June 30, 2000
Leaving San Simeon, while not the best anchorage, was met with some trepidation.. This was due to the fact that the next part of the trip, up the rocky coast of California known as the Big Sur allowed us no place to duck in to hideout from bad weather. Once we left San Simeon, we were pretty much committed (short of turning back) to making the 90 some nautical miles to the Monterey Bay. But the forecast was favorable so we left with the last of the fishing fleet.
The first half of the trip was pretty pleasant, with smooth seas, calm winds and sun. Once again we had dolphins playing with us as they migrated southward, seals everywhere, birds, fish, and this time whales. Not just any old whales, but blue whales the biggest mammals on earth! About a mile from the boat Debbie spotted a blue shoot straight up out of the water. As I turned to look, I saw this towering creature hang there then slowly fall over to create a monster splash. It reminded me of a building being brought down with explosives - everything was in slow motion till there's nothing left but the splash, which hangs in the air for what seems to be an eternity. We both grabbed cameras hoping to capture this in pictures, but, of course, whales don't cooperate like dolphins. When they dive there's no telling where they'll come up again. While we stood there looking off the port side for more whales, Debbie saw movement out of the corner of her eye on the starboard side only to turn her head to see a blue roll and sound about a 100 yards from the boat. No picture here either. We stood there on the flybridge, with our fingers poised on the shutter buttons only to have the whales fail to cooperate. Finally, after not seeing anymore whale breeches for a half hour or so, we relaxed and put our cameras down.
As we approached Point Sur the seas started to turn a little grumpy. We had an uncomfortable ride in the chop for most of the rest of the trip, with only momentary respites from the bumps. As we approached the Carmel Bay area the ride got much more uncomfortable. Seas were probably in the area of 6-8' and at about 8 seconds apart. Not fun. As we turned around Point Pinos into the Monterey Bay these terrible seas then began to come at us on our beam. Our destination lie about two hours away.
The ride to Moss Landing didn't get any better as we proceeded deep into Monterey Bay and the twin smoke stacks marking our destination just seemed to taunt us. As we rolled in those beam seas, watching the stacks, it just didn't seem as if we were getting any closer. And just when we thought we had things battened down well, those rolling beams seas taught us some new lessons. Bungee cords, we needed lots more bungee cords!
Finally, after the ride through hell, we rode into the entrance to Moss Landing on a following sea wallowing from side to side. But we were here! After eleven hours of what seemed like torture (and what made us both cranky), we had come to the end of our week of moving the boat toward her new home in the Portland/Vancouver area. It was time to go back to work. But we would be back next month to continue this odyssey. Stay tuned.