Monday, September 29, 2014


We left Half Moon Bay early in the morning so we could get to Monterey before dark. Monterey is a very unique place - it is teaming with sea mammals. We saw a lot of whales and dolphins there, but mostly sea lions. I have never seen so many sea lions in all my life.. combined! There are hundreds if not thousands of them. And they never sleep - who knew? They love to come up on the pier next to your boat and bark all night long. There was no sleeping in Monterey.

Jan and Kat took it on themselves to try and find a solution after the first sleepless night (not in Seattle). They figured out that they don't like to be sprayed with the hose. So about every hour or so one of them would go out and spray them down to shoo them off the dock. Jan came upon one particularly big one that tried to stand his ground, but he didn't know who he was messin' with and eventually left. The next night Kat came up with a better solution - there were plywood barricades on some of the piers so she took some from piers that didn't have boats in them and put them next to our boat. Aaahhh, finally a good night's sleep! If it wasn't for all of the barking, they would be kind of cute.

Alright already, we hear you!

Monterey is a nice town to walk around. They have a wonderful seaside walk that extends from the marina all the way out to the point. Of course there are a lot of tourist attractions and shops. We found a Thomas Kinkade gallery that was just amazing. If you don't know who Thomas Kinkade is, you should check it out. He does painting that celebrates light. You could spend hours looking at one of his works and still not see every little detail.

Jan discovered this bird standing on the end of the pier where Rapture was tied up. It appears he has a fishing fly stuck in his chest. Unfortunately I cannot remember the type of bird, but we have seen a lot of them even back in Washington. They like to stand on rocks, buoys, etc... with their wings spread and the wind blowing over them. Not sure what the deal is, but they seem to do it a lot. Anyway, this poor guy was just standing there and let Jan walk right up to him. She didn't try to touch him but wanted to see what was hanging on him. I called the office and they sent someone down to try to catch him but were unsuccessful. We felt really bad for the little guy.

We have been buddy boating with Abby Normal since we left San Francisco. We first met them in Brookings, OR after the storm. They came in the day after we did and tied up right behind us. Then we happened to be leaving San Francisco heading for Half Moon Bay right behind them. The more we get to know Brad and Gay, the more we like them.

Abby Normal flying her spinnaker
We have joined up with several boats that were in the rally from Seattle to San Diego called the Coho ho-ho  (where do they come up with these names!?). We traveled to Monterey with Abby Normal but then waited a couple of days for Andante, Mabrooka, and Friday to show up. After a couple of days we were ready to leave but then a check of the weather changed our minds. I noticed yet another Pacific hurricane in Mexico. The models all showed it turning north and dying a slow death in Arizona. But if it didn't turn north, California would be right in its path. So I walked over and talked it over with Brad. He said "it is kind of like reefing (making the sails smaller when the wind pipes up) - if you think it might be a good idea, it usually is". My thinking was - would I like to be tied up to a secure dock behind a huge concrete breakwater in Monterey or anchored out in Morro Bay when a hurricane came by... uuuummmm... let me think about this for a minute - duh, Monterey! So we stayed another day..

The next afternoon the hurricane did indeed turn north so we decided to leave the dock and anchor outside the breakwater for an early morning departure. My initial plan was to leave late in the afternoon and travel all night in order to reach Morro Bay the next evening. But another discussion with Brad changed our plans. Jan and I are not real big on sailing at night if we can help it. Believe it or not, it is dark out there at night! You truly cannot see anything. So there is this little bite that sticks out of the side of the ocean about half way between Monterey and Morro Bay called San Simeon. So the plan is to leave just before first light and head for San Simeon. Then spend the night there and leave first thing in the morning for Morro Bay. That way we will only have about an hour of night sailing. I like this plan!

What I am not so crazy about is anchoring outside the breakwater in Monterey! My gosh, what a nightmare. It was by far the worst night we have had on the boat. We pitched and rolled violently all night long. I guess I should have checked the swell before we came up with this brilliant plan. So at 4:30AM everyone was up and ready to get the heck out of there! San Simeon, here we come.

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