Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Day in Monterey

We left Monterey yesterday at noon with the best of intentions. The forecast was for light winds (5-10 knots variable) from the northwest, so we expected we might have to motor part of the distance to Morro Bay. But I think the weather gods must have heard the postal clerk when she said to me: "You can't leave now! There is still so much to see and do in Monterey!", because as we headed out of the bay it became quickly apparent that the wind was coming from the south. As we reached the buoy at the end of Point Pinos, the wind was gusting over 30 knots and a black bank of fog was rolling in quickly.

Why beat into the wind, in the fog, when you don't have to? We turned around and headed back into the marina where we were greeted by a giant sea lion mamma and her pup, sitting on our narrow slip. Even several blasts of the fog horn would not move the creature until the bow was almost upon her. I had to think hard whether I would tackle that beast or let the boat ram the dock! Thankfully she took the initiative and slipped into the water at the last minute – must have seen that steely look in my eyes. Once tied down we noticed we had a long stream of kelp wound up in the rudder - it came off easily, but the whole experience made for a rather stressful afternoon!

Narrow entrance to Monterey marina

The big mystery is where did those winds come from? What we encountered was not to be found on any forecast - not even a hint. But we might have paid a little more attention to the locals for, as we were sailing out, we noticed all the fishing boats quickly pull in their nets and head to shore. Their communication systems were obviously working! When we returned to the marina the wind continued and even gusted to over 20 knots in this sheltered spot.

Monterey Harbour

Today it seems calm again. We are taking advantage of the extra time in Monterey to clean the boat top, bottom and inside. Doug donned his dive gear and changed the zinc on the prop, cleared out the kelp from the rudder and scrubbed the entire bottom. Phew! The water was clear and clean, but a very cold 15 degrees. I was worried about the sea lions, but none showed up. Lots of diving occurs around here, so Doug was able to refill the scuba tank quite easily.

Sea Otters in the marina

Silas Crosby is still with us and, tomorrow, we both plan to continue on to Morro Bay. The forecast is the same as it was yesterday – 5 to 10 knots from the northwest. Hopefully there won’t be any surprises!

Goodbye, Monterey!

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