Monday, December 28, 2015

9/19/15 Single handling Dana Point to SD

For the first time since we have owned the current WORKNOT find myself single-handling the boat. Mary left for Las Vegas to retrieve a car for our trip to Mexico.  It was an odd feeling as I headed to the fuel dock, alone with just Keela for a deckhand.  

The fuel dock opened at 6 AM and it was a zoo!  The Catalina ferry was tied to the dock taking on fuel and over a dozen fishing boats were trying to get bait at the floating bait well next to the fuel dock.   It was hard to tell which line was for fuel and which was for bait.  Drifting in a crowded harbor, single-handed was not the best way to start the morning.  Just as I was making my way to the fuel dock a center console cut in front of me.  The guy would not even make eye contact as he passed between me and the dock with less than a boat length to spare.  Out of character for most of the boating community.

Finally made my way to the fuel dock, took on 581 gallons @ $2.85/gal.    Last fuel stop was Gray's Harbor just south of Strait of Juan de Fuca Washington.  Chart indicates just over 1,000 miles.  Very pleased with the fuel consumption as we averaged better than 1.7 miles/gallon.

The trip to San Diego was uneventful in calm water but being alone on the boat made me very cautious about going outside underway.  Next to impossible to "fall" over the high side rails on WORKNOT the thought of watching her go away from the water was intimidating.   My hat is off to those who single hand sailboats around the globe.  Its a combination of bravery and fool-heartedness not for me.  Will be happy to have Mary back on board when we get to Ensenada.....  

9/15/15 Ventura CA to Dana Point

The water and the weather are warmer as we continue towards Mexico and the 2015 CUBAR rally.
We stayed another night at the Ventura Yacht Club courtesy dock.  Its a tight fit for our boat and would be nearly impossible in a Nordhavn 55 or 57.  Without a stern thruster its about all the challenge I need to get in and out without meeting someone new after we scratch their boat.

The club was closed during our visit but found someone to let us off the dock and loan us their key. Boaters take care of each other and this was another example of why we enjoy meeting fellow boaters.

Along with walkway in Ventura we found this sidewalk chalk art.  Just amazing talent from local artist.  All of this will be washed away in the next rain.  

We traveled from Ventura to Dana Point without incident.  About 14 hours in calm waters arriving at Dana Point well after dark.  Since we have been in this harbor numerous times entering in calm weather we quickly found a spot in the north anchorage.  Next morning we moved to Nordhavn's guest dock for the next day.  The dock was under repair and soon a jackhammer was hard at work tearing up the concrete docks.  So here we sit, in a courtesy dock with Nordhavn doing us a favor and worrying that the chips from the jack hammer will scratch our paint job.   After about 3 hours of jack-hammering managed to get a slip at the Dana Point West Yacht club.   Oh, the challenges of cruising.....

We stopped in Dana Point for repairs/replacement of the carper in our salon and pilot house.  It was all replaced as we headed north to Alaska but the fit was poor.  Since we were in a bit of a hurry to meet a weather window and could not get a guest dock in Dana Point we moved on.   Now, we are hanging around Dana Point while the new carpet is fitted.  Lots of time is used up chasing parts, waiting on others to make repairs or just trying to line up the ongoing maintenance and upkeep.   Really its part of the "fun" and fits the definition of cruising-"fixing you boat in exotic places".  No complaints however, much more fun than working on a house in one location.

Keela is not happy to have her carpet removed.  The floors are too slick for her even in the harbor......

Sunday, December 6, 2015

San Francisco to Coho 9-12-15 (Happy Birthday Captain)

Great way to start a birthday!  Clipper Cove just inside San Francisco Bay.  This was a favorite anchorage of ours when we lived in Alameda.  Dozens of nights spent here on weekends and holidays starting with our GB 42, then our GB 46 and the current WORKNOT.   We got to watch a couple of years of the building of the new eastern span of the Oakland Bay Bridge and strolled around the construction site while hiking Yerba Buena Island.

Single Support Tower under construction January 2012

Main Tower Rising 

The west end of the support cable

More about this amazing construction project at: The New Bay Bridge

We scooted out of Clipper Cove at 7:30 AM after waiting for the tide to rise and allow us to escape.  Ever since the construction of the new bridge started the entrance to Clipper Cove has been silting in and closing off the entrance.  The depth sounder read "0" but we did not touch bottom or at least it was so soft we did not notice.  Weather was supposed to be clear but we had plenty of fog.  

Our morning departure put us at the Golden Gate during a flood tide.  Not ideal but we manged to make about 6 kts in calm, foggy seas and finally turned south at the SF entrance buoy.  By 3 PM fog cleared and seas were about 4' and nicely spaced.  Occasionally larger swells would remind us we were still on the Pacific west coast north of Pt. Conception........

The next morning around 10:30 AM we were south of Morro Bay and the weather suddenly turned warm, dry and the sea smelled like Mexico off shore.  As we approached Pt. Conception we heard a MAYDAY call at 1 PM.  The 40' Caetus was taking on water.  He was south of us about 12 miles and near shore.  Underway but unable to keep up with the incoming water from a fractured sea cock.  The Coast Guard was having some difficulty hearing Caetus so we relayed his position and status.  USCG assets were over an hour away or more.  WORKNOT diverted to intercept the north bound Caetus at our best speed of 9.5 kts.   Doubling our fuel consumption we got close enough to see the sloop on radar only to see another vessel trailing along about 1 mile behind.   After some urging the fishing boat answered the radio calls.  It  was a charter fishing boat who was staying close by but did not want to get involved unless he had too.  Claimed his onboard clients were in a hurry.   Caetus had stopped and made a repair on the leak (he was single handling).  Now able to keep up with the in-flow  the danger of sinking was past.  Soon a USCG helicopter made a low pass and hailed us on the radio.  We explained we were just the relay boat and pointed them in the direction of Caetus.   WORKNOT settled to its normal 8 kt cruise and continued south.  Never a dull moment.  

Anchoring at COHO around 6 PM we had a very restful night before heading to Ventura Yacht Club the next morning.

Pt. Conception Missile Test Facility
 Pt. Conception light house just north of Coho cove