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Sound Effect does the big U
Santa Barbara Mission

It is Sunday morning and we are waiting for you guessed it the fog to lift. We are planning to leave this morning and move a few miles down the coast, weather permitting.
Our stay in Santa Barbara has been wonderful, we have walked and walked and walked to, laundry, shopping, sight seeing and church.
Some quick updates, the AIS now works in the cockpit, thanks to Denny's suggestion of changing the baud rate internal to the AIS unit. This after the compnay experts said that it wouldnt work... but it does So now we have information in the cockpit about the where abouts of large ships, their name, course, and speed as well as the closest point of appproach.
We also got WEst Marine to exchange the obsolete map chip they had sold me with an updated version this has been an ongoing saga since Alemeda, with customer service, operations and four separatge stores involved, but we are good to go. My solar panels are now in my brother's garage for installation in San Diego, and I have installed the fans but not yet wired them.
We have about 3 weeks more of coastal California to explore, and then reprovision, install solar panels, in San Diego, and celebrate my Dad's 90 th birthday onboard later in October.
Check out the latest position in Santa Barbara

09/20/2010 | Andrew Merritt
Looks like everything is finally coming together. Tell Gramps happy birthday from Steph and I.
09/20/2010 | Ron Holbrook
Great to hear that all is going well with you. We also hit Santa Rosa on the way down and the wind never stoped. Yes, it does get warmer as you go south. See you in San Diego.
09/22/2010 | Deb McAdams
It's good to hear you got the AIS in the cockpit! I know that was a big thing and you had worked hard on it. At least it will make the fog easier to deal with when it hits along the way. Hope you're having a great trip and now you have some projects to look forward to when you get further south.
Palm Trees?

If its palm trees it must be hot! Guess again, we are here in beautiful Santa Barbara, and connie is still cold. I asked her to be photographed in front of the palm trees but she wouldnt leave the heated boat and her beloved quilt to go out and be photographed..... but enough whining I did have shorts, and a short sleeved shirt on for part of the afternnon, but when we arrived we had on long johns, multiple fleeces and full set of foulies when we sailed into the marina.
We have been out of touch so to recap
First the hospitality at the Morro Bay Yacht club was fantastic, We met Bill Sanders
on the dock Friday who arranged for a diver, took my empty propane and refilled it in town and when I tried to buy his drink at happy hour in the club bar put my drink on his tab.
Sunday we met a couple (Dana and Terri )at church who drove us inland to San Luis Obisbo to see the Mission (built in 1772) and then on to the coast to Avila Beach. It was a great opportunity to meet some local people and get some inland sun.
While tied to the dock, who should show up but Ami and Michael on Peregrine. Ami and I taught at Windworks together, and we saw her on the last day in Seattle before we left. They had sailed non stop from Neah Bay (top corner of Washinton) to Morro Bay (central coast of CA) non stop inlcuding laying hove to for a day several hundred miles off Cape Medicino in a 50kt gale. After visiting Michaels dad they plan a one jump leg to central Mexico.
We also spent an evening with Howard and Lynn on Swift Current from Vancouver. They are also on the way to Mexico
Monday we left at noon and sailed through the night to get the best time to round pt Conception, and then on to Santa Rosa. This island is one of the channel island group, very remote. We arrived before dawn and hove to outside the bay until first light then as the wind built we anchored in 20kts of wind behind a dune. We spent the day and subsequent night in constant wind some times gusting 25kts. Too windy to land the dingy on the beach we had to be content with looking at the beach through binoculars. Tuesday we sailed over to Santa Barbara and civilization with hot showers and the worlds best clam chowder.
Tomorrow more work on the boat.

09/16/2010 | Deb MCAdams
Hang in there, you guys, rumor has it that warmer temperatures await just a bit further south. And as they say, be careful what you wish for. Denny and Becky untied Kokomo today after a very nice bon voyage party. They'll catch up with you before you know it in the land of shorts, tee shirts and sandals. Have a great rest of your journey!
Fouled in Kelp Forest

Thursday we left Monterey in the afternoon after fueling for 105 mi to Morro Bay. Based on speed projections it would take 15-18 hrs so an overnite was necessary. The forecast was for 10-20kts from the NW which is just perfect, however when we got out it was 5-8 from the SW not enough to sail and from the wrong direction... once again the forecast was wrong but that is to be expected... eventually the wind clocked around from the NW and began to slowly build. We put out a reefed mainsail in anticipation of building winds. How right we were it built to 35kts! But Sound effect did well once again and we rode that nicely until about 2 am when the forecasters got it right and the wind dropped to 20kts. And finally by morning it dropped to nothing and we motor'd to the Morro Bay entrance where we were told the bar was closed for moving a pipe. Now for you non sailors that is not bar as in tavern but rather bar as in the mouth of the harbor entrance. Just as we were approaching we heard a clunk and the speed dropped. We had run over some floating kelp. We had been keeping watch and dodged this stuff succesively many times during the night and morning but with the sun angle and glint on the water neither of us saw it.
Eventually our wait was rewarded with a work boat coming out to guide us in personally through the maze of floating pipes they were working on, but re starting the engine we got vibration that was frightening.. but we had to accept this guide boat or be stuck.
We tied up to the guest dock at the Morro Bay Yacht club to see if we could get a diver. The first man we met and asked said hmmm and dialed his phone and arranged for a diver in an hour! We thought we might have to wait until Monday. The diver found the kelp in the prop that is in the picture. What is amazing is that I couldn't break this stuff... it is like nylon webbing wrapped around the prop.
Check the latest position update, and we will blog later about whales, and stars and a great sail

guests on the dock

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 ...

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Who: Jim & Connie Merritt
Port: Tacoma WA
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