Saturday, September 26, 2009

Santa Barbara and Beyond

Okay, all this is taking soooo much longer than we anticipated ... but we're not complaining; however, we are apologizing for the misapprehension on how often we could get to the internet. Assuming you'll forgive us, we move on to happier subjects.

George is enjoying digital photography's abundance: his is the eye behind the photos and films on this post. The bird images are from Avila Beach, which is adjacent to Port San Luis Obispo. A beautiful spot, and very California: people body surfing (in shorts and bathing suits!) and playing volleyball in the sand. We feel like we've passed through some fantastic portal, and perhaps we have done.

The sunset was photographed at Pt. Cojo, the first anchorage south of Pt. Conception. Pt. Conception has been called, by Coast Pilot, the Cape Horn of the Pacific. That seems exaggerated to me, but Coast Pilot is a respectable source ... so I must be one tough broad. It DID get choppy. (Friends call it "The Maytag Effect.) But, I expected much worse. George has been predicting that once we rounded Pt. Conception we would be in the land of milk and honey - calm seas, sunny skies. I was skeptical, but he was right. (And glad I am of that!)

This trip has been something of a scouring pad; removing some of the corruption that attached itself to my spirit over the past couple of years. As usual, my dream life has blossomed. (Studies indicate that sailors often require less sleep because being on the water mimics the same state of consciousness.) I've been visited by family members who have passed and I've spent time in a court of law due to my association with Cervantes. (Interpretations welcome.)

Regarding sailing, in a nutshell, Nereid is behaving beautifully. She was built for this life.

(Now for the film. It was awesome to be in the dinghy as these birds took off, maneuvered and landed as the sun was setting! These birds, we are told, migrate between California and New Zealand. Can anyone identify them, so we can learn more about them?)

(Okay - since I can't get the video to upload before my last chance to get back to Nereid before dark, I'll leave out the video tonight; try to post it tomorrow.)

Lastly (since we are - no surprise - limited on internet time), I'll attach a photo of George descending the rebar ladder at Port San Luis Obispo, so he can clamber across another person's dinghy and get into ours. Port San Luis is rustic, and we have some stories to tell ... but they'll have to wait for another day. Perhaps, to give you an idea, I'll just mention that the fuel dock attendant told us of another boat named Nereid, which sunk last month when too many seals managed to board her. The Harbor office staff says they've seen seals piggybacking on one another to form a stair for getting onto boats moored in their harbor! Nature continues to impress us with her tendency to innovate.

Until next time ... may be the wind be always at your beam. (We're heading for Santa Cruz Island as soon as our permit comes through from The Nature Conservancy. Once there, we hope to gunkhole for 2-3 weeks, so we will be "quiet" during that time, but probably able to phone in a message or two.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Leaving Monterey

We had a nice stay in, of all places, Oakland where we met up with people we have met on the way and new sailors going to Mexico for the winter. Celeste and I have decided to go easy on ourselves and take short trips rather than racing down, since our insurance company will not permit us to enter Mexico before November 15.Two nights ago we anchored in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco. Last night we tied up in Monterey to do some work on the anchor. Tomorrow before dawn we are off to San Simeon, then San Luis Obisbo, then round Point Conception, which is the Cape Horn of North America according to the US Coast Pilot. The weather forecast is excellent so far. Point Conception is our big goal. Southern California begins there, with warmer temperatures and gentle weather conditions, which we deserve after the beating we have taken so far.

We plan to explore the many islands between Santa Babara and the Mexican border. Everywhere we go we reunite with other sailors who we have met in the various ports along the way. I thought we were going to turn into loners, but our social life has never been so active. We love the lifestyle and the people we have met.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Alive and Well in San Francisco Bay

Just a note to say we are here and relaxing in the California sun! We were pretty beat when we arrived but will soon be ready to set sail again for Santa Barbara. We'll leave on Sunday if all goes according to plan -- though, of course, everything is fluid in the sailing life.