KatieKat 2006 Cruise Chapter Three

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GoBackTo 2006 Chapter Two
8 October, 2006Cruising Resumes, Fleet Week
9 October, 2006Foggy San Francisco Departure
10 October, 2006Princeton Harbor
11->27 October, 2006Santa Cruz
Morro Bay
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz Island
Los Angeles
Newport Beach
San Diego

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8 October, 2006 -- Cruising Resumes, Fleet Week

Couldn't believe the difficulty in finally breaking the home ties and getting away - a thousand outstanding unfinished items conspired to delay us... but we finally did it! Loaded the boat up with stuff, our cat Mika and ourselves, and checked out of the marina. It seemed like a good idea to get away on the Sunday of San Francisco's Fleet Week, where a fantastic airshow takes place and includes the Navy's Blue Angels. So we sailed up to the city (along with a million other boats) and positioned ourselves by Alcatraz Island at which time we realized our mistake: F18's thundering over the boat is not conducive to re-introducing kitty into the cruising lifestyle - neither she nor Kathy appreciated the airshow. I was too busy avoiding other boats in the strong currents and barely managed to snap a couple of photos. After the show we had hoped for a peaceful docking at San Francisco Marina, only to find out there was no room available (on an off-season Sunday night??), so we sailed into Aquatic Park right off Ghiradelli Square and dropped the hook for the night, being careful to avoid the swimmers. No photos of Aquatic Park, as we collapsed, exhausted from our first day's "cruising".

[Photo of many boats in the Bay and two F18s approaching each other] If you look carefully, you'll find two F18s approaching each other and there's another Seawind 1000 peeking out of the left edge of the photo.

[Photo of A-10 and KatieKat rigging] So what's an Air Force A-10 doing at a Navy Fleet Week show?

[Photo of two F-18s] Hard to snap a photo of these fast-moving F-18s.

[KatieKat in front with Golden Gate Yacht Club in background] [Golden Gate Yacht Club in Auckland New Zealand]

The first photo shows KatieKat and the real Golden Gate Yacht Club (right across from San Francisco Marina) whereas the second photo I took in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2003, where the GGYC was sponsoring Oracle's America's Cup bid.

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9 October, 2006 -- Foggy San Francisco Departure

We were up before dawn, and as I attempted to raise the anchor in Aquatic Park I discovered an inoperable anchor windlass: I've been unsuccessfully trying to remove the frozen Allen-head screw for the last few years in order to lube the winch's innards, and now it finally bit me! Another item on the list which did not get done (sigh). No worries, the anchorage is shallow and I'm still in reasonable shape so the anchor came up and we were off, carefully avoiding the swimmers out there at dawn in the freezing water!

[Photo of Kathy peering into the fog] Kathy apprehensively looking towards the fog-enshrouded bridge.

[Top of Golden Gate Bridge peeking out through the fog, with moon above.] [Nervous Kathy peering up into fog] [Bridge overhead in fog]

With the moon directly above it, the tip of the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge is just peeking out above the fog in the first photo. The second photo shows a thoroughly relaxed Kathy trying to spot the bridge in the fog. The last photo gives just a glimpse of the bridge as we pass underneath.

Now, despite this zero visibility, the high-tech gadgetry on KatieKat provides an unbelievable improvement over my past years of sailing here: radar, my computer with chart plotter, and the latest addition of an AIS receiver which shows large ships directly on the computer screen has to be experienced to be fully appreciated! All this combines to lower one's piloting/navigation stress level immensely in these conditions!

I'm not one for poetry, but I just have to share the following with you -

The original poem entitled Sea-Fever or The Call of the Running Tide by John Masefield (1878-1977) -

I MUST go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Recently, I came across a modern version of this poem on the Multihulls List (author unknown, but I would appreciate knowing so I can give him/her the credit), and I thought it was quite appropriate for this moment -

To Sea in a Hi-Tech Boat

I must go down to the sea again, in a modern high-tech boat,
And all I ask is electric, for comfort while afloat,
And alternators, and solar panels, and generators going,
And deep cycle batteries with many amperes flowing.

I must go down to the sea again, to the autopilot's ways,
And all I ask is a GPS, and a radar, and displays,
And a cell phone, and a weatherfax, and a shortwave radio,
And compact disks, computer games and TV videos.

I must go down to the sea again, with a freezer full of steaks,
And all I ask is a microwave, and a blender for milkshakes,
And a watermaker, air-conditioner, hot water in the sink,
And e-mail and a VHF to see what my buddies think.

I must go down to the sea again, with power-furling sails,
And chart displays of all the seas, and a bullhorn for loud hails,
And motors pulling anchor chains, and push-button sheets,
And programs which take full charge of tacking during beats.

I must go down to the sea again, and not leave friends behind,
And so they never get seasick we'll use the web online,
And all I ask is an Internet with satellites over me,
And beaming all the data up, my friends sail virtually.

I must go down to the sea again, record the humpback whales,
Compute until I decipher their language and their tales,
And learn to sing in harmony, converse beneath the waves,
And befriend the gentle giants as my synthesizer plays.

I must go down to the sea again, with RAM in gigabytes,
and teraflops of processing for hobbies that I like,
And software suiting all my wants, seated at my console
And pushing on the buttons which give me complete control.

I must go down to the sea again, my concept seems quite sound,
But when I simulate this boat, some problems I have found.
The cost is astronomical, repairs will never stop,
Instead of going sailing, I'll be shackled to the dock.

I must go down to the sea again, how can I get away?
Must I be locked in low-tech boats until my dying day?
Is there no cure for my complaint, no technologic fix?
Oh, I fear this electric fever is a habit I can't kick.

Now, despite all this high-tech gadgetry, soon after we went under the Bridge we experienced something that was so terribly dumb on my part that I'm too embarrassed to write about it here, but it should make a good anonymous magazine article in the future - suffice it to say we came awfully close to losing the boat!

The fog soon receded and we ended up having a simply splendid sunny sail down the coast to Princeton Harbor just above Half-Moon Bay.

[Chart showing track of KatieKat between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay] A screenshot of our marvelous Macintosh GPSNavX navigation program showing KatieKat's track from San Francisco to Princeton Harbor. Hey, our tacking angles are fairly close to 90-degrees, not too shabby for an overloaded cruiser with fin keels!

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10 October, 2006 -- Princeton Harbor

Princeton Harbor has a very nice friendly marina where we spent a couple of nights, although the jackhammers demolishing some nearby pierwork somewhat spoiled the ambiance. Kathy had a significant dental issue which necessitated renting a car and a quick drive over the hill to see her dentist, but it all ended well without the root canal that the local dentist had frightened her with. I stopped at home to pick up my hand impact wrench and was subsequently able to remove the anchor windlass and lube it, although that Allen-head screw is still frozen!

Always on the lookout for peculiar things, I couldn't help but add these to my collection -

[Seats along walkway by marina] [Seats along walkway by marina] [Photo showing how obscured the view is from the seats by the very high fence in front of the seats]

What were they thinking?
A lovely walkway along the picturesque marina and some nice wooden benches to enjoy the view of the barrier slats.
Incredible that the various regulations couldn't be balanced to produce something that... (rant deleted!)

[Cabin mounted on top of aft steering station] On the positive side, I find this ungainly boat mod to be a rather creative solution to the sailboat's exposed aft-mounted steering wheel (don't those wheels look so 'nautical' at the boatshow?). The cold/windy/wet/miserable Northern California summer coast is no place to be sailing unprotected. KatieKat's main saloon is a little more elegant.

That being said, sailing DOWN the California coast on our Seawind is simply a wonderfully relaxing sheltered experience, and the great sail from Princeton Harbor to Santa Cruz was just another example of this.

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11 October, 2006 -- Santa Cruz

[Blue/white spinnaker flying, starboard view] [Blue/white spinnaker flying, portside view]

Obligatory photos of our relaxed spinnaker flying on our way down to Santa Cruz, showing our two bicycles (with Japanese baskets) unobtrusively mounted at the railings (now, if I could just figure out how to keep the rust from dripping down onto the deck). The overhead straps are simply for snagging/balance as one walks around on the deck (indispensible, in my opinion).

We simply anchored overnight by the Santa Cruz pier, and continued on to Monterey the following day.

12-14 October, 2006 -- Monterey

[Seals floating on their backs] Here's our GPSNavX track from Princeton Harbor to Santa Cruz, and then from Santa Cruz across Monterey Bay to Monterey. The upper center shows a portion of lower San Francisco Bay.

[Seals floating on their backs] Approaching Monterey harbor, we saw plenty of seals floating around on their backs, basking in the sun. Sea lions are a significant nuisance in the harbor, as they invade docks and boats and it's illegal to 'harass' them into getting off!

In Monterey I was treated to a nice birthday dinner by Kathy's friends Susie and Dick. I was finally able to remove the entire anchor winch and lubricate it so it's now usable, but I was still unable to disassemble it. More work preparing the boat for sea, fixing leaks in the watermaker, adding handholds to the solar panels, making more wiring changes, and still trying to put everything away. Sewing the awnings will have to wait...

[Mika the cat sitting under the spider] Mika and her buddy, the halloween spider.

15 October, 2006 -- Morro Bay

[Morro Rock and smokestacks in background] We left Monterey in the afternoon, sailed all night, and arrived refreshed in Morro Bay in the late morning. Spent the day wandering around the, uh, touristy town, and left for Santa Barbara in the early evening. This photo of Morro Rock and the entrance into Morro Bay was taken as we were leaving.

16-20 October, 2006 -- Santa Barbara

[Photo from boat on port tack showing bicycle and jib] [Point Conception]

We rounded infamous Point Conception at dawn in some very benign conditions.

[Oil rig] Lots of oil rigs in the Santa Barbara channel. This is what one looks like.

Motor Woes. As we deviated course inshore to avoid an oil rig, we were motoring with the now-jinxed starboard engine when it very violently whapped into a chunk of rope and stopped instantly. The prop hub didn't shear as it's a relatively new propeller, but the motor was all catywampus twisted on its mounting (but all the mountings unhurt). After cutting and removing the rope all my attempts to restart the engine proved unsuccessul - it would start but idle extremely roughly for a few seconds before expiring. Fearing that the timing belt had jumped a cog, I basically left it alone and we motored on into Santa Barbara on the port engine, once again showing that reliability through redundancy (two motors) is highly desirable. Docking with one offset unsteerable engine is a very interesting exercise - which we accomplished (twice) as though nothing had happened :-). I was able to buy a newly-published workshop manual for the Yamaha four-strokes (been looking for one for years) and after reading up all about timing belts I again took off the lid and was about to start surgery when... I spied a loose spark plug wire! All's well that ends well with no further fuss and the motor continues to run like a dream! (sigh) My thanks to Peter on Two Pieces of Eight for his moral and technical support.

[Pantera catamaran] When in Monterey we ran across an old friend Bob Smith from Vancouver Island on his beautiful catamaran Pantera (forgot to snap a photo there), and he caught up to us in Santa Barbara, also heading for the Baja HaHa. Here's a photo of his boat (which he built himself) off the beach in Santa Barbara.

[Blonde paddling outrigger canoe] Pesky Southern California blonde paddling an outrigger canoe and distracting me from taking the photo of the catamaran behind her.

21 October, 2006 -- Santa Cruz Island

We sailed over to one of the Channel Islands (Santa Cruz) and anchored in Smuggler's Cove. Not our idea of a comfortable anchorage, as many of the monohulls and powerboats were REALLY rolling (but KatieKat was reasonably restful).

[AIS showing ship locations] [AIS showing detailed ship info]

Just have to show off the AIS (Automatic Identification System) feature of our GPSNavX program. Not only are the ships in the area shown, but clicking on them gives a full-blown description, including just how close they'll get to us. Love it! That arrow with the dotted line represents us just sailing along.

[Mika the cat staring at other boats] Mika checking out the other boats in Smuggler's Cove anchorage off Santa Cruz Island.

22 October, 2006 -- Channel Islands Marina, Oxnard

We just zipped over here from Santa Cruz Island for the night, spent a pleasant evening with extended family Rick and Sophie, and continued on to Marina del Rey the next morning.

23-25 October, 2006 -- Marina del Rey, Los Angeles

Arrived in Marina del Rey in the evening after a great sail down from Oxnard with our BUS (Big Ugly Spinnaker). Spent a day here, provisioning and trying to avoid the ridiculous city traffic on a bicycle. I'm told this harbor contains 6000 boats, but the experience left me shaking my head at the opulence of it all.

[Spinnaker and bicycle with fender sitting in its basket] BUS pulling us along. Are we getting lazy, or wot? We just throw the fender into the bike's basket if we know we'll need it later that day.

[Rowing sculls] [Rowing sculls]

Harbors are also used by university rowing teams - here, the UCLA girls crew working out as the sun sets (sorry, no closeup photos).

25-26 October, 2006 -- Newport Beach Harbor

Another disgustingly glorious downwind spinnaker sail dayhop, from Marina del Rey to Newport Beach Harbor, where we anchored for the night.

[House decorated for Halloween] Talk about going to town for Halloween! Of the many we saw decorated, this house in Newport Beach wins the prize.

[Two sculls] A cold damp foggy pre-dawn workout by these crew in Newport Harbor. Brrrr.

26 October, 2006 -- Oceanside

Miserable light airs motor and sometimes sail in a very strange hazy reddish sky ... we were muttering something about Southern California smog when all of a sudden we realized that the residue on the boat is from the forest fires raging inland, and that the winds were actually pushing this stuff out to sea! Boat is filthy, we're grubby, and only the cat manages to keep clean. After arrival, we had a nice shower, a quick hosedown of the boat, and spent a pleasant evening with Gary and Celeste off the SW1000 Sol Surfin (presently in Costa Rica) and Rann and Doreen with the Searunner tri Etak - we've been corresponding for some time, but had never met, and they all graciously drove out to meet us.

[Red sun, sky, and water reflection] Red sun, red sky, and red reflection created a rather eerie effect.

27 October, 2006 -- --> San Diego

Had another wonderful sail down the coast from Oceanside to Mission Bay in San Diego, leaving all the pollution up north.

[Large birds nest atop mast] The only photo I took in San Diego so far. Gives a different perspective to the expression "Crow's Nest".

Provisioning and preparing for the Monday departure with the Baja Ha-Ha group faces us this weekend, so this may be the last website update until we get to Cabo San Lucas or... I'll try to add a chart showing our path from San Francisco to here before we leave.
'Bye for now. Joe 'n Kathy

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