Half Moon Bay, CA to Monterey, CA

After receiving our mail and visiting with Dan’s cousin Lori, we made ready to depart Half Moon Bay on Saturday morning bound for Monterey.   Light west winds were forecast, with 7-8 ft west swells which were being generated from a storm in the Gulf of Alaska.  We motored out to the harbor entrance in light fog, and made our way out from the breakwater, where we were immediately hit with huge west swells which rocked us gunnel to gunnel.  We broke a few plates – plastic plates, and decided then that it was not a good day to leave after all.  After we got re-anchored and the fog cleared, we noticed all the cars parked along the highway.  A quick look with the binoculars confirmed they were surfers here for the big swells.  Apparently Half Moon Bay is home to the Mavericks, a surf break renowned for big swells.  Who knew? Three days later we motored out in glassy, flat seas and proceeded south.

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Half Moon Bay anchorage

It was only 45 miles to Santa Cruz, any easy day hop.  We arrived at Santa Cruz and dropped the hook next the pier just time to enjoy a nice sunset and a glass of wine.

Santa Cruz sunset

Santa Cruz sunset

We woke early after a restless night and got under way early.  Always a little disconcerting to hear breakers on the shore not to mention the constant swell which enters the anchorage.  Another motorboat ride, but the monotony was broken by the appearance of fish no. 3, a nice little bonito (tuna).

Fish no. 3

Fish no. 3

Got to Monterey around noon and took a slip at the public marina.  We learned our lesson last time we were here when we spent 10 days anchored outside in the bay. That’s when we coined the phrase “plate chaser” to describe a bad anchorage.  This means that you literally need to hold on to your plate to keep it from sliding off the table due to the motion.  Monterey is very nice – I could live here.  Folks are friendly, the weather is awesome, and I can clearly see the bottom in our slip where the water is 16 ft deep.  Too bad there is a 15 YEAR WAITING LIST for a slip! Marina staff are friendly and helpful, and everything a cruiser needs is near – Costco, Trader Joe’s and West Marine.  We were pretty excited to find eggs for only $2.69 a dozen at TJ’s after paying $5.00 for medium eggs (not even organic free-range!) at Safeway in Half Moon Bay.  Oh, and the cruiser favorite, Charles Shaw wine is only $2.49 here!

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a world class facility, however I think the Oregon Coast Aquarium is just as nice – although they don’t have the giant clam…

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Monterey 031

We also took a stroll along the self-guided walking tour of the Path of History.  Monterey has a large number of historic buildings dating back to Spanish colonial days.  Under Spanish rule, Monterey was the capital of Alta California.  In 1822 Mexico gained independence from Spain, and Monterey remained an important trading center.  In 1846 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded California and other Mexican territories to the US.

Selfie on the Path of History

Selfie on the Path of History

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Garden entry at Pacific House

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Sherman’s house – yeah that Sherman from the Civil War.

San Carlos Cathedral dates to 1794 - oldest continuously functioning house of worship in California

San Carlos Cathedral dates to 1794 – oldest continuously functioning house of worship in California

Looks like we will head south again Tuesday – provided Monday’s repair goes well.  We noticed the raw water pump was leaking, and Dan was going to put the rebuild kit in it, but once he got it out he noticed the shaft was pitted – probably why it leaked.  It is after all over 30 years old – probably better to replace it now while parts can be easily obtained.


5 thoughts on “Half Moon Bay, CA to Monterey, CA

  1. I loved Monterey too. Jesse got his doctorate at the Naval Pre Doctorate School there. They lived there for three years. I could live there too if I had a billion dolors! All is well here. I am now bionic. New knee is working good. We will be out of our house the weekend after Thanksgiving. So our adventure is begining as well. Glad to see you both are well.


  2. Great to hear all is going mostly well. That two buck Chuck should come in handy if not for endulgence then for in trade. Funny story for Danny, Lance always says if anything ever happens to him to have Danny, Tom or Doug come and go through his rusty junk before just calling a scrap man. We’ve heard this A LOT. Doug dropped in 9am Saturday morning to see Lance. Said he needed a transmisson for an AAR body ( orWhatevertheF).. Lance said he thought he may have one he’d check and give him a holler. Doug proceeded to tell him that he wouldn’t have the actual one with exactly 25 teeth (or whatever) for the car he has because only 3000 of those were ever made and there aren’t any left out there, but if Lance should happen to have a regular whatevertheF (technical term) that it would work. Lance dug it out (literally) from a carpart stash area out back and said ‘this rusted piece of junk is exactly what Doug is looking for’. Doug of course drove back out today (Lance made him wait unitl noon).. And to Doug’s surprize it was the rare aar body tranny, they loaded it up in Dougs rig.. Doug is beshide himself. I guess Doug bought some gears for $900 but that was all he could find – this just happened to be complete unit.


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