San Diego, CA
And I, Vickie, am finally getting around to contributing to the Windhorse blog! We survived our first all night boat ride! 24 hours with 3 of us rotating 3 hour shifts. While one was at the helm driving the boat, another was on watch, and one was sleeping. Every 3 hours we switched places. We developed a rhythm and at times I felt a bit like a zombie, but the system pretty much worked for us. We left Santa Barbara around noon on Sunday and pulled into our SD Harbor Police Dock around noon today. We were very lucky to have smooth seas, almost no swells or waves, but unfortunately, not enough wind to sail. The little wind we had was coming from the south, so it was in the wrong direction. We had fog so we got to practice using our radar, and saw the rainstorm slowly overtake us about 5am today. There was thunder and lightening all around us. We were worried that lightening would strike our mast. Dennis used the radar to do some quick maneuvering which included stopping the boat for awhile and even leaving our heading and going in the opposite direction. He steered us out of the storm and we got back on course. I was utterly amazed at how he did it! And very relieved. So we have survived 24 hours with no stopping. Next week when we start the Baja HaHa, out first leg will be 72 hours with no stops. Wish us luck! Another crew member I am impressed with is our dog Zelda. She has been such a little trooper. No member of our crew has gotten motion sickness, (including her), probably due to the medication we take daily. So here we are on the boat this evening. We are exhausted, with full tummies (went out to dinner), it just got dark, and our eyes are at half mast! So Kevin, Dennis and I are wishing you all a good night and sweet dreams. We send our love and you will be hearing more from us soon.?⛵ 875;
San Diego, CA
Just a quickie update. We arrived this morning in San Diego safely. It was a 24 hour passage and we are beat. More detail to come. XOX The Crew of the Windhorse
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.
Morro Bay, CA
You may have gotten multiply posts for the last post. I had been trying to post the last story all day but it did not go. I am still going around with the tech staff without an answer. I believe it may have something to do with a major DNS server going down today by hackers. But my work around is I am able to do this next story on my PC.
You may ask how I can be writing this as we were to be sailing around Point Conception tonight.
After arriving at Morro Bay this morning, we first refueled and then tied up at the local Yacht Club. We then walked to lunch, to have a heart meal, as we planned to sail through the night tonight. We came back to the club, showered and had cat naps.
We met fellow Baja Ha-Ha-er’s on the dock. Three fellows who were excited about the trip and we discussed the possibility of going around the point together. Point Conception is known as the “Cape of Good Hope” of California. It is where the warm water and winds of southern California meet the cold waters and winds of Northern California plus you have the convection of the warm air coming off the warm central valley and meeting the cool airs of the Pacific Ocean. The makings of a cluster fu@k (sailor terminology) of weather for sailors!
As the day worn on out new friends found that they had a cracked packing gland and needed to get it repaired. The packing gland keeps the ocean water coming in to the boat around the propeller. so they will have their boat pulled out of the water tomorrow and will delay their trip south.
We were still ready for out 18:00 departure. Vickie made sandwiches and we heated tomato soup and put it in a thermos to have in the evening.
The yacht club has a happy hour at 18:00 Friday with food and drink, that we were invited to. At the last moment we decided to go up and partake, just for 15 minutes.
I left a few minutes early, to start preparing our boat for the nighttime passage. The fog had started coming in earlier but now was so thick the visibility was less than an 1/8 of mile. I reviewed the weather projections. Some said the wind and seas would be calm and the travel would be calm. Others had 20-25knt winds with gust up to 30 and seas at 7-8′ but the time in between at 9 seconds. When the time between is less than the wave height, then you have the possibility of an “E” ticket of Mr. Toads ride! Combine this with the heavy fog and nighttime, we decided to postpone tonight’s passage till the morning. It would have been a 15 hour passage with the best of circumstances, with a lot of those hours under high winds and fog, a stressful adventure.
The winds are to subside tomorrow, so we plan now on leaving at 4:00 in the morning. This will get us at the point around 16:00. But the winds are expected to drop considerably. If we have fog, we won’t, at least, have the darkness of night and the wind.
Everyone has tucked in and it is time for me. I’ll let you know how it goes, hopefully tomorrow afternoon in Santa Barbara, sipping an umbrella drink! Once around the point we go from layers of clothing to shorts!!!
San Simeon, CA
Our try to go over night to San Simeon was not successful. We were about 20km outside Monterey when the winds kick up with the swells and wind waves. Vickie was down below when a big swell hit is from the back quarter and knock her to the floor. She was fine but I decided to turn in. Monterey was about 3-4 hours away.
We arrived at 23:30 quite tired. We tucked in and awoke to leave at 05:00.
The next day was very calm and we made good headway averaging 7kts. We arrived before sunset had dinner, some wine and discussed today’s plans.
Our plan is to go to Morro Bay, refuel, makes some repairs and assess the conditions at Point Conception. One projection has it calm. Another 10-20knts with gusts up to 25 knots 7′ swells at 13 secs. We plan to have an early dinner and then head out.
If anyone does not want to continue getting this, let me know and I’ll take you off the list.
San Gregorio, CA
Well yesterday did not go so well. We are all fine, just delayed. We left Vallejo at around 10:30 looking to catch the slack ebb tide at 15:30. We got there little early and continued on our way. The sea was a little rough but manageable. But as we got further out the swells were developing to about nine feet and the duration was getting closer. The weather had predicted something a little less than this and usually when you make the left turn things calm down a bit. I decided to check the weather again. Things had changed… they were now calling for 29 kt winds and 14′ swells with4-5′ wind waves on top of that! I decided that we needed to turn back. After a rough ride back we got into the safety of SF Bay and anchored in Ric******* Bay. On the way back Vickie had noticed that our new solar panels had shifted to one side about 1 1/2′! Kevin made dinner and we reviewed the weather again. Things were improving and what we had experienced was remnants of the typhoon that had just hit the Pacific North Coast and Northern California the previous weekend. The next morning we examined the solar panels and found some loose bolts. We decided to remove them and strap them to the boat. They were not hooked up yet and I will have the time in San Diego to do the necessary repairs. So this morning we were off again and headed to the gate with the slack flood tide. Things were much calmer. Are initial plan was to stay the first night at Half Moon Bay. But with the loss of a day and the sea state improving, we will be sailing through the night on to San Simon cove today. We past Half Moon Bay about 2 hours ago and should be passing Monterey Bay in about 7 hours. We expect to arrive at San Simeon about 10am tomorrow morning. We hope to be able to hear the debate tonight. Till next time. XOX from the crew of the Windhorse.
Hello all. This is our introduction of what we are doing and where we are going. We are on our way to San Diego to join up with the 23rd Baja- Ha-Ha. This year they are expecting 150 boats, mostly sail, a few power. There is safety in sailing with a group though we will be spread over the Baja peninsula due to the different types and sizes. Ours is a 1975 Islander Freeport 41 Ketch, with a center cockpit. Very roomy and safe. Our crew will change for different legs. Traveling from Vallejo to San Diego will be Dennis Patterson the Skipper, Vickie Reed and Kevin Patterson. From San Diego to Cabo Kevin will be replaced by Mike Pienta, a friend of Dennis’s who bought a previous boat he had. MIke will then leave and Dennis and Vickie plan on cruising around the Sea of Cortez for about three weeks. After that Vickie’s cousin, Debbie, will join us for the up hill bash to San Diego. She has done the Baja Ha-Ha four times. Today was the day we left the Napa Valley Marina for our trip. We had an appointment in Vallejo to have the boat hauled out and a re-tuned propeller put on and a new transducer installed. This was to take about four hours. But when we arrived and went over the work order with the owner he said the adhesive, for the transducer, has to cure over night. So we are now sitting in the boat, on the hard, in a boat yard, in Vallejo. Tomorrow we will start our first leg to Half Moon Bay. We are expecting our trip to last two months. More to Come… We hope you enjoy our travel log.