Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monterey To Santa Barbara

8/24/11, 11:30 am: Monterey greeted us with sun and warmth when we arrived there on 8/24/11 at 11:30am. As soon as we got settled in our slip, and after a leisurely stroll down Fisherman’s Wharf, Terry and I took off for the Monterey Bay Aquarium by way of little transit busses. The aquarium is at the end of Cannery Row and was really a worthwhile stop. Although the harbormaster wryly called it “fish prison”, we were mesmerized by the exhibits, I hardly knew which way to look first. For a landlubbin’ country girl like me, it was fascinating. We spent several hours there marveling at the excellent exhibits of jelly fish, octopus, leopard sharks, sun fish, sea turtles, barracuda, tuna, and countless other species. My favorite was the seahorse exhibit.
8/25/11:  After a morning of boat chores including laundry and grocery shopping, our tiny fleet left Monterey at 3:30 pm, encountering fog soon out of the bay. We had originally planned to go directly to Santa Barbara, but early in the evening we decided instead to stop at Cojo Anchorage, which is just after you round Conception Point. I hate to sound like a broken record, but as you might guess, we had a night of stiff winds, roly seas and fog most of the trip, unsurprisingly the worst of which was right around Point Conception.

8/26/11: Cojo Anchorage, my pic above, (I also found this YouTube video) at first glance seems an unlikely place to stop with such wind and rough water, and it’s quite exposed, but we no sooner got in at about 5pm  and things calmed right down. The landscape here is very different than what we have been seeing down the coast so far-- much more arid and bare. I think it’s gorgeous—something like you’d see in eastern Oregon, less the sagebrush. In fact I saw a lone bull looking down on us from a windy bluff above our little anchorage. We were struck by how much warmer the air was immediately after rounding Point Conception. Hello southern California, we are delighted to finally meet you!
8/27/11: We were happy to wake up to beautiful, warm sunshine!! After a quick breakfast, we picked up our anchor and headed to Bechers Bay on Santa Rosa Island, part of the Channel Islands group. Conditions were perfect for a sail, so we took our time, sailing downwind and enjoying the silence of moving along with no engine. Later, we had a serious problem when our spinnaker halyard, which was clipped to our bow pulpit,  got tangled up in our headsail furling when we tried to reduce sail. Fortunately, we planned out a solution and waited for the 25 knot winds to die down a bit. Terry went on the foredeck and I was on the winch, and soon got the problem was solved. We were having such a good time and about ready to turn into Bechers Bay, when Rick (they were already anchored) got us on the VHF and told us we’d better reduce sail before rounding the point because the winds had picked up and were going “kick our butt” once we started in. There went our plans to sail to anchor! I have never seen anything like it. We rounded the point, were less than a mile from where we wanted to anchor, trying to beat against a fierce headwind of 35 knots and waves crashing over our bow and dodger. Terry even increased the rpms, but still we were only able to get up to 2.5 knots of speed over ground. The song from Gilligan’s Island kept running through my head …”the tiny ship was tossed”….At one point we could do nothing but laugh as we were getting thoroughly doused in Bechers Bay. We managed to anchor with the winds howling around us, let out 175 ft of chain, and then anxiously watched to see if it would hold. 
Santa Rosa Island has an interesting sheep and cattle ranching history. Beginning in 1901 Vail and Vickers operated a large ranch there for four generations, finally selling their holdings to the federal government in 1986,( for $30 million) with the stipulation that they be allowed to continue ranching for another 25 years. Read more here. It must have been sad to leave the island after such a long time.
Meanwhile, back at the boat, we could only gaze at the beautiful empty beach a few hundred yards away. There would be no leaving the boat this evening, but it will die down and be flat by morning—won’t it? Ha! The wind howled all night long, except for than one brief period when it when down to 5 knots, and the sudden silence woke us up. I’m such a nervous Nelly, I had to keep checking all night long to see if I could still see Endeavor’s anchor light. We were up and off the anchor early the next morning, after little sleep. Let’s get in to Santa Barbara as quickly as we can! We left Windy Lane (as we later learned it’s called), and motored in to Santa Barbara at around 2pm. Ah, Santa Barbara, we are smitten!

1 comment:

  1. Just checking out the comment posting feature


We would enjoy hearing your feedback!