California Coastal Cruising with Flying Cloud

(Heading offshore with Golden Gate finally behind us!)

We left Richardson Bay on Saturday January 19th at around 4pm and were under
the golden gate bridge around 1625.  We sailed for 3 hours before I
started feeding the fish with the excellent beef stew that I had prepared
only hours before departure.  I became soo seasick that Jamie decided to put
in at Half Moon Bay (about 40 miles south of San Fran Bay).  I tried to man
the helm between bouts, but I was a worthless mate and seamen at this point.
I actually cried when I was too weak to put on my foulies (my legs were
tangled in the suspenders and I was too weak to bend over and look down to
unhook them).  Jamie couldn't leave the helm b/c we have no auto pilot, so I
managed to get them on incrementally over the period of about an hour.
Adrian, of course, enjoyed the day's adventure and though a bit fearful of
being belowdecks alone, hit his berth around 1800 and sacked out after
suffering queasiness for an hour or so.  Thank goodness he didn't get sick
b/c I was useless.

Meanwhile I lay prone on the deck, still telling Jamie we should keep going.
Mind you it was only about 40 degrees and we were sailing at about 6kts.
This is nothing for old salts, and very ideal sailing conditions, but I do
not have an iron stomach.  What really happened is that the 10-12 second
swell period, which is typically mild, were interrupted by choppy seas about
every 6 seconds and we were being tossed around pretty good.  Not good for
most hardened sailors.  Of course, Jamie had the audacity to barely get

When we got close to Half Moon bay, we hailed the harbormaster at Pillar Point Marina and he literally brought us in.  I mostly manned the helm while Jamie radio'd and
navigated.  When we tied off at the fuel dock, I was much relieved.  I was
feeling better already.  So we stowed our headsail and put on the sail
covers.  There were birds all over the fuel dock and there is nothing worse
than birdshit stains on a beautiful sail.  Or on deck.  I ate a slice of
bread and went to sleep before Jamie came back from his chat w/ the

(Adrian happy to be sailing)

Saturday was decision time.  Does Eileen really think she's a sailor?  Can
she handle it, or is she a big wussy who wasted a lot of time and energy on
an adventure she can't follow through on, nevermind the money invested in
this big sealed hole in the water.  Well, by 1000, two toothbrushings and a
spongebath later I was ready to roll.  We uncovered the sails, stowed our
gear and motored around the breakwalls at 1100.  We continued to motor
for approx 1 mile and jamie raised the headsail and the mizzen mast.  The
seas were very mild and the boat took off like a horse in a race.  The rest
was relatively uneventful besides the exhaustion.  We worked in two hour
shifts until 1900 when we agreed to put in at Monterey Bay.  This was a late
decision since we were 25 miles off shore en route to another destination.
Jamie agreed that since I was having trouble managing my stint at the wheel
(I would fall asleep like a drunk driver) that we'd turn in. I went below
and finally managed to fall asleep and didn't awaken until jamie called me
at 11pm (25 miles at 5-6kts takes at least 5-6 hours depending on currents).

(Offshore enroute to Montery,CA)

We both consulted the good ole gps and checked our course, being only five
miles from shore.  Jamie got horizontal for about an hour while I kept watch
for the buoys marking the channel.  We saw a few ships and a large fishing
boat while out.  Jamie watched a pod of dolphins heading north around 1930.
They were chasing a school of fish.  One mile from the marina we had a very
hairy event, what you'd call a reality check.  Jamie decided we should start
motoring b/c we had little wind and were making little headway.  When he
turned the key, the engine wouldn't turn over.  The battery was dead.  In
the meantime, I managed to point into the wind and doused the sails.  Now we
were neither sailing nor motoring.  It's amazing how eerie the silence is
after 13 hours of sailing and hearing the water to just bobbing around like
a cork.

(Monterey, CA 1852)

Jamie (my hero) tests the batteries with his gizmo and finds that only one
is dead, turns a switch on the main panel and voila!  We are under power
once again.  I wasn't seasick this time, but could have puked from the
anxiety of it all.  We motored the rest of the way.  At 0220 we finally
raised the harbormaster in Monterey Bay just as we motored into the marina.
This was the last time I haired out.  The channel between the breakwall was
only 20' wide and we are 10'9" abeam.  That was so unnerving that jamie went
thru while I was on the radio.  Needless to say I'm not grace under fire.  I
am the details worrier and I'll tell you I know where things are.  Jamie's
the get it done guy.  He digs where I tell him to dig and comes up w/ the
tools to get things done.

Anyways, Adrian was awake to experience our Monterey Bay approach and was
very excited by the time we secured an end tie.  He wanted to know what we
were having for dinner, as I was blindly stumbling and stowing lines and
covering sails.  It was very funny and we all laughed.  He had been sleeping
since 1630, so he was ready to roll.  He went w/ Jamie and chatted w/
Harbormaster while I finished cleaning up on deck.  We crashed hard, tucked
in sleeping bags wearing our foulies.  It was cold, despite the engine
warming the cabin, b/c we'd been outside for so long in the dead of the
night.  No one moved before 11am except Adrian who had a breakfast of bread
and played w/ his toys up in the vberth while we slept.

In the morning we all took a welcome hot shower at the marina and had, you
guessed it, sandwiches for breakfast.  Need I say more.  We had meat,
veggies, fruit, the works in the reefer.  Yet bread was the mainstay of our
weekend.  We could stomach nothing stronger.  Even Jamie the big eater.  So
after tucking Flying Cloud away in her temporary slip and packing up scummy
clothes and gear, we loaded up a rental car and drove back to san francisco
to get our car, eat dinner and return to san diego.  We even had to drive on
shifts to get back.  What a ragged bunch.  We unloaded at the house last
night at 0300 and crashed for the remainder of our night.

So we're feeling pretty smug about our accomplishments.  Of course, this
adventure would be more difficult w/o electronics, but interesting
nonetheless.  If you enjoyed this tale, there are many more to come. 

Weather permitting we will be under sail again soon.  Next minimum leg is
Monterey Bay to Morro Bay before sailing around Point Conception and through
the Islands to Long Beach or another LA area Harbor.  Since we are
weekenders and fairweather sailors, it might take until spring to get our
future home to San Diego, but we'll love every minute of it.

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