We just rounded the last big hurdle in U.S. waters, Point Conception. It was nothing, we left very early this morning and motored for about 4 hours, then the wind came up and we had a gorgeous sail around the point. We took down the main and sailed under genoa alone and we were scooting along at 6+ knots. It is sunny and warm now and I was just up on deck watching the surfers in the big waves ( I wanted to say huge but that would have been exaggerating). I think we are going to head to the Channel Islands off of Santa Barbara for awhile, not sure how long but apparently you don't want to be stuck out there when a certain type of wind called the Santa Anna's blow so we will monitor the weather closely. Most of the Channel Islands are designated a national park so there is supposed to be lots of wildlife there and I hope to get in the water and do a little swimming. I am a bit chicken to swim in the ocean by myself so will either have to work on Barry to join me or he can be in the dinghy close by. Hope all is well with everyone, we are doing JUST FINE.This is a shot of a nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon. You have to be at least 3 miles from the shoreline when you go by this facility or apparently they come out and tell you to move on out of the way!!!
Friday, September 29, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
We are headed for Pebble Beach at the moment. We plan to anchor just off the 18 hole of the Pebble Beach Golf Course, you know the classic shot that you see if you are watching that tournament on TV. We only spent 2 nights in Monterey, I got mad yesterday that we had to walk over 2 miles to get to a grocery store and then when we got there it was a "organic store". It was a super nice store and so were the prices, so we didn't buy nearly as many groceries as we needed. We were going to stay another night or so and rent bicycles and ride along the gorgeous path along the shoreline, but we did that 8 years ago and the winds were good today to stay at Pebble Beach so we decided to go.
Off the pier at Monterey there were people taking surfing lessons, scuba lessons and a team building exercise for Yahoo employees. It was sand castle building exercise instructed by a professional sand castle builder. (I wonder how busy he is, and how did he get to be pro and what his income is, and does he still enjoy it or is it just a job, What are you doing today dear? OH well you know same old, same old, I flying to Sidney, Aust. to give a seminar for the week) Well I guess I shouldn't be surprised, we are in California after all.
Just to let you know, I had a look at the position report on YOTREPS, the map is not is the right place. I have been faithfully sending in the correct co-ordinates but it seems like the land is not where it should be on the map. It has us still north of SF and we aren't anymore, and if you look at our trip out the Straits of Juan De Fuca you can see it looks like we went over land. I don't think there is much I can do about it. I will see about finding another site that will report our movements that had a more accurate mapping system.
Once again if you look closely you can see a fence for the golf course, not sure which hole. I wandered up some stairs to stick my foot on the course and their were golfers waiting to tee off at the fence, OPPS!!!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
We arrived in Monterey this afternoon and had this fellow on the dock opposite to greet us. I hope he doesn’t decide to come up on our dock; I am not up on my sea lion etiquette!!
We spent last night in Santa Cruz which is just across Monterey Bay from here, about 20 miles. We were quite tired when we got there so just had supper and went to bed and saw very little of the town. We plan to spend 2 or 3 days here in Monterey.
The coast line from here to San Francisco has been designated a marine sanctuary which means they can’t drill for oil, I believe fishing is still allowed. There are lots of sea otters, sea lions, pelicans and other sea birds around, apparently whales frequent the area as well.
At one time there was a huge sardine industry here in Monterey but it died off in the late 40’s and now they have turned all the cannery buildings into a tourist area. It was quite pleasant strolling through the stores, but it is a big temptation to spend money and I had to keep my hands firmly in my pockets. Monterey seems to have a lot of history attached to it; we walked by the place where some U.S. guy landed and claimed the area for the U.S during the war with Spain over this area. It had been a major Spanish port where all boats that wished to trade on the West Coast had to report in and be given permissio We forgot the camera so will take more pictures tomorrow. There are lots of different looking trees and bushes here; I will have to see about learning the names of some of them.
We plan to rent a couple of bikes tomorrow and ride from one end to the beach front to the other. Barry and I came here 8 years ago when we won the trip to San Francisco and it was neat to be able to identify the restaurant that we had a wonderful dinner at. We may have to visit again and see if the food is still as good as we remember it. There is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. eatery as well and it sounds like fun.
We left SF yesterday morning, timing our departure to coincide with the favourable tides under the Golden Gate. We left at the crack of dawn and were sailing towards the bridge. As we got closer the huge container ships, who had obviously timed their departure for the crack of dawn as well, started bearing down on us. I didn't feel like dodging them and dealing with the currents under the bridge so we put on the motor and powered under the bridge at the same time as one of these huge ships. WOOOH what a rush!!!
We had a gorgeous sail down to Half Moon Bay about a 5 hour sail south. There is a very nice spot to anchor there but we chose to go to the marina as we were both in need of a good shower and needed to power up some of our electronic gear, camera batteries, phone, computer. BAD CHOICE, they were refurbishing the pier and guys with jack hammers were pounding away, fortunately they stopped at 5:00 P.M. and as we left this morning at 0630 they were just coming to work. We had a lovely dinner at Barbara's Fishtrap, which reminded us very much of Bulluck's in Yellowknife.
We are hoping to get to Monterey today, but not sure if we can get that far, second choice is Santa Cruz which isn't quite as far. Once again it is a gorgeous sunny day and the wind is behind us at between 10-15 knots, as our anemometer( thingy that measures the wind speed) is broken and we have not managed to figure out what is wrong with it yet. It is not really vital but is sure if fun to say, OH Yeah we were out in 30 knots with gusts to 35, or Man the wind didn't get over 5 knots all day, what a bummer, and other salty things like that. Actually I think yesterday was International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so I hope you threw is a few AVAST ME HEARTIES, and ARRGGH MATIES to spice up your life. This is ANNOE signing off.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
We are at Angel Island today. It is a large island that is located about 4 miles east of the Golden Gate Bridge. The island is a state park and there are paths all over the island that you can hike around on. We walked up to the top of a large hill, they refer to as a mountain, and it took us an hour and a half to walk up. There are spectacular views from the top, you can see all of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, the skyline of San Francisco, all the bridges in the area, (there are at least 4 very long ones) and all the surrounding communities, Oakland, Berkley, Sausalito. Tiburon, Richmond and a whole bunch more.
The island has a lot of history attached to it, in the late 1800’s to 1940 the U.S. tried to prevent Chinese from immigrating and the island was a place where Chinese citizens that wanted to enter the U.S. were kept until they could prove who they were. People were kept in jail like conditions for many months. A U.S. military fort was also built on Angel Island because troops stationed here could control who entered the harbour. In WW2 it was the staging area for troops to leave for the Pacific. There are a lot of military building that are still standing from that period.
Angel Island is now a popular weekend destination for Bay area boaters. You can have a picnic ashore and do some hiking around and then head home. The bay where we are moored is not that big and they have mooring buoys. It was like a Chinese fire drill when we came in here, for one thing it is very shallow and at 1.8 feet below the keel I baled and backed out of our first try at a mooring ball. Barry took over and we went in and dropped anchor and then some kind soul jumped in his dinghy and came over and tied our lines off, stern and bow to mooring balls and we pulled up our anchor.
We are going to stay here for another night and go into San Francisco tomorrow, there is a ferry that arrives right at the dock and goes to Pier 39 on Fisherman’s Wharf. We have to get in our cable car ride and see a few more sights before we leave. Not sure when we will leave but we are thinking probably Tuesday morning. We don't have internet access today so hope to put pictures on soon.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
We went into San Francisco yesterday. We headed over on another sailboat, Mungo with our good buddies, Steve and Sandi. We got there in the afternoon and headed off to Chinatown to have supper. After an hour of walking through downtown San Francisco we arrived. My head was on a swivel the whole way, there were fantastic modern buildings everywhere interspersed among them were old Victorian style buildings and at one corner a very large brick church. The church is actually in the background in the picture of the cable car. We didn't get a chance to ride on the cable cars because we had limited time, maybe another day.
Near the end of the game the Rockies put in this pitcher and everyone booed, so I asked why “we” were booing this guy and got the explanation that he was nasty, and sure enough several batters later he hit a guy with a pitch, well my goodness, I imagine you must have to have pretty thick skin to be a professional athlete. The hot dogs were really good and the beer was very expensive!!!
We had a lovely sleep aboard Mungo, just minutes from the ballpark and in the morning we strolled down the waterfront. They had posts up by all the old piers and on the posts there were historical vignettes about what the piers had been used for. One post told about how they used to repair the bottom of the old sailing ships by leaning them on their sides, the riggers would angle logs from the pier to the masts of the ships to support the ship and then just tip the boat over somehow, amazing. We walked under the Bay Bridge which connects San Francisco to Oakland, it is quite the structure.
We have to leave this slip tomorrow and we are taking the boat to the rigger first thing in the morning to have our halyard chafe problem looked at. We are expecting to sail towards Sausalito (north part of San Francisco Bay) on Friday and spend a few days in that area exploring, after that we aren’t sure what our plans are. We talked to one couple today and they said they thought it would take them about 12 days to sail to San Diego. We don’t want to get there before Nov. 1, there is a huge sailboat rally called the Baja Ha Ha and all the boats converge on San Diego so we don’t think there will be much space there before the beginning of Nov. We have about 6 weeks to spend between here and San Diego so we are planning on taking our time and seeing the sites as we sail down the coast of California.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Well, we did it; we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge today. For a Canadian sailor, this is a real benchmark; you have managed to negotiate the treacherous West Coast from Washington through Oregon and into California. It was with a real sense of excitement and accomplishment that we traveled under the bridge and into San Francisco Bay. It had been foggy the whole time we were sailing towards the bridge and I was feeling a tad disappointed that we might not get to see much of it, when the gods smiled on us and the SUN came out, it was a very magical moment. I will let the pictures speak for themselves..
Sunday, September 03, 2006
When we arrived in Brookings the Coast Guard came over to inspect our boat. We have the greatest admiration for the U.S. Coast Guard; all of their employees are very courteous and are the most helpful people that you can imagine. Officer Hess and Officer Harrison came aboard Cat’s-Paw IV and inspected her, they were the consummate professionals, and after the inspection was finished they gave us some useful tips on where to eat and what their town had to offer
They explained to us that one of the reasons that had come aboard was because when we were boarded previously by the Coast Guard the fellow had put us down as a U.S. boat and now we had claimed to be Canadians and they needed to figure out what was what. Officer Hess got a charge out of the look on my face when he said they thought we were Americans, he said it wasn’t THAT bad!!!!
We had a few repairs to do in Brookings, and managed to find the needed spacers for the gooseneck. We also discovered we had bent a piece that connects the boom vang to the boom, so Barry had to take that out and straighten it out so we could reattach the vang, fun and games.
We motored all the way to Eureka, California, it was calm with very little swell. We will wait here for a couple of days before we attempt to round Cape Mendicino. We are going to rent a car and go and see the redwoods and perhaps explore the coast a little. We are waiting to get a car, the one place that will deliver cars doesn’t have any at the moment and it will cost almost a days rental to take a cab to the airport to rent another, so we wait, and you all know how well I do that.