Friday, October 1, 2010

Point Conception and points south

We needed fuel before we left Morro Bay. The fuel dock at Morrro Bay is a tall fuel pier more setup for commercial fishing boats than us yachties. We grabbed the loaner fender board from MBYC and Steve off of Saben to help us at the dock. It wasn't blowing, so the docking drama was relatively low. A few sea lions came by while we were there to check it out.

Morro Bay otter wishing us a good journey offshore of the sea buoy

Rounding Pt Conception is a big milestone in getting south. It is the last of capes that are likely to give you weather heartache. In local exaggeration it is known as the Cape Horn of California due to the wind and sea conditions. There's really no reason to get nailed at Pt Conception, other than rushing. You can sit it out in Morro Bay going south or in Santa Barbara or Cojo going north and access tons of detailed weather info. We waited in Morro Bay for four days to let the winds to die down, then had a smooth, easy passing. Less sailing than I would have liked. We left MB around 3pm and arrived in San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands at sunrise after an uneventful trip.

Diablo Canyon nuke plant

We passed the nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon, then as it got dark the gantries at Vandenburg Air Force base. In the middle of the night we started threading our way through all the offshore oil platforms. These are strange, giant platforms lit up in an ugly orange hue at night, intimidating!

Platform Harvest from a safe distance

Early morning approach to Cuyler Harbor, San Miguel Is.

Morning beach walk

We added to our karma bank account by helping pull these guys out the kelp. They had tried to enter Cuyler Harbor with their Lancer 26 by cutting straight through the dense kelp bed off the point. The kelp grabbed them and they were pretty solidly stuck. We rowed the dink into them, grabbed a line and rowed it out beyond the kelp. We tied this up to a larger dink who was able to pull them out with his engine. Not a recommended short cut.

The sea lions are as curious as we are.

We left SanMiguel island and had a light wind sail to San Rosa island. The anchorage, Bechers Bay, is an open roadsted, with protection from the westerly cliffs. It blew like snot after we anchored, only to stop a little after dark. With the wind down, the swells came in and we rolled most of the night. At dawn it was calm and we were inundated with sand flies. Not one of our favorite anchorages.

Sailing to Santa Rosa.

Blowing in Bechers Bay.

We headed over to Santa Cruz Is in the morning to try and get into the Painted Cave. The cave is something like 600 feet deep and and 125 ft high in places. Here's the entrance. The swell was running too high to take a dinghy in there.

Saben hidden behind the swells in front of Painted cave.

Photo Shoot: A highly paid professional model -- note the pony tail- modeling Chris' students fund raising T-shirts for the ACNM Washington DC midwifery conference off of Santa Barbara.
"Midwives Help People Out", "Mom's Deliver, We catch!"



  1. Awesomeness!!

    Good to hear the continuing adventures. Are you guys getting the intense heat?


  2. When we turned into the inner harbor at Santa Barbara it was like a blast furnace.