Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cannery Row

After motoring out of the San Francisco shipping channel in the fog for a few hours we had a close hauled sail down toward Pillar Point. Had to start up the motor about an hour out and thread our way through the fog and the outside reefs. We dropped the hook in the outer harbor and spent a quiet night. Next morning we left in the fog again, motoring for an hour and a half or so in glassy seas. We thought it was going to be a motor boat slog all the way to Monterey but the wind picked up, the sun came out of the fog a bit and we set sail. We dug out the asymmetrical spinnaker and got the boat moving along nicely.
Note the CYC Edmonds club pennant
We put the spinnaker up to fool the wind. It tricks it into getting stronger. In an hour or so the wind picked up to 18-20 true and we decided to keep it mellow and dropped the spin. The wind stayed with us and the fog came back in. Chris was reading the unabridged Moby Dick on her Kindle. (It used to be our Kindle... but that's another story.) Just as she was getting to the serious stuff, I saw a splash in the distance and a weird sound came out of the fog. We were amazed as we were suddenly surrounded by six or so blowing and sounding humpback whales. Spray and flukes very near the boat and this occasional strange sound like canvas rubbing on canvas... whale songs? One very clearly stopped a few yards from the boat to check us out. Very cool. Not feeling like we were at the top of the food chain and knowing that hump whales have a propensity for J-Boats, we drove as we went through the flock  -- or the pod.
The closest we got to a whale shot. I know, no picture and it didn't happen.
Nope, these aren't whales. They're seal lions fishing as we entered Monterey Bay.
The Bay has a gazillion birds on it. We sailed through a continuous swath of these birds, thousands -- I'd tell you their name, but a I already forgot... getting old is tough.
Boaters try a lot of different methods in the Bay to try and stop the damage that the local sea lions can wreak.  This one just seems to encourage them, they were literally bouncing on this one!
Otter action in the marina.
We spent about 3 hours cruising the Monterey Aquarium. These sea nettles were in the aquarium and in the bay as well.
When evolution goes off track... a sea horse disguised as kelp. It should have just stayed a plant.

We spent a couple of nights in the bay at anchor.  Its a little rolly, but ships have been anchoring here for over 400 years. Off to San Simion and Morro Bay tomorrow.
'Don't drink and derive!'   -Monterey T-shirt


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