September 15, 2005

Half Moon Bay to Monterrey Harbor

I checked the updated weather report at 0600 and they were for fair weather, with a forecast of 5 to 15 knots of wind, 1 to 3 wind waves and 3 to 5 swells, all from the NW.  So we got ready, pulled the hook and departed at 0800.

The weather was clear, winds light and seas easy and following.  We decided to go on to Monterey, skipping Santa Cruz, a run of about 64 miles or 8 hours at 8 knots.  I called the Monterey Harbormaster's office around noon to determine if a slip was available and was advised that they were very tight on slips and there was one at the guest dock and available on a first come first served basis.  They could only reserve or assign when an arriving boat was within VHF range, about 2 to 3 miles, more or less, and I was to call them on VHF when within range to reserve.

We discussed our options and decided to continue with a fallback option to anchor outside the breakwater at Monterey.   I was monitoring the VHF and heard a fellow call the Harbormaster to inform them that he was departing his assigned slip so we were hopeful.  When we finally were able to reach the Harbormaster via VHF, they assigned us a 60' slip which was apparently the one that had been previously vacated.

The slip was quite large and alongside Municipal Wharf #2 on A Dock.  We tucked ourselves in at about 1600, tied up, hooked up electrical (after borrowing a 50 amp to 30 amp 110 VAC adapter from the harbormaster).  As I was squaring things away on deck, I was hailed "Hey Dreamer".  I looked up and there was John Rodriguey from Coupeville WA.  He and his wife Gaye had departed Oak Harbor on July 17 heading south to join the Baja HaHa into Mexico and then on to points further south, planning to spend three years or so cruising before returning to Washington.  They own Toby's Tavern in Coupeville, a favorite waterside watering hole and eatery to the locals and tourists alike.  I have known John for quite a few years and had looked forward to hooking up with them from time to time along the way.  Oddly enough, they had arrived in Monterey the same day, a few hours earlier and were on the dock along the breakwater just over from us.  They had just spent a month or more in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento River Delta visiting friends and family as the explored the area in their boat, Maestra, a well seasoned 50' Sunnfjord boat.  We ended up having lunch with them onboard Dreamer a couple days later and enjoyed skewered eye of prime rib and various vegetables and mushrooms prepared on our BBQ.  YUMMERS!!  They brought a couple bottles of red wine and we had a very fine meal and visit.  We look forward to spending some more time with them further down the coast.

They left a couple days later while we decided to stay on in Monterey so I could fly back to Oak Harbor to finish dealing with some personal things like emptying a couple storage garages and helping Brian with some computer problems at his store. 

I had called several marinas in Southern California and discovered that they had strict time limits for guest moorage like 7 or 10 days at a time.  Since Monterey has so much to offer nearby the marina where Dreamer sat, we decided that Monterey would be a good place for me to go back to Oak Harbor while providing a secure and interesting place for Kath and Dreamer during my absence.   I was gone 8 days and accomplished most of the things I had returned for and brought some things back with me to finish while enroute.  I also shipped 8 heavy boxes back to the boat and we will probably ship a couple back containing things we no longer need but are not prepared to get rid of just yet.  We no longer have any storage garages filled with personal items.  Another set of keys gone!  More FREEDOM!

It feels good to be back with Kath and on Dreamer, our home.  It is also good to have the chores I accomplished in Oak Harbor behind us.  While there, I stayed with our son Brian in his new-to-him house.  He was a very good host and I enjoyed my stay with him very much.  I even got to drive my Jeep while there so transportation wasn't a problem.  :)

It is Wednesday, October 5, and we have received the 8 boxes I shipped back to us and are presently dealing with those items.  We have also been watching the weather forecasts and it appears the winds have picked up a bit and are forecasted to lighten up a bit tomorrow and Friday before picking up again over the weekend and the beginning of next week.  Apparently the Santa Ana winds have started earlier this year in SoCal feeding the fires they have been having there.  So we will have to decide whether to go on to Morro Bay now or wait a bit here in Monterey where things are conveniently close by.

We have decided to depart Monterey tomorrow morning for Morro Bay to take advantage of a couple days of better weather to get around Point Conception.