Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Port San Luis, at last

When we arrived in Monterey, the harbor master assigned us a 40 foot slip for our 45 foot boat.  He explained that sticking out into the fairway a little would not be a problem.  However, there was a challenge squeezing a 14.1 foot wide boat into a 14.5 foot wide slip during a sassy cross breeze.  Not much room for error or fenders.  We considered asking to be moved, but when we discovered that the daily rate for this small space was a bargain we were happy to make it work.  All went well until our departure.  All on board, dock lines off, here we go...  After about a foot of travel, we came to a perplexing stop.  We soon realized that our aft fenders had wedged between the boat and the dock and we were stuck like a cork in a bottle.  A gracious fellow held back a chuckle as he helped free us.  OK, one more time without the fenders.

Sally and David visited us in Monterey 
During our six days in Monterey we had dinner with friends, enjoyed a classic car show, attended the Italian Festival, and worked on boat projects.  We have visited Monterey by water several times over the years, so our stay had a familiar, homey feel.  Finally the weather window opened and we were ready for a completely new destination 120 nautical miles away, Port San Luis.  This 24 hour trip would be Trisha’s first night passage.

Trisha at Point Sur
We left Monterey at 1030 on a beautiful clear day.  We raised the main just outside the harbor and began motor sailing against a southerly to Point Sur.  A highlight was passing through a pod of pilot whales.  We made the turn at Point Sur at 1500 and the wind clocked around to our stern and piped up to 15 to 25 knots.  We killed the engine and spent hours racing down the coast under sail, making much better time than we anticipated.  The one big drawback was the seas.  Six foot waves with high frequency and occasional sets that caused the boat to twist violently.  No one was very happy, least of all Trisha.  Nightfall brought no improvement and no sleep.  We got to Port San Luis just before dawn and slowed the boat down so we could pick our way through the harbor in the light.  After three exhausting tries we got the anchor set.  As if waiting for us to be finished, a thick fog rolled in 15 minutes later that would have made our arrival all but impossible.

Port San Luis after the fog cleared

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