Saturday, October 3, 2009

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

1 comment:

Behan said...

wow- what amazing hikes- what gorgeous weather! y'all lucked out. wish we were there with you, but we'll have some great one to share down here!