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Thread: encore!'s summer vacation

  1. #1
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    Default encore!'s summer vacation

    We left the slip at Aeolian, and went to Angel Island on the 11th of September. The smoke was horrible; my eyes burned; visibility, piss poor. I actually contemplated canceling our trip, but felt better once we were bow and stern moored in Ayala Cove. Out the Gate the next morning, in thick fog, hugging the north shore till abeam Mile Rock, quick check of AIS and a rapid perpendicular crossing of the shipping lanes, and our leg to Pillar Point, and almost a month down the coast had begun.

    In the 1980’s, in my twenties, I had crewed on a couple boats going up and down the coast between Santa Cruz and the Channel Islands, for men who were my age now. I had also bareboat chartered three times; once out of San Diego and twice from Santa Barbara. Getting back down there, took me almost forty years, but I never forgot the clear water of the islands.
    Last summer, we spent ten days going down to Monterey Bay and back, as a trial run for this year’s trip. We made two large changes; we got an autopilot, and we didn’t bring the dog. Our dog Rascal loves us, but sailing, not so much. Dogs are also not allowed ashore on the Channel Islands. We love being at anchor; Rascal prefers slips.

    Our tiller pilot Otto, was a new crew member who didn’t eat or complain much. When I first got this boat, I was all hot to put a Pelagic autopilot onboard, (a motor control template is still taped up in the lazarete), but after getting to know the boat, I decided to save the Pelagic for the next boat. Never in my imagination would it have taken me this long to polish her up and move on, but with a long trip and some long legs, a dumb old ST2000 was installed days before departure. At first Otto steered way too large, but after three or four sessions of configuration, I managed to get him to steer smaller.

    Some people hug trees, I hug coasts. The plan was a week down, a week in the islands, and a week back up, stopping every night, at anchor or dock, thereby making each morning a new decision, as to whether to keep moving or not. My ultimate goal was to see Cuyler Harbor on San Miguel island, my minimum goal was Morro Bay. This year was atypical of what I remembered. We had flat seas and no wind going down the coast in mid-September along with fog, smoke and lots of kelp. We had a wonderful broad reach for a couple hours between Points Arguello and Conception, doing sixes and, sevens, but most of the time we were motor-sailing in soup, while dodging kelp. We stopped at Pillar Point, Santa Cruz, Stillwater cove, San Simeon cove, Morro Bay Yacht Club, and Coho, (in the lee of point Conception), before crossing the Santa Barbara Channel to San Miguel island. Once our anchor was set, we got in the dinghy and rowed to the beach. Like two shipwrecked castaways we climbed a short dune and reveled in the first clean air and blue sky we had had in weeks. The down slope winds in the NW anchorage of Cuyler are nothing to sneeze at. All night the wind howled in our rigging, and the next morning the wind had erased all trace of our basking on the beach. In fact, it was so windy we decided to spend a 2nd night at Cuyler, before moving on. Again the wind had erased all trace of our second beach excursion
    We then went on the Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands before going in the Santa Barbara to re-provision, so that we could go back out to the islands for a few more days before heading home.

    We used lots more fuel on the way down than expected, and we ate out or ordered take-out every time we were in port, but still our overall expense for two was fairly low. I’ll talk about those numbers, and our trip home in part two . . .
    Last edited by Intermission; 10-16-2020 at 11:32 AM. Reason: It was rapid, not rabid.
    The Sea is my Church; the Boat is my Pew.

  2. #2
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    Ashore at Cuyler.

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    Wiggling our toes in fresh air.
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    The Sea is my Church; the Boat is my Pew.

  3. #3
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    Default Part two

    Crossing from Forney’s to Santa Barbara on the 21st of September, we were able to start to see the mainland coast from as early as 15 miles out. I was happy to be approaching in daylight, because approaching Santa Barbara at night is exceedingly difficult because of background lights. After first taking on fuel, we moved over to the public dock to contact the Harbor and arrange for a slip for the night. We then did a couple loads of laundry, took a couple needed showers, topped off our water and took off garbage and recycling. We finished our day, with a wonderful meal overlooking the harbor. The next morning we took our backpacks to a grocery store before shopping at the West Marine. Our radar reflector halyard chafed through at Cuyler, so Cheryl went up the mast next to re-reeve a new one. Tried to buy some replacement batten material from a local sailmaker, but unfortunately, he was unable to get down to the harbor before our noon checkout time.

    Anchor down in Prisoner’s on Santa Cruz Island about 4:30 that afternoon; the next morning we had hiking, beach combing and picture taking. Then we moved to Fry’s after looking to see if there was room at Lady’s, where we also hiked and took pictures. On the 24th we went to Bechers Bay on Santa Rosa Island, the next day, the wind was too strong, so we stayed another day. We had a lot of kelp on our rode, so the “DeKelper” was invented by lashing a fillet knife to the boat hook. Once clear, we motored over the see the pier (high surf prevented us from landing on the beach), before heading back to Coho, and beginning our trip back home. While we were the first to arrive at Coho, we were soon joined by 3 other sailboats and 3 fishing boats. All of the sailboats had sufers or SUPers aboard and as soon as their anchors were set, they took to their boards. I dove to check the prop for kelp, but elected not to boogie board ashore with tools to investigate a wrecked sailboat on the beach. The next morning we were underway early to head north, deciding to slightly shorten our day, with a stop at Port San Luis. Nine and a half hours later we were secure on a mooring, and took the dinghy to the pier for some fish and shrimp taco take out. The next day was a short trip to Morro Bay, where once agin we were lucky to find room at the Yacht Club dock. A wonderful al fresco dinner with friends ashore, that night, and another 20 minute hike to the grocery store for food and ice the next morning before heading to San Simeon.

    Leaving Morro late morning after a bit under five hours we arrived at San Simeon about 3:30 in the afternoon. Once reading and listening to NOAA, the decision was made to leave after dinner in the last light. At first conditions weren’t too bad, but after 19 hours when we got into Stillwater about 2:00 in the afternoon, we wish we’d stayed at San Simeon a couple more days. We moored, we crashed, we woke up briefly to eat, and we crashed again. A day was added in Monterey to lick our wounds, before getting back to Santa Cruz on the 2nd. Ended up staying three nights in Santa Cruz waiting for the wind to die down a little; Monday the 5th, most of our trip to Pillar Point was in soup. Coming home on the 6th, we crossed under the gate about 25 minutes ahead of max flood, and were tied up in our slip at Aeolian two hours later.

    We were gone a total of twenty seven days. We used the engine twenty two days; spent fifteen days at anchor or a mooring, eleven days at a slip or a dock. Moorage was $369.50, food we didn’t cook was around $340, fuel will be about $235 by the time I refill the boat tank and the Gerry cans I carry in reserve. Groceries and ice were about $500. I spent about $130 at West Marine on parts and stuff, so two people gone almost 4 weeks, had a great vacation for something around $1600.00, not counting what we owe the nephew for taking care of the dog.
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    Prisoners
    Last edited by Intermission; 10-16-2020 at 11:35 AM.
    The Sea is my Church; the Boat is my Pew.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Alameda, CA
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    What a nice month long getaway! Glad you got the time to do it and finished in good order. I sure hope you took more pictures and will share them.
    This is a brief life, but in its brevity it offers us some splendid moments, some meaningful adventures.
    R Kipling

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jack View Post
    What a nice month long getaway! Glad you got the time to do it and finished in good order. I sure hope you took more pictures and will share them.
    Thanks Ted, We did, and I will.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2014
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    Arnold, CA
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    Great write up.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Greg.

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    The photographer

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    And the shells at Prisoners

  8. #8
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    A fuzzy shot of the "DeKelper"

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    Coho sunrise

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  9. #9
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    Jan 2010
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    More!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    More!
    Said with a rebel yell....?


    encore! at Fry's

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    Flowers from various ports; lavender from home, stasis from Santa Cruz, hibiscus from Santa Barbara, and the reddish foliage on the left, is from Monterey.

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