After a week a preparation, on May 8th, 2017, I, Captain Chris cleated off the dock at Shelter Island leaving San Diego in style towards Chanel Islands. At dusk, Catalina Island appeared on my starboard. There is a beautiful harbour on the (far side) of the island with moorage buoys. Only few boats at anchor that day, perhaps a little early in the season.
24 hours later, the journey resumed. Another Saint, San Luis, I was told, was rather ordinary. (Interesting how what seems to be ordinary for one can be a pleasant experience for another.) San Luis is certainly not a resort where you’ll find five stars’ accommodations, however, if natural beauty, quaint little harbour and a friendly place is what you value, there you’ll find all the stars.
On the next day, the rough seas shortened the distance to forty nautical miles to a what looked like an appendix on the map called San Simeon. Before night time arrived, I had been visited by Grey Whales, Porpoises, Dauphins, and a Humpback whale, that is, without counting the creatures that messed with my depth meter under the boat. San Simeon and the minuscule bay is a little secret that few sailors like me had the chance to drop anchor in. I’ve never imagine different shades of yellow could have such a mesmerizing effect. Perhaps there is something to be said about seeking shelter; unavoidably, one will find haven.
24 hours later, the sea relented and I made it to Monterey Bay in early morning the next day. I was welcomed by the Harbor agent at the marina; very nice and accommodating people. Windswept needed a few repairs and I needed a new phone. My beloved Blackberry fell overboard.
Cecile came to my rescue and together we cruised up another bay: Halfmoon near San Francisco. We got some fresh food and steaks at the local market and feasted that evening in Drakes anchorage about 40 miles north of San Francisco Bay.
In the fog, we woke and relied on the GPS to round up the point to our next destination, Bodega Harbour. With the main hoisted, we made excellent velocity through and reached Bodega at lunch time. Bodega is a great harbour that relies on the harvest of the sea for their laid back lifestyle. As a matter of fact, the crab shacks are renowned for their delicious menu. Cecile treated me with a meaty crab and fresh Rockfish & Chips accompanied by a fine box of California Chardonnay.
Cecile’s last sail before going back home, I continued north starting with a pleasant southerly swell and breeze that changed into a frigid gale later that day from, again, the north. This impediment proved once again to be an opportunity to discover, as an accidental visitor, Noyo River. I found not only a safe harbour but the friendliest people on earth. Windswept will get a complete tune-up while the captain will reacquaint with his loving family back home for a few weeks until the second part of the voyage will be as exciting as the first. To follow…