Thursday, October 8, 2015

Water, Santa Cruz and Beyond

We spent yesterday at anchor in Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay. I started up the watermaker and it works! We ran it for about four hours and made almost 80 gallons of fresh water. I poured Renee a glass to test it. She liked it and isn't dead more than 24 hours later.

Today was a glorious sail. We left Pillar Point around 8 am and the day started off slow, motoring in light winds. As the winds started to freshen around 11, we hoisted the Code 0 sail and things just started getting better and better. By 1 pm we were cruising along with the wind behind us and around an hour later the wind strengthened to 20-plus knots, so we dropped the Code 0, unfurled the jib and put a reef in the main. That's how we sailed the rest of the way to Santa Cruz, maintaining a nice 7-plus knots of boat speed and surfing down 3 foot swells even faster. Vigorous, but comfortable, sailing.
We anchored in Santa Cruz at 6 pm. We were planning on picking up a mooring in Capitola a bit further south but when I called ahead I learned that the moorings there are closed from September to May. That was a surprise. Santa Cruz is a good anchorage, although as we were anchoring, the wind clocked around from the northwest to southeast, so now we have the Santa Cruz pier as a "lee shore" and the southerly wind waves are jiggling us around a bit. That's not what the weather forecast said! I want my money back.

Tomorrow we head to Monterey, which is an easy under four hour sail. We'll stay there until Sunday. After that comes our longest leg on the California coast to Morro Bay, about 100 miles nonstop. The weather forecast is currently looking a little challenging, with some periods of close to 30 knot winds. That's not what we want for on an overnight coastal passage. I looked at delaying until Monday, but the winds don't look much different and the swell is bigger. I'll keep monitoring. We using the PredictWind online/satellite application which I really like and has turned out to be pretty much spot-on for weather routing so far. We can get updated grib files (wind, wave, pressure, cloud maps/forecasts) and weather routing whenever we want over the Iridium Go!.  Very high-tech and useful because I find meteorology very challenging.