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13 September 2010 | Santa Barbara
Wow a lot has happened since our last blog...I can't believe I haven't written since leaving San Fran. We are in Santa Barbara for a couple of nights and I'll try to bring you up to date.
Monday September 6th: We passed under the Golden Gate about 11am headed for Half Moon Bay and for the next couple of hours passed every boat head north after the Labor Day weekend. There must have been close to 75. We felt like salmon swimming upstream but it confirmed our plan to wait until after the weekend to continue. Half Moon Bay is probably the nicest anchorage on the west coast. Lots of room, nice beach access and plenty to do in town. We met a nice couple sailing south with their 17 year old son. We had them over for dinner and look forward to getting to know better the crew from S/V Jane'o.
We left HMB Wednesday morning for an anchorage just outside of Monterey Bay Marina. When we arrived we found this anchorage like we're finding most of the anchorages taken up with mooring buoys and permanently anchored derelict vessels so we decided to stay in the marina. It was a good thing and a bad thing. The good, we met four new boats headed for the Haha and ran into our friends from Portland Anne and Mitch West on S/V Varuna. The bad was the seals and sea lions climbing on everything...the smell and the noise, "AARR...AARR...AARR" all night long not the mention the fishermen coming and going all night. We were going to spend a few days but the lack of sleep pushed me on. Now this is where all great plans seem to go a rye...we decided to move around the peninsula to Stillwater Cove right at the base of the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and just east of one of the most photographed trees on Cypress Point. As we motored around...the weather and seas where so nice that we made a last minute change and decided to continue south all night...destination Morro Bay. Ya startin' to see the picture! This would mean an all nighter and pass two of the most beautiful anchorages along the west coast. S/V Varuna and our new friends Jim and Connie Merritt from Seattle onboard S/V Sound Effect where also headed to Morro Bay...at least we would have company. As luck would have it about four hours after making this last minute decision the wind began to blow. And I mean blow...25 to 30 knots until around 1am. And the seas...well let's just say it was nice that it was dark out. I don't know how I get myself into these things? I'm here to tell you...Monterey Bay and it's smells and noise were looking pretty good about now. However there is always a positive...about the time we passed Point Sir the sky cleared off and the stars were incredible...no moon just rough seas. Joe said he had never seen the stars that bright...they actually reflected off the ocean. We made Morro Bay at twilight...found a place to anchor and slept the rest of the day.
Saturday we rode the bus over to San Simeon and toured the Hearst Castle. Like the Winchester house or Graceland this place is stuck in time. If you haven't had the chance to see this it is mind boggling. It is weird to me that with 5 sons the house didn't stay in the family and is still being used. If you visit California it's a must see.
Ok now we are to the final leg of this blog. One would think that by know we (ok I) would be making better sailing plans. We (I) decide to sail to an anchorage just around Point Conception the last major hurdle on the west coast. Like all the Major Capes or Points they create their own weather conditions or phenomenons like Point Sir in the previous paragraph. Point Conception is where the cold air and water of the North meet the warm air water of the South. Just like Oklahoma without the tornados. This anchorage is aptly named Cojo Anchorage...didn't they make a movie...it had a dog? Anyway we leave Morro Bay at 6am...the seas are flat...no wind...it's starting to look familiar...I've seen this somewhere...maybe it was that movie. You guessed it...about 3 hours from the Point the winds and seas begin to build. By the time we rounded the Point winds where well over 30 knots and the seas...well I (we) was glad that in a few minutes we would be safely anchored in the lea of the Point. Didn't I mention something about all good plans? As we came into the bay there where two sailboats washed ashore from previous storms or maybe like us planned to spend the night and ended up on shore...now if that wasn't foreboding nothing is. We laid out 200 feet of anchor chain in 20 feet of water and it didn't hold...it had fouled in the seaweed. Just before we crashed into the Coast Guard mooring buoy (which is the size of a small car) we were able to recover the anchor and I (we) made a decision to sail on to Santa Barbara...there's another story here but we'll just have to discuss it over a beer (or two) the next time we get together. Next stop Avalon on Catalina Island.