The City beckons
You can't help but smile when you see her.
12/13/2006, Behind Point Reyes, 20 miles south of Bodega Bay, CA 37 59.81N 122 58.49W
Just a quick note: We left Bodega Bay on Wednesday, Dec. 6th, motoring only five hours down to Drake's Bay, a little anchorage tucked behind a natural point on the coast, called Point Reyes. There we spent a peaceful night at anchor.
This manuever would place us in a good position for the following day. Drake's Bay was only 30 miles north of San Francisco, and leaving Drake's Bay at 0900 hours, we could pass through all the Bay area shipping channels in broad daylight.
Our plan was to get down to Half Moon Bay by sunset. (Half Moon Bay is 30 miles south of SF). With this plan, there would be no stopping in San Francisco.
We both agreed that negotiating the shipping traffic in the SF Bay and the big city just wasn't worth it...
Well... see next posting.
Point Reyes Lighthouse
You can barely see the staircase on the left, leading down to the lighthouse. I'd hate to be stationed there.
Tired of pelicans?
See our new photo gallery, while we get our next posting together...
12/05/2006, Bodega Bay, California
Coming into Bodega Bay at low tide.
Made it to sunny Bodega Bay
12/05/2006, Bodega Bay, California
As expected, we left Eureka on Dec. 2nd and arrived in Bodega Harbor some 30 hours later.
How was the trip? Well, it partially depends on who you ask, Steen or Angela. Overall, it was another pretty good leg down the coast. The high pressure system endures for now.
Steen could relate some pretty hairy moments while crossing the bar out of Eureka.
Malou and I couldn't describe it, because we refused to look. (For that experience, check back for a future posting from Steen.)
[A little more about Eureka]
I was sad to leave, but we could only stay one and a half days. We needed to continue south to take advantage of the unseasonably good weather.
The first hurdle a boat encounters after Eureka is Cape Mendocino. Cape Mendocino is that big bump (knot) on the California coast... forty miles long. It took forever to round it, like trying to reach the end of a circle.
The Cape has quite a reputation, and one doesn't want to mess with it in bad weather.
It looks harmless on Rand Mcnally's map, but when you look at it on a ocean navigation chart, it looks downright frightening. The ocean floor drops into a great canyon, and then rises up fast, a few miles from shore. Essentially, the 'Cape' makes it own weather and waves.
We rounded it in fairly good weather, but it was still very much like motoring through the wash cycle - up and down and back and forth - constantly for four or five hours.
Anyway, it's past us now. We are well down the coast and the weather is unseasonably warm and beautiful. We will be in Bodega Bay for a couple more days and will hopefully be able to write another posting. (To access the internet here, we have to walk a couple miles around the bay, to a little mail store, but it's a nice walk.)
(One last note for the grandparents and anyone else interested.)
Steen and I were somewhat concerned about taking our two year old daughter, Malou, ocean sailing; concerned about her confinement to the cockpit, always being tethered to something, not being able to play below as she usually does....not to mention the possibility of her getting seasick.
So far, she has been great. To our relief, the seasick pills, (which she takes a half dose), have done their job perfectly, provided we take them a few hours before heading out.
She doesn't seem to mind sitting in the cockpit with us all day. I guess we shouldn't be surprised; she has Mom and Dad there all day, as a captive audience, and the motion of the boat is like a never-ending ride at Disneyland. (or a mechanical boat in a bad B-movie).
Not only has Malou been safe and happy, but she possesses a quality sought after in any crew member; with her childlike innocence and enthusiasm, she can provide levity to an otherwise tense situation.
All for now.
A big thank you to those of you who have commented on the blog. It is a good feeling to know there is both interest and support from family, friends, and fellow sailors, (both actual and armchair). Sometimes, after a tough day aboard, a seemingly small link to someone miles away can make all the difference…
...Eureka, California, that is.
11/29/2006, Coos Bay, OR 43'20.79 N 124'19.24 W
On a fortuitous day, my birthday, November 29th, we left Coos Bay, Oregon, headed for "Californy".
What a good trip we had. Seas were calm, winds were mild, and no one got sick. That was all we were asking for this particular trip.
Thirty hours at sea with our two year old, and it worked out just fine. We are fairly new at this ocean sailing with a child.
Grandparents will be happy to know that Malou really enjoys being out on the water. She was especially excited when we saw doll porpoises swimming right along-side the boat. For the rest of the trip she diligently searched the seas for 'whales', sea otters - (none were found), and sea lions. What a joy it is to see her expressions.
When coming into Eureka by boat, one has to motor up a very long channel - but well worth it, every mile. Eureka, CA is a beautiful town with a quaint historic Old Town district that boasts fine art gallerys, good restaurants, and plenty of local coffee roasteries (for the 'northwest outdoorsy crowd').
We celebrated my birthday a day late with an excellent Italian dinner in town and home-made carrot cake on the boat, and some nice phone calls from family - thank you.
We will probably be leaving here tomorrow, Saturday, to take advantage of the high pressure systems that we are having right now. They make for some fairly easy cruising - considering it's December 1st.
Take care all, until our next posting.
P.S. Photo is actually from Coos Bay. You know you are approaching warmer weather when you see pelicans flying overhead. (Thank you to Dan for the outing along the coast.)
We are heading South. We have a 3-day weather window. Lets see how far we can get this time.
Radiance Moves South! (a little), and gets a new neighbor
11/26/2006, Coos Bay, OR 43'20.79 N 124'19.24 W
We actually moved the boat south!!! Even if it was only 25 nautical miles.
Yesterday, the sun arose on a promising day. NOAA forecasted NW winds at 10 knots, and a decreasing ocean swell of 6 to 8 ft, down from the 15 ft swells of last week. However…and this is a big however… the river bar was still closed to vessels 40' and under; (we're 37).
Steen had driven out to the lighthouse to have a look at the bar himself. He thought it looked pretty good, and wanted me to see it too. We took our coffee, and met our local friend Dan out at the Coast Guard lookout tower. We all hummed and hawed, scratching our chins. Radiance could definitely handle those swells, but we were not willing to go against the Coast Guard. We all agreed it would be foolish to cross unless the vessel restrictions were lifted. Anyway, Radiance was still pretty messy, and our stuff wasn't exactly stowed for a voyage.
We all headed back to the boat and turned on the VHF radio. Bar reports came in about every 20 minutes. "Bar closed to vessels 40' and under..."
Alright, well, big sigh. Looks like we're not going this time. Dan left, saying he'd see us later. We went below to have some lunch. About two bites into our sandwiches, the bar report blares..."bar restricted to all vessels 26' and under..."!
"26 and under? Holy Cow! Throw all the stuff in the v-berth and let's go!
About 30 minutes later we pulled out of our slip, passed a few local fishing boats, and headed for the Umpqua River Bar. Of course, in the excitement, we forgot to take our seasick medication. More on that later…
Until we write the next entry, we are glad to report we are safe and sound in the Charleston Marina near Coos Bay, OR... and we have a lovely new neighbor; a huge soft-eyed sea lion, making it's home on the dock about 3 feet away from our cockpit. You never know what the next day will bring.
Not all days are nasty.
11/19/2006, Winchester Bay, OR
This picture of Radiance was taken by a friend last week. It was a nice afternoon in the harbor. You could still hear the waves roaring over the bar in the background though.
Just another day on the Umpqua River bar
11/19/2006, mouth of the Umpqua River in Winchester Bay, OR
This is what the Umpqua River bar looks like every day. This was yesterday afternoon, with 15 ft high ocean swells and 12 ft high breaking waves. The bar has been closed every day for the last 2-weeks with the exception of two hours one morning last week. We did not even consider leaving since winds were 20 knots out of the south. (Not too good if you're headed south.)
Here you can see the forcast briefing we look at every morning. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/nepacificbrief.shtml
Malou in her new room
11/18/2006, Winchester Bay, OR
Malou in her new room