Año Nuevo – March 2022

A photo of Grace anchored near Año Nuevo State Beach

March 29 2022

  • Started: Mar 29, 2022 7:12 AM PDT
  • Trip Time: 8:19:45
  • Dist. Traveled: 34.92 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.19 kts
  • Max. Speed: 6.57 kts
An image of the route from Santa Cruz, CA to Año Nuevo on 2022-03-29

Originally, my plan was to sail to Half Moon Bay and then onward to the San Francisco Bay. I got an early start at 7:12am given predictions of some coastal wind. However, it was largely non-existent. After a little while bobbing about near the Santa Cruz Wharf, I decided to motor at about 3 knots for about two hours until 9:12am. I could have gone faster, but wanted to conserve my gas reserves. Strong northerly winds were encountered once clear of the Monterey Bay. I sailed upwind for a while with my genoa until it became just too difficult to manage. On a tack near shore, I swapped out my genoa for the class jib. Eventually as winds picked up, I would also reef the main. The sea conditions had lots of swell and it was a wet ride. I started to get the hang of how to avoid slamming the boat over the swell without deviating too much from my course.

Given my progress by the early afternoon, my father who was following me through Garmin Explorer recommended that I spend the night at Año Nuevo Marine Reserve. I was pretty tired of beating upwind at that point. I also figured it would be safer to enter Half Moon Bay during daylight hours since it has been about a decade since sailing into that harbor. I anchored at depth of 28 feet a good distance from Año Nuevo Beach. The water was beautifully clear and patches of seaweed surrounded the boat.

There was still a fair amount of northerly wind blowing over the landmass to the north, which kept my boat perpendicular to the direction of small waves approaching the shore. All the rolling kept me up pretty late, and I probably only got a few hours of actual sleep. Still, it was worth it, as I received a call about a theft at my home, and decided to return to Santa Cruz the next day to take care of the situation. So much for my plans of 5 days cruising!

March 30 2022

  • Started: Mar 30, 2022 7:35 AM PDT
  • Trip Time: 4:54:15
  • Dist. Traveled: 23.7 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.83 kts
  • Max. Speed: 7.13 kts
An image of the route from Año Nuevo to Santa Cruz, CA on 2022-03-30

The gentle movement of the water through the kelp beds paired with an overcast sky made for a very calming morning. Time seemed to slip by. Seagulls and seals surrounded Grace. They seemed somewhat curious as to why I was anchored there. By the time I set sail, they had all gone their separate ways.

As of yet, this was my fastest cruising leg with Grace. It makes sense. I was able to maintain a broad reach the entire time with only a handful of jibes. I headed south at a slow speed until clearing the point at Año Nuevo. The winds only got stronger throughout the morning as I approached Santa Cruz. Seeking shelter from the wind behind the wharf, I doused the jib and prepared the boat to enter the harbor. Winds were quite strong by then. The dredge had made an unusually restricted channel for entering and exiting the harbor, but I decided to sail in anyway. Once inside the harbor, I started the outboard motor and dousing the main.

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