After many months of anticipation and preparation, we finally cast off the dock lines and headed south! We departed Berkeley on Thursday October 6. We had originally planned to depart on October 1, but we decided to hold fast a few days for a better weather window and to wrap up some lingering items on our to-do list.
Our first leg was a short jaunt to Half Moon Bay where we dropped anchor and dinghy’d in to have dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend. We set out early the next morning on our way to Monterey. We made Monterey by sunset and got a slip assigned by the Harbormaster. We were serenaded to sleep by a chorus of sea lions thet continued thru the night.
The next day we set out on our first overnight leg to Morro Bay. We sailed thru the night with a mix of moonlight and fog. I really appreciated the AIS and Radar systems on Epiphany as we sailed thru areas of zero visibility fog banks off of the Big Sur coast. We arrived at the Morro Bay buoy just as first pre-dawn light illuminated our approach. We were able to find a great spot in the anchorage and dropped the hook. We took a rest break then dinghy’d into town to check out the shops and grab some lunch . After some great seafood and a few drinks, we headed back to the boat to rest up for our next overnight leg to Santa Barbara.
When we awoke the next morning, we were surprised to see a large historic sailing ship anchored nearby. It turned out to be the “San Salvador” which is a reconstruction of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flag ship that he used to explore the California coast back in 1542. It is a beautiful 100 foot full rigged galleon.
We departed Morro Bay mid-morning and headed south to round Point Conception and get to Santa Barbara. Point Conception has a reputation for being very challenging with extreme weather shifts and sea states due to the effects of the topography on the prevailing NW winds. We were prepared for a potentially difficult sail, but were pleasantly surprised to experience flat seas and calm winds. Our experience was even more enhanced as we passed a large number of whales migrating north and super-pod of dolphins also headed north. The super-pod was over a mile long of hundreds, if not thousands, of dolphins. There were so many that they churned up the water for their entire pod length. It was an amazing and awesome experience.
We rounded Point Conception with no issues and sailed/motored thru the night to arrive at Santa Barbara at dawn. We were able to get a slip assigned by the Harbor Master and pulled in to rest and enjoy the warm and sunny SoCal weather in Santa Barbara. We liked Santa Barbara so much, we decided to stay a while… ultimately we ended up staying a full week and enjoying every day of it!