Santa Cruz Cruise

Spinnakering past the Golden Gate, in warmer, gentler breezes & gentler seas. A nice relief after the Mendocino area

Spinnakering past the Golden Gate, in warmer, gentler breezes & gentler seas. A nice relief after the Mendocino area washing machine.

A lot of cruisers like Bodega Bay so we planned to stay there a couple of days. It’s certainly well protected being basically a large land locked estuary. And the (Spud point) marina has it’s own additional breakwater. And, you can hear the roar of the surf over the hill like you were next to it. But that’s about it. Not much to see or do. Friendly though. We even picked up some temp work towing a local to his new slip. Our new friend Will paid us in pearls he gathered on his recent cruise to the South Pacific. So we have that going for us.

Local character, Will, back from his 3rd South Pacific cruise "hired" us to tow his 60,000 lb boat to his new slip.

Local character, Will, back from his 3rd South Pacific cruise “hired” us to tow his 60,000 lb boat to his new slip.

The big toe job underway.

The big toe job underway.

There’s been an off-shore breeze and the Bay Area has been hotter than we like (100+ degree range) but Santa Cruz has been just right (80ish)We made the decision to bypass San Francisco & head toward Santa Cruz to park the boat while I rent a car to do some visiting of family & to take my mom & dad back to Olympia and me to a dental procedure on BI. Donna & Lucy will stay with the boat.
On the way, we anchored out one night at Drakes Bay in the lee of Point Reyes. Absolutely a spectacular spot but we would rename it “Fly Bay”. When we woke up to a bright sunny morning, we went up on deck to find the boat absolutely cover in flies. Hundreds if not thousands of them. Creepy. The Hitchcock film “The Birds” was filmed near here, scared the bejeepers out of me as a kid. But old Albert could have done even better using these flies. They’re insidious. They come back to life if you don’t give them multiple whacks. By the time we anchored at Half Moon Bay, there were hundreds of carcasses strewn about the boat. Not pretty. But except for a few we found hiding below, we were fly-free at last.  Arms and legs bruised from slapping ourselves.

Famous Chimney Rock at Drake Bay entrance

Famous Chimney Rock at Drake Bay entrance

Enormous Drake Bay in the lee of Pt Reyes was spectacular. Great hiking ashore even though National Parks over manages it.

Enormous Drake Bay in the lee of Pt Reyes was spectacular. Great hiking ashore even though National Parks over manages it.  Lucy was dogsona non grata.

Even with that distraction, we did have a nice spinnaker run down the coast though. And we got to see the Golden Gate Bridge in bright sun shine. And, we unfortunately hit a several hundred pound sunfish while under spinnaker. It felt like hitting a really big log. He surfaced behind us with his fin flopping back and forth wildly. Really glad the engine was off because I think he hit the rudder near the prop. Poor Carmanah, another ding.
So far, Donna’s two favorite stops so far are Fort Bragg and Half Moon Bay. Half Moon because it’s small town and you can anchor inside the breakwater where it’s all nice & calm AND free. And, they have a local micro-brewery (of course). Wish we could have stayed longer but had to get to S Cruz to start the land trip.

Half Moon bay could be called Pelican Bay, there were thousands of them lining the brea waters. They are so cool to watch with their. Jaunty posture while in flight.

Half Moon bay could be called Pelican Bay, there were thousands of them lining the brea waters. They are so cool to watch with their. Jaunty posture while in flight.

A couple visiting Port Madison YC once told us that it remained them of their home Yacht club--Half Moon Bay. We had to see for our selves....yep it's got the same feel.

A couple visiting Port Madison YC once told us that it remained them of their home Yacht club–Half Moon Bay. We had to see for our selves….yep it’s got the same feel.

But PMYC doesn't have one of these. If we did, I don't think the mud would have the same feel as this fine sand.

But PMYC doesn’t have one of these. If we did, I don’t think the mud would have the same feel as this beach sand.

Half Moon Bay YC's unique trolley system for transporting people to & from the dinghy dock. BI Parks needs one of these

Half Moon Bay YC’s unique trolley system for transporting people to & from the dinghy dock. BI Parks needs one of these

Sailing down from Half Moon Bay, the forecast was for sunny & N 10 knots.  Reality was foggy & 25+ knots.  It was a fun romp though–sailing w/jib only hitting 9 & 10 knots hoping the radar wasn’t missing any “targets”.  The breeze got us there with time to anchor off the Coney Island type beach next to the board walk and pier.  Like being at the circus.  That night was like trying to sleep at the circus.  Probably a thousand sea lions hang out under the pier–what a racket.  We were happy to move into our slip at the marina the next day.  Only about 30 sea lions live there.

Santa Cruz harbor from Carmanah anchored out. Like Coney Island, the Puyallup Fair and a SoCal beach all rolled into one.

Santa Cruz harbor from Carmanah anchored out. Like Coney Island, the Puyallup Fair and a SoCal beach all rolled into one.

Anchored off Santa Cruz pier. Between 200 sea lions barking all night and wave action from the open pacific, not much sleep on Carmanah except Dad, sans hearing aids, reported sleeping like a baby.

Anchored off Santa Cruz pier. Between 200 sea lions barking all night and wave action from the open pacific, not much sleep on Carmanah except Dad, sans hearing aids, reported sleeping like a baby.

Sea otters have reach Santa Cruz--seem perfectly at home.

Sea otters have reached Santa Cruz–this guy seems perfectly at home.  Note the behemoth sea lion on the dock. beyond.  They completely take over some of the docks.

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