Friday, July 31, 2015

Oceanside stopover

Leaving the knucklehead madness of Newport (although complete truth be told, once the weekend was over it was a pretty mellow anchorage) we traveled on to Oceanside with promises of a slip and surf I could walk to, just a bonus that the water temp was in the 70s and so no wetsuit required!  First time since Cabo I was able to do that!

Oceanside in the background

The sail down was simple and we arrived just after the harbor master office closed.  Best bet is to call ahead on cell phone (760.435.4000) and ask about a slip.  Weekends tend to be pretty busy and likely sold out.  They have very limited room for boats over 40'.  You're supposed to pull into one of the check-in docks and walk up and drop off a payment but these check-in docks are only about 30' slipa by 25-28' feet wide....and they're supposedly double slips!  Ahhhh, ya right, fortunately we had called ahead and they assigned us a slip, told us Main slip in front of Jolly Roger. in the biggest one, the first one, or what?  Well, as it turns out, and we figured this out by just doing circles in front of the restaurant before pulling in, the side tie docks are labeled, Main, Side and something else I can't remember.  Turned out we were directly in front of the restaurant, I mean spitting distance.  Better make sure we dock correctly, we're gonna have an audience!

View of SeaGlub from the restaurant


Hired security 

During our time the Richters visited and stayed the night aboard.  A fun happy hour at the Jolly Roger (maybe the best happy hour I've seen, about 25 items - drinks, foods - for $5 or less)  We had a nice time visiting and played Tripoly into the dark hours of the early evening

Tripoly night
 Andrew and the Heppenstall kiddos came down for a beach day, which included a visit from the Gpa and Gma Heppenstall, fellow sailors.  Good time at the beach watching the kids learn to surf and all enjoying the warm waters.  We were off the next day to San Diego, our final resting place for the foreseeable future.

That's SeaGlub sailing out of Oceanside as seen on the surf camera

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Logbook to Oceanside, Ca

Logbook to Oceanside, Ca

  • Port of Departure: Newport Beach, Ca
  • Departure Date and Time: Tuesday, July 28, 0915 PDT
  • Stops in Between: none
  • Port of Arrival:  Oceanside, Ca
  • Arrival Date and Time: Tuesday, July 28, 1730 PDT
  • Total Travel Time: 8.25 hours
  • Miles Traveled: 38 nm
    • Sails a' soaring: 22 nm
    • Engine a' roaring: 16 nm
  • Engine Hours:  3.9
  • Average Speed:  4.6 kts
  • Forecast:  light morning winds followed by afternoon winds picking up to 12-15 kts by afternoon
  • Navigation Notes:  We didn't ask around but read the charts which highlighted "restricted zone" and "military exercise area" off the coastline of the San Onofre power plant and Camp Pendleton Marine base so we charted a course to keep us offshore about 3-4 miles.  
  • Maintenance Notes:  Nothing of note
  • Personal notes:
    • Chris:  We were able to sail most of the day, flying the turtle asym sail and reaching 7 kts.  Was a great day sailing in barefeet!  We called ahead to Oceanside Harbor before they closed and they assigned us a slip directly in front of the Jolly Roger restaurant.  The admiral got us confidently tied off to the dock in front of audience, we even had patrons come outside and congratulate us on how well we docked!  Thanks Tradewinds Sailing School!
    • Monica:  We left Newport with the motor on, just as we had entered.  I thought for sure we were going to have to motor allllll the way down to Oceanside.  Much to our delight we put the sails up almost immediately after leaving the harbor and cruised down the coast heading further south.  Turtle Power!  Man that big ol' sail works fabulously!  It was pretty much a set it and forget it trip and the wind just carried us on down. The best part for me...sailing in shorts and bare feet!  Shorts people!!!  I had heard rumors of such things but had never experienced it.  AMAZING! :)  Time for Happy Hour at the Jolly Roger!  $3 Mai Tais anyone!?!

Newport knuckleheads

After motoring over from Catalina to ensure a daytime arrival early enough on Friday to avoid anchoring crowds, we dropped and set the hook in 15 feet into San Francisco-esque mud/clay.  Fortress set right away and we put out 75 of total rode.  Mind you this isn't the largest anchorage but there were only 2 other boats plenty far away.  We suspected there'd be more over the weekend but the madness which ensued was comical.  I've been told by much more experienced sailors that some of their best days were when they were already anchored and then getting to watch everyone else.  This was our chance to experience just that, although it came with some apprehension as the proximity with which others would drop their anchor was nerve racking, not mention they were putting out maaaaaybe 2x scope.  We had multi million dollar motor boats setting right on top of us, we had boats coming in which barely float dropping anchor under sail and not backing down, we even watched a Newport knucklehead drag his wave runner backwards, submerge it several times, and completely flood the engine!  Just a crack up.

As a sidenote, Newport has several public docks you can tie dinghies up to, the edges of the docks are painted for different time zones, you can leave the dinghy there up 72 hours.  Here's the map of where the public docks are:

The highlight of the stay was definitely all the visits from friends and family.  Started with revisiting the place where Monica and I met, The American Legion Post on 15th Street.  BBQing, cocktails and a little playing on the beach with nephew Mason.
Mason Richter, pretty cool little guy and very well mannered. 
Our first full day there was Saturday, and maybe a good thing we were so busy hanging out with people because we didn't have to see all the knuckleheads doing there thing until we were on the boat more on Sunday.  Oh ya, another side note, Newport asks that if you anchor you stay for no more than 5 days and that you not leave your boat for more than a 2-3 hours.  At first this bothered us some, than as we watched the knuckleheads, we understood the policy.  Anyhow, back to fam and friends good times....

Dad and Sarah took time out to come have dinner and watch the sunset.  Sarah found that she could still keep in touch with her daughter (if she would answer) even on the boat in the middle of the water.  Pops found himself right at home on stern seats

We of course made our way over to Minney's, the Sanford and Son of boat supply stores, but always good for a treasure or two, including for the teak colored crew of Seaglub

We got the hammocks out, and met new friends B'Shert, Ann and Michael who shared our viewing entertainment of the knuckleheads.

B'Shert, a Tayana 42, Ann and Michael
After getting cited for driving Tipsea around with no registration (actually the officer was really understanding and let us go with just fix it ticket - thank goodness no breathalyzer!) we then had an officer board us!  Sorta, he was my best friend from high school and for many more years, now successful family man and fire department officer for Newport Beach.  

Officer Boyles!

Officer on deck!
 And of course our second family visited us for a full beach day including surfing and then swimming back at the boat followed with a dinner at the good ol' Spaghetti Factory!  All kinds of fun...

One big happy family

Two ice creams?!  Looks like Dad realized his is missing.  At least you're wearing a cool t-shirt!

Cotton candy kid cocktail

Sunset over Lido Island

Logbook to Newport Beach, Ca

Logbook to Newport Beach, Ca

  • Port of Departure: Two Harbors, Catalina, Ca
  • Departure Date and Time: Friday, July 24, 0740 PDT
  • Stops in Between: none
  • Port of Arrival:  Newport Beach, Ca
  • Arrival Date and Time:  Friday, July 24, 1520 PDT
  • Total Travel Time: 7.5 hours
  • Miles Traveled: 36 nm
    • Sails a' soaring: 0 nm
    • Engine a' roaring: 36 nm
  • Engine Hours:  7.7
  • Average Speed:  4.7 kts
  • Forecast:  light to no wind until afternoon but since we were heading to a new and possibly crowded anchorage we wanted to arrive as soon as possible so we motored the whole way.   
  • Navigation Notes:  Not much of note, it was a gorgeous day, albeit motoring.  Glassy seas and sunny the whole way but we did surpass 500 nautical miles since we left San Francisco!
  • Maintenance Notes:  Nothing of note
  • Personal notes:
    • Chris:  there was a sense of completeness pulling into Newport Harbor, the place for me where this dream pretty much began over 20 years ago.  I was looking forward to seeing a few of the old places I used to frequent, getting to surf again, and seeing friends
    • Monica: Unfortunately there was no wind our entire trip to Newport.  However, that meant we could make it one straight shot and our arrival time would be fairly accurate for once.  The drumming of the motor and the splashing of the waves was the perfect sound track for my almost 2 hour nap. Ahhhh!  As we neared the harbor mouth and had Chris take over the helm.  After all, this is the dream of The bring our home to Newport to be with our family and friends again.  I couldn't wait to be home!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Two souls at rest at Two Harbors

After two weeks of being of being on the move and not always being sure that we were where we were intended to be we made it to the first real place where we felt like we had arrived.

Now that's a beautiful sunset over Smuggler's Cove as we departed

It certainly wasn't the sweetie's decision to leave before sunset and do another all nighter, but given the expected winds for the next 48 hours and the distance, it made logic to leave when we did.  We sailed and motored beginning at sundown and sailed and motored and sailed and again motored to Two Harbors at Catalina, but after hailing "Two Harbors Moorings" 3x on the VHF and getting confirmation that we knew how to actually use the VHF, and that it worked, the admiral very precisely guided us into our mooring.  She'll be Hesitant to admit how well she drove us into the mooring slot, through a narrow fairway and in between 2 other boats with people sitting on their sterns watching us, but she put me and the bow right on top of the pendant, I grabbed it and after a brief misundersanding of how exactly it worked, I got us locked in and we were set on our first mooring ball, with no help.  I say with no help because the harbor patrol here are more than happy to have a guidance boat assist you in and even hook you onto the mooring in order to keep you from hitting anyone. The admiral says this is what gave her the confidence to drive is in, but she never needed them, and after 4 days there we learned we were unique in that accomplishment.   Kuddos my mate!

Approach Two Harbors

Moored up at Two Harbors!

SeaGlub on her first mooring ball!

We took the comfort of being moored up to get some much needed rest (11 hours of sleep the first night there) and then got onto just chilling. The first day we didn't do much more than read books and hang out in the nice warm cockpit.  Temps were in the upper 70s, water clarity was in the 30+ foot range (yes for the first time we could see the bottom!) and we were feeling like we made it!  We made it to shore aboard Tipsea for Happy Hour and decided we'd make a longer day ashore the next day.

Celebrating our mooring with (not so good) Buffalo Milk cocktails
Four days there and we loved it, will definitely be back.  Maybe even for Buccaneers Days, look it it up, pretty insane time here I guess.  We were able to go hiking for a bit, checked out the nearby harbors, 4th of July and Cherry Cove, never did see and buffalo but got to meet some other good new friends on the boat across from us.  I think they had about 15 people on board but they were partying so we were eager to join in.  Thanks Ed and Jill on No Worries for becoming our first cruising buddies!

Two Harbors

Our anniversary harbor.... Fourth of July Cove
Cherry Cove
The water was clear and clean, Monica even got her cleaning on in the water.  She just can't stop, clean clean clean.... look at her go:

Bottom cleaning in Two Harbors

Logbook to Two Harbors, Catalina Island, Ca

Logbook to Two Harbors, Catalina Island, Ca

  • Port of Departure: Smugglers Cove, Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands, Ca
  • Departure Date and Time: Sunday, July 19, 1750 PDT
  • Stops in Between: none
  • Port of Arrival:  Two Harbors, Catalina Island, Ca
  • Arrival Date and Time:  Monday, July 20, 1420 PDT
  • Total Travel Time: 16.5 hours
  • Miles Traveled: 69 nm
    • Sails a' soaring: 41 nm
    • Engine a' roaring: 28 nm
  • Engine Hours:  8.4
  • Average Speed:  4.2 kts
  • Forecast:  predicted mixed winds to be 0-5 kts, increasing to 5-10 kts with squally conditions often changing wind direction and occasional storm winds / gusts to 20.  We had a dying swell from Enrique from the South.   
  • Navigation Notes:  We left early enough, Sunday night, so that we could ensure a daytime arrival in Two Harbors.  We had planned on arriving by early morning.  And had we experienced the normal southern California wind patterns we would've blown  straight down our SE course to Catalina.  But Dolores had other plans.  Instead what we got was tropical sailing conditions.  We raised and dropped sails throughout the night and by morning we were plowing through very long period (read: smooth) swell of 8-10'.  You can judge swell however you'd like, I know we 4' of freeboard, another 2-3' from our raised center cockpit, and then me sitting down adds another 2-3' at eye level, and I was easily losing sight of the horizon. 
  • Maintenance Notes:  Nothing of note
  • Personal notes:
    • Chris:  we're getting more used to planning more time to get to places and this worked out well for us this trip.  We chose to leave at sunset knowing that meant a long nighttime sail, but it worked out well as we sailed most of the way and really only used the engine to get around the west end of Catalina and into Two Harbors.  Having never been to Two Harbors, or even a mooring ball on our boat, we were anxious but, with Monica at the helm, we maneuvered wonderfully down a tight fairway and right into between two other boats to grab our ball and connect up.  Very impressed by my admiral, good job babe!
    • Monica:  The idea of leaving at 8pm was a little more then I was willing to handle.  Based on our track record everything had taken longer then we thought so I pushed and we ended up leaving 6pm and were able to get in a few hours of sailing before we had a pitch black night.  Again, I thought I would start crying when Chris grab the mooring rod and hooked SeaGlub up.  We were finally going to be safe and secure for a few days!  Time for a Buffalo Milk...whatever that means!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

We're There Man!!! by The Hesitant Half

Well people…it has finally happened! We are in So Cal baby!!!

I thought the day would never come!  When we were almost to Santa Barbara we started picking up the LA Coast Guard on Channel 16.  With this momentous event I knew we were almost there.  So…close…must get…farther…..south!

Our Float Plan has gone completely out the window and washed away with this funky weather we have been experiencing.  It took me some time to get over it.  Must…have…precise…plan!  For my sanity and the anxiety of the people that care about us.  We told them we would be at these places on these days! (Insert Hesitant Half)  But, as I sit her in my bathing suit at Two Harbors, Catalina, my anxiety for a distinct plan is melting away.

Jimmy Buffett wrote a song Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude and I have never felt that to be more true then I do now.  My once pasty skin has given way to a tan almost teak color ;) and my shorts finally don’t smell like mildew or bilge after being hidden away all these years.  To be honest with you, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I still had legs!!!

A normal downwind sail from the Channel Islands to Catalina would have been a nice smooth sail, but based on our track record for this trip so far…I wasn’t holding my breath.  Good thing I didn’t!  It took us about 8 hours longer then we thought it would.   What winds we did have were in the exact wrong direction.  Ha!  Is that all you’ve got!?!  Compared to the other items on the list of adversity this was nothing.  I’m getting to So Cal and a little misplaced wind wasn’t going to stop me damn it!!!

Our next feat would be hooking up to a mooring ball.  We are like mooring virgins, which was causing me some apprehension. (Again, insert Hesitant Half) This is something we had never done on our boat before.  Over my years of taking sailing classes through Tradewinds and the wealth of knowledge and experience I have gained from my instructors gave me a little confidence because I had done it before on a club boat.  However, mooring with SeaGlub and us as crew was a whole new beast.  Luckily, picking up a mooring in Two Harbors was a breeze.  They even have a Harbor Patrol to escort you to your mooring and help you stay out of trouble and away from other boats.  Surprisingly enough we got all hooked up without any assistance and we felt like pros under the watchful eyes of the other boats already hooked up enjoying their cocktails.

I was elated when Chris grabbed the mooring stick and we were all hooked up and secure.  Tears of joy streamed down my face.  A little dramatic…YES!!!  But hey, don’t judge!  This has been a trying trip for me and pulling into this beautiful oasis felt like a miracle.

First, I called my mom to let her know that I hadn’t died!  Next in line was a shower and a beer!!!  Over our time here we would relax in the morning waiting for the sun to come out.  We went on a few hikes, jumped off the boat into the crystal clear waters, took the dingy out, snorkeled, cleaned the bottom of the boat, ate ice cream, and discovered an excellent happy hour at the bar.  Life is good!

Yes, we have been cruising for a few weeks now, so I suppose we are “cruisers.”  Although the social aspect has been missing and I didn’t feel official yet.  That finally came to an end yesterday when we met an awesome couple on No Worries, a Catalina 37 from Redondo Beach.  After inquiring about what kind of boat we have and expressing their desire to own a Hylas themselves on day, Ed and Jill invited us aboard their boat for Margaritas and a tour.  Next we all swam back over to our boat for another tour.  Later in the day we joined them, along with their family and friends,  ashore for a BBQ and to watch karaoke.  Now it’s official!  We are cruisers!!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Smuggler's Cove

After several days getting our land legs back and generally just getting recharged, enjoying some sun and the fact that we could wake up and put on shorts / sundress because we were back into a warmer latitude, we left for the Channel Islands.  We were aware that there were remnants of a Hurricane Dolores headed our way, providing that rare tropical feel to southern California.  Prediction called for thunderstorms and mixed winds and some good sized swell.  Initially we planned on taking advantage of this and tried to anchor on the north side of Santa Cruz Island and go check out the Painted Cave, usually pestered by the strong W-NW winds.  We had a great sail from Santa Barbara over to Cueva Valdez anchorage towards the west end of Santa Cruz Island.  We put the sails up and barely touched the wheel for the next 4 hours.  Now that's an efficient auto-pilot!

As we approached the islands I scoured the coastline for the supposed anchorage.  Ummm....maybe that small patch of sand there...? or that one there...?  Either way, I was looking through binoculars and even still the anchorages weren't looking that inviting.  I could see people fitting in there. well 1 maybe 2 boats, but it'd be tight and there's no room to swing so it's a must 2 anchor set up.  Also, the Dolores effects hadn't shown up yet and by this time in the afternoon, 4pm, we were seeing 16-18 kts of wind with higher gusts.  Nahhh..... we decided we'd make use of the winds and take a shot at the 25 miles to Smuggler's Cove (a much more protected, wide open and sand bottom anchorage) on the complete other side of the island.

With 25 kts gusting to 30+ we made Smuggler's before 8pm, yep we were sailing fast... (for us anyhow).

We didn't really do much while there, the swell started to build the next morning and made a beach landing pretty treacherous so we never did get to hike around the island, a bit of a disappointment.  We did take out the inflatable sea kayak a couple of times and I went checked the surf around the corner on Tipsy (our tender) but all I can say is that that wave is at best a decent longboard wave at the right tide, with the right wind conditions, even on this S-SE swell.

The highlight (or low light) of the trip will always be the evening of Saturday when the hurricane swell peaked at about 6 feet, which was manageable, until we got a 2 foot cross chop from the east and that really mixed things up.  We went on permanent anchor watch for the next 12 hours as we got batted around.  We watched the other boats suffering the same way but none of us had dragged as the sun was setting so we dozed off, me in the cockpit with shoes on and Monica down below. We didn't sleep much but did make it through the night.  Things calmed down around 4am.  This is a picture of our anchor watch app as the winds shifted (just called Anchor! - works on GPS so anywhere in the world basically, and if you have cell service it will add satellite imagery).  You can see we held pretty well.  This is over the course of 24 hours

We had a good fleet of boats anchored nearby, except this barney in the video below.  He did end up moving after Monica and I sat on the decks staring him down for 20 minutes.  (by the way, I'm working on getting a better quality video, they look great on my phone but when I send them anywhere, email, youtube, facebook, dropbox, the phone software seems to be downsizing them and ruining them, I'm open to suggestions....?)

And we did get 3 1/2 gorgeous days with ocean temps in the low 70s so Monica celebrated by cannon balling several times!  Yes we like warmer climes....

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Logbook to Santa Cruz Island, Ca

Logbook to Santa Cruz Island, Ca (Cueva Valdez and Smuggler’s Cove)

  • Port of Departure: Santa Barbara, Ca
  • Departure Date and Time: Wednesday, July 15, 1020 PDT
  • Stops in Between: scouted Cueva Valdez anchorage on north side of island
  • Port of Arrival:  Smuggler’s Cove, Santa Cruz  Island, Channel Islands, Ca
  • Arrival Date and Time:  Wednesday, July 15, 1945 PDT
  • Total Travel Time: 9.5 hours
  • Miles Traveled: 43 nm
    • Sails a' soaring: 38 nm
    • Engine a' roaring: 5 nm
  • Engine Hours:  1.9
  • Average Speed:  4.5 kts
  • Forecast:  predicted winds of 10-15kts with afternoons seeing upward of 20 out of the W and WNW, perfect reaching conditions to the western side of Santa Cruz Islands.  Winds were supposed to die considerably by evening with the push from the south of remnants from Hurricane Dolores.  We had hoped to anchor here and go to the Painted Cave the following day.  The actual effects of the storm didn’t affect us until 36 hours later. 
  • Navigation Notes:  We had been told by a handful of people on Santa Barbara that given the expected winds this anchorage would be suitable, although likely would require a bow and stern ground tackle set up.  After arriving at Cueva Valdez and getting 20kts of wind, we decided against trying to stay here, incredible small and fairly deep.  We hoisted sails at 1600 PDT and made a run for the east end of the island hoping to make Smuggler’s Cove by sunset.  We got some great help from Windy Alley as we experienced winds in 20-25kt range with gusts over 30kts.  We made great time and had the anchor down at Smugglers as the sun was going down.

  • Smooth sail to Santa Cruz Island video

  • Maintenance Notes:  Nothing of note
  • Personal notes:
    • Chris:  new places will equal new experiences, and no matter how much research you think you’ve done, including getting advised by the local Harbor Patrol, sometimes you just won’t know until you go.  Cueva Valdez would’ve never worked for us, we just wouldn’t have been comfortable in any wind condition.  Fortunately we had fair winds and they blew us quickly to Smuggler’s Cove
    • Monica:   I honestly don’t even remember the trip over from Santa Barbara.  Sails were set and we went straight over…thank goodness.  As the islands began to approach Chris was directing me of where to head toward some of the recommended anchorages.  “I don’t see where you are talking about.”  The wind was gusting through Windy Ally and I was trying desperately to envision a safe place for us to go.  “Um…we are NOT going to fit there!” was something that I uttered several times as we hunted for a safe refuge to call home for the night.  Luckily my sentiment was shared and we decided to engage the hour glass of time left in the afternoon to get us to Smuggler’s Cove before the setting sun.

Officer Lombardi and the Channel Islands by The Hesitant Half

I just can't seem to get used to this cruising thing quite yet.  I suppose that is okay because we have only just started a couple weeks ago.  Questions about timing seems to be my biggest concern.  "When are we going to leave?" or "What day do you think we are going to get there?"  Planning has always been a thing for me.  When I was given an assignment in school I started it right away.  This continued into my professional career as well.  I didn't procrastinate and wait until the night before.  That's just not my style.

Tonight Chris said it could be three weeks until we get to San Diego still!  I thought I was going to flip out!!!  Three more weeks!  That is definitely not what the 'float plan' says!

Although now that I think about it, I don't know why that bothers me.  Here in the marina of fabulous Santa Barbara I love it!  It is like a little paradise that I can see myself never leaving.  We are cruising now.  We can go where we want whenever we want (generally) and can stay at a given place until we aren't having fun there anymore.  Maybe knowing that we are heading to the Channel Islands for more anchoring has got me nervous.'re saying my boat won't be tied to something stable and there is a possibility of us dragging around and waking up every 30 minutes during the night again?!?.............Insert Hesitant Half!

Get a grip Monica!  This is what we are going to be doing for the rest of our lives!  I had better start getting used to it.

I'm sure the islands will be lovely.  People pay a lot of money to go visit and they only get to stay for a day of two.  There is promise of warmth, kayaking, hiking, and once in a lifetime beauty in my future.  I really should be more excited.  I feel like such a jerk!

Officer Lombardi of the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol gave us a ton of awesome information about the islands.   We received a very thorough description about some nice hikes, a really sweet cave that we can kayak or dinghy into (supposedly the biggest in North America), and spectacular views.  It sounds like a wonderful place that shouldn't be missed.  He also assured us that anchoring is a breeze.  "The bottom is PERFECT!," he says.

Maybe it was the caveat at the end that has me all worked up..."And hey, if your anchor slips you'll just drift off into the ocean."


Next stop, Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Adios San Francisco, hellllllooooo Santa Barbara (and points in between...)

330am came pretty early, but never more welcome, we had been losing sleep over anticipation of this alarm clock for several days and we were ready.  Properly provisioned, packed, equipment working well, tides and currents working for us, weather looking favorable, we threw off the lines around 430am with our close dock friend Ramona there to see us off.  Away we went into the night...

Tides and currents working for us

New Bay Bridge to the left, SF to the right

Approaching the gate, under sail, little did we know how much at the time to appreciate the wind

Sailing out of San Francisco video:

Adios San Francisco!

Out the Gate we had some moderate winds, maybe 8-10kts but enough to keep us moving, albeit not in the best of directions.  Wind was coming from the southwest so we had some trouble pointing south so we decided to head out to deeper waters in hopes of better wind.  We never did find the wind (more below) but we did find exploding bombs.....or dynamite was breaching HUMPBACKS!!  As they breached and splashed down it sounded like a bomb going off!

And the next day we took some video of the sea life about 25 miles offshore from Monterrey:

The sun eventually came out and we were accepting our slow sailing conditions and even enjoyed some wine with dinner.

Monica working out to keep the blood flowing

Night number one dinner, delicious enchiladas and wine!
Got to fly the turtle asym for the first time

As night fell and we started our first outer water nighttime sailing experience, we were taken aback by just how dark it can get, I mean so dark that the reflection from stars added light.  Sometime around midnight we gave up on the dying wind and turned on the engine.  The next 36 hours we'd see no wind and glassy seas, just too bad they weren't flat seas for the poor Hesitant Half.  By midday on the second day she was fighting mal de mar and the motoring conditions weren't helping.

Calm winds off Monterrey, sunrise day 2
Monica never missed a watch, but when she could she was asleep in her coccoon
After motoring for about 36 straight hours we pulled into El Morro to top off the fuel tanks.  We had probably burned about 30g of diesel since last filling up in Alameda (meaning one of our tanks was less than half full which is about the time we start considering filling back up) and we carry two 50g tanks but not knowing how much more we may need to motor and Monica still not over her mal de mar, we figured it was a good time to take a pit stop, maybe even stay the night.

Every corner we turn presented a new experience and the fuel dock at El Morro was certainly that.  Tide was on the lower side and the fuel station was, well....not accommodating.  With nothing to tie off to we just pulled in and stopped SeaGlub any way we could.

Fuel dock in El Morro
Once we figured out how to tie up without losing the BBQ on the rail or the wind generator which flirted with dislodging itself against the pilings, we filled up the tanks...or spilled everything into the water, take your pick.  Our overflow valve almost immediately began to spill out when we started the fill hose.  I knew this tank was the empty one so the wtf?  Turns out this fuel station (the only one in town) is used primarily for fishing boats, and since most sailboats actually get to sail all the way to El Morro, the kid at the pump wasn't familiar with sailboats' smaller fittings, thus he was using a 3 inch hose at full throttle and dumping so much fuel into our 2 inch hoses that they couldn't keep up.  This took about 15 minutes to figure out and probably a half gallon of fuel.  Overall, mission accomplished and just as we pulled away the winds came up so the Hesitant Half decided she wanted to continue on and thus off we went.

Entering El Morro

Of course once we got there we lost the wind about 4 hours later and were barely around the point south of El Morro.  Engines back on throughout the night until just before rounding Point Conception at sunrise.
Rounding Point Conception, sunrise day 

Point Conception lighthouse

And while it wasn't the threatening winds of Point Conception we had heard so much about, the winds did come up with the sun and we were able to sail around the Point.  And what did we find on the other side.... a first class point break!  YES!

Government Point (eerily similar to one of my favorite spots in northern Baja)
We dropped anchor and I jumped into my wetsuit and paddled off.  This was the true realization of the dreams I've held for so long, pulling up to a firing point break, anchoring and jumping off the boat to surf.  The waves were about a foot overhead on the sets and fun in between.

Lending Club trimaran doing better time than we did coming do the coast
We had a bit of anchoring troubles here due to the thick kelp on the bottom.  We anchored in 30 feet, set the anchor, and dropped 150 feet of chain.  Late evening the wind picked up to greater than 20kts, but all that was going to happen was us getting blown out to sea and since we didn't see any evidence of us dragging, we went to bed but with a half hour anchor watch on the iPhone.  Glad we had this app as it was so dark at night there was nothing to visually measure how we were doing.  Around 230am we were dragging, we laid out another 100' of chain and woke up every half hour.  Around 5am the winds calmed, I watched the sun rise and and set out for another surf.  As the winds came back up, I returned to the boat, we hauled anchor and tried to reset with no success on the first try and now we were feeling some not-so-good vibes and hoisted the sails and took off. We were able to get in a pretty good sail from Government Point to Santa Barbara, and we arrived just at sunset to complete our first passage!

Sailing to Santa Barbara

Arrival in Santa Barbara, just before drinks and food at Brophy's

Now that we're in Santa Barbara, we've already said what an amazing place this and how we could definitely see this as potential future home (wonder how many times we'll be saying that?).  Checking in here was pretty easy, just hailed Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol on ch12.  They don't take reservations so you just need to check ahead, worst case the anchorage east of Stearn's Wharf looks very manageable.

Monica has her tummy back and SeaGlub has been given a spa day, decks and waterline scrubbed and oil changed.
SeaGlub in her Santa Barbara slip

Monica and her wagon on our grocery day

deserved cocktails!

Yep, she's over her mal de mar!!

And relaxing in style!

Yep, I said in style!

Santa Barbara marina
We're off to Santa Cruz island tomorrow (Wednesday) for 4-5 days and 2-3 anchorages then Two Harbors Catalina and Avalon where we'll write the next update.  Remember you can follow our movements on AIS by going to Where Are We