Saturday, November 23, 2013

Monterey to Morrow Bay to Santa Barbara to Ventura

Nov 18: 0700 Revellie! Underway from Breakewater dock with main engine at 1120. 1250 Mizzen and stays'l up but no wind except 12 knot apparent on our nose, so motorsailing, such as it is. 1515 – Not expecting to deploy Mainsail tonight, so Bimini went up to enclose the cockpit to keep crew warmer during the overnight run. 1645 – In preps for night, reefed Mizzen, powered up Radar, running lights, and instrument lights. Sunset is at 1657. We are currently 2.4 miles NW of Point Sur Light/Rock. Zero wind. 2000 logged position and NJ takes the helm so Hal can catch a few winks.
Nov 19: 0001: Position logged and Hal takes the helm. Flat seas, no wind, 10+ miles visibility. Sailboat one mile on off our stern, slowly catching up to us (we're doing 5 - 5.5 knots). 0400: Position logged. Outside temp is 53 F, still motoring with reefed mizzen and stays'l. Full moon makes this overnight pleasant as the seas are flat and we're rolling along with current and following seas. We've both decided engine is much quieter when listening to our I-pods during our watch. Let me get up and dance a bit (realized I'm getting real rusty in that department) to help keep warm and blood moving. 0643: Sunrise, and we're now heading right into it. Morro Bay is still a few miles ahead of us, but both sunset last night and sunrise this morning were pretty amazing. Arrived in Morro Bay about 0920. Morro Bay Rock is a sight to behold as you pass it as you enter the harbor. It and the 3 smoke stacks certainly make an impression. We took a short boat tour as far in as the Yacht Club, having noted that the guest float (operated by the YC) has become somewhat of a permanent hotel for furry critters other than transient boaters. We turned around and drove boat to the designated anchorage area. After four attempts to anchor, we were ready to pick up and leave. The anchor just bounced along the bottom. The Harbor Patrol boat happened to come alongside and saw we were having difficulties. I asked if they had recently poured concrete in the area to keep us visitors out (not quite that sarcastically though). Because they were experiencing wide tide swings, they offered to let us grab one of the two mooring balls there. We were grateful, and did so. Best deal in the place, because it was free of charge. Finally turned engine off at 1030! After shutting everything dow, dropped Dink into water, etc. Headed towards the work docks and found a recommended eatery called Dockside. We had lunch there (B-B-Q Oysters, seared Ahi Tuna and a clam chowder bread bowl). Stuffed to the gills, we headed back to Shakedown, pulled Dink up, and spent the rest of day resting and plotting next leg of our journey. Ran Genset 1730-1830. Our battery charger no longer wants to charge the house batteries. Must look into this. Meanwhile, will rely on sun and wind. Batteries are not wanting to hold a charge very well either. Suspect may have something to do with previous issue with one of the six 6-volt batts. Will investigate. Had a very light (small bowl full) dinner. Couldn't stay awake for even half of a movie. Went to bed exhaustd.
Nov 20: Woke up to sounds of disgruntled sea lions, again, at about 0700. It rained a bit during the early morning hours. Think crew is now well rested. We plan to depart for our next leg at about 1700 this evening, round Pt. Arguello and Pt. Conception just before sunrise. Ran Genset this morning (shower and charge ebooks/ipods, VHF portable radio, run space heater). Plugged in new Waypoint coordinates into both chart plotters. NJ commences baking …..1255 started Genset, tried charging “just because” and wouldn't you know it, batts are getting charged! Just prior to leaving, a "tall ship" entered the harbor. Couldn't believe my eyes when I recognized it as "Lady Washington". The last time we'd seen her was in Port Townsend, WA during the Wooden Boat Festival some five years ago. Well, of course, we took a couple (more) pictures of her before saying so long. We cast off from our mooring ball at 1630 and headed out of Morro Bay, underway once again. NJ finished the baking of bread and “Oma Rolls” as well as a green bean casserole, with minutes to spare. If she keeps this up, we're going to run out of propane! After 3 hours, we've gone 15 miles in darkness, there is no wind and seas are calm, with an occasional low roller. Rain, which started as mist/drizzle earlier this afternoon, has let up. Have hoisted Stays'l and reefed Mizzen just in case we need air brakes as the engine keeps chugging along perfectly. Dinner of meatloaf, bean casserole, and Oma roll has been consumed. Really good! We're on a 41 mile leg between waypoints which will get us to Point Arguella. Don't know what the “Turn” will bring, but it can't be worse than 90% of our Washington to San Francisco trip. The 2000 position report has us at 25-06.73N 120-52.77 and NJ takes the helm for the next 5 hours. Nov 21: Hal takes the helm at 0100; we're approx. 8.8 miles north of Point Arguello, speed 6.1 knots, visibility 10 miles. 0215: Passing Offshore Platform “Irene” one mile off starboard beam. This is the first drilling rig we've seen and see Hiladago, Harvest, and Hermosa further on down the line. At 0252 we are passing Arguello Point Light 1.6 miles off port beam. We round Point Conception at 0530 and have a good stiff breeze to help us along. Seas are really benign, not what we were expecting (big winds and huge seas!) and prepared for. Almost a non-event. Sunrise comes at 0639 and we're in Santa Barbara Channel, Point Conception is 7 miles in our rear view mirror. The seas start building and soon the winds comes up to about 20 knots with occasional 25 knot gusts. This is the most uncomfortable part of the trip thus far, and Ventura is still many hours ahead. By 0930, we make decision to stop short and pull in at Santa Barbara (SB). Winds finally started calming to 10 knots and the wind waves flattened as well, just before arrival at SB Harbor. We got transient moorage at the very first end-tie closest to the harbor entrance. Tied up at 1330. Took walk up to the Harbor Patrol office to check in and pay our money. Got back to hook up shore power. Our fresh water tanks sloshed around quite a bit during the last 6 hours of our trip churning up sediment and turning the water into sediment-laden light brownish color. Opened water faucets and emptied our water tanks. Then refilled the tanks with fresh filtered water from the dock. The “Set” button on the Xantrex Link 1000 has disintegrated behind the plastic film on face of unit. Apparently I've used it too much. Will need to replace it. At 1530, we're tired and decide to watch the movie Armageddon (because of the oil platform reference). A bit of dozing off ensued. Then had a light meal and turned on Rise of the Planet of the Apes...mostly dozing continued. Turned it off and went to bed. Think it was around 8 p.m.
Nov 22: Up at 0630 and well rested. Make coffee, turn on heater and PC. Make as little noise as possible. 0730 brings yawn from NJ...she awakens as well. Onboard showers for both of us. Went for a walk down the Santa Barbara breakwater/beach this morning to decide if we continue on or stay another night. Decision was made...we move on.
1102 we cast off dock lines, turned out to sea, and set course for Ventura. A bit of wind was picking up just as we were leaving, so up went stays'l and reefed mizzen. Wind got up to 10 knots and immedately disappeared 10 minutes into our journey. We just motored on into some fairly heavy waves on our nose, the kind that let your bow spit out side spray considerably over the height of the deck up forward. Looks really cool. So there we were, just motoring along when, all of a sudden, we went from 1 knot (or less) of wind to over 22 knots in something just short of 30 seconds. Like a wall of high pressure just pounded into us. What a thrill, though. Sails were set just right, and the boat handled it like it was meant to be. And we had only 6.5 miles remaining to Ventura Harbor entrance. Got tied up at 1615 on the end tie at K-dock, Ventura Isle Marina. Got checked in ($75.00/night transient moorage), got shore power to boat, made sails tidy, turned on heater below, turned on TV, had dinner, watched a movie. We expect to meet up with Capt. Johnathan & Crew of s/v Valhalla tomorrow.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Last Day in Monterey Bay

Nov 17: We didn't go anywhere today. Slept in until 7:30, showered, had some coffee, emptied three 5-gallon jerry jugs of diesel into port tank, filled up all four jerry jugs with diesel and secured them to starboard deck, filled water tanks, removed and replaced bilge pads, checked engine water and oil levels. NJ cleaned the "windows", and we found out we could watch the football games on our very own TV. Monterey, as we found out yesterday, was having a Half Marathon today, and we watched what seemed like a gazillion people running past us down the path just outside of the facility we're moored at. Nancy prepared a meatloaf and large bowl of mac-n-cheese. We ate the stuffed scallop and stuffed crab shells, which we bought at Nob Hill Groceries yesterday, during the 49ers game. Taste-wise, Scallops won out handily. We'll turn in early tonight in preparation for tomorrow's departure (we have a "check-out" time of 11 a.m. Next stop should be San Simeon, which means an overnight (approximately 15-18 hour trip). Looking forward to that. Hopefully, the clouds will be sparse enough to let the full moonlight through...

The Monterey Experience

At zero-dark-three-thirty this morning, an Epipfany wakes last night's plumber from his slumber. Something he forgot to do during the test process for waste water pump “rebuild”....have to wait until Owner wakes up (about 5 hours of anticipation). Can't stand it. Zero-dark-four-thirty, had to get up, make coffee, wait...0745 finally comes. Retest system, this time with thru-hull open (reference the prior “ah-ha” moment). Works fine! Big sigh of relief....NJ showered, then we headed out and walked down Cannery Row towards to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Upon arrival, we got major sticker shock. They wanted $34.95 per person just to walk through their glass doors! We've seen Aquariums before, so decided to forgo this one and head up the hill to the Nob Hill Grocery Store. Bought some necessities, then headed over to CVS. Picked up 4 cases of beer to store on the boat (just in case), found a new electric mixer to replace the recently burned up due to excessive torque from bread dough, as well as a rolling pin (don't ask). We now had enough supplies to require calling a taxi to take us back to the boat, which we did, and our backs thanked us. Got back to boat at 1115. Unpacked & stowed our loot, and at 1145 we headed towards Old Town Monterey, marveling at some 100+ year old buildings hosting modern day botiuqes. Finally spied the Trader Joe's, entered, and immediately spied the annual Christmas holiday stash of Brandy Beans. Had to go back to entrance to get a basket, because I wasn't just going to buy one box ($2.99 each). Got nine boxes, and NJ got a box of Chocolate Cherries, 6 bananas, and a bottle of Chariot Gypsy wine, that somebody had recommended, and we picked up a Trader Joe's bag to haul our loot. On the way back to the harbor, we stopped in at the London Bridge Pub to check it out in anticipation for tomorrow's SF 49ers football game. Neat place, but 9 really small screens (like 27” !!!). Had a beer, met a nice guy named Steve who had driven down from Concord to scuba dive for the day. He was still shaking from the cold. Decided to open one of the boxes of Brandy Beans....made ALL of us warmer. Lightened load in the bag just a wee bit. Returned to Shakedown at 1600, last load of laundry (bedding) hauled to “laundromat” by NJ. Hal got into “deep” storage in setee bench to pull out some items and store boxes of Brandy Beans out of harm's way. Beer was also stowed away for pending departure Monday. Bed made, movie started, skipper fell asleep (see opening sentence) in his lazy-boy. Nuff said for this day.