SV INTREPID II is at the guest dock of the Pacific Mariners Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey, CA. We're having a much anticipated visit with Kelly's brother and sister-in-law, as well as appreciating access to wifi. We'll likely move the boat to another dock shortly to ensure we don't overstay our reciprocal privileges at the yacht club. We have found summer - hot and humid - and air conditioning is welcomed.
We left Monterey on Friday as planned, rounding Point Pinos, moving southward along the coast near Carmel, then did some motor sailing as we headed out on our first overnight passage with "just us two". Off of Big Sur, INTREPID II turned more south-westerly and we could see the green of Los Padres National Forest in the distance. Weather updates indicated we could expect strong to gale force winds by Monday so we definitely wanted to be south and around Point Conception before then. By Friday evening we were still motor/motor sailing as the winds were often dead ahead from the southeast.
Boat traffic was varied throughout the night and we used the radar as well as the AIS to anticipate what was coming our way. Stars were visible for awhile, but most of the night we had cloud cover which limited our chances to become more familiar with the constellations. We made the decision to bypass San Simeon and Hearst Castle as well as Morro Bay to ensure we made our weather window. Instead we watched the lights of these communities as INTREPID II glided by. Neither of us got much sleep as we tried to rest for an hour or so then back on watch together.
The next morning dawned somewhat clear and winds held steady. If we ever get our photos posted, you'll see that we had a fairly calm passage nearing and rounding Point Conception - thank goodness! This headland is the point where the Santa Barbara Channel meets the Pacific Ocean, with a lighthouse at its tip. Weather here, both marine and on land, can be challenging. INTREPID II 'turned the corner' and soon Cojo Anchorage was a welcome site. One sailboat was anchored right at the waypoint suggested by the Douglas' cruising guidebook and an oil platform service boat was on a nearby private mooring. The wind had started to pick up, but we anchored securely and had a nap - then dinner -- and finally some much needed sleep. This map shows Cojo anchorage between the red arrow of Point Conception Lighthouse and Gaviota State Park. It offers good protection from northwesterlies. The winds were not a problem for us that night.
|Location of Point Conception with Cojo anchorage to the east|
We spent Monday walking to Stearns Wharf and taking the electric shuttle up State Street to sight-see, then provisioning at "Ralph's", a large grocery store. Santa Barbara is a beautiful city and we enjoyed the day although we were a bit damp by the time we made it back with our groceries. The first rain of the year fell that day and the very high winds had arrived as forecast. Tuesday continued with dumping down rain so we wore our foul weather gear to do some shopping and were still soaked by the time we returned to the boat. Everything went up and into the dryer. We chose to stay on for Wednesday and the skies started to brighten up somewhat.
|Marina lower centre, Stearns Wharf at right, State Street leads Downtown|
(courtesy of tourist info office showing public transportation routes)
Friday we were up and off the dock by 7:30 am headed for Marina Del Ray. We went from jackets to long sleeves to short sleeves quite quickly. About 2 hours from our destination, however, the voltage gauge started to fluctuate wildly so off went the engine. There was a problem with the regulator and very little wind to keep us moving. Kelly checked out the obvious items then restarted the engine and we motored very slowly (3.5 knots) the rest of the way to our destination. Interesting times getting into a very tight slip at the Pacific Mariners Yacht Club, but they had cheerful people ready to help with lines and all was well. Getting out will be a challenge! Yesterday Kelly replaced the regulator with our spare (older) one and so far so good. We'll see if it did the trick when Kelly and his brother and friend head out today for some sailing.
|Marina Del Rey is massive - we docked in upper left of main channel|