Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fishin' Omission

Fishin' Omission
Turtle Bay, Baja California South, Mexico
October 31, 2009

In my last entry, I made an omission that must be corrected. The great white hunters have struck again. The "finish" line for this leg was about thirty miles north of Turtle Bay (on US maps as Bartolome Bay or Bahia San Bartolome). We jibed after the finish, but the angle wasn't that conducive to getting to Turtle Bay and so we turned on the engine and pointed at our destination.
During the night, an unlucky squid had jumped out of the water to avoid a predator and landed on the deck of CAPAZ. Bryce decided this was a great opportunity for fashioning a real squid lure. The hand lines went into the water. When, we got within about 5 miles of the entrance, we got a fish on and pulled in a 25ish pound yellowfin tuna. Brad is getting very good at the cleaning and filleting end of things. As the killing and cleaning was happening, I spotted a marlin jumping off in the distance which freaked Brad out as we had thrown one of lines back in the water for cleaning purposes. It didn't catch a marlin, but rather a skip jack tuna which we turned loose. The dolphins that were out harassing the marlin swam over to check us out and played on the bow wake even rubbing their bellies on the bow which happened to moving at about 6 knots. We turned into Turtle Bay and took down the sails and the rest you know about from the preceding entry.

Real Squid Lure

Yesterday was a very busy day. We wanted to get the kids into town, so we did that first thing. They changed some money into pesos and then purchased some chicklets which they asked the clerk for the specific colors in Spanish. At noon, the cruisers starting massing for a traditional Ha-ha Potluck and Beach Party. The Cuffels to whom we had given half out tuna, marinated up what they had left and brought it to be seared on the communal beach fire and shared it as their potluck dish. We decided to move our entire boat closer to where the beach party was happening. Then, we dinghied in and spent a great afternoon, catching up with boats we have met along the way and meeting yet more people from the Pacific Northwest.
Since our boat was now located on the closest side of the fleet to the party, we invited people to make a pit stop on their return to their own boats. As expected, the kid boats stopped by, probably because Brad had brought an entire boatload of kids to boat and their families decided to stop by and retrieve them (after a glass of wine in the cockpit). The Morrisons of Almeda and the boat "Evergreen", the crew of "Jarana", most of the crew of "Albatross", and later, the Dollings of Van BC and the boat "Blackdragon" joined for catching up on trip details.
The Dollings continued on into town, where the residents had decided that their fleet of visitors was a great excuse for moving up their "Dia de los Muertos" celebration up two days. We were just too tired and our move made us a little too far away to make the journey. There was going to be dinghy "trick or treating" here in Turtle Bay, but the town's inclusion of the fleet in their celebration, prompted a decision to postpone that activity until Bahia Santa Maria (or perhaps cancel it altogether as we are not in Kansas anymore).
This morning at 11:00 am, we will set sail for Bahia Santa Maria. The weather forecasts are for a much more seasonal weather pattern than we saw between San Diego and here. We look forward to a great sail, our next stop and beyond.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turtle Bay, Mexico

Turtle Bay, Mexico
October 29, 2009

We have heard that our posts are getting through OK. Hopefully, the format is still easy for you all to read. I will work out any of the kinks once I can look at it over an internet connection.
Here we are anchored in Turtle Bay. We were about the 10th boat in yesterday around noon. It is very windy here but the water in the anchorage is pretty darn flat. With not very many boats here yet, we had plenty of time to get anchored and let the realization sink in a little that we are indeed in Mexico now.
I must be getting better at this anchoring thing, because last night with the wind pretty much above 15 knots all night, I only got up once for a look and the rest of my anchor checks consisted of opening one eye and looking out the hatch above my bunk at the stars. If the stars moved during the gust, but stopped moving at some point, I figured we weren't dragging so I went back to sleep. By the way, the stars stopped moving or were stationary at each of these checks.
Those who are concerned about the Baker Boys' education will be happy to know that out at sea, they pretty much kept up with their regular study schedules. Bryce did however use the inability of the adults to goad him the normal amount to not get it all done. The absence of "kid boats" here yet was used to demonstrate to him to about the consequence of this behavior and that catch-up with undivided adult attention may not be the way that he wants to get his work done.
After bacon and egg breakfast, Mary and I caught a panga and went into the town of Turtle Bay this morning. It is much bigger than it looks from the water. While the poverty of most people is apparent by our US standards, the community seems to have what the people need. At the Western Union "office", (Mary was trying to find somewhere to change money), the woman who ran the office had her 3 month old daughter with her at work. The baby was the cutest thing you have ever seen all decked out in pink fleece. It just reminded us of our common humanity - all healthy babies are a joy to behold.

PJ waving from the boat

Ha Ha Fleet Beach Potluck at Turtle Bay

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts from Brad

October 27, 2009

I have to admit I like the challenge of a multiple day passage. There are few things that are better than being at sea. In past Vic-Maui races I have commented on the blogs we kept during those races, talking about how wonderful and real it is out here. You tend to lose the moment until you go out again. Last night or perhaps I should say this morning on the 4am to 7am watch I had one of those perfect moments. I had just shut off the engine as the wind had filled to 12 knots on the beam (that's about 15 mph coming from the side of the boat for you land lubbers out there). After getting the the sails set and trimmed properly I took a moment to relax and listen to my Ipod. In honor of my good friend Tom Huseby, I played Southern Cross by Crosby Stills and Nash. Tom happened to be in San Diego and he treated us to brunch Sunday morning. Tom had received an email a week or two earlier from me relating what a good life this is. I guess it made him feel a bit down, but when he got into his car Southern Cross was on the radio. He told me he took it as a sign. For the rest of you out there who think you may want to do something like this someday. This crusing thing really, really doesn't suck in a big way.

Well I'm in the cockpit It's about 10:30am PDT. The wind is blowing 15-20 on a broad reach. We should make Turtle Bay sometime tomorrow morning. You see, yesterday we left San Diego heading for Mexico in the cruiser's rally called the Baha ha ha. We didn't leave San Diego a minute to soon. If we'd stayed there much longer I think we would have spent our entire cruising budget right there. San Diego is a cruisers provisioning and passage preparation paradise. All the services and stuff you need is right there. In San Diego, we purchased Dinghy Wheels, more engine spares a new AIS receiver, new laptop computer for PJ (happy birthday PJ!) not to mention taking the kids to Lego Land and the San Diego Zoo. The money flowed out of our pockets. The trip from Seattle and all the stops in between we managed to keep spending under fairly good control. That all changed in San Diego. Ah well things needed doing and we got them done.

I feel very good about our boat preparation. we do have some week links but on the whole I believe we are pretty darn well prepared. Capaz is indeed a capable vessel, and I have a tremendous amount of confidence in this little ships ability to deliver us safely. On that note the forecast is for the wind to increase through tonight perhaps reaching 25 to 30 knots with possible higher gusts. The waves are also supposed to build perhaps to as high as 15 feet. The next scheduled stop is Turtle pay. Many of the Ha ha participants are going to hole up for the night tonight in one of the many anchorages that line the coast. We are going to continue on. Capaz is one of the faster boats in the fleet and we should will make good time to Turtle bay. Right now Turtle bay is about 140 miles away, which is less than 24 hours travel. The timing should be good bringing us into the bay in daylight tomorrow morning. I like the daylight part since None of us have been into Turtle Bay before and I don't relish the idea of sailing into an anchorage that I haven't been to befor at night.

PJ has pretty much kept you all up to date on the happenings here on Capaz. It really has been a fantastic trip so far and we haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet. That will soon change though. I'd have to say the highlight of the trip for me so far was San Simeon. I'll never forget the time we spent anchored there. It is a very rugged place, vibrant with life. It was absolutely amazing to watch the thousands of sea birds that were following the bait balls through our anchorage with Pelicans and other types of birds plunge diving right next to the boat and actually swimming under the boat. The seals followed the food as well massing where the birds were. It was like watching the nature channel only not on TV but just off the back step of our house. The Hearst Castle was also an unexpected delight. Other highlights include snorkeling with the kids in Catalina Harbozr on Catalina Island. I believe Bryce wrote a piece on that for the next Capaz Chronicle.

I turned on the radar to see if I could tell how far away a sailboat is that is crossing behind our stern. I couldn't see the sailboat on radar but found a large target about 9 miles dead ahead. I picked up visual confirmation. It's a larger ship. I'm going to sign off now and go check AIS to see if I can figure out where this guy is headed. Cheers!


Monday, October 26, 2009

On Our Way to Turtle Bay

The Parade just prior to the start of
the 2009 Sweet 16th Baja Ha Ha Cruiser Rally

31* 47.7' N
117* 12.4' W
October 26, 2009

I must first apologize if this post ends up in some weird format. It the first time that we are trying a new feature which allows us to email a post directly to the blog and we are emailing it over the SSB email which is also new to us.
At 11:00 this more Capaz and her crew crossed the starting line for the 2009 Baja Ha Ha Cruiser Rally under spinnaker (in very light air) winning the crew a free pizza upon arrival in Cabo San Lucas. Bryce, who was manning the VHF radio, was so excited when they called out our spinnaker colors that he could hardly get our name to the Committee, finally having to spell it out to them. He was going to make darn sure they had it right to lay claim to that pizza.
We were able to sail until 4:01 this afternoon when we put the boat in gear and pointed it at Turtle Bay which put the sea swell more behind us and gave the boat a much more comfortable motion. It feels great to be on our way again. The sunset tonight was gorgeous and in the late afternoon, we sighted several flying fish. These were solitary big ones, not like the schools of smaller sized fish we have seen going to Hawaii.
We are anxious to see if this new set-up works, so I am keeping this entry short.
Hasta Manana!

Bryce and Mary share a Cup o Noodles moment

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let's Go

San Diego, CA

I am ready to go. I am not sure that everything is checked off my list, in fact I am pretty sure that there are a few things left, but nothing that we can’t live without. The pace of life that is this weird hybrid of everyday existence and vacation that is what being in port while cruising entails is exhausting.
We were very lucky during our 10 days here in San Diego to have a vehicle loaned to us. It made it much easier to get more things done and logistically simpler to visit a couple of the sights here. The other side of the coin is that we have packed every day completely full and have been too tired at the end of the day to have any patience for flukely wi fi connections to post pictures or write in our blog.
We have been provisioning at Costco, Target, Vons (California Safeway), Trader Joe’s, and the pharmacy, stowing said provisions, sightseeing at the San Diego Zoo and Legoland (each an all day affair), maintaining the boat which requires multiple trips to West Marine and Downwind Marine, doing two big laundries, giving haircuts, and dining out with friends local and from Seattle. We also have a fifth person aboard – our crew to Cabo, Mary.
The boys have t-shirts that our friends, Tolands, gave them before leaving Seattle that say, “Eat, Sleep, Sail”. I ready to do just that for a few days. We are also very excited to finally meet up with our buddy boat, Totem. We have been talking about cruising with the Giffords for about 15 years. In that time, Jamie and Behan got married and between us we have had 5 children. I can’t wait to have it all come to fruition.

Baker Family
Legoland, Carlsbad, WA

Boys and Bionicles

Baker Boys on the Lego Technic Coaster

Mary looks on as PJ finishes Austin's haircut

Baker Family

Polar Bear Sculpture, San Diego Zoo

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Something So Right

San Diego, CA

We must be doing something right! I pretty have forgotten what it was like to stress out over something . . . . . . I remembered last night!
We have been totally into this playing-it-by-ear lifestyle. Until . . . . San Diego . . . . we are on a schedule with places to go and people to see. It's just so different. We didn't have a cheap/free anchoring option, so all of the sudden we had to have an actual place to be. Thank goodness that we have some friends who have the ability to take good care of us (B&H-you are the best). They got 5 out of the 10 days taken care of and we managed to secure 3 more days ourselves. The stress came with those last two nights. First come, first served is not what I wanted to hear at 7:30 this morning, followed by several no room at the inn answers. Finally, we were saved by the friendly dockmaster right here where we are. Since I couldn't talk to any of these people at 3:00am, I got a good dose of worrying last night.
I had almost forgotten what it was like to be all stressed out over something. We must be doing something right. When you have the ability to pretty much forget what being stressed out feels like, well, isn't that the point of this whole adventure.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Teachable Moments

Dana Point, CA
October 14, 2009

“Teachable moments” is a phrase that is well-loved by preschool teachers. It simply means taking the opportunities provided by everyday life and most of the time just merely pointing out things to kids. They usually take it from there.
So far, this trip has bee full of teachable moments. Today, I got one that was in my favorite subject area: geology. The boys and I went to explore what was on the other side of the breakwater behind which we have been anchored. I have observed that the nice walking path went around the Ocean Teaching Center and toward where the breakwater meets the base of a bluff. I was hoping that there might be a beach just on the other side.
Not only was there a beach, but the sun beginning to break through today’s overcast (which had earlier been raining on us) coincided with our exploratory mission. Luckily, Brad had strongly suggested swimsuits for the boys. They played in the water building sand castles for the waves to take out for awhile and I read.
At some point I realized the bluff behind me had great sedimentary deposits clearly showing the sorting that goes on as the depositional environment changes. On closer look, farther up more toward the top of the bluff I saw a great example of an unconformity. I went in for a closer look and literally stumbled (or squished) into clay that had run down off the bluff and was deposited at the base from the last couple of nights’ rain storms. The clay got the kids’ attention – they found that there were two different types being washed out of two different deposits. They played with it for a few minutes and then I went through the observations that I had made earlier. Bryce took them a step further noting some “faults” in the bluff where the “stripes” didn’t match up anymore.
Next time, I will be prepared with my rock hammer and identification charts for classifying rocks that we find!!!

The osprey on our masthead did NOT
break our instrument array to Brad's relief!

Can you see the layers and the unconformity?

Geology lesson beach

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Dana Point, CA
October 13, 2009

You’d think that rain would not be a big deal, but I guess when you are from Seattle and haven’t seen any in over a month, it is missed.

We have been in Dana Point for a couple of days because it is a great anchorage with good access to just about everything we need. The weather was uncertain as best and we really don’t need to be in San Diego til the weekend at the earliest. So, here we have stayed.

Last night's sunset from the guest dock

before the rains came

In the wee hours, I was awakened to a strange sound. From my sleepy state, it took me a minute or two to realize what I was hearing was RAIN. It rained hard for awhile making little piles of dirt at the base of each piece of rigging (this is from the Santa Cruz Island and Catalina Island dust that we have been living in for the last couple of weeks).

Most of the morning was rain-free (in Seattle, we would call it occasional mist, not quite drizzle), until, that is, the boys and I embarked upon a half mile walk to the bus stop. As the torrential rains soaked us, Bryce remarked, “This [the rain] is what I miss!” Luckily, it stayed pretty warm so that our spirits weren’t dampened. The bus driver, who was on his break, took pity on us and let us onto the bus early. We were almost dried out by the time we got to our destination: the movie theater. Along the way, we ate bagels and found a great bead store to add to our collection of special bead for our time keeping project.

Now, as we sit here at anchor, we wonder if the electrical storm off in the distance over the San Pedro Channel (water between us and Catalina Island) will come our direction. It took us awhile to recollect our last encounter with the wet stuff. Besides fog, which can be damp, but does not qualify as rain, the last time it rained was in Sausalito. That time it wasn’t the sound of rain but rather rolling thunder that awoke us. It is funny how something so common in one place is so uncommon in another.

Rainy Day Activities

Dana Point Yacht Club

Austin performs a little maintenance

Retrieving a skyed halyard from the top of the mizzen mast

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ski Resorts Are For Me

Dana Point, CA
Ocotber 11, 2009

As we sit here in a very nice anchorage (no room at the free dock - actually that's not true, the racers would have made room for us, but we were already very comfortably anchored), I can't help but compare this calm, quiet spot to our anchorage last night. We were in Avalon on Catalina Island. It is legendary, so we had to go see what it was all about.
We had spent two nice days and nights on the other less developed side of the island in Catalina Harbor on our anchor. There were mooring balls available, but the water in the anchorage was so clear and looked like a great spot for snorkeling (which it was). We did go into the little "town" of Two Harbors and could have stayed longer as there was a laundry and little store for emergency rations.
The line is training wheels for the novice snorkelers
Anyway, getting back last night. Avalon is a tourist town, so just get out the wallet and start paying for every little thing. We probably could have anchored, but decided to try a mooring. I think this is a three day weekend for some, so the inner harbor was full up and we got a second row spot in the outer harbor, around the corner from the famous casino (which houses a restaurant, movie theatre and museum in real life). The moorings are bow and stern ties so that basically all the boats are parked in rows, as in a parking lot. Imagine you are in a motorhome and you park it in a parking lot for the night - now you get the idea. One thing I like about anchoring is that everyone is so worried about swinging and dragging that you get a little space. The way the boats are on these moorings in most of Catalina's harbors remind me of the resorts in Hawaii where the lawn chairs are lined up next to the pool with about 2 inches of space in between in order to fit as many guests in as possible. It was very unclear where a dinghy could be left, so we just went with the flow, got out the wallet and hopped on a "shoreboat" to go into town for a look around. We celebrated our 16th anniversary over an Italian dinner with the boys (don't worry, we have raincheck for a special bottle of wine-thanks Ken and Joanna!!! to share alone at sunset one of these evenings). Said shoreboat took us "home" and everyone else in the anchorage until the wee hours. We also were serenaded by the band at the beach bar until also 2am. Since we were out around the corner from the actual harbor, we were much less protected from the swell and rolled most of the night. There are very strict rules about being off of your mooring by 9am, so we just gave up and headed for Dana Point. What a contrast to the other places that we have visited.
I do believe that I do best at resorts that involve skiing!!!
The Beach Bar adjacent our mooring
We did have a great view of the Casino

Monday, October 5, 2009

Good Bad Decisions

Channel Islands, CA
October 5, 2009

One of the "FAQ's" that we have gotten often while embarking on this adventure was, "What is your itinerary?" It really seems to frustrate some of our friends and family that we don't have a solid schedule with dates and times that we will be in certain places. I have tried to explain that while cruising it is actually a very bad idea to try to keep to a schedule of being at certain places at certain times. When one tries to keep to a schedule on a boat, one tends to make bad decisions in deference to keeping to said schedule rather watching the weather and other conditions that affect the boat.
Well, I made a bad decision yesterday, but I want to say it was a bad decision for which I have come up a long list of good side benefits. We should have just stayed put in Ventura yesterday, but we didn't.
No. Even though it was blowing a steady 25 knots with gusts up to 35 knots, I decided that the 5 mile run down to Channel Islands Harbor was short enough that even in bad conditions, we would be fine and we were. However, it was tricky getting the boat off the dock, the waves were pretty huge and very close together (not a comfortable ride and a little scary, too), it was no picnic getting inside the first breakwater here and we were lucky docking the boat that we had friends on the dock to help! Also, note to self: when other boaters are making the rational decision to stay instead their planned leaving, the space promised to you may still be occupied - we were again lucky they could squeeze us in. Those were the reasons that we just should have stayed put.
Now for my rationalizations or the benefits of braving the bad conditions that are not at all present today.
  • We had great people from the Ventura Yacht Club who came down to help us get off the dock (most of them were hanging out at the Club waiting to see if there race would be canceled - it was and we provided them with some entertainment as I am sure they watched us bash out the channel from the comfort of the bar).
  • I have not done much sailing of my house in these kinds of conditions. I now have a little feel for how Capaz sails in heavy air and heavy seas going nose into it, then pretty much broadside and finally with following seas. A taste was all I needed to know that next time the vote to stay should be seconded, but I can do it!
  • I am getting better on the radio as I did the hailing, "Channel Islands Harbor Harbor Patrol" repeated three times to ask about the conditions at the harbor entrance. He decided to come out and make sure we came in OK and then, complemented Brad on his handling of the boat given the conditions.
  • We ended up having a very nice relaxing afternoon by the pool here and then spent the evening with two other boats of friends from Seattle. If we had waited, we may not have been able to check in here at the PCYC and take full advantage of the amenities that they have to offer, because they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. As it is, we got checked in, checked out and needless to say, are taking full advantage of our reciprocity.
  • Finally, we were in the process of "scrubbing" our water tanks. This is when the water tanks get "funky" and need to be cleaned which requires draining the tanks to about the 1/3 level, adding a soap and bleach solution to each tank and then taking the boat through some conditions where this could slosh around the tanks a bit. Boy, did it get sloshed!!!! Brad was able to complete the process (draining the solution, refilling the tanks for a rinse and then, draining and refilling them with fresh water!!!!) and take a quick dip in the pool with the boys and a little soak in the hottub with me!
Despite my bad decision having so many good benefits (this may be yet another one), we have a new rule on Capaz (co-opted from our good friends, Brian and Erin on Delos) : When making decisions about staying or going, the more conservative opinion ALWAYS wins!!!

Final Note: Sorry, there will be no pictures to accompany this post as the photographer was too busy holding on in the cockpit to venture her way into the cabin to retrieve the camera, but suffice to say they would have been incredible!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More Snorkel Practice

Ventura, CA
October 3, 2009
Snorkel Practice at Ventura Beach
The water is getting warmer and there are certain members of the CAPAZ crew who are itching to go snorkeling. As we moved onto the boat, one of the decisions we made that became clear had immense forsight was buying a membership at the Olympic Athletic Club. What we originally wanted was pretty much 24-7 access to hot shower that did not require quarters. The yoga classes and the workout machines were added value, but the pool with a weekly swim was an invaluable investment. The club permitted snorkeling gear and so, every time we went swimming the boys "played" around with the gear.
Today, when they went into the ocean here in Ventura (at the public swimming beach behind the breakwater), they were like fish back in water. All that practice seems to have paid off because they are pretty much pros. Now, if we can only convince Austin that it truly is easier to walk backwards when he has is fins on his feet - we will be in business. We will be heading to Catalina in a few days and the word is that the water is even a bit warmer than here (65*-70*) and there are some great places to snorkel. We might just be ready for it.
On a side note, the kids earned their Junior Ranger patches at the Ventura Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center. You may learn more about Ranger Jessica in future editions of the Capaz Chronicle.

Getting sworn in as
Channel Islands National Park Junior Rangers

One Month

Santa Barbara, CA
October 1, 2009

We have spent an entire calendar month aboard CAPAZ on our big adventure. Time is very elastic for us. Most of the time it is difficult to pin down what day of the week it is. We try to keep track so that we can follow the NOAA weather reports.
The boys have a project for marking time. Before we left Seattle, we visited a bead store. They picked out four different colors of beads to represent what we are doing each day of our adventure. Blue is for nights spent underway. Brown is for a night spent at a dock. Silver is for anchoring overnight and if we ever leave the boat for a little land adventure we have green beads.
Much to their delight, Bryce and Austin also found a big bowl full of charms that they raided. Each charm represents a first or something special: first fish caught, first pelican, a visit somewhere, etc. We found a charm at the San Simeon gift store to add and if there is a special occurrence for which do we not have a bead or charm, we can make one out of sculpey. This is what our beads look like for the first month!

Fog, Fog and More Fog

Yellowbank, Santa Cruz Island
Channel Islands National Park
September 29, 2009

. . . . . that is my impression of the Central California coast. Inland there was a record breaking heat wave in process, all we got was fog. I expected fog in San Francisco, after all it is known for its fog. I can only now talk about this subject because we seem to have broken into Southern California and out of the fog (I am keeping my fingers crossed).
When we arrived in Monterey, we had high hopes for the warm part of our big adventure to commence. The day that we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium was beautiful, requiring ice cream as we walked back to the boat. Brad dubbed the next day a Beach Day! Unfortunately, that is where and when our fog troubles began. One more day in Monterey and we left for Pebble Beach.
We could see the famous golf course, but it was shrouded in fog. We left the next morning for our run to San Simeon Bay in, you guessed it . . . .Fog. Luckily, we have great radar.

The Fog waiting to roll back in off the point

At San Simeon, the fog came in from the other side of the point between 3:00 and 6:00. It would clear between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning. It never really cleared from the ocean side of the point. It was very warm up on top of the mountain were the Hearst Castle sits. Our last full day in San Simeon Bay, the fog cleared early around 9:30 and didn’t return til almost sunset. That day we got in our Beach Day with boogie boarding, laying in the sun, and even hiking out to the point. The next day we left heading south to Morro Bay in you guessed it . . . fog.

Bryce's Beach Artwork
A Quick View of Morro Rock from Morro Bay
How Morro Rock looked during most of our stay

Time for things like a little Solitaire

Bryce rows Mom and the bike ashore for a grocery run
Cool Bow/Stern Anchor with Delos
Morro Rock is huge and we didn’t even get to see it til the second day we there because of the fog. Despite the fog, I rode the bike to the grocery store (a couple of times) and the boys went kayaking to explore the big sand spit the protects the Morro Bay. We got kicked off the Morro Bay Yacht Club dock so that they could use the dock for a regatta. It was so calm (and foggy, a good part of the time) that we decided to anchor with Delos rafted alongside, both boats using each one’s bow anchor. It was a great set-up. We left Morro Bay after three days in the thickest fog yet.
It was true pea soup fog. Going out of the channel was a very tricky because you could not even see from one channel marker to the next. We left in the afternoon headed for an overnight run to the Channel Islands passing by Point Conception which has quite the reputation for confused seas and big winds. We only had . . . fog. Actually, Brad was on watch and did see about 15 knots of wind just before Big Bad Point.
We crossed the Santa Barbara Channel in the early morning with the fog clearing a bit so that we could see the oil rigs 3 or 4 miles off in the distance. Of course, you can probably see them in pretty hazy conditions because they are lit up like 20 story Christmas trees. As dawn broke the beautiful Channel Islands appeared out of the . . . . . let’s call it . . . mist. After catching up on some zzz’s, we were short on sleep from our overnight passage, I kayaked around our anchorage of Cuevo Valdez and the boys went by dingy to check out the Painted Caves. The fog cleared and we moved east to a better overnight anchorage called Fry’s. I kayaked around it and the boys made pigs in blankets for dinner. It was a fairly tight anchorage we were sharing with four other boats and it had rocky cliffs close by, so Brad and I slept in the main salon on the lounge so that we could hear the anchor alarm. We saw stars last night for the first time in awhile. This morning, we awoke to broken clouds and no FOG!!!!! However, the weather is calling for gale force winds in the Santa Barbara Channel, so we decided to high-tail it to the more protected side of the island.

Brad drops the boys off inside a cave at Cuevo Valdez
Bryce and Austin exited through the beach enterance

Pick up at the cave on the other side of the cove

The boys go in search of the Painted Caves
Kayaking around Fry's Anchorage

Chefs Bryce and Austin prepare their pigs-in-blankets
Delos is the only of five boats left in Fry's Anchorage
We were anchor closest to the big rock in the lower left corner of the picture

As we rounded the eastern most point of the island, we came upon a bunch of fishing boats in the two anchorages that we were checking out. We assume that they are ducking in to avoid the big winds. So far, the wind has not come up but we just heard about a tsunami advisory (not an alarm or warning) in effect due to an earthquake in the Samoan ???? Islands. We may be out of the fog, but it is certainly not dull around here.

Brad on the beach at Yellowbank

Bryce and Austin hiking above Yellowbank
Anacapa Island in the background
Family Photo - Hiking on Santa Cruz Island

Smugglers Cove to the left, Anacapa Island mid,
and Yellowbank below to right

Yellowbank Anchorage from Capaz at dawnFishing boat neighbor leaving at dawn
Anacapa Island