Monterey bay holds a special meaning to Debbie and I. We learned to scuba dive here, honeymooned here, and is the southern boundary of Northern California waters. We were essentially home and this brought a flood of emotions, some good, some not so good. We had to come to grips with the fact that our adventure was ending and we would have to proceed with”Re-Entry” to main stream life. We wanted to celebrate our anniversary and this seemed to be the best place. Sosiego made her way to the municipal harbor and we radioed the harbor master for a slip assignment. We planned to get a hotel room for our anniversary and wanted a secure place to dock the boat.
The municipal harbor is home to a colony of quite rambunctious sea lions and the bay is a marine sanctuary. With Sosiego secure the first order of business after a 22hr voyage was a good breakfast at Lou Lou’s Griddle in the Middle. The rest of the day was spent resting and catching up on sleep. It was time to re-provision and do laundry. We took the bus to Nob Hill foods and filled a basket. For the trip back we called a taxi which kindly drove us on the wharf to our dock. Next we carried two bags of laundry to the washer dryer in the harbor office building. We decided to accomplish to things at once, laundry and showers. Ah, the showers felt so good.
The next day Debbie came down with a cold that put a damper on our time in Monterey. I spent my afternoons paddle boarding on the Bali while she rested and recuperated. I was fearful that one of the rambunctious young sea lions would try to haul out on the Bali and send me swimming. In actuality they behaved themselves and I loved watching their antics up close as they played. Later, I was able to film some of their antics. For our anniversary we dressed up in our finest boat clothes and took a taxi to our favorite restaurant the Fish Wife for dinner. The food although excellent lacked a little something.
We were finally ready to say goodbye to Monterey and prepare for our next stop. We spoke with our friend Eric Wilbur who suggested our next stop should be Moss Landing to explore Elkhorn slough.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there’s no effort without error or short coming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who himself for a worthy cause; who , at the best, knows, in the end , the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his pace shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
We set sail on a bright sunny day with a good weather forecast and a nearly favorable wind. After two tacks, changing which side of the boat the wind comes from, we were able to lay the line for Moss Landing. As Sosiego sailed herself to her next port we were treated to a glorious sail and beautiful view of rolling sand beaches. The culmination of this glorious sail was met by a blockade of gray whales feeding off the entrance to Moss Landing. Debbie was able to capture some of their antics on video. We had to weave our way around them avoiding huge flukes and tail slapping.
The Moss Landing yacht club welcomed us at their guest dock for a two night stay. The tide rip is strong in this narrow waterway but kayaking is very popular. We inflated our Twister double kayak and explored the southern basin. There seems to be a west side story going on here as the seals haul out on a sand spit in the north basin and the sea lions occupy a pair of docks in the main channel. We never observed the two species intermingling.
We enjoyed a BBQ dinner at the club with great company including one of the Potter Yachters that had sailed up from Monterey. The weather report was favorable so we set sail in the morning for Half Moon Bay with very little wind and flat seas. We were treated to more antics from the whales including a breaching 30 yards off the bow and thousands of small black and white birds that could only fly inches off the water but swam well under water. The skies were overcast but the visibility good. We made good time and as we approached Pillar point harbor in Half Moon Bay the sun made a spectacular appearance. We easily picked up the southern green buoy and cleared the reef. The waves where breaking lightly at the point and were non-threatening. We rounded the entrance breakwater and dropped the anchor in the very familiar mud off the inner entrance. With the anchor well set we had dinner and settled down to good nights rest.