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Allan and Rina's Sailing Adventure
The travels of S/V Follow You Follow Me Continue....
Teva the Boat Dog
10/13/2013, Redwood City

We can't close this adventure without mentioning what a trooper Teva, our 1 1/2 year old Rat Terrier was on this journey. We were hoping for a nimble happy boat dog to accompany us and that's just what we got. Our ideal dog was patterned after Apple, the Jack Russel Terrier on Mike and Veronica's Beneteau 46 Apple, who we cruised with in the South Pacific in 2009 and Vienna, Dietmar and Suzanne's Dachshund on Carinthia who is master of their Lagoon 440's decks and the best fish finder there is.

Teva learned quickly jumping from boat to dinghy and back with confidence. She learned to do her business on a patch of fake grass on the bow and was a great heat generator on cold nights in our bunk. She has turned into a great watch companion and guards the boat with just the right amount of diligence.... a little snarl and a little bark. She quickly made the boat her own, doing the rounds of the decks and cockpit and taking in life at sea. Like her humans, she got a little seasick now and then but snapped right out of it as the seas calmed.

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Clawing our way into the Bay
10/13/2013, San Francisco Bay

After a brief but bashy afternoon getting to Sam Simeon, we were hoping for moderate conditions on our way up past Monterey and Half Moon Bay. These waters on bad days can be awful, rivaling the worst of the Baja Bash from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. There are several points where the wind builds, creating short sharp wind waves that all but stop the boat in its tracks.

Both Buoyweather and SailFlow predicted moderate conditions from 8-12 knots in the morning and 12-16 in the afternoon and calm at night. Unfortunately it was not to be. After a good start out of Sam Simeon at 5am, the dreaded wind waves kicked up and doomed us to a long afternoon and even longer evening. By the time we made Monterey we were hoping for a respite, but instead were faced with a short sharp swell from the northwest... somewhat unusual in that they were predicted to last only a couple of hours but the waves were "sqaure". That is, 7-8 feet high and 7-8 second period. It made for an ugly frustrating couple of hours until we turned into Monterey Bay to run with the swell to get some relief. At 1am we had finally had the courage to turn our nose back into the swell and luckily the square waves had been reduced to just a confused washing machine state. Uncomfortable, but after the last couple of hours, a relief. Nothing like a little relativism to help you through the night.

By the time the sun rose over Half Moon Bay things were settling nicely and we cruised into the Bay under a dead calm with 5-7 knots blowing through the golden gate. Rina and I both forgot how much work sailing 375 miles directly into the wind over 3 days is. Now that it's over, it's very rewarding, especially as it was preceded by 2 and a half weeks of great sailing and cruising with Lewis and Alyssa. We wish them well as they head to Mexico and the South Pacific while Follow You gets put back into hibernation for a couple of wintery Months.

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Sunset Alert at San Simeon
10/11/2013, San Simeon Anchorage

Follow you had a wonderful 24 hour motorsail from Catalina to Point Conception and rounded the point in moderate conditions... confused seas but winds from 5-10 knots. After rounding Point Arguello seas flattened out for another 4 hours and then the inevitable afternoon bash came in on schedule. Rina and I decided to route to San Simeon Anchorage, about half way home. Cruiser note... the anchorage now has full broadband service.... for many years this was one of the few anchorages on the north coast that remained broadband free.

Seas willing we will depart at 4am and sprint to the Gate and a late Sunday arrival in Redwood city.

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Leaving Paradise
10/10/2013, Santa Barbara channel

After a thorough 24 hours of rainy squalls on normally placid Catalina Island, we left our favorite [California] Island Paradise for home. The last 72 miles have been in flat almost windless conditions and the forecast for Pt conception later this morning looks great. There's nothing quite like a strong front to flush out the swell and wind when you are trying to beat north. Currently motoring in a flat calm with just enough wind to keep the sail full and the boat steady and quiet as Rina sleeps.

Float plan shows us hitting the Pt around 4 am Friday morning, and Monterey Bay on early Saturday. If conditions persist we could be back in the bay late Saturday night, but more likely mid-day sunday.

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Cozy in Cat Harbor
10/08/2013, Cat Harbor, Catalina Island

Rina and Alyssa in the Galley, making an awesome meal of home made crab cakes, the fresh catch of the day thanks to Lewis, a Sea Bass caught in Fourney's Cove on Santa Cruz Island last night, and Hawaiian Poki from Albacore tuna bought off a fishing boat in Half Moon Bay.

Mary Lee and Lewis, the boat got a good laugh out of your comment. Following seas we could only dream about... We are dreading the return to cold weather and 48 hours of beating into the wind!

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Looking for a Weather Window
10/08/2013, Cat Harbor, Catalina Island

We're tucked into Cat Harbor with SV Eleutheria awaiting the passage of a low that could bring some rain and strong winds to the Santa Barbara Channel. The 15-25 knot winds would not normally be an issue except that they increase greatly when approaching Point Conception with the associated big seas. So we will hang here for another day before catching the ride up on the back of the low pressure system. Should be a straight shot home on Thursday.

That will give us a chance to spend a last couple of days with Alyssa who is on her way south on Eluetheria. It will be a bittersweet moment.... we're very proud of Alyssa sailing south but we will miss her.

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Assuming the Position
10/05/2013, Avalon, Catalina Island

Those Santa Ana winds never materialized and the gale warning has been lifted. After a morning swell and chop subsided, the harbor inhabitants resumed the daily dinghy dance as Mediterranean conditions prevailed.

We get to enjoy Avalon for a couple more days before heading North on Tuesday for a rendezvous with Pt Conception on Wednesday, where a weather window appears to be forming.

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10/06/2013 | Ken & Lori
Musket Cove style I see.

When are you gonna cross the Pacific again?
Awaiting Santa Ana Winds
10/04/2013, Avalon, Catalina Island

That's Follow You surrounded by a bunch of stink pots, seemingly the only sailboat in the harbor. We just got lucky by getting a mooring ball tucked behind the jetty near the Casino as we all await Santa Ana winds that are supposed to slam the island yesterday. Luckily we slept well and the winds did not materialize. They were supposed to hit again today around noon but luckily another no-show. Instead we are hanging in town, rented a golf cart to do our obligatory tour of the surrounding hills and get a bunch of pictures of the boat.

Merry Lee, very good to hear from you! Unfortunately we will be heading north Tuesday or Wednesday for a predicted lull around Point Conception mid-week. I'm sure our paths will cross again in the future.

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10/08/2013 | Merry Lee
Fair winds for your return home. Following seas will be a little hard to ask for.
Mary Lee and Lewis
Follow You in her Summer Attire
09/30/2013, Santa Barbara

Megan relaxes aboard Follow You decked out in her summer shades berthed in Santa Barbara. A fun weekend of bike riding, shopping, provisioning the boat and hanging out on State Street.

We are headed out to Santa Cruz Island tomorrow to rendezvous with SV Ellie before heading to Catalina on Wednesday.

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10/03/2013 | Lewis Guiss
Hola, The Merry Lee may be in Catalina the week end of October 12-13. When will you be there?
Mary Lee and Lewis
Dolphins on the Bow
09/29/2013, Santa Barbara channel

No rounding of Point Conception is complete without dancing dolphins off your bow. Offshore about 6-7 miles the water gets clear and we were surrounded by a hundred dolphins for just a few minutes.

You see lots of pictures and videos of dolphins on the bow on various sailing blogs but I can tell you it never gets old. Watching them play with the boat and each other, then look up at you through the water is just special.

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Who: Allan & Rina Alexopulos
Port: Sutter Creek, CA
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