Friday, October 24, 2008

Two Ships Passing in the Day

Predictions of increasing swells preceding a weather system indicating that our "weather window" was closing in a couple of days, we opted to leave Monterey and head for Half Moon Bay today, even though we knew that it would be a 10 hr trip. After yesterday's marathon, it was tempting to stay and relax along Cannery Row or take Patty for a sail just for the fun of it, but we were on a mission to get home with the least amount of stress!!

Monterey Bay is always windy, we found out later. But that was a good thing! We had a delightful morning sail for about 2 hours and were able to pick up extra speed with our sails and motor-sail at 7 1/2 - 8 kts. Somewhere off Davenport the winds shifted and didn't help us much until later in the day. The swells were bigger than yesterday, but they were well spaced so it wasn't too uncomfortable. The weather report from the buoys said 6-8 ft, and the 7th or 8th swell was usually the biggee. Maybe we're actually becoming old salts? (well, we feel really old anyway, and stinky and salty... did someone say that sailing was romantic? I guess it really is if you think that your Sweetie still loves you after all this!)
It was a strange perspective seeing the coastline that we've driven so many times from the sea. We're definately back in Northern California though, there's a distinct chill in the air and our shorts-and-t-shirts days gave way to XC ski gear and foulies somewhere around San Simeon, and its a bit colder today.

Birds were the fauna of this trip! Lots of birds just floating in huge masses and parting for us to pass.... some swim way using their wings as paddles, some run away just on the tops of the wind fluff and some get right up and fly. Did you ever notice that some birds are "walkers" and others are "hoppers"? Check out your backyard someday and you'll see what I mean. Big old pelicans are "hoppers" so when they take off their big-old webbed feet slap on the water for 8-10 slaps before they can get their big-old-selves airborne! What a racket when you disturb a big bunch of pelicans!! Sorry that my bird pics didn't show anything.

Off in the distance we see a white stripe coming towards us.....what is this? Another boat? You mean there are others out here????? Once we lost sight of Kemira in the afternoon of the Pt. Conception trip we were the only boat on the ocean (outside of the radar and AIS). Oddly, most of the trip we've been the only boat in sight! (Wondering if there was something in the weather report that everyone else heard and we missed....hmmmmm) This big catamaran that sailed by just outside of Ano Nuevo was a big event! ...but not to them....we waved and took pictures and they totally ignored us....harumph....

Half Moon Bay was a welcome sight at just about 1/2 hr under schedule, and we docked in the midst of the crab fishing boats....empty of course....drat! A stroll to the HMB Brewery for some Obama Ale (they have McCain Red too!) and the last supper on our excellent adventure, then back to a heated Wind Spirit for a long cozy nap....

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