Sunday, July 7, 2024

Home Stretch

Pacific Ocean, Off Pillar Point CA

We're on the home stretch, the last segment of the final leg of my San Francisco Bash. We just left Pillar Point Harbor at 8:30am this morning and are on our way to the Golden Gate in calm seas, in some fog that looks like it might clear. We expect to arrive in Marina Bay Yacht Harbor around 3pm this afternoon. We'll be done.

After rescuing the person in the water at the dock yesterday morning, we headed into Monterey Bay in the fog against a 15 knot headwind and steep 2-3 foot seas, a nasty wind chop, Bashing Level (BL) 2. Very unpleasant. And cold. We powered on, resolute.

After noon, the wind eased some and so did the waves, down to a sustained BL 1. Better. We powered on, happier.

Around 1pm, I noticed the sailing vessel Rabbit Hole on the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar display that was changing course frequently. I watched closely and it looked like they were searching for or trying to recover something or somebody that had fallen overboard. I hailed them on the radio to see if they needed assistance but did not get a reply. When I looked at the boat through the binoculars, I identified it as a sloop about 46 feet long, probably a Jeanneau.

It occurred to me that Arnstein said he would be teaching an Offshore Passage Maker course on a Jeanneau of that length when he got back to San Francisco. On a lark, I sent him a text message asking if he might, by chance, be out here.  I didn't get a reply to my text, but soon after, Intermezzo was hailed on the radio by Rabbit Hole and, sure enough, it was Arnstein's voice! They had been conducting a crew overboard drill. We laughed at the coincidence of being at the same place at the same time on the ocean, and Arnstein welcomed me and Intermezzo back to San Francisco. Rabbit Hole paid us a visit this morning before we raised anchor, sailing around us and saying hello.

Around 5pm the fog burned off and we enjoyed the approach to Pillar Point Harbor in fine weather. The green coastal hills towered over the ocean, I saw a few whales spouting in the distance and many, many sea birds. It was still chilly out, but I'm always happier in the sunshine.

We dropped anchor at 6:40pm, I had beer, a shot of tequila, chips and guacamole for a snack, then took a nap. When I woke up, I had a crappy dinner of Trader Joe's tortellini (not recommended) with Hunts Quatro Queso tomato sauce (also not recommended) and went to bed shortly thereafter, falling to sleep on calm water to the sound of the foghorn at the harbor entrance bleating every 10 seconds.