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First Step out of a Long Journey

Sailing offshore is what many aspire to do. A family came to Afterguard this summer with the goal of sailing around the world. Kimberly Coast -mom, daughter 14 (almost 15) and son 12. Their goal is one of good will. They are active 7th Day Adventists who have traveled to provide aid at missions, by air, in many countries around the world already - Thailand, Mongolia, Cambodia and many more. Their passage around the world by boat has a facebook page "Ohana Hope Corporation".

After a number of classes that started during summer, they are pushing ahead and underway. Images below are of the sunset arrival in Half Moon Bay last Thursday night, Oct 8th, 2015. The next night's stop was well after dark in Santa Cruz-no pictures. As we were casting off in Monterey Harbor Mom feinted at the dock. Checked the boat back in for a week of rest for Mom and family. Kim's doctor friend says she will be 'good to go' after a period of rest which they will do in Monterey.

So much pressure - rush rush rush - to get down the coast before the ocean currents turn north in November and crab season starts. Kim retired after 16 years as a school teacher, sold her home, bought a 31' Southern Cross cruising boat. The kids had taken a summer camp week long youth version of ASA 101. Both were a huge help when we sail the new-to-them boat from Stockton to the Bay. Previous boat owners did a circumnavigation and the boat still has most of the equipment theyt bought for such an adventure. The family kept their boat at our docks while continuing the series of ASA courses to help them get ready for this grand goal.

Ariana and Andrew saw a jumping 12-15' Great White Shark in San Francisco Bay on a heavy weather trial day in the Bay by Alcatraz. We all saw the Blue Angels Fleet Week show practice as we sailed out across the Bay and under the Golden Gate. Winds were mostly light and in our face when it was not so we motored most of the way but got in some sailing to Half Moon Bay.

Headed out at 7am for Monterey under motor. The winds built after 11am for a few hours of very nice sailing. Saw Great Pacific White-side dolphins and Humpback whales. After Ano Neuvo the winds built and waves grew with the winds. After Davenport the winds built to very high vs dropping off. We dropped the main and continued to sail under stay-sail alone hitting 8+ knots. The seas were not huge but hitting us from 2 directions causing a corkscrew motion down the face of the waves. More than a bit tiring to drive. We changed drives every 15 to 30 minutes vs on the hour. The 75lb Newfoundland dog freaked out and had to be held below by Kim for over 2 hr. She was tossed and banged about as the dog barked and barked.

Andrew was in heaven driving those crazy waves. Said it was better than the Medusa Ride at 6-Flags. We got pooped three times. Took to having a wave watcher tell the driver when to turn down to run the face of the bigger waves to avoid being continuously pooped.

Changed course to the closer destination, Santa Cruz. Arrived by 9pm. Ariana said, "This is an open dock. Do you think someone could just get aboard our boat?" Had not happened in many of my prior visits but got me thinking it might be possible. That night at the wee hours of the morning, someone did board the boat. Woke with their motion of stepping on at the shrouds. I called for Kim then looked to see all, including the dog, were sound asleep. I unzipped the sleeping bag, tossed back the hatch top and dropped the top hatch boards. Apparently some of that noise chased them off. They ony got one strap loose from the inflatable on the bow area.

Kim's mom arrived in the morning to remove the dog from the boat and trip. LaCota is huge, sweet but only a year old and not yet trained. The confines were notable for her and heavy weather scarey. We can expect a fair amount of heavy weather in the miles ahead. After Monterey is the Big Sur Coastline with notable heavy weather as the standard and then there is the Pt Conception rounding.

Sailing across to Monterey a fog bank was hearld to stonger winds ahead as we motor-sailed across the Bay. About mid Bay we put in the 2nd reef. Over teh Monterey Canyon we saw waves that were of the very large variety. There was a mini cyclone working its way across the Pacific from Hawaii headed for Pt Conception and up, plus a cyclone moving from Hawaii to Seattle that together were creating 18' waves in advance of these storms. The one headed for the coast was predicted to arrive on Tuesday. We dropped the main and continued under stay-sail alone for the last part of the sail to the harbor as the fog bank closed in. Once in Monterey it cleared and quieted. Added only 5 gallons for 2 days of motor-sailing. Amazing.

Saw an Otter in Monterey plus lots of sea lions.

Our exit from Monterey is scheduled for next Tuesday - Oct 20th.

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