We left Fort Bragg at 7 am Monday, October 5 for the day and a half long trip to Half Moon Bay. Seas were calm and the entrance was flat as we motored out – much different than the 8-10 ft rollers kicked up by the gale which passed two days earlier.
By noon the forecasted 15 knots from the south filled in, and seas began to build as we started around Point Arena. We had assumed (wrongly) that we would be around the point by noon, but it was actually more like 4 pm by the time we made it. Most sailors don’t like going to weather and we are no exception – Anjuli doesn’t like it either. With one reef tucked in the main and the staysail out, we tried to sail as close as we could to the wind so we could get around the point as quickly as possible, and were taking spray on the dodger and occasional waves over the bow. The south wind and prevailing NW swell were accompanied by a SW swell which pretty much stopped the boat about every 10 seconds when it came through, dropping the boat speed to less than a knot.
At last we passed the point and changed course and conditions calmed down. We passed San Francisco in the morning and were accompanied by our first big group of Pacific white-sided dolphins. By that afternoon the wind died completely and we motored into Half Moon Bay in flat calm seas. The next day several of our “fleet” which we had first met in Newport, and then again in Coos Bay, arrived. Halcyon 1 and Tenacity rafted up to Anjuli and we enjoyed a BBQ and drinks and got caught up.
They spent the night rafted to us which gave me new appreciation for our ground tackle. We had our 45-lb CQR and 90 ft of 5/16-in. chain deployed, in 15 ft of water, with a steady 15 knots of wind. Anjuli weighs in at about 24,000 lbs, and Halcyon 1 is about the same, with Tenacity weighing in at about 12,000 lbs. In the morning we were still in the same place, and they headed south. We needed to wait for the mail as it was being forwarded to the harbormasters office. We enjoyed a nice lunch in the cockpit while we waited for mail.
Since we were going to be here until the mail came we pumped up our trusty inflatable “Spike” to do some exploring. Explored the bay and enjoyed the beach and blue skies.
The dingy is the cruiser’s car, your vehicle for getting to shore or exploring. We also carry a hard rowing dingy “Blondie” (because all blondes are a little dinghy right?).
We were also able to hook up with Dan’s cousin Lori who lives nearby. Lori and Al took us to the small coastal town of Pescadero where we enjoyed a tasty lunch and wandered through a collection of eclectic shops.
Also had a bizarre “small world” incident today. While at the fuel dock this morning, an older gentleman came up to the boat and said he had seen a boat by this name some years ago in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. I told him we had indeed been in Dutch Harbor 10 years ago. Turned to be Jerry, a retired NASA physicist who we had met in 2005 on our last trip, first in Dutch Harbor and then in a remote anchorage in Icy Bay in the Gulf of Alaska. Jerry sails his boat Alpha Wulf single-handed north every year to see how far north he came make it before the ice closes in. So far he has made to 76 degrees north.
Next stop Santa Cruz – perhaps tomorrow, or we may wait until Tuesday when seas lie down a bit…