Job 1- keep water out of the boat. Job 2-Keep the dogs in the boat
15 November 2018 | San Jose Del Cabo
This is the first test of remote posting via satphone. Ever try to write a story on an iPad? Not easy. I see a wireless keyboard in our future!
We have been delayed heading north due to high winds heading up to La Paz so we are hanging out in San Jose Del Cabo with a bunch of other boats waiting for things to lighten up on Friday. In the meantime we did a couple of projects. Water persistently set off the bilge on the way down the Baja coast and we diagnosed two causes; one was the air vent to the drip less shaft seal squirting water during hard reverse and the second was a leak in the water maker flush line where a clamp was not as tight as it should have been. We'll see if that's the end of it once we bash up to Frailes tomorrow. Rina got her trusty Sailrite sewing machine out and did a repair of some shade covers and added a puppy net to the stern step to stop Leeloo from falling out of the boat underway. Chris Hagen, Haha crew extraordinaire, will be pleased.
Why the mesh and canvas? The original design was simply blue sunbrella canvas to help keep the stern light from killing our night vision and reduce diesel fumes from coming in the cockpit after deflecting off our dinghy hung on the stern davits. The original design was a simple flap, so that when we get pooped (water crashing into our cockpit from behind us) the flap opens up and the water flows out. Add puppies and that design does not work so well, and given Leeloo the klutz likes to hide out under there, we needed a solution that did not compromise the ability to drain the cockpit quickly. We used the same plastic netting we put around the bottom half of our lifelines and snapped it to the step and we're all good! Happy Chris?
Bright Lights, Big City
13 November 2018 | San Jose Del Cabo
sv Follow You nearing the famous arch at Cabo San Lucas. Thanks to Jennifer on Redeemed for the pic!
We arrived in Cabo San Lucas a couple of days ago and were one of only 13 boats to get a slip in the Cabo San Lucas Marina.... Bit of a mixed bag, as our slip was right at a choke point in the marina where pangas shuttled tourists in and out to the famous arch all day and evening. Even better, the fishing boats have a very different definition of "no wake". We might as well had been out in the anchorage given the rough water. Still, it was worth it so we could give the boat a wash down and have unlimited power for a couple of days. Normally the marina is able to fit 70-80 boats in but this year there was a big fishing tournament going on and a couple of superyachts taking up most excess space.
Now that the Haha is over we are getting off the grid for a couple of weeks, no schedule, no marinas.... we'll slowly be making our way up towards La Paz, stopping at Bahia Los Frailes, Bahia de la Muertos, Puerto Balandra and Isla Partida before heading into La Paz to re-provision and pick up good friend and fellow musician Adam Gottstein for a week of R&R and music in December.
Go Big or Go Home
11 November 2018 | Cabo San Lucas
One of several superyachts in the Marina in Cabo...
Attessa tried to fire up the helicopter and had security all over him in minutes. So instead he headed out to the anchorage to take off. And this was the *small* superyacht in the marina... MV Here Comes the Sun, at 273 feet, took up 3/4s of the fuel dock. Rumors run rampant that it was Paul McCartneys yacht but a simple google search
revealed that it was yet another Russian oligarch's play toy.
7 Days, 575 Miles and 1 Darwinian Moment
05 November 2018 | Bahia Santa Maria
After 5 days at sea bisected by 2 days in the village of Bahia Tortuga (Turtle Bay) we anchored in the even smaller village of Bahia Santa Maria last night at 1800 hours, just as darkness fell. For those looking for the village on a map it's at 24.46.60N, 112.15.46W.
But let's back up...
We left San Diego in overcast conditions with little to no wind forecast. In these conditions rally leaders normally call for a rolling start until the wind builds in, typically in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the wind never did build in and we motored for the next 24 hours until we finally were able to turn the engine off and get some sailing in, running the code zero light-air sail, making 6-7 knots for about 6 hours until the wind died in the evening. We motored overnight again and arrived in Turtle Bay just after dark the next day. We anchored as 50 of the remaining fleet of 150 boats continued to funnel into the expansive bay as 10-12 knots of land-effect wind kept our anchor chain taut. It's this last fact that led to one of the stupidest things I have done on a boat in a long time.
Because it was dark, we put these little puck LEDs on the stern seats to make us more visible to the arriving boats. Well, one of them fell into the water and started floating away in the wind. Here's the stupid part. Instead of letting a $5 light, for which I had ample spares, float away, I decided to jump into the dinghy and retrieve it. Normally this would not be a problem, as the trusty 9.9hp Nissan 2 stroke fires right up and I could easily retrieve the light and return to the boat. But because we were at sea, instead the motor was on its mount on the starboard side rail and all I had was paddles to get back. "No Problem!" my addled brain thinks, just grab a paddle and come back to the boat. Instead, the building breeze conspired to drag me further out of the bay. I would paddle furiously during a lull, getting within 30 feet of the boat and just out of reach of the crew throwing me a line, only to be driven back out. Finally, I figured out I was going to have to rig both paddles in the oar locks to overcome the wind. Did I mention that I had never rigged the oar locks on this new dinghy? So there I am, attempting to rig the paddles in the oar locks in the dark as I float out to sea. Once rigged it took 30 minutes of furious rowing to get me close enough to the boat so the crew could throw me a line. The crew was pretty worried at one point and was ready to pull the anchor to come get me. And I did have other options, such as paddling to other boats that were down wind and asking for a ride back to my boat, but the sheer embarrassment of those scenarios made me row that much faster. Still, pretty bad decision-making on my part.
On a happier note, the boat and the crew have all been performing very well, especially considering how much motoring we have had to do over the first two legs of the rally. Long-droning motors make sailors cranky. 92 total hours under way, of which only 15 or so were under sail. With 4 good sailors aboard, we have been able to each cover a two hour watch with 6 hours off to catch up on sleep. Meals have been fantastic, and all other systems have had healthy workouts without any problems.
Over the next two days we will rest up and attend a party on the bluff here... a 5 piece band travels 18 hours from La Paz to play for tips and the local panga fishermen's wives sell fish tacos, rice and beans for 10 bucks a plate. It's surreal to see 600 people on this cliff out in the middle of nowhere rocking out, drinking beer and eating tacos.
Now we are off to the beach, which is 9 miles long, to give the dogs a good workout. After a couple of days pooping on a 2 x 3' piece of artificial turf on the heaving midship deck, they are ready for land!
The picture above is the crew enjoying their first beers off the boat in Turtle Bay.
02 November 2018 | Turtle Bay
One of the great things about the Baja Haha rally is how the fleet marshalls resources to support the villages we visit. In Turtle Bay they are BIG on baseball. So big, in fact, that they have put in a 1000 seat stadium with artificial turf to support the local teams. When the fleet comes to town we play a softball game against and with the local kids, sell hotdogs and donate the proceeds to local teams and donate a bunch of equipment... gloves, balls, bats, masks, uniforms, etc to support the local leagues. There were 500 people in the stands and a long line of batters waiting to take as many swings as needed until they get a hit. In Bahia Santa Maria we donate school supplies and other goods the locals can rarely get given the isolation of their village.... It's several hours drive at low tide just to get to the nearest town with stores.
"So Here's The Plan"
28 October 2018 | San Diego
"So Here's The Plan"
Those words still make daughters Megan and Alyssa shudder.... It usually meant that dad had had a bunch of stuff for them to do or all the travel logistics worked out. So here is an overview of the plan both short and long term...
The Next Two Weeks
700 Miles and 2 stops on the way to Cabo San Lucas, MX. We are heading out Monday morning as part of the Baja Haha Cruisers Rally
with ~160 other sailboats. We have done this trip twice before, once in 2006 on Alaska Eagle, a famous "round the world" race winner that had been converted into a training ship by the Orange Coast College in Newport Beach. Having owned our boat for only 3 years, that trip taught us that we could do this sailing thing, and it inspired us to plan our cruise in 2008 on our own boat. In 2008 we did the Ha-Ha and made lifelong friends along the way. Very much looking to repeat that dynamic this trip, and with 7 boats here at Pier 32 doing the trip, we've already made friends.
The Next Two Months
We plan on spending a couple months in the Sea of Cortez decompressing, enjoying the fall weather, reading, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and eating wonderful and inexpensive mexican food in La Paz and the small villages in the Sea of Cortez.
The Next Year
We will head south to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Barra De Navidad and Zihuatanejo for various sailing rallies and other social events and just hang out with the cruising community.
The following two years
The current plan, subject to change, is to cross the pacific to French Polynesia, Tonga and Fiji, getting to hang out with Alyssa in Northern Fiji on their charter catamaran Quixotic
One day, one hour, 10 minutes and 1 second to departure, BUT WHO'S COUNTING!
Volume 2, Episode 1 of Boats Break!!
24 October 2018 | San Diego
Welcome to another season of Boats Break!
Volume 1 from the archive has a wealth of fun entries in the "fixing boats in a series of exotic ports" vein. In our inaugural episode of this season, we have not even left the dock yet and we discovered unexpected water in the bilge... not a good sign.
While in Mission Bay Rina and I both noticed a stream of water coming from the bilge pump outlet. We both tune into the sounds of the boat, and anything unusual is a cause for immediate investigation. Those instincts have been dormant for many years, but they return immediately once we are on the water. Since it was not much water and there were no obvious leaks we decided to dig deeper once we returned to our slip.
We started at the bow, checking every thru-hull valve and hose.... The pressurized fresh water system was not cycling on its own, so it could not be that. No leaks from the shower or sump pumps. Same for the thru-hulls in the aft bilge. As we were looking at the thru-hulls under the Mastervolt genset, we noticed small speckles of salt on the insulation. Hmmmm, a clue. After checking all the hoses to/from the engine, exhaust manifolds we found it... a hairline crack on a fiberglass 90 degree fitting on the genset exhaust. First call was to my favorite marine supplier in San Diego, Dave Wicks at Southern California Marine. Luckily, he had the exact part I needed in stock. A short trip later and I proceeded to swap out the elbow. But of course it was jammed tight between the genset and a bulkhead and the only way to get the new one on was to jack up the genset with a bunch of wood to get enough clearance to fit the part. As luck would have it, by pulling all the sound covers off the genset I found another leak, which I was able to fix by merely tightening the clamp down.
And so it goes living aboard a 16 year old boat.... Even though we have refreshed and meticulously maintained all her systems, we can expect breakage like this along the way. We combat that with both redundancy (3 different ways to produce electricity, for example) and ample spares for all major systems. In fact, we have upped the depth of our spares given the age of the engine, genset and other systems.
As noted earlier I enjoy that part of the challenge. Rina not so much, even if she will admit she's pretty good at thinking through the redundancy and spares process and is especially good at problem solving when stuff does go wrong. In fact, she's better at it than I am. While I tend to look past the simple explanations for problems (is it plugged in? duh) she has a great ability to methodically think through things and come up with creative solutions.... It's one of the best parts of our partnership on the boat.
5 Days, 0 hours, 15 minutes and 46 seconds till go-time! ... but who's counting...
Ps. Yes, I have some corrosion management to do on those bolts ;-}
Goodbyes are HARD
23 October 2018 | San Diego
Both Rina and I are going through it.... goodbye to family, goodbye to a friends on the dock, hell, goodbye to the dock! We'll be mostly anchoring out for the next 5-6 months so having simple stuff like unlimited electricity and water will be a thing of the past. Work goodbyes are also hard... I've really enjoyed the ride at ServiceMax and made many good friends over the last 4+ years here. I've led an organization of ~40 software consultants, project managers and practice leaders and truly enjoyed it. It's been tough to extract myself from the day to day, but as we close in on the last week, both my email and phone have become eerily quiet.... looking forward to more of THAT!
Rina had a similar time extracting herself from her job several months ago. Over 10+ years she had become a fountain of knowledge and master of nuance. After several months of supporting the team remotely, they finally have moved up the learning curve and new (and returning) leaders have taken her place.
5 days, 22 hours, 55 minutes, 36 seconds to go (according to Rina) but who's counting!
21 October 2018 | Mission Bay
Rina and I decided we needed to get out of the Marina this weekend to shake down the boat and ourselves before departing next Monday on the HaHa. There have been so many moving parts over the summer that ensuring that everything and the both of us work in concert was not a foregone conclusion.
Will the newly installed impeller and speed seal hold? (yes) Is the genset RPM problem solved? (yes) Will that newly installed impeller not disintegrate like the last one? (not yet) Is the genset dieseling problem solved? (No) And what about those new batteries? Will they hold a charge? (yes) Is the Iridium Go satellite phone working? (yes) Can I get weather information at sea? (yes) Will the dogs adapt to life aboard? (Teva yes, Leeloo - maybe) Will Rina and get back into that cruising groove where we naturally team up to run the boat efficiently. (So far, so good)
It's been 10 years since our last long range cruise so there is lots to prove out with both the boat and ourselves. For those new to our blog or those who are not familiar with the cruising lifestyle, there is ALWAYS stuff to do and stuff to worry about.... Frankly, It's part of the challenge that I (Rina? Not so much!) find rewarding... So many variables... lot's of highs to be sure, but some drudgery as well. What, you say? It's not all peaches and cream out on the water? Remind me of that while we are changing leaking seals on the head macerator in a rolling anchorage. That sea story, among many others can be found in the archives from our cruise in 2008-2010. Life on the water can also be humbling, with my share of stupid boat tricks.
also well documented in the archives.
We are hanging out in Mariners Basin in Mission Bay with Megan and Anthony, living on solar power and managing the electrical resources such that we only have to run the genset every couple of days.... Thanks to changing to all LED lights, most of our Audio/video and laptops to DC power, and new door seals on our fridge/freezer, the boat is more efficient than it's ever been. We also got to try out new toys, including our Isle Inflatable Paddle Board. So far so good... no falls, but I'm feeling the effects of sitting on phone calls for the last 4 years and not enough exercise. Boat life forces you to get into a shape, and we are both looking forward to the more active lifestyle. We leave in 8 days, but who's counting.
15 October 2018 | San Diego
In more ways than one.... While Rina was literally taking stock of the pantry under the settee and doing meal planning for our passages down the Baja coast, we also took time to figuratively do so while spending time with daughter Megan this weekend. Megan and her fiance Anthony, who live here in San Diego, have been constant companions since we sailed down from San Francisco Bay in March. We have truly enjoyed being able to drop by regularly and be a part of their lives. With only two weeks to departure, we will enjoy as much time together as we can.
Mic-Check... Is this thing on?
10 October 2018 | San Diego
Wow, almost 5 years to the day of our last entry, but for good reason. After 10 years of dreaming, 5 years of planning, 3 years of refitting, Rina and I have made the decision to head out again on an extended cruise of Mexico and the South Pacific.
Having just announced my imminent departure from work I am able to fire up the blog again and dust off my writing skills a bit. Boy do they need it.
We will be departing with ~150 other boats in the Baja Haha fleet at 11am on Monday, October 29th and take about 2 weeks to sail to Cabo San Lucas. Good friends Shaun Wurzner and Chris Hagen will be joining us for the HaHa. 19 days away, but who's counting....
From Cabo we will head up into the Sea of Cortez for several months shaking off 10 years of work stress and getting our cruising skills back in shape. From there we will head to the mainland, hitting all our favorite anchorages down the Gold Coast as far as Zihuatanejo and then back to Banderas Bay for the Summer. We plan on crossing the Pacific to French Polynesia, Tonga and Fiji in early 2020.
sv FollowYou has been refreshed inside and out, with new sails, electronics, life raft and canvas, among a zillion other changes both small and large. The project manager in me counts roughly 500 entries in the project plan xls as completed over the last 5 years. There are only a few items left and most of it is just unplugging from our shore-based life.... It's amazing how many subscriptions one acquires over the years... In a less connected world we will be moving towards, they just don't make sense, and frankly, it's part of the plan. We are already clutching our phones less than we have in the past, and it feels goooood!
Teva the Boat Dog
13 October 2013 | Redwood City
We can't close this adventure without mentioning what a trooper Teva, our 1 1/2 year old Rat Terrier was on this journey. We were hoping for a nimble happy boat dog to accompany us and that's just what we got. Our ideal dog was patterned after Apple, the Jack Russel Terrier on Mike and Veronica's Beneteau 46 Apple, who we cruised with in the South Pacific in 2009 and Vienna, Dietmar and Suzanne's Dachshund on Carinthia who is master of their Lagoon 440's decks and the best fish finder there is.
Teva learned quickly jumping from boat to dinghy and back with confidence. She learned to do her business on a patch of fake grass on the bow and was a great heat generator on cold nights in our bunk. She has turned into a great watch companion and guards the boat with just the right amount of diligence.... a little snarl and a little bark. She quickly made the boat her own, doing the rounds of the decks and cockpit and taking in life at sea. Like her humans, she got a little seasick now and then but snapped right out of it as the seas calmed.
Clawing our way into the Bay
13 October 2013 | San Francisco Bay
After a brief but bashy afternoon getting to Sam Simeon, we were hoping for moderate conditions on our way up past Monterey and Half Moon Bay. These waters on bad days can be awful, rivaling the worst of the Baja Bash from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. There are several points where the wind builds, creating short sharp wind waves that all but stop the boat in its tracks.
Both Buoyweather and SailFlow predicted moderate conditions from 8-12 knots in the morning and 12-16 in the afternoon and calm at night. Unfortunately it was not to be. After a good start out of Sam Simeon at 5am, the dreaded wind waves kicked up and doomed us to a long afternoon and even longer evening. By the time we made Monterey we were hoping for a respite, but instead were faced with a short sharp swell from the northwest... somewhat unusual in that they were predicted to last only a couple of hours but the waves were "sqaure". That is, 7-8 feet high and 7-8 second period. It made for an ugly frustrating couple of hours until we turned into Monterey Bay to run with the swell to get some relief. At 1am we had finally had the courage to turn our nose back into the swell and luckily the square waves had been reduced to just a confused washing machine state. Uncomfortable, but after the last couple of hours, a relief. Nothing like a little relativism to help you through the night.
By the time the sun rose over Half Moon Bay things were settling nicely and we cruised into the Bay under a dead calm with 5-7 knots blowing through the golden gate. Rina and I both forgot how much work sailing 375 miles directly into the wind over 3 days is. Now that it's over, it's very rewarding, especially as it was preceded by 2 and a half weeks of great sailing and cruising with Lewis and Alyssa. We wish them well as they head to Mexico and the South Pacific while Follow You gets put back into hibernation for a couple of wintery Months.
Sunset Alert at San Simeon
11 October 2013 | San Simeon Anchorage
Follow you had a wonderful 24 hour motorsail from Catalina to Point Conception and rounded the point in moderate conditions... confused seas but winds from 5-10 knots. After rounding Point Arguello seas flattened out for another 4 hours and then the inevitable afternoon bash came in on schedule. Rina and I decided to route to San Simeon Anchorage, about half way home. Cruiser note... the anchorage now has full broadband service.... for many years this was one of the few anchorages on the north coast that remained broadband free.
Seas willing we will depart at 4am and sprint to the Gate and a late Sunday arrival in Redwood city.
10 October 2013 | Santa Barbara channel
After a thorough 24 hours of rainy squalls on normally placid Catalina Island, we left our favorite [California] Island Paradise for home. The last 72 miles have been in flat almost windless conditions and the forecast for Pt conception later this morning looks great. There's nothing quite like a strong front to flush out the swell and wind when you are trying to beat north. Currently motoring in a flat calm with just enough wind to keep the sail full and the boat steady and quiet as Rina sleeps.
Float plan shows us hitting the Pt around 4 am Friday morning, and Monterey Bay on early Saturday. If conditions persist we could be back in the bay late Saturday night, but more likely mid-day sunday.
Cozy in Cat Harbor
08 October 2013 | Cat Harbor, Catalina Island
Rina and Alyssa in the Galley, making an awesome meal of home made crab cakes, the fresh catch of the day thanks to Lewis, a Sea Bass caught in Fourney's Cove on Santa Cruz Island last night, and Hawaiian Poki from Albacore tuna bought off a fishing boat in Half Moon Bay.
Mary Lee and Lewis, the boat got a good laugh out of your comment. Following seas we could only dream about... We are dreading the return to cold weather and 48 hours of beating into the wind!
Looking for a Weather Window
08 October 2013 | Cat Harbor, Catalina Island
We're tucked into Cat Harbor with SV Eleutheria awaiting the passage of a low that could bring some rain and strong winds to the Santa Barbara Channel. The 15-25 knot winds would not normally be an issue except that they increase greatly when approaching Point Conception with the associated big seas. So we will hang here for another day before catching the ride up on the back of the low pressure system. Should be a straight shot home on Thursday.
That will give us a chance to spend a last couple of days with Alyssa who is on her way south on Eluetheria. It will be a bittersweet moment.... we're very proud of Alyssa sailing south but we will miss her.
Assuming the Position
05 October 2013 | Avalon, Catalina Island
Those Santa Ana winds never materialized and the gale warning has been lifted. After a morning swell and chop subsided, the harbor inhabitants resumed the daily dinghy dance as Mediterranean conditions prevailed.
We get to enjoy Avalon for a couple more days before heading North on Tuesday for a rendezvous with Pt Conception on Wednesday, where a weather window appears to be forming.
Awaiting Santa Ana Winds
04 October 2013 | Avalon, Catalina Island
That's Follow You surrounded by a bunch of stink pots, seemingly the only sailboat in the harbor. We just got lucky by getting a mooring ball tucked behind the jetty near the Casino as we all await Santa Ana winds that are supposed to slam the island yesterday. Luckily we slept well and the winds did not materialize. They were supposed to hit again today around noon but luckily another no-show. Instead we are hanging in town, rented a golf cart to do our obligatory tour of the surrounding hills and get a bunch of pictures of the boat.
Merry Lee, very good to hear from you! Unfortunately we will be heading north Tuesday or Wednesday for a predicted lull around Point Conception mid-week. I'm sure our paths will cross again in the future.
Follow You in her Summer Attire
30 September 2013 | Santa Barbara
Megan relaxes aboard Follow You decked out in her summer shades berthed in Santa Barbara. A fun weekend of bike riding, shopping, provisioning the boat and hanging out on State Street.
We are headed out to Santa Cruz Island tomorrow to rendezvous with SV Ellie before heading to Catalina on Wednesday.
Dolphins on the Bow
29 September 2013 | Santa Barbara channel
No rounding of Point Conception is complete without dancing dolphins off your bow. Offshore about 6-7 miles the water gets clear and we were surrounded by a hundred dolphins for just a few minutes.
You see lots of pictures and videos of dolphins on the bow on various sailing blogs but I can tell you it never gets old. Watching them play with the boat and each other, then look up at you through the water is just special.
Sunrise in the Santa Barbara Channel
29 September 2013 | Santa Barbara
After passing Point Conception life aboard becomes VERY different. Sunrise over the water? On the west coast? absolutely. Swells? what swells.... we went from 9-12 foot swells at 10 seconds to 1-2 foot swells at 12-14 seconds, almost imperceptible. Winds? 10-20 in the afternoons and then dies to under 10 just in time for the bbq to be lit.
It's playtime now in Santa Barbara with daughter Megan, up from San Diego, along with Alyssa, getting the nuclear family (+ lewis!) back together again for fleeting moments.
Dietmar, you are a mind-reader.... Just had to keep going south until jackets were not required any more. Cockpit was a balmy 79 at 7pm last night!
Old Friends in the Cockpit
27 September 2013 | Morro Bay, CA
Rich and Lori from SV Third Day joined Lewis and Alyssa from SV Eleutheria on Follow You for appies and sundowners last night, catching up on old times. We first met Rich prepping for the HaHa in 2007, did the 2008 HaHa together and cruised Mexico for much of the same time and have stayed in contact since. Third Day is moored here in Morro Bay while the kids finish high school and Rich grows Cruise RO, the watermaker company he co-founded a couple of years ago. Small world... Lewis met rich through the purchase of a Cruise RO watermaker. As somewhat of an expert in watermaker repair, I can authoritatively say they made a good decision!
We're off to Santa Barbara this afternoon, departing 2pm, expect to round Point Conception around midnight and hopefully get a slip at the Marina around 10am. 110 nautical miles and 19-20 hours...
Chillen in the cockpit
26 September 2013 | Morro Bay
Just hangin in the cockpit on a warm night in morro bay. The sounds of breakers in the distance, the light slap of the dinghy bow in the ebb tide and steely dan in the background. Perfect.
The Calm after the Wind Storm
26 September 2013 | Morro Bay, CA
SV Follow You Follow Me sits calm this morning after an exciting afternoon and early evening yesterday. Luckily the high winds abated around 9pm and the entire anchorage slept much better knowing we would not have to check our mooring lines every couple of hours over night.
It's off to the farmers market now on a quest for fresh local veggies. This reminds us sooo much of cruising a couple of years ago.... Wandering around town and foraging for interesting edibles.
Hanging on by a couple of lines
25 September 2013 | Morro Bay, CA
As the wind continues to build your attention is riveted to the one thing that keeps you safely off the rocks. In our case it is two 3/4" mooring lines connected to a mooring ball. In the last post you see what happens when that line chafes through. We added a safety line that will keep us safe if the primary gives way. Also could have (maybe should have) configured the two lines with one to each cleat, but that is moot given that we are already blowing Force 7-8.
Eleutheria is on the hook in sand but has high confidence in their anchor. Either way we will both be up most of the night making sure we don't kiss the rocks.
What Happens when it blows 40+ knots
25 September 2013 | Morro Bay, CA
Exciting times here in Morro Bay. Wind picked up this afternoon and while I was out adding a safety line to the mooring ball, a 40 foot cruiser floats by, having chafed it's mooring line. The harbor patrol clearly is experienced in these situations, as not 2 minutes after Lewis on sv Eleutheria called in the escaped boat, they came roaring in and put a line on a midship cleat and pulled the boat back into the middle of the channel just before it hit the rocks.
Getting those Sea Legs Back
25 September 2013 | Morro Bay, CA
We are safely moored in Morro Bay after a bumpy 26 hour ride from HMB. We saw a wide variety of conditions, from thick fog and 30 knots of wind to 8 knots of wind and a clear sky lit by an almost full moon in the middle of Monterey Bay. 4-6 foot wind waves on top of the 10-12 foot swells made for a wild ride at times, as the boat would break rhythm and thrash back and forth.
As always happens when you have not done an overnight passage in awhile, it takes a bit to get those sea legs back, and at one point Rina was checking the coordinates for a diversion to Monterey. We did our normal 3 hours on/3 off, but sleep was difficult given the conditions, but by morning our spirits were buoyed by the thought of being in port. Rich Boren of SV Third Day gave us a pointer to the friendly Morro Bay Yacht club who rents moorings. Much better to be on a mooring for the forecasted conditions over the next several day, with 25-30 knots predicted and gusts to 40. Needless to say we will be hanging out here for a couple of days until conditions improve so we can head around point conception and hang out in Santa Barbara for a couple of days.
Half Moon Bay Without the Fog
23 September 2013 | Half Moon Bay
Fun couple of days in HMB with SV Eleutheria and SV Pura Vida, with the requisite cockpit party and a night ashore, listening to live music at HMB Brewing Company next to the fire pit.
Now it's off to Morro Bay... Departing around 11:30 today, 24-28 hour overnight sail and should arrive in the afternoon Tuesday. Conditions are good for a fast sail, 15-20 knots, increasing to 20-25 overnight. Will likely go offshore to minimize the land effect around Point Sur.
Sunrise on the Golden Gate
22 September 2013 | Half Moon Bay
One of the best scenes we have seen crossing under the Golden Gate.... Building clouds for what would become a series of huge squalls offshore. sv Pura Vida joined us on their maiden offshore voyage, and boy would they get experienced quickly. We sailed a nice reach out to the SF Buoy just south of the shipping channel and sure enough, huge freighters would appear out of nowhere, sliding by at 20 knots 100 yards north.
We made the proverbial "left turn" at the buoy and our fortunes changed immediately. The wind, instead of being WSW, was SSE, coming at us right from Half Moon Bay. A long and tortuous day of tacking into growing wind waves against a 9-11ft NW swell awaited. Just as we tacked over, we hear Pura Vida hailing a container ship that was bearing directly on them. Liz remained calm as a cucumber on the radio as they tried to move out of the ships path. The ship, with pilot boat alongside said nothing but moved oh-so-slightly to starboard, averting a dramatic lead story on the nightly news.
As the trauma of that incident slowly diffused, winds increased from 14-16 knots to 18-22. Then came the rain. Lots of it. Luckily Follow You had its protective bimini and side panels up, shielding Rina and I from most of the rain, but Pura Vida was caught out without bimini deployed. Brian and Liz valiantly sailed through it all, costing nothing more than 3 changes of clothes and a VHF radio microphone that now sounds as if transmitting from 3 fathoms.
As the conditions continued to deteriorate, we added a little iron genny so we could point higher, knocking several hours off our journey. We sailed into Pillar Point Harbor just as the clouds started to break. What awesome timing...