Us heading out
That's us, heading out!.
George Marcotte took this photo off the coast of Cal. some time back.
Note: George is now (Oct. 2004) in New Zealand, after sailing his Nor'Sea to Hawaii, then on to Oz.
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Position Report 2004-10-30

Position Report October 2004

We arrived at Pillar Point on Tuesday, September 28 at 1430.  We took a slip even though the anchorage here is very good.  We ate a hot meal of garlic chicken with past, took hot showers and had just settled down with a glass of wine when we heard a knocking on our hull.  It was friends from the bay area also headed down south.  They shall remain nameless to protect their identity in the tale I am about to relate.  They were at anchor and came to visit in their dink.  It was dark and foggy by the time they arrived and they stopped by to say hi on their way out to dinner.  They had heard us on the vhs so knew we were in the harbor.  It was so dark and foggy they had to take a fix on the boat to find their way back.  We told them where they could leave their dink where it would be safe.  They departed our boat and attempted to tie up to the harbormaster’s boat (not where we had directed them).   The coasties were just returning to their boat next to the harbormaster’s boat.  They, in full regalia, including sidearms, confronted our friends. “Where are your lights?”  Our friends without hesitation pointed in our direction and replied “Guenevere”.  It is a good thing that it was a dark night and the coasties could not see our 27-foot boat or they may have questioned four adults and two dinghies traveling in our small boat.

On Wednesday, we saw our friends off, cleaned the boat, did laundry and boat projects.

Thursday, we found our way to the bus stop and went into Half Moon Bay to the library.

The library didn’t open until the afternoon, but they have WiFi, so we sat on the steps each with a computer and received and send mail, etc. to our hearts content.  I know many would say we are still hooked into shore life with an electronic umbilical cord, and at one point, I felt that I would like to have no computers on board at all.  But we have been computer people for a long time and we like fooling with them, so why not?  We have found that our friends and family can share our days and are more comfortable about our safety and well being when they can receive frequent updates.  And we are more comfortable when we know everybody is well.

It has been foggy everyday since we have been here.  Friday, we decided to make weather cloths for the cockpit.  We cut them out on the dock and I began sewing them up down below.
Jill sewing the weather cloths

Saturday, we picked up our car and took care of some errands.  We came over the hill and saw the sun for the first time in days.  We had dinner with friends.  We are big fans of the TV show Survivor and they saved the first three episodes for us to view.  It was a great time!  Monty (KG6COX) is our amateur radio contact.  He has worked tirelessly to keep and improve communication between us.  He is our emergency contact and working to devise an ingenious radio that could be used in an emergency if we had lost power.

Sunday, we went grocery shopping, to the library to send email, and spent time working on the weather cloths.

Monday, we made a quick trip to Monty’s and then had a chance to visit with Lorenzo and Cecile and their new addition, Kenzo.  He is not yet 1 month old and has already been introduced to their boat.  Some people will do anything to get crew.  He is the most beautiful baby boy in the world!  He won’t remember us because he slept all through our visit.  He was so contend he actually purred while he was sleeping.

At this point, I will quit putting the reader to sleep with this minutia.  My only defense is that many people have asked us what we do all day.  I can tell you that every day is full of activities and we have never been bored or lacked for things to do.

We have decided to move on so we moved out to the anchorage for the night.  We departed at 0700 in the fog.  The weather was predicted to be 10-15 knots, with 2-4 ft waves.  Not what we got!!  We clocked 35+ knot winds and were sliding down the 12 to 15 foot waves at 7+ knots.  For anyone who is keeping exact track, the GPS said that the actual maximum speed (over the ground) was 9.9 Knots!! We came into the Santa Cruz Harbor at 1640.

Saturday we went hiking with friends and drove to Point Lobos and hiked more.  It is good to be able check out the coast where we will be sailing in a few days.
Lone Pine at Point Lobos  Jill at Point Lobos

We enjoyed the sun here in Santa Cruz.  A friend came to the boat today while I was working on my tan and Greg had walked to the coffee shop to send email.  I asked him how he found our boat and he told me that he could see us on the web cam.

We have had a nice few days here and are planning to head for Monterey on Tuesday October 12.

We were not 10 minutes out of the Santa Cruz Harbor, when we saw four whales!!  I was at the helm and Greg grabbed the camera.  It is tricky trying to catch a good shot with a digital camera.  One finally came up to the side of the boat to check us out.  I don’t have words for how it feels to be so close to the creatures in their home.  We didn’t expect to have this experience so close to home waters.

While using the electric autopilot, it heaved a sigh, pulled itself closed, and gave up.  This is our first equipment failure.  We got this autopilot with the boat when we purchased her some 17 years ago.  We could never find parts for it or anyone who knew how to work on it anymore, so we were not surprised that it quit and had never trusted it anyway.  Several hours later, after it had taken its nap, it decided to go back to work.  Greg was sitting near it when suddenly it pushed out the rod and prepared to go back to work. Greg jumped out of its way.  It was pretty funny.

At about 1400, we tied up and cleaned and stowed the boat and then went to the farmers market, held each Tuesday here in Monterey.  We stayed here for nine days.  We have had a wonderful time.  Lots of sun, good food, and beautiful walks.  We made a trip to the Aquarium, as neither of us has been in many years.

We met many cruisers here all with different destinations, some were locals heading for Mexico, some were from Canada, some heading North and some heading South.  What a great bunch of people.  I’m sure we will run in to some of them again.

On October 22, we departed at 0830 for Morro Bay.  This will be an over night trip. We expected it to take about 27 hours.  We stayed off shore for this leg and had good weather.  We have to tell you the amount and diversity of sea life was phenomenal!! A number of times we were surrounded by dolphins and whales (big and small). We had again the experience of having dolphins swimming round us.  This time, they played with us.  They swam very fast under the boat and into the bow wake. 
Jill with dolphinsDolphins play at bowSaelions jumping like dolphins

For more than an hour, they and we had this fun.  We watched as dolphins came from the left and right of us to swim and jump in the wake.  If I could have gotten part way up the mast I could have taken a picture of 6 dolphins playing on our bow wake, 3 on each side!! Staying a little further away from us we also saw whales.
Whale on the surface

As night settled in on us, we had a nice moonlit evening.  Towards morning, the moon went away.  We heard whales sounding but could not see them.  Then we had more dolphins appear to swim in our wake.  It was very beautiful!  A pod of at least 20 came along side. The sea had phosphorescent in it and you could see them flying past the boat a few feet underwater. They looked like a comet!!! A large glowing dolphin followed by a 20 to 50 foot trail of luminances. What a sight. It can only be described as magical!! We don’t have better words to describe it.

Morro Bay is a very nice, quiet and sheltered area.  We stayed on a mooring and saw several of the same boats that we saw in Monterey.
Guenevere at Morro Bay

I remembered Morro Rock from many years ago.  There used to be a very rich abalone bed here, but now they tell me that it is contaminated.  The “Rock” is now a Peregrine Falcon reserve.  The falcons are unable to hatch their own eggs anymore, and Cornell University provides nestlings for the adult falcons to raise.  I watched with my binoculars every day but never was able to see a falcon.  I talked to a local artist that we met in one of the restaurants and she said in the last four years she had only seen one.

We learned that nearby there is an abalone farm. Farmed abalone are the only abalone that are approved to eat according to the Seafood Watch list that we had picked up at the Monterey Bay aquarium.  It takes 4-5 years to produce abalone that is about 4 inches in size.  Who knew??  So, we had some for dinner!

We departed for Santa Barbara on Friday.  This is the trip I have been the most apprehensive about.  As some of you may know, Point Conception is considered as difficult a passage as rounding Cape Horn.  Many boats have foundered here and many boats spend weeks waiting for a weather window to safely make this passage.

We sailed past Conception with no trouble at all, and were looking forward to arrival in Santa Barbara about 0900 Saturday.  The wind died with about 40 miles left to go.  We decided to start the motor and continue on until the wind came up again.  Well, we had motor, but no forward!!  There we were, no wind, no way to motor, half way between the shipping lane and the shore.  The seas were so lumpy, one of the crew got seasick.  We waited throughout the night for wind to come up.  Around 0300, we had some wind for about an hour, then, it died again.  We waited all day for wind.  We took turns napping.  Neither of us was very hungry.  Saturday night fell and we still had not made much headway.  Rather than being a hazard to navigation, floating at night just 10 miles from the harbor, and close to shipping lanes and offshore oil platforms, we finally made the decision to call for a tow.  We arrived in Santa Barbara on Sunday morning.  Monday we hauled out to discover what had happened to the engine.

As it turns out, the propeller shaft had sheared off the key and two setscrews and come free from the transmission. This allowed the motor to run like normal, but not move the prop. In the yard, two schools of thought prevailed. One was that the prop shaft had corroded and allowed all to free up. The second was that the shop that installed the transmission flange had cut it too large, and then shimmed it back down to fit, thus weakening it. We are now awaiting new parts to be sent in.
Broken shaft

We have a new saying aboard. It is “Recognize the Gift”. It comes from the wonder of life. It hits us every day. We see/hear/do things that are a true gift! Not some transient trinket that might make us happy for a few hours, but the truly remarkable things that is around us!

So, for everyone who takes the time to read this, take a deep breath, and recognize the gifts around YOU!

Our last Position

When we send an E-Mail from Guenevere, our system automatically reports our latest position. If we have sent an email with the last day or so, you can call us up on a map and see where we are! To do this just click on the a link I have placed below...

Position Report - Where we are now