Date: Saturday July 8, 2006

General area map of Monterey, CA

Event: Monterey Harbor, Monterey, CA. (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (5 hrs on the water.)
w/ P-15s: Don Person, Steve Potter, Janet & Mike Dolan, Terry Gotcher, Pat Brennan,  Robert Sampson; P-19s: Mike Swartz (with Bruce Hood;) Monty-15s: Mike Trueman & Dan Phy; Others Boats: Dick Herman (Sun-Cat 17,) Brad Evens (Vagabond 17,) and more . . .
Winds: Winds 6-10 knots for my morning sail, 8-15 knots after lunch. 
Weather: Clear at Monterey Harbor; a fogbank persisted all day, hanging a mile to a mile and a half out..

Launching Lazy Ka at Monterey, CA (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan)Our early arrival at the Monterey waterfront got us rigged, checked in (assigned a marina berth for the night,) and bound for open water just after 10:00 AM. We could not have asked for better conditions on Monterey bay. Monterey city is routinely fog covered on any given Summer morning. The cover generally burns off in the early to mid-afternoon, only to roll back in in the early evening. But for our Potter Yachter weekendMike and Janet Dolan riding the swells of Monterey Bay (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan) visit the fog remained a mile or better off the city and West of Lover's Point in Pacific Grove. This made for warmer that usual temperatures, and clear night skies.

Over the years, our family has made many trips to the Monterey Peninsula to Pat Brennan showing us how it's done in the winds of Monterey (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan)take advantage all that the area has to offer. There is the historic down-town (Monterey was the capitol of Spanish and Mexican California) where Living History reenactment events are held several times throughout the year; Monterey Bay Aquarium; The shops and restaurants of Cannery Row; tide pool exploring along the abandoned railroad right-of-way, now a bicycle path; and the glorious colors and textures of nature to be found along the shorelineMonterey Bay Aquarium from Lazy Ka on the bay (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan) of neighboring Pacific Grove. But with the exception of a SCUBA trip to Stillwater Cove that took us from Monterey's Wharf #2, we have not done Monterey from the water. Today Jennifer and I will change all that.

Once clear of the Marina, we set sails and began a series of tacks in a westerly direction toward Lover's Point, our goal for this sail. Each tack to the northwestLovers Point shrouded on fog from Lazy Ka on Monterey Bay (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan ) would take us out into the offshore fogbank where we would change tack as soon as sight of land was lost, then sail back out into the sunshine once more. We repeated the cycle several times sailing past the waterfront landmarks of Cannery Row and The Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Progress was occasionally slowed as I would find myself sailing into the ever-present Bull-Kelp that populates the shallows along the northern California Mike Trueman on his Montgomery-15 is all but lost behind the swell of Monterey Bay (PHOTO: Jennifer Kergan)shoreline. Kelp is like a aquatic tree. The stalk rises from the bottom to allow the foliage to gather nutrients and sunlight. The kelp-blooms float at, or near, the water's surface and tangle on the Jennifer Kergan sailing with dad aboard Lazy Ka, Monterey Bay, CA (PHOTO: Don Person)centerboard of the sailor who ventures into the kelp-beds.

The winds were plentiful, with a constant swell that rolled in from the open Pacific ocean. Monterey Bay is not the protected harbor that San Francisco is. The weather and dominant waves roll in from the northwest, and we had plenty of swell to deal with . . . three to four feet worth.

Once we reached our outward goal of Lover's Point, we turned our back to the Steve Potter struggling with his rig aboard "Stars & Bars" on Monterey Bay, CA (PHOTO: Jennifer Kergan)wind and sailed a return course one hundred yards off the shoreline back to the marina. Tied up at our berth, Jen and I settled in for a picnic lunch on Lazy Ka, and a little conversion with Terry Gotcher, who was sharing the end-tie berth with us.

Following lunch, we chose to sail a reach northward along the dunes that line miles of Monterey Bay east of the marina. Several boats were away before us, so we were chasing sails in the distance. Among them was Steve Potter who is always experimenting with new sails and plans. Today was no different. Steve has come into a sail that is too large for his mast. Solution: put an extension on the mast and use the sail anyway. When we catch upSea Lions negotiating for space on Monterey Bay, CA (PHOTO: Jennifer Kergan) with Steve, he is working feverously at changing his sails while bobbing around in the middle of Monterey Bay. It seems that Steve's mast extension was overcome by the high afternoon winds, and was in danger of breaking under the stresses.

Sea Lions negotiating for space on Monterey Bay, CA (PHOTO: Jennifer Kergan)On our way back into the marina, we detour past the Coast Guard pier, and adjacent breakwater with it's large population of Sea Lions. These beasts are always fun to watch as they haul themselves out of the water on any convenient place in the sun. Many boats on moorings have nets or other other protective devices to prevent being boarded by seals or birds.

Lazy Ka entering Monterey Marina under sail, Monterey, CA (PHOTO: Robert Sampson)The final stretch into the marina, which would normally be done under outboard power, was done under sail. I am again having motor problems. Later diagnosis finds a bad fuel line is the culprit . . . an inexpensive repair, to say the least.Jennifer Kergan, relaxing with dad on the deck of the Monterey Bay Yacht Club, Monterey, CA (PHOTO: Don Person)

We are tied up safely at our berth at 4:00 PM, and off to the Monterey Bay Yacht Club for happy hour and some social time before going to dinner.

Jen had put in a request that we do dinner at Bubba Gumps shrimp restaurant at Cannery Row. To get there, we take advantage of the free shuttle that runs between Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row. With parking hard to find, and expensive at the Row, "free" sounds good. The down-side to Bubba Gumps is that there is always a wait of an hour or better. But Jen wants shrimp, so wait we will.

This gives us a little time to browse the shops in the area. Jen is still in need of a parka (foul weather gear) to keep on the boat. For Jen, it must be just right, this means stylish. What luck! we wander into a shop right next to the restaurant and find a great little coat in pink . . . her #1 favorite color.

Between the wait for dinner, and the leisurely pace of our meal, we missed the last shuttle which departs at 8:00 PM. Not to fret, the walk back is a little over a mile along some of the most picturesque vistas to be found anywhere.

A stop at our car before turning in, finds Steve Potter trying to nurse a dead dead battery back to life. It seems that Steve had left his lights on all day, We hand around to keep him company until he is off on the road. Then its off to Lazy Ka and bed for us.

I decided not to sail on Sunday, as I felt that I couldn't count on my motor. So I paddled Lazy Ka around to the ramp, hauled out, and hit the road form. Both Jen and I thoroughly enjoyed Monterey, and are looking forward to doing it again. But that will have to be next year; the October Potter Yachter Monterey overnighter is the same weekend that I am scheduled to head down to the Miramar (San Diego) air show.