Getting Caught Up
17 September 2010 | Santa Barbara, CA
So for our small loyal band of blog readers, we must apologize for being severely delinquent at updating the blog. We appreciate the fact that there are friends and family that really care about our adventure and how we are doing. So, in an attempt to make amends, we will get everyone caught up and let you know where we have been the past few days.
After a two week stay in San Francisco Bay, we headed south and stayed two nights on the anchor in Half Moon Bay. Our next stop after that was Monterey. We got such a great deal on a slip that we decided to spend two nights tied to the dock in Monterey Harbor. While there, we had an awesome trip to the aquarium. It was probably one of the best ones we have ever been to. We will try to get some photos into the gallery soon. We also enjoyed a great dinner at the Old Fisherman's Grotto at Fisherman's Wharf and acted like tourist in all the gift shops.
From Monterey, we decided our next stop should be Port San Luis near San Luis Obispo. We wanted to stop in San Simeon and see the Hearst Castle, but the weather forecast for rounding Point Conception (the Cape Horn of the North) was only good for a few more days. So, we decided to make good distance south in order to round the cape in favorable conditions. Since Port San Luis was 125 miles from Monterey, we decided to do an overnight passage and arrive the next afternoon. We left Monterey in the late afternoon under absolutely gorgeous conditions. We sailed for a bit out of the harbor, then as the sun went down the wind went with it. We saw our first whales! We spotted a pod of about 10 humpbacks about 500 yards off the starboard beam just before sunset. It was magical. We motored for the next 19 hours on glassy seas with absolutely zero wind. It was a dark and cold night, but overall an extremely comfortable passage. The kids slept liked rocks down below and Tami and I shared some informal watches and took naps when we could.
Port San Luis was nothing to write home about, at least from our perspective. The anchorage was not very comfortable and the dinghy ride in would have taken half an hour. So, we decided to just stay a few hours and then do another night passage to Santa Barbara, another 95 miles south. We left Port San Luis around 2300 hours with the kids already in bed. We had checked and checked and checked the weather forecast for Point Conception and were convinced it was as good as it was gonna get. So we motored through another dark, foggy night and rounded the cape at sunrise. Thankfully, it was a very benign passage. The neatest thing was passing the huge oil platforms in the dark and fog as you enter the Santa Barbara channel. Having safely rounded Point Conception, we celebrated the fact that we were finally in Southern California. We were told that it would be 'noticeably warmer' here. We laughed at this as we shivered in our foul weather gear and 45 degree temperatures at 4 in the morning.
We arrived Santa Barbara on the afternoon of the 15th. We anchored in 'fools anchorage' just east of the wharf. What a mistake that was! Of course, we didn't know it was called 'fools anchorage' until later. The holding is terrible, it's crowded, and unprotected. We rocked and rolled all night long. It was probably the worst night we have ever had on the anchor. Some time in the night, we actually got rolled so bad that a bunch of our stuff fell off the desk, galley counter, bookshelves and seats. The boat was a wreck in the morning and we were exhausted. We knew we wanted to enjoy the town, so we immediately decided to call and get a slip in the marina. Fortunately, they had 1 left so we motored through pea soup fog around the wharf and into the harbor where we tied securely to the dock. Our friends Rod and Jane were there already on sv Isabella, so we got caught up with them. It was a nice reunion. They came over to the boat for dinner and we enjoyed some great grilled flank steak, fajitas, and sea stories.
Today, we visited the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and took a long walk up State Street to see downtown. The museum was amazing. We all enjoyed the self-guided tour and displays. If you are ever in the area, we highly recommend it. The weather was nice and we all enjoyed a great day. This really is a neat town. We've decided to stay until Sunday when we will head further south. Rumor has it, things only get better from here. So, we are eagerly looking forward to some good sailing and warmer weather. We are all anxious to put away the foulies and put on the swimsuits.
By the way, the log sits at over 1500 miles now since leaving Olympia, WA in early June. We are having a great trip and are always eager to see what the next day brings. We are ever appreciative of your prayers and encouragement and are happy to share our story with you.