Berkeley – September 2022

September 28 2022

  • Started: Sep 28, 2022 1:29 PM PDT
  • Trip Time: 7:12:15
  • Dist. Traveled: 30.99 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.30 kts
  • Max. Speed: 7.70 kts

This first day of sailing ended up being a trial run. Conditions from shore seemed mild. I had packed lightly having just returned from a three-week work trip. A friend, William, accompanied me. After some delays in organizing our belongings, we got a late start around 1:30pm. The sun was shining and the winds were calm inside the Monterey Bay. We sailed comfortably until just past Steamer’s Lane, at which point northwesterly winds picked up dramatically.

I had missed the small craft advisory. Water made its way into the cabin even with the hatch was closed, and I was quickly soaked through despite my foul weather gear. The inflatable tender in tow behind us started flying like a kite. As it flew off the swell, it twice flipped upside down, digging its nose into the water. I flipped it over the first time. The second time it flipped, I pulled the tender aboard, deflated it, and stuffed it into the cabin, further soaking the interior.

Between Table Rock and Davenport, I decided we should return to the Santa Cruz Harbor. We would have arrived late to Año Nuevo State Beach soaked and without adequate clothes to change into. The cots were also soaked. I didn’t look forward to starting the trip to Berkeley without a good night’s rest. We had about an hour or two of sailing downwind before the winds died. We then motored the rest of the way back to the Santa Cruz Harbor. As we entered the harbor at night, a sailor on his cruiser at the fuel dock commented to us, “Didn’t I see you leaving earlier with a tender?” I confirmed that yes, it was us.

September 29 2022

  • Started: Sep 29, 2022 1:19 PM PDT
  • Trip Time: 7:09:45
  • Dist. Traveled: 29.17 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.07 kts
  • Max. Speed: 6.01 kts

Will and I got a good night’s rest on land and packed better for the elements. My folks lent us some warm layers and extra foul weather gear. I also borrowed an inflatable life raft, which was much more compact and safer than the inflatable tender we were trying to use previously. We spent a few hours drying out our gear before heading out at almost the same time as the day before.

The winds were similarly strong, but slightly more manageable than yesterday. We got wet again, but stayed bundled up enough to stay warm. We also stayed close to shore, tacking frequently to avoid the biggest of the swell. It was an energizing upwind sail, and if felt good to make more headway without any mishaps. At dusk, we were still at sail. I tried to turn the masthead tri-color navigation light on, which failed. Fortunately, I had just fixed the deck navigation lights, so we used those instead.

By the time we reached Año Nuevo State Beach, it was already dark. We used the GPS to orient ourselves. After passing through the kelp bed near shore, I dropped the anchor. It was a lovely night. Will and I were a bit too tired and wet to even cook dinner. So, we just had a celebratory drink of mezcal and called it a night.

September 30 2022

  • Started: Sep 30, 2022 6:46 AM PDT
  • Trip Time: 6:05:00
  • Dist. Traveled: 28.04 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.61 kts
  • Max. Speed: 6.01 kts

Waking early, Will and I prepared coffee and oatmeal. It was an enjoyable morning. We were both a bit tired from the rocking at anchor. While our anchor had held, we discovered that we had swung quite a bit at night to the point where the rode was wrapped multiple times around the anchor. Winds were non-existent, so we motored the whole six hours to Half Moon Bay. We passed the time telling jokes, Will more than me.

The fog thickened as we approached Half Moon Bay. It made for some fantastic photography by Will. We had lunch at one of the restaurants at Half Moon Bay, and then put anchor in the lagoon for the night. Both of us were exhausted, and we took naps during the afternoon. We then prepared a delicious meal with what we had aboard: brown rice with canned tomatoes, canned anchovies, and wild harvested kelp.

October 1 2022

  • Started: Oct 1, 2022 6:30 AM PDT
  • Trip Time: 8:52:15
  • Dist. Traveled: 36.02 nm
  • Average Speed: 4.06 kts
  • Max. Speed: 7.70 kts

Mild conditions persisted for most of the day. We had an unusual southerly wind, and jibed throughout the day to stay on course. I contemplated flying the spinnaker, but decided it was safer to just make do with the jib even if it meant staying at a broad reach to the wind. We timed our entry under the Golden Gate Bridge to coincide with the maximum flood tide. We made our way through the potato patch, which could have probably been avoided, but in any case, kept us out of the shipping lanes. The winds and our speed dramatically picked up just after the Golden Gate Bridge. We sailed swiftly to Berkeley.

Once in the Berkeley Marina, I forgot to shut off my tracker while checking in, which messed up the estimates for trip time and average speed. I chose the slip where I would keep Grace for the winter. It happened that my neighbor was celebrating his birthday, so I had the chance to meet my neighbors and many other of the friendly sailors and liveaboards. Due to the party, I returned the next day to get everything organized and cleaned properly without distraction.

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