Santa Barbara, CA
We got underway at 4:30 in the morning. The fog was not as thick but was still present. Kevin and Vickie did watch as I used both the chart-plotter and radar to maneuver the boat out of Morro Bay Harbor. Once out of the harbor there was some chop and maybe 4′ swells. The fog thickened and we relied on the radar for visibility. What a wonderful tool!!! When it is dark and maybe an 1/8 of a mile visibility is does give you a sense of security, once you learn to trust it. The sun started to rise as we rounded Buchon Point. Then we had a 45nm passage across San Luis Bay before hitting Point Arguella and then Point Conception. We rounded Point Arguello at about 13:00 and had Point Conception to our back at about 15:00. The winds were at 15-20knts and the seas were maybe 6′ at 12 secs. Not a bad passage for the two points, especially during the day. Most of the sailing for the rest of day was pretty calm. While Vickie was at the helm, at about 19:00, she noticed a sailboat ahead of us. I told her to slow down till we could determine what it was going to do. Once we could, I told to go ahead and increase back to our cruising speed of 2000 rpms. She then told me that the gauge was not changing. I went down to check the engine and from first inspection, everything seemed to be OK. I figured we had lost our alternator. A Diesel engine only requires electricity while starting for the starter motor. If you can hand crank it, you don’t need any electricity, unlike a gas engine. So I was not so worried about the ending cutting out. But our batteries were dropping and we needed them for our running lights. It is a busy boating area and without lights other boats can be upon you quickly, without knowing it. I brought the ship closer to the shore so we could drop the anchor, if we lost electricity. We followed the coast until we arrived at the opening of the Santa Barbara Harbor. Once inside it took a bit to get assigned a slip. But once inside and tied up we headed out to a bar and a bite! It was about 22:30 and everything was closing down. There had been a party at the local yacht club that they were cleaning up from. We decided to see if we could at least get a drink at the bar. We walked in and asked if it was too late. The bartender looked up and said sorry but we are closed. He then noticed my brother, who was wearing a Cubs hat. He asked “are you a Cubs fan?” which my brother answered yes to. The bartender said well maybe I can make an exception! Turns out the Cubs had beaten the Dodgers a few hours earlier and they were going to the World Series for the first time since 1945! This man, still in shock, is a diehard Cubs fan and had even moved to Chicago, when he was younger, so he could go to more games. So as we celebrated, the Cubs beating the Dodgers, he made us two martinis and a G&T! We went back to the boat and tucked in. In the morning I check the engine and the alternator had loosened up allowing the belt to slip. An easy fix! Today, we decided once again to try and travel through the night, and arrive in San Diego tomorrow early afternoon. The weather is mild and the seas are calm.