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Thread: What I Saw

  1. #221
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Arnold, CA
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    458

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    Looks wonderful and isolated.
    Any other boats around?
    What a fun adventure!
    All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it is vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.

    T.E. Lawrence

  2. #222
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    Jan 2010
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    Hi, Greg! Nice to hear from you! There were usually one or two other sailboats in the anchorages I visited. September and October are considered good times to sail the coast. This time, unfortunately, with few exceptions, the air was dirty and the fog was thick. But that's the way of nature. Regardless, the anchorages were there for everyone and everybody (except the loud people on that one party boat from the mainland), seemed to be appreciating the anchorages for purposes of respite (San Simeon, Avila Beach, Cojo) or peace and freedom (everywhere else).

  3. #223
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    Jan 2010
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    Default "Begin at the beginning ... and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

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    When I decided to travel down the coast on Dura Mater I was nervous about sleeping aboard while sailing solo. Yes, I have the Standard Horizon GX 2200 radio with AIS and GPS. And yes, I know how it works. It works very well, too.

    I have learned to identify DM as the little triangle in the middle, and other boats with their radar on, as the little critters surrounding her on the screen. I know how to tell whether they’re 5 nm or less away, how to adjust the range to determine where those other boats are located and which way they are headed: toward us or away? I also know how to turn on the approach alarm, and even how to turn it off. It is so loud! But I have never felt comfortable sleeping aboard, not even with that reliable technology. Because it’s not the big ships I’m worried about: It’s those other few solo sailors out there. You people.

    This fear was confirmed when Brad Belleville on his boat encore! and me on Dura Mater found ourselves passing each other, in dense fog, as we transited Pt Arguello. Go figure. I thought he might be out there somewhere, but VHF communication proved sketchy. So I called Brad on my cell phone and: There he was, clear as day! Well, hello! Such a surprise!

    Although we couldn’t reach anybody else, we were able to communicate with each other by cell. And, according to our coordinates, even though we couldn’t see each other, we found ourselves less than nm from each other, encore! headed north, Dura Mater going south. So that was sobering. He was motoring north with his wife, Cheryl, and they were able to take turns at watch, but still.

    Two legs of the trip made me nervous: the trip from Monterey to San Simeon and then from Pt San Luis to Cojo. So, I decided that I would stay awake the whole time. I asked Skip if this was possible. As you can imagine, he rolled his eyes. But he said, “Yes. It’s possible.”
    In preparation I provisioned with espresso coffee and dark chocolate covered espresso beans.

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    Oh, and steel cut oatmeal. That won’t really keep you awake, but I cooked up a big batch, ate it first thing, set the pot into DM’s galley sink and finished it off … at the end of the two legs. If you don’t like oatmeal that might not work for you, but it worked for me.

    I also stayed out of the shipping lanes and kept watch over my AIS screen. Turns out I only saw one other ship on my screen: The sailing vessel HINA, off to starboard all the way down to San Simeon. And apparently HINA saw me off to their port, and DM showed up on their radar with my little tubular passive radar just below the starboard spreader.

    We laughed about it when we finally met up in Morro Bay. Glen and Barbara Birkvold have sold their house in Everett, Washington, quit their jobs and bought a gorgeous Morgan 45. What is next for them? No idea, but while they decide they’re sailing down the coast of California with Mexico as their destination. That’s one big, beautiful boat. I heard it referred to as a “furniture boat”.

    Glen fished for salmon with his grandfather up in Alaska when he was a kid, so he knows his way around boats and engines and everything else you probably need to know about if you’re going to live aboard.

    Later on, just before I left Little Scorpion Anchorage, we touched base by phone again. Here is HINA at anchor. Neighbors again, if only briefly.

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  4. #224
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    San Diego
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    86

    Default What I "almost" saw

    By some strange coincidence both Morning Star and Dolfin are straddling the Isthmus in Catalina Island. Lee has anchored in Cat Harbor for a well deserved rest on the way up to the Channel Islands while I'm on the other (good) side anchored near the camp beach. From Lee's tracker I knew he was in the channel between San Clemente Island and Catalina so I rowed ashore and hiked the 6 miles to Little Harbor to maybe see him sail by. I stumbled into the campground 2+ hours later and all I could see was fog. We texted back and forth and Lee said he had already anchored in Cat Harbor so I then took off on the Trans Catalina Trail (never go back the same way) and ended back at the Isthmus nearly three hours later, dehydrated and hungry. This photo is halfway and shows the different worlds on both sides of the Island.

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    After dining on Gatorade and Cherry Garcia I took off on the Cat Harbor trail to try and get a shot of Morning Star. The pitiful excuse for a photo is a result of my shaky tired body and ancient I-phone plus Lee being anchored on the other side of the harbor. Oh well, I tried - I really did.

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    Lee leaves tomorrow for Santa Cruz or Santa Rosa and maybe a rendezvous with Jackie on Dura Mater but social distance is critical as Lee is self quarantining for 14 days before setting sail for Hawaii.

    Bill Meanley
    Dolfin, Crealock 37

  5. #225
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    Sep 2007
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolfinbill View Post
    By some strange coincidence both Morning Star and Dolfin are straddling the Isthmus in Catalina Island. Lee has anchored in Cat Harbor for a well deserved rest on the way up to the Channel Islands while I'm on the other (good) side anchored near the camp beach. From Lee's tracker I knew he was in the channel between San Clemente Island and Catalina so I rowed ashore and hiked the 6 miles to Little Harbor to maybe see him sail by. I stumbled into the campground 2+ hours later and all I could see was fog. We texted back and forth and Lee said he had already anchored in Cat Harbor so I then took off on the Trans Catalina Trail (never go back the same way) and ended back at the Isthmus nearly three hours later, dehydrated and hungry. This photo is halfway and shows the different worlds on both sides of the Island.

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    Lee leaves tomorrow for Santa Cruz or Santa Rosa and maybe a rendezvous with Jackie on Dura Mater but social distance is critical as Lee is self quarantining for 14 days before setting sail for Hawaii.

    Bill Meanley
    Dolfin, Crealock 37
    What a great photo! That would be excellent hiking, especially with the Cherry Garcia at the end!
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
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  6. #226
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    Jan 2010
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    That's a fabulous photo, Bill!

    Dura Mater is being driven up by my friend, Ichiro. Ichiro found her for me in 2012 in the Berkeley Marina. They were last on the tracker in San Simeon, but I suspect they are closing in on Monterey just now. I'm high and dry in Oakland. It would have been great to have met up, but we stopped at Santa Barbara. Next time we'll go with a dinghy. See you in Hanalei Bay?

  7. #227
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    San Diego
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    86

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    I have to confess that the stuff (fog) on the left moved over to the right the next day, making my trip back down to White's pretty spooky (couldn't even see the island, just radar). Saturday I made the 75 mile passage back to SD in mostly clear conditions until the last three hours when it really got socked in and radar and luck were huge. Thankfully it cleared up a mile offshore and 14 hours later I'm back in my slip at SDYC (some of the worst fog I've ever experienced) and there is a message from Skip, who was just a half mile from the Isthmus at Howland's Landing. Too late for me but then I got a text from Lee that he had just moved over to the "good" side of the island. I called him to say Skip was nearby and now they will both get together at Howland's, but without Dolfin and her crew. Oh well, I missed Dura Mater too but still had a great time in those too short five days.

    As for Hanalei Bay, I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully I have a credit at the Hanalei Inn, as we were not able to get a refund for Covid. Now that you have Dura Mater so well set up, maybe I will be able to greet your arrival at 3am in Hanalei Bay.

    Bill Meanley
    Dolfin, Crealock 37

  8. #228
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2,539

    Default Whining in San Simeon Bay

    As I finished my first, slow dash from Monterey around Big Sur to San Simeon, I failed to change out from Region14 to Region 12 on my chart plotter. Let me explain.

    My chartplotter is the android-based MxMariner. It’s downloaded onto two tablets: a 10” RCA tablet and a 7” Nexus. When the batteries on one die I switch it out for the other, plugging the dead one into the usb port just under Dura Mater’s companionway.

    MxMariner uses quilted offline raster marine charts from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Raster charts for the Pacific coast of California are different according to Coast Guard Regions. Region 14 represents California north of Big Sur to Cape Flattery (San Francisco/Monterey) while Region 12 depicts central California to the Mexican border.

    I didn’t understand the significance of the different regions until after I entered San Simeon in the dark. In dense fog. Wow was it dense. And it was really dark.

    In the Region 14 chart I usually use when sailing in Monterey Bay, Half Moon Bay and the San Francisco Bay, I am able to zoom in to determine contours and depths in those areas. Once I sailed past Point Sur, though, I entered Region 12. In that fog it was kind of like entering the Twilight Zone.

    So, still using the Region 14 chart, as I approached San Simeon Bay I found on my chart plotter only a crude approximation of the entrance. It looked like this:

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    I was unable to further zoom in order to discern where was the spit of rocks along its northwest boundary? It was dark with no moon and (did I mention?) dense fog, and it freaked me out!

    Luckily there was little wind as we approached the bay. I couldn’t see further than Dura Mater’s bow. So I pulled down the main, turned off the engine and went up to sit on the bow with my trusty Pelagic remote doohickey. We continued under jib alone.

    I tried using my super duper flashlight, which just reflected the fog’s big drops back at me. When I could hear surf crashing on the rocks I stumbled back to the cockpit, turned the engine on and turned to starboard. I decided that motoring away from surf was the best we could do under the circumstances.

    Luckily, as we entered the bay I could see a dim single anchor light already in there. So I motored downwind of that light and dropped anchor. It had taken us fifteen hours to sail from Monterey to San Simeon. Except for about twenty minutes of Big Sur, we had been totally fogged in the entire time. I was really tired.

    Amazingly, after having none all day, I had perfectly clear cell service in San Simeon Bay. So I called Skip and whined. Then I called Bob J and whined.

    Bob explained about the different types of coordinates; between degrees, minutes and seconds and isn’t it cool how you can look at a chart of the earth and find yourself? Huh.

    “Thank you very much for your patience. Bye bye, gotta go.”

    Skip asked me to confirm that I had paper charts. I lied and said, “Yes” and he walked me through how to locate myself on the one I pretended to peruse. Huh.

    “Thank you very much for your patience. Bye bye, gotta go.”

    Then I looked in the Settings section of MxMariner and found … “Well, hello there!” Region 12: Which I opened to find … in all its glorious and deep zoomable detail, the coastline of Central and Southern California. And too late for the beating of my heart, this is what the entrance to San Simeon looks like in the Raster chart of Region 12:

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    I texted Bob and Skip:
    “I just found a s ca chart on my mx mariner for the coast s of pt sur. All is copacetic!”

    Thank you, fellas, for calmly talking me down while I wailed: “I just want to see my little red boat moving on the screen!”

    Thank you, Ray Irvine, for tracking me everywhere Jibeset could follow:

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    To celebrate I ate a Lindt’s dark chocolate and coconut bar. And then I could finally crawl into my sleeping bag to sleep.

    Next morning we broke out the pre-cooked bacon, brown eggs and coffee. Just to celebrate being there in a beautiful place.

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    San Simeon was lovely and we stayed another night. Anchored in a safe harbor. So wonderful!
    Last edited by Philpott; 10-20-2020 at 03:34 PM.

  9. #229
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Saratoga
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    198

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    I took paper charts, and encore! also came with northern and southern california chart books, but I mostly used my Garmin 76Cx GPS, which showed a buoy near the entrance to San Simeon. Maybe it was an old pt. san simeon buoy? (the 76Cx is at least eleven years old) Whichever buoy it once was, it was no longer standing watch; both times coming in, and both times leaving, we never saw any trace of it.
    At both Coho and Cuyler, the 76Cx showed little anchor symbols, but I don't remember if there was one at San Simeon, and the GPS is in Alameda. There probably was for san simeon too.
    At Morro, the fog was so thick, as we came in, on the way down, that we used the GPS to go from red buoy to red buoy; we couldn't see the next mark till the hard starboard past the rock. We didn't even see the rock.

  10. #230
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2,539

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    Bet ya didn't whine. Cheryl Belleville, M.A. woulda smacked you.

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