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Sound Effect does the big U
guests on the dock
09/08/2010

Still in Monterey, today doing the tourist bit today Cannery row and the Monterey Aquarium. Upscale jewelry, T shirt shops and ice cream... after a while it all looks the same. The aquarium is very nice, but $30 a piece to get in was high when you consider that it is a non profit, and much of the staff is unpaid volunteers. I guess the proceeds go into research.
Connie and I were eating our dinner in the cockpit later this evening and a Momma sea otter and young pup came by off the stern of the boat and we got a better sea otter experience than at the aquarium because there was no glass wall in between. The pup would cry like any baby when the mamma would leave him alone floating as she dove to get some food.
Not so nice arer the sea lions... that is the guest on the dock pix. So far we have been lucky in our slip but they don't want to get off the dock when you come in They are noisy barking, smell terrible and a little intimidating at about 1000 lbs.
Connie is worried one will jump up on our boat on the back swim ladder... we will keep you posted.
Tommorrow weather permitting we leave for Morro Bay. There is a bar crossing and we want slack water and daylight so we are leaving after lunch plan to sail through the night and arrive the following afternoon.
So I will most likely not post again until Friday or Saturday.

Met some more Ha Ha people today off Hotel California, Full Shell, Di's Dream, and Valparaiso....... I have to laugh I am re reading Horatio Hornblower which is british navy in the time of Napoleanic wars, and when the skipper goes across into battle he yells the name of the their ship, or if he is announced visiting another vessel the coxswain yells up from the gig the name of their vessel. Well that is what we do now too... we call people by their boat names...We are at a gathering and someone says who are you we don't say Jim and Connie.. we say Sound Effect! We did that tonite and people said oh I know you I saw you at Encinal Yacht club.. they mean they saw the boat.

Monterey festival
09/07/2010, Monterey CA

We arrived yesterday in Monterey and took a slip. Showers, laundry, Trader Joes, and things to see so we are staying a couple of days.
The 10hour trip south from Half Moon bay was mostly a motor boat ride until the last hour when the wind came up and we began saving fuel. Then we needed to reef the main!, then we needed to reef the jib, then the fog rolled in and we went to a few hundred yards visibility. Radar would be of minimal use because of the the shoreline behind the marina..... as I was considering our options, the fog lifted enough to see the shore and we went in with no real trouble.
But where is the SUN! High of 62 today overcast all day and more of the same tomorrow plus possible showers. I could have that in Seattle!. But as my son reminded us we are not sitting in an office working like some people.... we are sympathetic to you who have to work, but for you younger readers we did work for 40 yrs.

The picture is of an afternoon street vendor fair, and farmers market which although we thought was in our honor apparently happens every Tuesday afternoon.. We sampled the food, filled up and called it dinner.

We have run across 5 boats already that are in the Mexican rally we are joining called the Baja HA HA.
Camelot, Di's Dream, Double Dharma, Hotel California, Full shell.

Tomorrow we are planning to play tourist, and then weather permitting leave for Morro Bay on Thursday
Check out the map on the blog, especially the Google earth portion

09/08/2010 | Deb McAdams
That sounds like a familiar story, motor, motor, motor, sail and have fun, then a little more fun, then too much fun and fog. At least you won't overheat in those temperatures. But rest assured, there is warmer weather to come. It sounds like a great place for a shore break. Have fun!
09/08/2010 | Andrew Merritt
Technically I am not working right now I am reading your blog.
Fogged in at Half Moon bay
09/03/2010, Half Moon Bay

Thursday morning we left San Francisco in good visibility but not enough wind to Sail. We motor'd down to Half Moon Bay and that is where we plan to stay until Monday. Thursday afternoon we became completely fogged in in minutes.
We can just come back from a long walk (in our dingy) when the fog rolled in.
If we had been ashore we may not have been able to see the boat!

So unable to go anywhere Friday morning we set about adding the necessary plumbing to put water from the water maker into either or both tanks. As is always the case the parts we were sold were not quite right, so we improvised and got the job done. I hope my official Spectra technician will be proud of the innovation when he sees it in San Diego.

Today was the second day of our cruise where we didnt spend any money..... well that is none came out of our pockets. All though our expense have been cut dramatically, with no house, no car, etc there are expenses for boat insurance, health insurance, life insurace, phones etc that get paid monthly but the more 0 spending days we have the closer we get to the budget that actually has us completing our two year sojurn.

A couple of cool foot notes, I was able to raise the Amigo net in Bahia de Los Angeles this morning not only to listen but they were able to hear me broadcasting so maybe my installtion actually works, The other cool thing is there are actually 5 boats with Ha Ha flags up, so we will try to meet them tomorrow. When we signed up to participate in the rally at the end of Oct they sent us a flag to fly for exactly this reason.


09/06/2010 | Rob Crone
Way to go you guys, it good to see that you make it out of SFO bay and down the coast a couple of clicks.
09/07/2010 | Deb McAdams
It's nice to have validation that your installation worked after all. Now for the AIS ...
Boating for everyone
09/01/2010, Sausalito

Second day in Sausalito, laundry, and visit to the "Bay Model" This a working model of San Franciso bay that covers acres in a single building. Built in 1957 to simulate conditions in the bay to be studied by the US Army Corp of Engineers. This is now being done by computer so the model was relagated about 10yrs ago to education and awareness. You know me I cant pass up a good museum...however it is broken and empty which is probably a metaphor for the state of California. There we employees on site and they let us tour the broken and empty model but it added to the sadness we are finding so far in California, with empty stores, the hiking trails on Angel island in poor shape, and the Bay model out of order.

We spent the remainder of the day window shopping in Sausalito. Most of the tourists spoke other languages, apparently foreigners have the money?

This is a very interesting area with mega yachts and boats that are barely floating coexisting side by side.

Tomorrow we will make an attempt to head south to Half moon bay and begin the harbor hopping which will bring us to San Diego in late Oct before we hop off to Mexico.

09/02/2010 | kokomodenny
Something tells me Arnold won't be calling you to help with his visit California Adds. On the other side of that bridge thiers a whole world to explore. enjoy.
Trapped? in the Bay
08/31/2010, San Francisco

We may be trapped in the bay, in the mean time we are playing the cruising tourist. We left in fog this morning and motor'd 5 miles to Angel Island. This holds a special memory for me because in 1962 when I was 11 and visiting my grandparents in Oakland they arranged for me to sail to Angel Island for a picnic. I remember the beautiful wood sloop and the picnic but not much else. But now all those years later I visited once again on my own sloop.

There are state park docks available for day use only and we were the first boat to arrive for the day. We took a 3 hour hike to the summit and saw some beautiful vistas. San Franciso is world famous for the views and we saw them all from atop Angel Island.

Tonight we are in a small marina in the Sausalito and plan to tour the town and do some laundry. When we landed at the guest dock the guy who helped us tie up was from Gig Harbor (5miles from our old homedock). They had only just arrived from sailing down the coast and said they had had their A***s kicked. They had self steering but hadnt hooked it up and their auto pilot went out so the two of them hand steered. We had six crew on our trip and played board games in the cockpit!

Back to the title, we have noticed that the Golden gate stays fog bound all day long. There are two boats on our dock that have been waiting for days
for the fog to lift. The trick is morning because in the afternoon the winds usually go to 20 plus knots, and we need a ebb to slack water tide, and oh it would be nice to have visibilty. When these things are align we can leave but not tomorrow because we need to shop.

09/01/2010 | Deb McAdams
First things first, Jim! Shopping is very important! I posted photos on my facebook today and tried to email them to you, too. They may have been too big a file, so let me know if you got them.While you wait for the fog to lift, after shopping, of course, you can play some board games with your new friends! Hugs to you and Connie!
09/01/2010 | Andrew
So I am looking at the picture and I see the poles. Are you going for a ski?
Steph and I are excited to visit where ever you may be next year.
Treasure Island
08/30/2010

We are anchored in the lee of Treasure Island on San Francisco bay. This island is the center point of the Bay bridge and was up until fairly recently a military base. We are anchored with 20 kts of wind and the noise is very pronounced, however the anchorage is not rolly because we anchored up against the beach and the wind doesn't have time to create waves.
We left Encinal Yacht club this morning for a half mi ride down the Estuary to fuel up and dock for a few hours to visit Jack London Square. We alloted several hours to tour the area but were back at the boat in 20 minutes! All the stores are vacant!. If this isnt a reminder of the recession I dont know what is. There was a bike shop and kayak shop open but store after store was empty and for lease. We had also noticed this on the Alameda side in the commericial park but didnt expect Jack London square to be a ghost town.
Be sure to check to location on the side bar of the blog. With google earth loaded you can zoom down to where the boat is (you wont likely see the boat because the images are not current but you can see where we are
I will post the position for Treasure Island

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Who: Jim & Connie Merritt
Port: Tacoma WA
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