, pretty sure about the day. Here in beautiful Newport Oregon, sailed in yesterday after 4 days offshore with some light seas and wind and some heavy seas! Glad to be ashore eating and sleeping. Black Cat fared as well as the rest, the first few days were rough for her but she got into the swing of it. She is so darned hard to see in the black of night, almost got squished many times.

We learned alot the first time out, won’t go 80 miles offshore next leg, thinking about Eureka for the next stop due to a huge storm comming in, may leave tomorrow, if not looks like we will have to leave in 3-4 days to avoid it. After Eureka it will be another 2-3 day sail to San Francisco.

Went to the town of Newport today, everything is closed on Sundays here except for the Fred Meyer and the Liquor store, I had a craving for a Gin and Tonic–with lots of lime, gotta avoid scurvy!!

We have met lots of folks on different boats around the marina in the short time we have been here, most have come down from Pt. Townsend just like us and are going south–Wow how cool to share our stories and find that there are not too many differences. I was so sick the last 12 hours (felt like 40!) I wasn’t even able to stand my watch. I also missed seeing the whales and dolphins, I am sure there will be more. Seeing the land, knowing we would be in port in a few hours and have a shower, sleep and a meal (that would be kept down!) kept my spirits up. The boat did well with no major failures, we even got the windvane working in the heavier winds. Hopefully we will be able to sail more of the time, the motoring is depressing but with the winds and seas the way they were there was nothing else to do. Larry and Andrew were heroes going up to lower the mainsail in huge crashing waves and wind–it was amazing to watch them, I would have gotten a pic but I don’t think they would have appreciated having to wait for me to get the camera:)

Thats all from Vicki–see you next port!!

8/17/2009 3:55am

Leaving for Port Townsend to get lifelines installed.

Responses

  1. We’re awaiting more details… you may have set sail by now! Hope all is well:)

  2. Ahoy! Just checking in, hope you are all doing great! Call, text, email when you can!
    Love you all,
    Mark

  3. I’m glad to know you’re taking care of the essentials, like fighting off scurvy. Eureka is a good place to stop, and if you can catch a ride, there is an old logging camp cafeteria that puts out great meals!! I forget the name but the Eureka folks would know. It’s world famous. Bodega Bay is not a bad stop prior to S.F. Remember to hail the C.G. prior to crossing any bars. Also prior to going through the “Gate” notify Traffic Control. You will be amazed to know, or see all the traffic, no matter what time of day. Take care and be safe. Luv you guys.
    Tom

  4. How do those whales taste anyway?
    Hey they haven’t inpeached me yet.
    Hope you are having agreat time, say hellow to Andrew for us. Has he picked up any extra deck hands for you yet?

    K

  5. I am so excited about your trip and hearing your adventures. Looking forward to seeing all of you in Long Beach. Take care of yourselves and be safe.
    God’s Blessings to you all.
    Love
    Ron , Julie, Matt, Michael and Maria


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