Leaving San Pablo Bay for the Napa River. Mount Tamalpais in the background.
We are home!!!
We arrived in Napa the evening of January 5th, around 19:00. For the most part safe and sound. More on that later. I will cover some of our last legs and then this will be the final post on our travels. We hope you have enjoyed the posts. Our next projected legs were to be leaving Morro Bay Friday for a four hour trip to the anchorage at San Simeon. We had hoped to spend the night, without the southerly swells and then leave early the next morning for a 14 hour trip to Monterey. The winds kept up and it was rolly but we did manage to get some sleep. I would not recommend doing this again in December, as the weather gets quite tricky. Nighttimes are difficult with just two and no autopilot, all hand steering. We left San Simeon early in the morning and had a pretty comfortable trip to Monterey, arriving earlier than planned and just as the sun was setting. Another storm was coming with strong winds and large swells. So our goal to be home by New Years would have to change. We accepted that we would get home when the ocean allowed us to and not a day sooner and decided Monterey was not a bad location to bring in the new year. New Years Eve we found a sports bar and settled in to watch the Washington Huskies play Alabama and New Year’s Day we went and saw the movie Jackie. We left Monterey Monday morning under questionable conditions. There was a warning for the San Francisco Bar and another big storm was coming. We decided if things deteriorated we could tuck into Santa Cruz but wanted to try for Half Moon Bay. We were only two days from home and were getting excited at the prospect of being tucked into our old slip! We had some rain but made good time and made it to HMB around 16:00. We thought we might leave the next day but a big blow was coming and we would be holed up there for what we thought would be one extra day. That next day the winds cane up strong, gale force! I measured 45kts on my wind gauge. That translate to 52 mph! It was too messy to leave the boat. I found a pizza place that would deliver to our slip on the wharf. So at around 19:00 this kid, fighting the wind and rain, came delivering our pizza, he was tipped well! Later on that evening we saw another sailboat come in from the howling wind. I peaked out the window and saw two men hug each other as they reached the dock, obviously relieved to be in a safe harbor. The wind and rain came hard during the night but in the morning things had cleared up. This was to be our last day, that night we would be home! I visited with our neighbors, who came in the previous night. As it turned out they were part of the Baja fleet and we had communicated by radio, while in Mexico. I then went about preparing the boat for our final leg. There was a hose on the dock so I decided to hose off the bow of the boat. This area is known as Zelda’s poop deck and I thought a little extra cleaning was appropriate for our final day. I finished cleaning the deck and turn the water off… I stepped over the hose and then my rubber boot slipped! I went flying into the air and when I came down, I did a face plant on the only thing raised above the dock, a hose bib! I was ******! I reached up to feel if a bump was forming above my eye. What I found was my hand covered with blood! We had traveled from Napa to La Paz and back with no injuries and were one day from home and now this happens! I climbed back in the boat and told Vickie I had injured myself. I was hopping she would see the wound and say, it doesn’t look so bad but she said the opposite, “that doesn’t look good, you need stitches”! But if this was going to happen, this was probably the best place for it to happen. My brother, Kevin lives in Palo Alto, just 19 miles from Half Moon Bay. He drove over the mountains and took us to the hospital. Nine stitches, a slight concussion and busied ego later we were off to lunch and then back to the boat. We spent another night and planned to leave the following morning. It was the last day of our weather window before new storms were going to hit the Bay Area. The seas and wind were to be calm for our last day on the seas. But our last day was not to be calm. The wind was 25-30kts and the seas were coming from the NE requiring us to head more east, to keep from having the swells hitting us on the beam. We finally reached the point where we needed to turn west for our entrance into the Golden Gate. Now the swells were coming at us from our back Port quarter. Though high, they were far apart. But a few did tip the boat sideways quite a bit. I wasn’t comfortable with this and kept one eye to the seas to our left and one on the Golden Gate. We had missed the slack tide but came racing in on the flood tide. But once inside the Gate the seas became smooth. The flood tide pushed us past Angel Island and on to the Napa River. We had one last hurtle to getting home. There is a draw bridge in Vallejo that the operator leaves at 19:00. But with the flood tide we were there in plenty of time. We arrived at the Napa Valley Marina around 19:00. With the help of our neighbor Bill, we secured the boat and tucked in for the night. The next morning we awoke to 34 degrees in the boat. A far cry from our mornings in Mexico! It is wonderful to be home and visiting with family and friends. We learned so much about our boat, cruising and ourselves! We met and made friends with the locals and learned a lot from the many Expats that have made Mexico their home. I want to especially thank my brother Kevin, for coming, at the last minute, to Cabo and helping crew on the Baja bash from Cabo to Ensenada. We are now going to take a few weeks resting up before tackling our new list of repairs and improvements for the boat. Plus I will be exploring doing some contract work in my previous field of work. Both Vickie and I are already talking about our next adventure.