Sunday, April 13, 2008
Point Conception Bound
11/18/99 Thursday, 0300 Departed Monterey bound Morro Bay. Missed good weather window waiting for gallows to be finished so departed on heels of last low passing though. Wind variable 8 to 10 knots swell large, 8 to 10' from N/W. Forecast is 20 knots N/W. Maybe we can get a good reach to Morrow Bay and get in before dark. Annie doesn't want to be of the lee shore at night for Pt. Conception. "I don't blame her", do you?
0700, north of Pt. Sur, just getting daylight, light southerly wind seas 4 to 5', swell still 10' W/NW. Very cold, we are taking turns at wheel as it is to cold to last more than a couple of hours.
1100, off Pt. Lopez when I spotted a large pod of dolphins following a tide streak south. I told Annie to put on safety harness and go forward and prepare for one of the most wonderful and magic moments a mariner can enjoy. The dolphins came to play with us. Annie was on the bow pulpit and they had a special moment.
1700, entering harbour at Morro Bay. Sunset one of the most beautiful I've see in years, surfing into entrance, glad to be in sheltered waters and shut down engine. Found out next morning harbour was closed due to hazardous sea conditions as it was "closing out" with 10' breakers all across the entrance by early next morning. Seas at Pt Conception 30' and we could hear MAYDAY calls answered by the Coast Guard during the 4 days we were guest of the wonderful Morro Bay Yacht Club. This time of year you have to "harbour hop" between lows coming up the coast and pick your hiding places within reach of your boat!
11/22/99 Monday, 0700 Departed Morro Bay bound Coho Anchorage, behind Pt. Conception. Left with half a main tank of fuel and fuel dock won't open for a couple of hours so with the hope of good wind and a relative short passage we set out and over the swells at harbour entrance. After we left they dropped the gale warnings and opened the harbor entrance again. We had the Coast Guard watching us leave and I guess they decided it was all right.
1100 Past Pt. Bouchon finally got an easterly wind we could sail on and enjoyed a wonderful reach to Avilla Bay where we got our fuel topped of in the good tank. 24 gal. from Monterey! Proceeded to Pt. Conception, wind 25 to 30 knots N/NW seas 6 to 8' and swells 10 to 15' W/NW. Confused and hard to steer but at least we are sailing and what a ride, over 11 knots on the face of the swells and she is loving it.
Positioned ourselves to make the "run through the slot" past Pt. Arguello and Pt. Conception as it was getting dark and seas were getting bigger. Had the pole out to windward and main with preventer and braced for the run. The jam cleats didn't hold the pole and the car came of the track! I released the pole after Annie eased the sheets and said, "the hell with that" and we shot the slot under main alone! Surfing on an occasional swell it was beautiful if cold. Watched huge full moon rise over the mountains.