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 weekend
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
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 shoreline
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
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 northwest
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
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
of the sailor who ventures into the kelp-beds.
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
we reached our outward goal of Lover's Point, we turned our back to
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 up
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.
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.
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.
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
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.