Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hopping down the Oregon and California coast, part 2

(Once again, I'm behind, but this gets us up to Monterey. I'm working on getting all our photos off the camera and I think the next post will be a photo dump with captions to get up date.)

After a second night in Eureka, we left around 1:00 in order to not get to Fort Bragg ridiculously 
early. Rounding Cape Mendocino (another one of those capes you have to be careful about) was a big nothing. The seas were gentle and we joined a group of sailboats outside of Fort Bragg, waiting for daylight in order to negotiate the Noyo River bar crossing. 
That was an interesting entrance. A bit of waves to buck through, but nothing concerning. However, 
the river has a narrow navigable channel, as well as twists and turns to negotiate. It was fun to go through for multiple reasons. Years ago, Joe and I spent our anniversary in Fort Bragg and watched boats go through that entrance in the middle of a December storm. While we had no desire to repeat that performance, we did think it would be fun to take a boat of our own into Fort Bragg someday. Also, being big fans of the movie Overboard (the original with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell!), we were looking forward to being docked somewhere near where a lot of the scenes from the movie were filmed.
Once we managed to get into the harbor, it took some doing to figure out where our assigned slip was as the float letters and slip numbers weren't easy to see. We ended up in the wrong spot, but thankfully the slip's owner didn't mind! Despite being tired after an overnight run, Joe and I managed to get Kyrie safely backed into the slip and tied off. Four other sailboats followed us in that morning, including a fellow Ha-ha'er--SV Indy.
We ended up staying in Fort Bragg for four days while a storm blew through and then the seas calmed down. Fort Bragg was a neat place, but our problem was that to get into the downtown area, we either had to commit to a two-mile walk one way, or pay for the bus. The bus won out for our one visit to downtown! When it was time, we were itching to get moving again. The other boats we had arrived with had planned to stop in the Bay Area, but Kyrie's crew planned to bypass San Francisco and beeline straight to Monterey. Friends and the aquarium awaited!
It was a relatively uneventful trip, except for my round of "Dodge the container ships." While approaching the shipping lanes outside the Golden Gate, I had to turn to avoid a cargo ship coming our way. For whatever reason, I turned to port instead of turning to starboard. A turn to starboard would have kept us on our chosen path outside the Farallon Islands, which sit about 30 miles outside of the Golden Gate. That goofball moment meant we were now on the inside of the shipping lanes. Ugh! The first cargo ship steamed by and then I had to wait for two more to go by before there was a break large enough for us to get across the lane. When those big ships are traveling at 12 knots and rapidly gaining speed, it's not a good idea for a 6-knot boat to play chicken with them! So, trying not to grumble at my mistake, I waited for those other ships, before turning 90 degrees to starboard to "dart" across. Of course, then there was another ship going the other direction, so I had to alter course yet again to make sure I crossed the lane behind that ship! Naturally, that course put the waves directly on our nose... Joe woke up and asked me if the seas had shifted or something. At that point I was completely disgusted with myself and our situation and I said rather snottily, "No, we're going the wrong way right now, but I'm getting us back on course. Go back to sleep." Once I had us back on track, according to the chart plotter, I turned the autopilot back on, relaxed, and had a good laugh at myself!
The next day was--surprise, surprise--fairly light winds. We did see a bunch of whales, dolphins and sea lions, all along the edges of the Monterey Canyon. It was a quiet day, but we were glad to finally roll into the anchorage outside Monterey's harbor, just after sunset. After a calm night and good sleep, we felt ready to explore a little bit. I called friends who live in Pebble Beach--Alan and Ingrid have been friends with my parents since college, so they are like another set of parents to me. Perfect timing! Their son Doug was visiting with his family and were leaving to go home that afternoon. Did we want Alan and Ingrid to come pick us up and have lunch over there? Yes please!
That night was awful--the storm we weren't expecting until the following afternoon decided to roll in early and set Kyrie to rolling. The wind kept us beam to the waves and kept Joe and me up most of the night. The coffeepot relocated to the floor a time or two, as well as some of our books. Finally, we gave up trying to sleep around 5:30 and watched TV until first light, when Joe called the harbormaster's after-hours line and practically demanded a slip be found for us! Leaving the anchorage required a trip through 3 to 4-foot waves--no wonder we were rocking so much!--but it was lovely and calm inside the harbor. Once tied up safely, Joe and I decided a nap was in order before we did anything else!

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