Archive for the 'San Francisco' Category

Dismasting in the North Pacific

Clark October 13th, 2014

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Photos courtesy of Jolyn and Ken Zielesch, aboard cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas

Bill Edinger, founder and President of Spectra Watermakers (and my boss), set out earlier this year on a five-month sailing sabbatical to French Polynesia aboard his Norm Cross-designed 45-foot trimaran, Defiance. He, family, and guests sailed to the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Society Islands, then up to Hawaii, all in a very seamanlike manner.

On the final stretch from Hawaii to San Francisco they hit the edge of the Pacific High, as returning sailors are wont to do, and motored for a day or two. This is when disaster struck. In Bill’s own words:

“Sunday the seventh we were motorsailing along in light wind. I was just coming off my 12:00 to 3:00 AM watch and was down below starting coffee for Kevin who was next up when we heard a loud bang. We both ran on deck to see the mast canting aft by about 30 degrees. I yelled to Kevin that we needed to get a halyard forward to keep the mast from coming down. He ran forward but before either of us could do anything the mast came all the way down. It seemed slow as the boom and vang collapsed on the top of the dodger and the mainsail sort of cushioned the fall. The mast of course was hanging out over the end of the port ama (float). The good thing of course is that no one was hurt.”

“The toggle on the forestay had failed. Unfortunately this is the only stay going forward. When the boat was re-rigged a while back this stay was upped a size to 1/2″ dyform wire which should have been bulletproof. I can only think it failed from shock load fatigue as the mast pumps a little fore and aft in a seaway.”

The offending toggle:
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“We retrieved the mast by cranking it onboard forward with line and winches. Every few inches we had to stop to see what lines and rigging were hanging up and clear them before moving on. The mast appears in good shape. The main was a total wreck as we needed to cut it away, and the jib furler was over the side and dragging behind. We tried to save it but in the end had to cut it loose. Boom looks salvageable. The dodger was wrecked on one side and the port rails bent. Once we got the mast onboard we started lashing everything down and dismantling what rigging we could to clean things up. Over the next day we refined things by supporting each end of the mast with some milk crates and shims to keep the mast from rocking back and forth on the cabin top.”
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“The Radar seemed undamaged so we rigged up a mast using our dinghy floorboards, mounted the antenna on deck just above the maststep and managed to get it working fine. I also retrieved the VHF antenna and jury rigged the VHF radio and AIS which is working so so.”

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“I have to say the teamwork was fantastic. The whole crew was focused and calm throughout the whole ordeal.”

“By the time we got everything cleared up it was late morning and we re-started the engine and got going again. We figured we had enough fuel for about 500 miles but had over 1100 to go. I called the coast guard and reported that we had a non-emergency situation but would be needing fuel to get all the way back to San Francisco. They had us checking with them every four hours or so and by the middle of the second day called us to report that the cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas would divert from its course to deliver us fuel by late afternoon.”

20140909_000614.mp4 from Bill Walton on Vimeo.

“Around 3:00 PM the cruise ship delivered 100 plus gallons of fuel (as well as a bunch of fresh fruit and other goodies thrown in!). We were definitely the show of the day as 1000 or so passengers lined up to watch the fuel transfer by three guys in a RIB-type boat. As soon as the third and last trip was made the whole crowd broke out in cheers!”
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A happy ending and a story to tell for those aboard the cruise ship. Bill and crew motored through the Golden Gate a week later.

And a happier ending that they saved the mast! Dismasting stories always seem to involve “cutting away the rig,” and I always think that was at least $10,000, more like $30,000 with a mast like Bill’s, sinking to the bottom of the ocean. In rough seas you’d have no choice, but I always figured I’d give it the old college try to get that mast aboard somehow. Still, I thought 60-foot mast on a 45-foot trimaran for 1000 miles of motoring through a nasty part of the Pacific…this should be interesting. It wasn’t until I saw the pictures that I understood the diagonal approach to seagoing mast storage on a trimaran.

Terminology Moment: When your mast falls down on the open sea, by accident, this is called dismasting. When you take it down on purpose, say by a crane in a boatyard, this is called demasting. Please make a note of it.

Once I heard about this I immediately heard three more stories about masts that came down while just motoring along, from the shock loads of the seas. I wonder what the percentage is of masts lost in this manner compared to masts lost in full combat mode?

Godspeed, Old Mainsail

Clark May 27th, 2013

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On our trip up to Petaluma last week, the old mainsail finally gave up the ghost. I guess they don’t make things like they used to: That mainsail only lasted through one circumnavigation, about a thousand days in the sun, and (with a bit of sail tape here and there) another five years of hard sailing out of San Francisco Bay before it just fell apart. I’ve had a new mainsail near the top of the list for years, but of course sails are quite expensive so I’ve been making do. My 1967 ketch has a long boom compared to modern designs, so not a lot of ripe hunting on the used market. I guess now I’ll have to pony up and just buy a new main…wait a minute, look where the tear is. All is not lost. It certainly isn’t worth repairing because the sailcloth tears like tissue paper, but the tear is below the reef points. Double reefed it’s still definitely useable. Might even get away with it single reefed. In San Francisco it blows like snot and she’s reefed most of the time anyway. Reefed, she might make it through another summer. What do I have to lose?

Proof of Concept: Surfing/crabbing adventure

Clark May 8th, 2013

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A few months ago I started asking myself how to justify dumping all my free time and money into a boat I can’t afford. April alone included six days in the boatyard, at about $2000, including an insurance survey, plus berthing fees, a robbery, and about ten days of my life. The answer was more boat adventures.

The plan would be to sail to Bolinas, just 15 miles from my marina, where we’d paddle in and surf. On the way we’d drop off a crab trap in hopes of catching some Dungeness crabs, the “Maine lobster of the West.”

In short, total success. Six dudes left at 6 a.m. on the ebbing tide with our surfboards and crab trap. About halfway to Bolinas we dropped the trap in sixty feet of water, baited with some chicken legs and a can of cat food, and – very important – marked the spot with the GPS.
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Bolinas isn’t known for great surf, but it’s the only place I know of within daysailing distance of San Francisco where one can surf with a boat anchored in reasonable protection. The surf was unremarkable, but nobody has ever regretted paddling in for a surf, and paddling in from a sailboat holds a certain frisson.
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After brunch the wind came up and we sailed away from our anchor, arriving at our crab trap an hour later:
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Inside were six Dungeness crabs, four of which were keepers (greater than 5-3/4 inches across the carapace):
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For rank amateurs we did alright, but next time we’ll invest in a wire mesh bait box. We just tied the chicken legs to the bottom of the trap, and they were all picked clean! If they can eat all the bait, it won’t be there to attract any more crabs.

As usual, it was howling by the time we got to the Golden Gate, and we finished our day with a spirited sail, back in the berth by 4 p.m., to return home with fresh meat, wily hunters of the sea.

Crabs boiled for fifteen minutes in salt water, served with drawn garlic butter. Once you know how to work over a crab, there’s a full meal in each, and I dare say it’s just as good, maybe better, than lobster.

Condesa Desecrated

Clark February 5th, 2011

I have remained silent about these troubling events because there were legal issues pending, but it looks like nothing is going to happen legally, so here goes:

A few months ago I was in the middle of repainting Condesa’s decks and superstructure, re-varnishing everything, and getting myself in over my head.

I finished work one night, locked things up, then came back the next day to see that I’d had visitors. There were beer cans, full and empty, all over the place, the stereo was on, and my personal belongings were scattered on deck. Condesa had been robbed and vandalized.

I tend to think in worst case scenarios – it’s a gift – and I’ve often imagined a creative vandal, instead of the idiots they all are, who might do something like pour roofing tar on your car, or hide a dead skunk in your house. The worst of the damage to Condesa was that they kicked over a container of leftover, catalyzed, two-part epoxy primer that I’d left in the cockpit. They tracked this paint all over – inside, outside, on the benches, on the hatches, on the companionway stairs, on the carpets. Everything I’d just re-varnished and repainted now had sneaker prints in dried white epoxy, and of course the carpet and rugs were ruined. This kind of paint, AKA epoxy barrier coat, is one of the hardest, most durable coatings ever invented. You have to sand it off; it can’t be removed with solvents or paint remover.

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I went straight to the marina office to ask whether to report it to the local police or the harbor patrol and good news, the guys were caught the night before! Pier 39 security arrested them, photographed them, took all their information, and found two bottles of wine that they’d stolen from Condesa stashed under their sweatshirts. They were spotted jumping the fence to get off the E dock. You don’t need a key to get off E dock; you just turn the knob and open the door. Did I mention these guys were total morons?

Pier 39 Security turned them over to SFPD, who promptly let them go with a warning.

Since I know Condesa like my own body – I could seriously do about anything on that boat, except navigate, blindfolded – I could follow their every moronic move: I could see where they’d stepped up the companionway stairs with their paint-covered sneakers, then slipped and pushed the throttle into full reverse. I could follow their footprints into my head, where they’d used the toilet and didn’t bother to flush! (I guess I should be glad they used the toilet instead of the floor.) I could follow their paint footprints up through my new varnish, where one of them hung on the boom while discharging my fire extinguisher at his cohort on the dock. And on the dock were two clean footprints, surrounded by fire extinguisher powder. And I’ll bet with snorkeling gear and ten minutes I’d find my fire extinguisher on the bottom of the bay nearby.

To cut to the chase, the DA decided not to prosecute due to lack of evidence. To prosecute they’d need something more like the two suspects being spotted leaving a crime scene, caught with stolen property on their person, arrested and photographed etc…that kind of thing. Wait a minute!

It’s that reasonable doubt thing: The perpetrators admitted to trespassing on the dock, but wouldn’t admit to breaking into my boat. They said they found the bottles of wine nearby. So there is the possibility that someone else robbed my boat, then left the bottles of wine somewhere. These guys, who coincidentally had jumped a fence and trespassed on the same dock where a burglary had just taken place, just happened to find two bottles of stolen wine, just lying around. I don’t think a jury would buy it, but the DA thinks this introduces reasonable doubt.

I saw the best and worst of the SFPD. The CSI guy told me that they weren’t interested in fingerprints, that they were more interested in DNA evidence, which they could get from the saliva left on the beer bottles. I asked, “Really, you’d do DNA analysis for a case like this?” He said, “We do DNA analysis on all cases. We’ve got grant money that covers it.” This was a blatant lie. DNA analysis cost $10,000 per sample, and they only do it for rape and murder cases. If he’d actually done his job, some fingerprint evidence might have made the difference between letting it go and getting a conviction. I think my friend just wanted to get home quickly…with the rest of my beer.

The thieves took half my beer; the cops took the rest.

On the brighter side, the inspector who took over my case, whose name I’ll leave out because he probably doesn’t want it published, was very attentive to the cause and followed the whole thing through. He sounded as disappointed as I was that the DA wouldn’t take the case, and said he’d invested many hours in it. He took a personal interest because he’s a graduate of San Jose State, where our perpetrators are students. He’s a very nice guy and made me feel like someone cared.

The fact is it’s only time (lots of time) and money, nobody was hurt, and my emotional recovery was over long ago. People are getting whacked in the Tenderloin every week, and that’s a little more serious than a messed up varnish job.

But I have the perpetrators’ names, addresses, and photographs, with those stupid drunk guilty looks on their faces, and vengeance will be mine someday when they least expect it. I was thinking the next time these guys are my guests on Condesa, we might go out and do a little sailing…y’know, Farallon Islands…foggy day…cold…no witnesses.

Anchors Astay

Clark July 18th, 2009

The saga began when I took friends out for the day on Condesa for a sort of bachelor party for John Caron. We anchored behind Angel Island, right off the ruins of the old quarantine station, and had a barbeque.

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When it was time to go I went to pull up the anchor and it was fouled. I pulled in all directions with Condesa and tried every trick in the book. After forty-five minutes we had an additional hundred and fifty feet of chain hopelessly fouled and it was getting dark. I dumped all 300-feet of chain and marked it with a buoy.

Apparently I’m the last one to know. Every cruising guide on San Francisco Bay says never to anchor in this spot because it is a notorious anchor-eater. I called the Angel Island rangers and they were quite cool about leaving ground tackle and buoys in their state park on a temporary basis.

We returned two days later, again with a bit of a party for a barbeque, and anchored Condesa nearby. We launched the dinghy and my brother Jim and I set out to recover the anchor. I donned snorkeling gear and my very warm wetsuit for the 48-degree water, while Jim did the heavy lifting from the dinghy.

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To be read with a Jacques Cousteau accent:

Following the chain down into the depths, the last of the light disappeared at twelve feet. Below this was only darkness. The murkiness of San Francisco Bay makes the visibility just a few inches. My dive light was useless, and I could only see its light underwater if I pressed it against my mask. Upon reaching the bottom, at a depth of 25-feet, I was in a cold, dark, formless world, where my eyes were useless, but my other senses would become more acute.

I made about twenty dives over two hours, hyperventilating and holding my breath each time. After the first or second dive I came up and said, “It’s wrapped around a mushroom-shaped rock!” Then a few dives later I said, “I think it’s a sunken boat. I can feel the bowsprit, and I think I fell in the hold.” Then after a few more times fumbling around on the bottom the truth was known: “Pilings! Piles of broken pilings!” Indeed, there must have been a large pier extending from the old quarantine station. Now the pier is in ruins, and the mish-mash of broken pilings makes an anchor trap for the unwary. With each dive I got better at orienting myself, but feeling one’s way in total darkness, 25-feet underwater, in a big pile of pilings, is a little disorienting and unnerving. The flashlight was useless in the best of times, but I tried pressing it to my mask to see if it was working and it was half full of dark, muddy water, as was my mask. The chain seemed to be wrapped around one particular piling, and after many dives and over an hour of trying, there didn’t seem to be any hope…and it was getting late.

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We got back to Condesa and everyone was happily barbequing away and drinking beers. I felt like I’d been to another planet. My ears were clogged, my eyes were more sensitive to light, and I was generally chilled and disoriented. People kept asking me questions, but I still had my hood on and couldn’t hear a thing. I’d been a blind and deaf man for the last two hours, and recovering my senses was a slow process. Andrew had been manning the barbeque and chumming the water with raw bloody meat the whole time, which is always nice to find out after you’ve been diving.

So there stayed my anchor and chain, floating with it’s little orange buoy. It was about $2000 worth of gear, and not to be left behind lightly. Hiring salvage divers would be expensive, and fraught with complications, like how would we get 800 pounds of recovered gear from their boat into mine?

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Act 3: Another week later, we returned again. This time my friend Roger (above with his wife Laura on their boat) was a star in renting scuba gear for me and meeting us at the dock in Tiburon. Once again Jim did the heavy lifting from the dinghy and I went in with the scuba gear, which completed the whole spaceman going into the unknown motif. Roger also got me a brand new dive light, which was totally useless in zero visibility. Once again we made a day of it, and left eight or ten friends partying on Condesa nearby.

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The scuba gear allowed me a lot more time on the bottom for assessment and contemplation. The chain was indeed looped around a horizontal piling, and after feeling this piling up and down, it seemed an impossible situation since neither end of the piling was off the seabed. I braced my fins against–whatever is down there–and tried to move the piling. It wouldn’t budge. I thought about it some more, and figured that the piling moving was the only possibility, so once again I grunted to move it. It did move, albeit very slowly because it was stuck in the muck on the bottom of San Francisco Bay. Finally, there I was in total darkness and zero visibility, standing in the muck, holding a 500 pound, 18-inch diameter, barnacle-encrusted piling on my shoulder…which I could easily drop and hopelessly pin myself to the bottom. I got the chain unwrapped and gave the signal to Jim to pull up chain, which was two sharp yanks, or was it many repeated yanks? The yanking got confusing for both of us, and more chain kept falling on my head.

I went to the surface to report the good news and sort out the yanking. Jim pulled in another hundred feet of chain and we got to the original snag. I went down again and could actually see a little before stirring up the silt. The anchor itself, my 45-pound CQR, was wedged under yet another piling and quickly freed. Jim pulled it to the surface and we were now in a very overloaded little 8-foot dinghy with 800 pounds of anchor and chain, scuba gear, and two grown men.

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We returned to Condesa like conquering heroes. Once again I felt a veil of distance between me and the earthlings barbequing on Condesa. I was only down for half an hour this time, but it might as well have been a lifetime.

The next day I went to return the scuba gear and the guy at the dive shop had a good laugh and let me know, once again, that I wasn’t the first to lose an anchor at this particular spot. In fact, he said the spot would yield some pretty good hunting for a little amateur salvage operation.

Speaking Schedule

Clark April 8th, 2009

I’m scheduled to give three talks at the Strictly Sail boat show at Jack London Square in Oakland next week. You can click here for complete information.

My gigs are Wednesday, April 15th at 6:00PM in Tent C; Friday, April 17th at 3:15 in Tent A; and Sunday, April 19th at 11:45 in Tent E.

I’ll be doing a slide show and regaling the crowd with fascinating anecdotes and invaluable information.

Hope to see you there…

Apocalypse or Bay Cruise?

Clark February 3rd, 2009

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Everything I read these days seems to be either about great hope (Obama as messiah) or apocalyptic despair (the financial crisis). When I read about the former I think about my new life on shore and the good things it may bring once I move beyond underemployment. San Francisco seems a prosperous place, and my girlfriend just bought a house. Let’s call this the optimistic plan.

When I read about the latter I’m glad I’ve still got Condesa.

There’s been a lot of mention of sailboats as liferafts to escape the death spiral, and not just from the lunatic fringe. Or perhaps in light of the crisis the fringy are having their day. I’ve read mention in both The New Yorker and The Economist lately. An often cited work is Dmitry Orlov’s The New Age of Sail, if you’ve got an hour to spend. In The New Yorker he’s quoted,

“We don’t have a long wait before sail-based transport is the only option. In the future, I expect coastal property owners to get downright excited when they see any sailboat, whether it looks fashionable or not, paddle out their leaky canoes, and try to barter jewelry, silver cutlery or pretty seashells for the things they desperately need.”

Mr. Orlov lives on his sailboat. He is Russian and survived the collapse of the Soviet Union by bartering a trunk full of vodka when rubles were worthless, so he might know what he’s talking about.

Let’s call this the pessimistic plan, in which Condesa could be the most utilitarian way to ride out total collapse of petroleum, the monetary system, and the economy. I wonder how many ‘cruisers’ have set sail from Iceland lately?

The great thing is that in either scenario a sailboat is a highly coveted possession. If it’s optimism, nothing like a nice sail on the Bay with friends and colleagues after a hard week’s work once things pick up. If it’s pessimism, nothing like a sailboat to get away from the armies of desperate mutants who roam the earth fighting for the last remaining scraps of food, human flesh, and gasoline (see Cormac McCarthy, The Road) in a land slowly disappearing as the sea levels rise. Can’t sell a boat in this market anyway – not that I’d want to – so Condesa stays in the mix, for better or for worse.

Wine By Sail

Clark December 14th, 2008

After gallivanting around the world on Condesa for ten years drinking wine, it’s time to buckle down, get serious, and start working…at sailing around on Condesa drinking wine. If you followed my posts from a few months back, Condesa made some delightful trips up the Petaluma and Napa Rivers, into the heart of wine country and the idea of Wine By Sail was born. I could tell you all about it, but it’s probably better to leave it to the pros…wait, I’m a pro. You can check out our (very basic) website at www.winebysail.com and you can read our favorable press in leading wine industry magazine Wines and Vines.

People love wine and people love sailboats, so I think I’m onto something. Stay tuned!

On the writing front, I’ve got a six-page article on Colombia in this month’s issue of Yachting World. They allow limited access to the digital edition online. My article starts on page 94.

New Kid In Town

Clark October 31st, 2008

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Looking at the image above, at the far left you will see Condesa towering over the other yachts at Pier 39 Marina. On the far right of the image you will see the new boat. All the finest yachts in San Francisco want to be at Pier 39 Marina, which goes without saying.

I’m always happy to help a newbie learn the ropes, but this guy with the new boat just won’t stop: How do I tie the fenders on? What does this thing do? Can you help me get my outboard started? How do I tie a bowline? What do I do when the wind gets strong? I guess we all have to start somewhere. Apparently Mr. Perkins has already decided that sailing isn’t for him, because the boat is for sale for 115 million Euros. Dilettante.

At nearly 300 feet Maltese Falcon isn’t even the largest sailing yacht in the world, just among them, but some say it is the fastest of the big boys. We can charter it for a paltry 350,000 Euros per week, with crew of eighteen, including gourmet chef, but not including food and wine. Somebody must have beat us to it, because she’s already gone…
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Condesa Sails Under the Golden Gate

Clark June 17th, 2008

For the first time in ten years Condesa has entered a port with no plans of leaving. She’s in her new berth in San Francisco, which looks up at Coit Tower, and straight across the Bay to Alcatraz.

One of my most frequently asked questions is, “Which was your favorite country?” Lately my answer has been, “California.” I’ve said before that I always thought of Californians as angry people stuck in traffic. Maybe I was the angry person stuck in traffic. I was also expecting unspecified run-ins with the authorities. I guess my only experiences with Homeland Security and the like in recent years have been in airports, where they are less than kind. I figured that after being away for so long I’d be coming back to some hassles, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I already mentioned how nice, easy, and cheap it was to put into San Diego, but this same treatment continued on up the coast, and the California coast competes with anywhere for natural beauty.

In Newport Beach, my home port, of course I got good treatment. With a free dock in front of the Beek house and wholesale fuel at the family fuel dock, what more could I ask for? But even if I didn’t have connections, Newport is a friendly port with free anchoring and free moorings.

Condesa set sail from Newport with Panama and Peru veteran Tony Burger. We made an overnight sail to Santa Barbara to visit my brother Jim (aka Rufus) and a host of friends. We’d planned to anchor out, but it was rough as guts when we got there. We radioed the Harbor Patrol, who were sweet as pie and had us tie up to their dock while they pulled all the stops to accommodate us. We ended up in a great berth for $23 per day.

Tony left and Beloved Cousin Rocky took the train down from Santa Cruz:

Rocky and I motored out of Santa Barbara and out to the Channel Islands for a little cruising. We visited the Painted Cave, on Santa Cruz Island, which was very deep and dark, and had some very angry sea lions hidden in the back. We traded standing off on Condesa while the other went into the cave in the dinghy, as it’s too deep to anchor. After the Painted Cave we cruised around Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands, both of which have very scenic and snug bays. We never saw another recreational boat in the Channel Islands (it was a Monday), just a few fishing boats.

Condesa from inside the Painted Cave:

Then it was around dreaded Point Conception, the second windiest place to Point Reyes on the California coast, but we had an easy time of it. We charged through the night to the protected anchorage at San Simeon, where we looked up at Hearst Castle. Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo are two other snug harbors, but we passed them in the night. The next morning the sky was brown and the sun a blood red orb. It’s California’s wildfire season again, and we could see the Big Sur and Bonnie Doon fires burning from well offshore:

From San Simeon it’s a long haul along the cliffs to Carmel, Monterrey, or Santa Cruz. We chose Santa Cruz, as it’s where Rocky lives. We could see the headlights on the cars winding along Highway 1 all night long. Once again the Harbor Patrol in Santa Cruz was eager to please and we got a snug berth in the harbor, this time for $27 per night, where we saw this guy, a California Sea Otter, snoozing in the marina:

Case in point: One can cruise the California coast at a leisurely pace in total comfort. Where there aren’t beautiful natural anchorages there are bustling ports with reasonably-priced berths for transient yachts. All of these ports jack the price up if you stay more than a few days, which makes good sense to me. With the exception of the stretch between Monterrey and San Simeon, it’s all daysails. The next time I go cruising it might be a month’s sail from San Francisco down to Newport and back, combining haut cuisine in California’s ports with remote beauty on her offshore islands.

From Santa Cruz to San Francisco was an historic voyage with cousins Rocky, Joe, and Joe’s daughter Abigail. Rocky is half responsible for this whole cruising odyssey mess, and Joe is responsible for the other half. I went cruising the first time with them on Starwake when they were returning from a trans-Pacific voyage to New Zealand and back. In the ‘About Me’ entry on this website I talk about being green with seasickness while watching a hammock full of vegetables rot and drip in the tropical heat above my bunk, while figuring out how to get myself out of this horrible, horrible error in judgment. Going with them was the horrible error in judgment, and look what it ended up doing to me. How fitting that it would all begin and end on a sailboat with Rocky and Joe, but I guess I’m looking for landmarks and significance in every little thing at this uncertain juncture in my life.

Joe and Abigail:

We had rare south winds most of the day and sailed past the Pigeon Point lighthouse and Point Pilar, home of the famous big wave surf spot Mavericks. (It wasn’t going off.) As we neared San Francisco the wind veered to the west and strengthened, and a flood tide screamed under the Golden Gate at three knots. My friends Elias and Jim were going to take pictures of Condesa going under the Golden Gate, but couldn’t get there in time. “Can’t you stall a bit?” I looked at the GPS, marking our speed at nearly ten knots, with the current accounting for three of it. “Um, no.”

We sailed right up to Condesa’s new marina, with various Beeks scrambling around to drop sails, and made our entrance…into the wrong place. But the wrong place was much more photogenic than the right place, so it’s good that Elias and Jim were there to photograph it. Once we’d entered the right place, we tied her up, had a celebratory shot of tequila, and Rocky, Joe, and Abigail set out for Santa Cruz by land. Condesa hasn’t moved a muscle since.