Friday, Sept. 20th....EJ turns One.....Decade! Leaving mom and mace asleep aboard Steadfast, the little guys and I sneaked away for an early birthday breakfast. We didn't have to walk far. Maybe 200 or 300 feet from our dock gate was the popular Lou-Lou's on the Wharf. We ordered french toast and a pancake the size of a hubcap (NO JOKE), ate, then walked back to the boat with a little more ballast in our bellies.
Saturday the 21st Steadfast motored out of Monterey Marina at 0800 headed for San Simeon about 84 nautical miles south. The NWS issued a marine forecast of light southerlies in the morning backing to light westerlies by late afternoon. 25-30 knots had been playing out of the NW for the past few days and more windy advisories were expected for Sunday and beyond. We decided to take a light breeze on the nose instead of the the previous and forecasted wild rides for our trip along the remote coastline between Monterey and Morro Bay. Plus a weekend trip is always appropriate when Erika has to work during the weekdays. By 0930 we were on the weather side of Point Pinos and the light morning breeze had grown into a stiff 15 knots dead ahead. With the motor on and the mainsail raised we clawed along the Carmel coastline. Fortunately just beyond the point the wind died down to the expected 5 knot southerly. Plus the seas were relatively flat making for a pleasant motor sail down the exposed mountainous region called Big Sur ("Point Sur" pictured above).
As Erika mentioned in her blog we witnessed a few types of marine mammals during this leg south. I was most impressed to see the two Orcas off our port beam also heading south (at the time). Elliot and I were treated with a quick show of a dolphin riding the bow while we watched from the bow sprit above (Pictured: Elliot and Ren on the sprit). At one point Erika and I were sure we spotted a shark with its classic dorsal fin breaching the surface.
By about 5pm the fog began to form, thickening as Steadfast charged past Cape San Martin. I asked Erika to switch on the navigation lights. We continued to hold our course parallel to the coast, closing in on a GPS waypoint off Point Piedras Blancas to indicate a safe turn left for San Simeon cove. Our plan was to anchor for the night and leave for Morro Bay the following afternoon. At this point the "sun had set" and we should have seen Piedras Blancas light flashing every 10 seconds. Our approach into San Simeon would be electronic dependent with our ears on full alert. Luckily the boys had been entertaining themselves quietly down below so Erika and I could focus on getting the boat thru the fog safely.
Fourteen sailing hours and 8 anchored hours later ... Below, if you look real close you'll see Steadfast anchored in what many believe is a true example of California Gold!
A UCSC graduate in Marine Biology, Keith holds a 100 ton USCG Capt. License and is an ASA certified sailing instructor.