Foggy waters, a sea otter, whales, rocks, and a castle
Morro Bay was an excellent source for the provisioning we needed for the next and longest leg of our journey: Morro Bay to San Simeon for a quick rest, followed by our first overnight to Monterey. We were excited if slightly apprehensive of this next part of our adventure.
Tuesday morning we battened down the hatches and headed out of Morro Bay. Our friend the sea otter seemed to wave goodbye and wish us well.
The fog that is very common in this part of the state coastline followed us out of Morro Bay and up to San Simeon. Although, the humpback whales also seem to be following us even though I think they are headed south. We saw many along the way and every time I see that whale tail or hear the sound of the blowhole its like the first, absolutely amazing! Sorry no pictures of the whales, tough to get on film!
We had a great day of sailing with minimal motoring which made for a very happy Dave (and me too!). We found the anchorage at the base of the Hearst Castle visitor center very welcoming and empty. As we entered there was a glimpse of the sun on the hills of Hearst Castle. With our history of inconsistent beach landings we decided to stay on the boat for the evening. Even though if you are ever in the area,I highly recommend a visit to Hearst Castle and definitely stop and see the elephant seals a short drive north up the coast.
Just 14 hours later we pulled up anchor and rounded Point San Simeon heading north, northwest to Monterey. This trip is 72 miles as the crow flies. There are a couple Points and Capes with large rocks jutting out along the coast that our boat just can't go through. Figure at least 80-90 miles going about 4 miles per hour at best. We were prepared to motor or sail for at least 24-36 hours. We had food, we had water, and fuel... as well as more fog and more whales for our journey. The weather forecast was for low winds but unfortunately from exactly the direction we wanted to go. That means - main sail up, and our 1 cylindar yanmar engine got a workout! We also used Auto - he's our third and most valuable crew member in combination with the depth sounder and the GPS. Dave and I took shifts for lookouts (every hour during the light and every two hours at night) - we wouldn't want to hit one of those whales, another boat, or the land. I cannot describe how it feels to be alone in the cockpit looking out into the waves and fog and dark.
We arrived 23 hours later in Monterey - very wet (I think fog is a different word for light rain) and ready for a coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for Dave) and some warm oatmeal.. then a nap.
Anchored for today and the night, we plan to get a slip in one of the marina's tomorrow so we can fully take advantage of the sights of Monterey, including the aquarium!