Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017-14 Forney's to Prisoners Harbor, then Smugglers

Saturday, September 30, 2017:

At 8:30AM we pulled the hook and beat our way through the Potato Patch and over the top of Santa Cruz Island's west end.  The seas were exciting and then became thrillingly fast and we completed our rounding.

This morning we  are hoping to to get ashore at Prisoner's Harbor and tour of the Island's shore are near the main ranch. Gerard spent many years contracting to the Nature Conservancy to preserve the buildings on the island and knows this place in detail.  Standby for lots of photos and video when we get ashore.

This fast yacht was our neighbor last night in Forney's. He
quickly passed us eastbound on the way to Fry's Harbor.

The Wild Blue anchored in Prisoners Harbor.
As we entered Prisoner's Harbor Gerard recognized the Centinela.  The skipper Rick and crew Peg are old friends of Gerard's so we invited them over.  Rick filled us in on the history and recent events on the island.  The Island is owned approximately 70% by the nature Conservancy and 30% by the National Park Service.  The two groups work together in preserving the Island while allowing public access.  So in was a natural to get on shore and see the Harbor up close..  Time to launch the tender.

Upon attempting to launch, the ship's crane was not functioning.  It took us a bit, but after some analysis we discovered a 24VDC power supply to the hydraulic solenoids had fried.  Fortunately, Rick offered his tender so that we could make it ashore.  Vince and Alex an hour hike along the Prisoner's to Pelican Bay trail.

Masonry shed buildings for wharf storage.  Built in 1887.
The Island Packers boat offloads guest at the pier.
The wind was building and the sea was getting bumpy here at Prisoners, so we opted to move to the other side of the Island at Smugglers Cove.  Unfortunately it turned into a boat issue day.  The ship's windlass decided to freeze up.  This required using the backup system:  the ever so popular.... human windlass.  Fortunately we had anchored in just 12 feet which meant we had the 140-pound anchor and 18-pound chain aboard in less than 15 minutes.  We're hoping for a similar shallow depth at Smugglers.

The video below shows crew Vince, Gerard and broken boat owner Alex starring in "The Human Windlass".

Friday, September 29, 2017

2017-13 Forney's or Alberts Anchorage on Santa Cruz

Friday, September 29, 2017:

We surfed out of Coho this morning at 8AM.  The forecast calls for wind this afternoon so Forney's might not be the right choice for the night. We'll cruise down the backside of the Island looking for less wind.

The forecast:
East Santa Barbara Channel from Pt. Conception to Pt. Mugu CA including Santa Cruz Island-


.TODAY...NW winds 5 to 10 kt, becoming W 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon. Combined seas 2 to 3 ft dominant period 10 seconds.
.TONIGHT...W to NW winds 15 to 25 kt, strongest western portion, becoming N 10 to 15 kt late. Combined seas 2 to 4 ft dominant period 7 seconds. Areas of dense fog with VSBY 1 nm or less after midnight.

Heritage oil platform in the Santa Barbara Channel.

4:20PM; We entered Forney's Cove and anchored for the night. The wind was light inside the Cove except for a couple afternoon puffs of 20 knots.  Outside it looked pretty gnarly as the day ended.

One other boat was anchored with us, a lobster style and crew with crazy foreign accent.  Gerard went snorkeling and brought home a couple Calico Bass for a future meal.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017-12 Southbound Around Point Conception

September 27, 2017:  Coho Anchorage

Tomorrow morning we continue our ride southbound and expect to make Point Conception around 5PM.  This has been a fabulous week of weather along the Pacific Coast.  It's 80F+ with zero wind here in Morro Bay this afternoon. The weather has brought out scores of northbound and southbound boats and yachts.  Moorage at Morro Bay has been difficult with the Harbor Patrol directing boats to the Tideland Park public dock for tie-up.  Wild Blue has enjoyed the excellent service of the Morro Bay Yacht Club, the nicest yachting folks on the Coast!

Here's are weather forecast for Thursday and Friday.  Looks like this hot-box is about to cool off.

THU...Winds variable 10 kt or less...becoming NW 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. NW swell 3 to 4 ft at 10 seconds. 

THU NIGHT...NW winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts to 20 kt in the evening...becoming 5 to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. NW swell 3 ft at 9 seconds. S swell 2 ft. 

FRI...NW winds 10 to 20 kt with local gusts to 25 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. NW swell 3 ft at 9 seconds. 

FRI NIGHT...NW winds 15 to 20 kt with local gusts to 25 kt in the evening...becoming 10 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. NW swell 3 to 4 ft at 9 seconds. 

Check in tomorrow about 9AM and/or follow us on

No ripples means HOT BOX!

10AM Thursday: We're 6 miles west of  Avila Beach, CA moving at 8.5 knots.  All fog with 3 foot rollers. A few gray dolphins (porpoises) came by but too quick fr the shutters. On schedule for dropping the hook at Cojo about 4PM.


4:30PM:  Coho Anchorage

Nice ride down the coast.  Wind piped up to 19 knots from the NW once around Arguello but now back to 11 knots here.  Gerard is off to surf and Vince and Alex are into IPA and Sapporo respectively.  Tomorrow off to Forney Cove on Santa Cruz Island.  Cheers.

Coast Starliner or Pacific Starliner?
Point Conception Light
The Lighthouse.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

2017-11 Monterrey to San Simeon or Morro Bay

Sunday, September 17, 2017:  Continuing Southbound on the Central California Coastline

7AM: We departed Monterrey Harbor a bit earlier today to make the best use of favorable marine weather.   About 4:45 we found the harbor exit and rounded the Peninsula in the darkness, brightly lighted with the boats forward facing floodlights.  The boat was bouncing as we bucked the swells but our movement moderated as we turned toward Point Sur. Current position is 12 miles NW of Sur.  One of our goals today is to view the big Mud River slide up close.  Should close about noon today.

Today's NOAA weather forecast:

Point Pinos To Point Piedras Blancas To 10 nm-237 AM PDT Sun Sep 17 2017


.TODAY...NW winds 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. NW swell 3 to 5 ft at 8 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning.
.TONIGHT...NW winds 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. NW swell 6 to 7 ft at 8 seconds. Patchy fog after midnight.

Point Piedras Blancas to Point Sal westward out to 10 NM-249 AM PDT Sun Sep 17 2017

.TODAY...NW winds 5 to 10 kt...becoming W 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. NW swell 4 to 5 ft at 8 seconds.
.TONIGHT...NW winds 10 to 15 kt in the evening...becoming N 5 to 10 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. NW swell 5 to 6 ft at 8 seconds. Patchy fog after midnight.

So much better weather ahead at Piedra Blancas and southward.  We expect to skip San Simeon due to the expected big winds and continue to Morro Bay around 6PM or so.

12:30PM:  We paused at Big Sur's Mud Creek Slide to view the progress.  From our amateur observations, it looks like two break walls are under construction at the base (waterline).  Also a construction road from the south end has been graded to a flat equipment assembly area.  A row of containers seems to serve to protect workers below from minor slides of rocks. These of course are just non-professional observations.  Check out the photos.

The overall slide area.
While the rest of use watch Sunday football (and ride boats)
construction continues on building a new road over the BIG slide.
A row of containers serves as a break-wall from loose rock above workers,
at least that's what we think.
Equipment staging area near base of slide.
Treebones is one of the businesses
needing road access for patrons.
Maybe the construction workers
can stay over?
2:25PM:  Passing Point Pedra Blancas and still on schedule to arrive in Morro Bay at 6:30 tonight.

Point Piedra Blancas Light Station
Whale Jumps for Wild Blue

Entering Morro Bay Harbor at 5 times speed (or 40 knots!)

Wild Blue and other transient boats tied to the dock
at the Morro Bay Yacht Club. Here's the view from the MBYC Webcam.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017-10 Half Moon Bay to Monterrey

Saturday, September  16, 2017: Half Moon Bay to Monterrey

This is one leg in a multi-leg cruise that eventually gets the boat to La Paz, Mexico.  The Resort will be Wild Blue's 2017-2018 winter home.  During our journey, you can follow us live at via the boat's AIS transponder.  As long as we have cell service, our plan is to post text, photo and video updates along the way.

Today's NOAA Marine Weather forecast is:
W winds 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. NW swell 3 to 4 ft at 8 seconds. Patchy fog in the morning.

7AM: This morning we shoved off from Pillar Point.  The ocean was filled with pedal kayakers.  The yaks were all set up for fishing.  There may have been 30-40 yakkers so we suspect a fishing competition..

The ocean looks to be 2 to 3 foot swell well-spaced.  The wind is light.  Later.

Yak attack at Pillar Point
Equipped for fishing.
1PM: A nice ocean and flying seals.  ETA Monterrey is 3PM.

Ten seconds of flying seals

As we near Monterrey the whale watching boats are out in force.
We did see about 10 humpback whales along our course today.
6PM:  We arrived in Monterrey about 4PM and were cordially welcomed by the locals.  Besides providing us with a primo end-tie just across from Fisherman's Wharf, the Monterrey Fire Boat, following a long standing maritime tradition reserved for first time visiting yachts, welcomed us to the Harbor with a water cannon display.

A great view from Fishermans Wharf. The Nordhavn 63
just in front of Wild Blue named "Ha" put into the Harbor for Irma.
The Florida owners had to hurry home to see if they still had one.
Wharf view.

Friday, September 15, 2017

2017-09 Big Boat Regatta, The Gate, to Half Moon Bay

Friday, September  15, 2017: Big Boat Regatta, the Gate, to Half Moon Bay

This is the first leg in a multi-leg cruise that eventually gets the boat to La Paz, Mexico.  The Resort, will be Wild Blue's 2017-2018 winter home.  During our journey, you can follow us live at via the boat's AIS transponder.  As long as we have cell service, our plan is to post text, photo and video updates along the way.

Today's NOAA Marine Weather forecast for the waters we will navigate is:

FRI...NW winds 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. NW swell 6 ft at 8 seconds. 


IN THE DEEP WATER CHANNEL...Combined seas 6 to 8 ft with a 
dominant swell period of 9 seconds.

ACROSS THE BAR...Combined seas 7 to 9 ft with a dominant swell 

period of 9 seconds. Maximum ebb current of 0.9 knots at 12:12 PM

8:00AM: This morning we left beautiful Westpoint Harbor behind as Wild Blue begins her cruise southward.  Today, our crewman Dick Squire's son is competing in the Rolex Big Boat Series regatta.  We hope to see his race start at 11:15 then follow the fleet up the Bay.  We will continue under the bridge and out to sea.  This should be fun and we hope we can stay out of the racers' wind.

1:35PM:  We watched the start of the Regatta.  The racing was postponed over an hour until the wind increased and stabilized. Dick's son Alan Field on Phantom, a J-44, was last boat to start but first at the weather mark.

The weather never reached the forecast.  We cleared the bridge before 1PM.  The Bar was bumpy but nowhere near 9 foot seas!  At 1:35 off Daily City we have 3-4 foot seas and less than 10 knots  wind from the northwest.  Will post photos and video this evening.

3:40PM:  Had a nice run down the coast to Half Moon Bay.  Ocean cooperated with our desires and we tossed around just a dozen times or so.  The harbormaster placed us behind the fish buyers building. We are secure and headed for dining out.

Tomorrow the plan is to be on the ocean early, say 6:30.  Monterrey is our destination and some of Ed Ricketts hangouts.  The marine weather looks pretty nice for tomorrow.

Wild Blue next to the Fish Processor.  "All the fish you can eat"
Matt Jenkins and Dick Squire crew for the trip to Morro Bay. Matt is a
retired fire chief and this is is first cruise on the boat.  Dick has seven
 decades of boating experience and this is his 20+ ride on the boat

Saturday, September 9, 2017

2017-08 Prepping for a San Francisco Southbound Cruise

A quiet cruising summer aboard Wild Blue is about to change.

Boat cruising activity aboard Wild Blue has been in a slump over 2017's summer.  We've made just three cruises to the California Delta including a short cruise to Half Moon Bay.  Over the past ten years, we've accumulated almost 6,000 engine hours cruising California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska.  This summer we're under 100 hours of engine running, an historic low.  Just like a horse, this ship is tugging on her lines, eager to get some exercise.  All this changes on Friday as we get underway down the Pacific Coast on our journey to La Paz, Mexico.  Once there the plan is to cruise the Sea of Cortez over the winter months.

A Summer of Boat Maintenance and Improvements

Wild Blue's cruising lows allowed maintenance highs.  The list of deferred repairs and improvements had blossomed and a trimming was in order.  With the following tasks complete, the list was minimized:

scraped, primed and painted three cabin doors with 2-part Interlux
replaced six door dog handles
removed, filled and glassed 30 unused canvas snaps
stripped, sanded and varnished all teak to 8 coats with Epifanes
filled, fared and repainted numerous hull dings, scratches and dents with Interlux Flag Blue
repaired SSB antenna connection
repaired VHF antenna connection
fly bridge and dinghy canvass repaired and replaced
added Samsung 18-inch tablet with Navionics charts
upgraded to 5G wifi router
upgraded navigation computer to mini-Dell with solid state drive
serviced main and generator diesel engine; adjusted valves
added an ACR EPIRB emergency satellite rescue beacon
completed boat waxing with Collinite insulator wax
tagged circuit breaker switches with colored-coded ties for quick identification
serviced fire extinguishers and engine room fire system
cleaned and rebuilt the dinghy engine carburetor

Exiting San Francisco on Friday, September 15

Friday morning we'll leave behind Redwood City's Westpoint Harbor.  This pretty marina is a great place to keep a boat:  it's quiet, clean, secure and has great staff.  When underway, we'll run north out of SF Bay and down to Half Moon Bay.  A lot of pain for a small gain, or 50 miles to get 13 miles away.  Assuming the weather cooperates,  spend Saturday in Monterrey, Sunday in San Simeon, then arrive in Morro Bay Monday afternoon.  We hope to spend a week for long-term provisioning.

Continuing south about September 22, will stop at Cojo Anchorage under Pt Conception, spend a few nights at Santa Cruz Island, then a couple weeks at Channels Islands while detail engine service is completed. Mid-October we visit Marina del Rey, Catalina, Newport Harbor ending in San Diego at the Yacht Club for the start of CUBAR ( and the La Paz leg.

As always we expect to Blog our way southward.  Stay tuned.