2011-07-29

Let the pounding begin!

We had a great time at the homecoming party for Blue Sky before continuing our voyage up the coast.  Great people. On the wall of the Port Royal Yacht Club we saw a picture of a familiar boat - Jane'O! The previous owner was a member of this yacht club, which was neat to run across. Dale (our crew) took a picture, which we'll post later.

Again, we got lots of "Jane'O is back!" comments and such, being in a high density of people who knew her and the previous owner Dave. After the party, Jim and Peter, who have more miles on Jane'O than we do, came by for a visit and to relive a few memories and tell some great stories of their trips aboard. We had a couple of items that came with the boat, but which we have since learned belonged to them, and it was neat to get these things back to them.

Past and Present Jane'O Crew
At 3AM we awoke to push off and continue on our trip. Timing passages around Point Conception and Big Sur is an important factor for both comfort and safety. As Point Conception is almost 24 hours from Redondo Beach at our average 5kt speed, this was when we needed to leave to make it around in the wee hours of the morning when seas and wind conditions are typically best.

Once a bit past Santa Barbara, seas started to get choppy resulting in pounding conditions Jane'O. Bridgedeck pounding is something that doesn't happen to monohulls, and is when chop is forced up between the two hulls and has no place to go but slam into the bottom of the bridge deck. The force of the water makes a very loud BANG and has enough power to cause things on the table to bounce a couple of inches. This is one of the few conditions where we have to actually worry about stowing things so they don't bounce around and onto the floor. Sleeping in these conditions is a challenge as well, especially for anyone in the forward berths. We gave Dale the best bed on the boat, in the aft cabin while Jacob and I practiced our levitation in the forwards berths.

Conditions were rough with winds in the high 20s all the way around Point Conception and Point Arguello - and all the way to the mouth of San Luis Bay. It was only once we got inside the protection of the jetty and the surrounding hills that we found smooth water.

Port San Luis is a great anchorage - at least with prevailing northerly and northwesterly weather, don't ever come in here during a southerly storm! We anchored right between the two piers, in roughly the same place we anchored on our southbound trip in the fall.

We knew there was some nasty weather off the coast for a couple of days, so planned on staying in Port San Luis until it passed. Outside the bay we could see big rollers and whitecaps (you could see the horizon was quite a bit higher than water in the bay), while at anchor it was flat and calm. This is a great place to hang out for a couple of days, with lots to do.

We launched the dingy and rowed over to the municipal pier and walked around town for awhile. Dale and Scott did some wine tasting, and then we all walked along the inlet and beach before going to the little store for a few provisions.

The next day we were still waiting for weather, so Dale and Jacob had fun rowing the kayak and dingy to the beach and up the river, and again later to another beach adjacent to the mooring field. Scott stayed on the boat and did some reading.

Starfish on the anchor chain
The weather forecast showed things would start to improve overnight, so we decided to leave Port San Luis at 8pm, which would get us into San Francisco Bay before dark two days later. The first night was another really rough nite of pounding and winds in the high 20s, but there wasn't a whole lot of current so we still made good progress. The next day we broke into the forecasted calm conditions, and had nice weather for the rest of the trip - we got some great sleep the next night!

Conditions were so good, and we were making such good speed that we arrived at the San Francisco bar around 4am. This is not a good time to cross the bar and enter the bay - at night and in the fog, but at least waves were small and we were at slack tide, making the ride comfortable and safe. What wasn't comfortable and safe was all the shipping traffic! We were really surprised how much big shipping traffic there is between 4-6am through the gate! We had 5 big ships inbound and 2 outbound, plus a number of fishing boats and one tug. Without radar and a chartplotter we'd have had to loiter offshore for daylight.

By 7:30am Jane'O was docked at her new slip, finishing up our trip that started at the beginning of September 2010, when we left San Francisco Bay for Mexico! What a great trip!!

Randy and Dale, thank you guys for crewing for us - you are both great, easy to get along with, lots of fun, and trustworthy. Thank you so much!!

Jane'O, thank you for a great adventure and keeping us safe. Now you get to rest and play around on the Bay until our next trip.

Dave, thanks for watching over us.

More pictures soon!

Avila Beach and Municipal Pier
Cal Poly Pier (the old Unocal Pier)

2 comments:

  1. Hey Scott. The girls and I were down in Monterey for 4 days, starting July 28th and tried to call you to see if you were in the are so we could take you and Jacob to lunch. Unfortunately, all I had was you phone number from when you lived in Placerville area! Oh well, sounds like you skipped Monterey anyways. Glad you had a safe trip. Sean is leaving in the morning! -Kathy

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  2. Sorry we missed you Kathy! Yes, our plan was to skip Monterey Bay entirely. We were going to stop in Half Moon Bay, but since we spent an extra day at Port San Luis and conditions were dead calm we skipped it too. Looking forward to hearing how Adventure's trip goes, and we'll come up and see you when Sean gets back.

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