May 14, 2008

How to Feel Really Small...

The sailing vessel Tamsen, makes a 39' boat look really small. That's Sea Story tied up in the berth just behind this mammoth 200' ketch in Santa Barbara harbor. Actually this is the second time we've been at the dock with Tamsen. She was at the customs dock in San Diego when we pulled in there from Mexico.

We made it into Santa Barbara at mid-day on Monday after a very comfortable sail across Santa Barbara Channel from Anacapa Passage. Both Bryan and Jeff had big grins all the way across; nothing quite like a morning-long sail after a long night of motoring up from Catalina.
We celebrated with an excellent dinner at The Enterprise Fish Company that night. Jeff and Bryan caught the train north the next day; headed back for a predicted hot weather spell in the Bay Area.
My new crew, brothers Scott and Jim Muir, showed up right on schedule this morning. Scott is an old hand on Sea Story. He did this same stretch with me when we brought the boat down last December. Now he's talked his brother Jim into the tougher north-bound leg. It will be interesting to see how much Jim appreciates that by the time we get to San Francisco!
Luckily, our weather report is looking a lot better than it did a couple of days ago. NOAA weather is now saying we should have winds in the 10-15 range instead to the 25-30 mph range they had earlier predicted. Love it when the change goes that way....
We will also have company on this next leg. At least two other boats have been waiting here in port for a good weather window for finishing their respective trips up from Mexico. Espiritu and Fantasia are both Mexico cruisers I've been listening to on the radio and running into in various ports all the way from Matzatlan. Now we've teamed up and agreed to keep in close radio contact for this last leg. It's nice to have company on this, the most challenging part of the trip.
We will be leaving Santa Barbara just before sunset this evening. That gets us around Pt. Conception in the early morning hours when the wind and seas are usually best for our transit. After that, it should be two days of upwind motor-sailing to get us into the SF Bay. With a little luck, we will arrive at the Golden Gate on a flood tide and calm seas. That's the plan anyway...

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