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I own the last Wauquiez Centurion 42  (hull#55).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The family's first overnight sail

The early morning was painted-white veined with streaky pink, like the inside of a mussel shell.  Estero Bay was ribbed with swell left over from the previous day's gale, and the boat rolled badly in the airless calm as we made the crossing to Morro Bay. Downstairs, all the loose bits of our life were on the move: books spilling from their shelves, a stack of dinner plates slithering back and forth inside a locker, the drumbeat slamming of an unfastened wardrobe door.  It sounded as if a poorly executed robbery were going on down there.

Don't I wish (you also I imagine) that I could write like that. That little bit is from this splendid book I'm reading called Passage to Juneau by Jonathan Raban. My dad gave it to me and it is a great read. 

So here is my droll prose for your reading enjoyment....
This post is covering the morning of the 12th. I am writing it and then saving it as we have no Internet just yet for posting. 

0726 Wednesday morning. Under sail, sliding towards Morro Bay. We motored most of the night but at 0300 the wind filled in and we have had full press of canvas out ever since. The rest of the crew is sacked out and I just put the kettle on for some coffee. The waves are gently rolling us we run downwind hitting 7 and a half knots at times.  The wind is blowing about 13 knots and the sky is overcast but with the sun peeking out occasionally giving me hope of a sunny day. 
After having the motor on for hours, the contrast is nothing short of amazing. Now all I hear is the water sluicing around the boat with an occasional rumble as the boat gets picked up by a swell and we surf down. The creaking and groaning of the lines as the sail gets more pressure is absolute music.  The sound of the wake left by Appa goes from a gentle gurgle to a full on roar as this old French Princess gets her groove on. 
While making coffee, I hear some clicks and tones that might be whales or dolphins but I haven't seen any yet. To quote the movie Space Balls "we ain't seen shit!"  Couple whales waaay off in the distance and 5 dolphins briefly played with the boat on our way to San Francisco has been about it. Tons of otters in Monterey Bay though and seals. Lots of them. 
The autopilot (Ang, another Avatar reference) has done a marvelous job of driving Appa this whole trip. Ang can steer by wind direction or compass heading. I dare say that Ang does a better than most humans. 
Left Monterey Bay yesterday after 2 days there. Saw the aquarium.  It was very cool. A lot like watching an IMAX movie at times. They have this giant tank called the Open Sea. 1.5 million gallons or so.  The glass was 50 foot high and couple hundred feet long. Maybe. Huge anyway. 13 inches thick. Hammerhead sharks, mahi mahi, tuna, turtles, rays, 15,000 sardines, etc.  We sat in front of the glass and just watched the fish go by.  The jellyfish display was crazy. The retro and psychedelic way they had them on display was trippy. 
Hit the beach, rode our scooters, shopped at Trader Joe's, you know, the usual stuff.  
Jen made chicken stir fry on our way down the coast and we feasted. We then watched Surf's Up. Samey now wants to surf. She laughed and laughed at that movie. It is one of our favorite movies. 
We should be getting into Morro Bay in a couple hours. The gps says 1130. We'll check the bar report and make sure that it is safe for us to go in. Morro has a nasty entrance is you don't time it right. So far we look golden. 
This is us. Check out the SOG (speed over ground)!  
Motoring past Pebble Golf course at Monterey. $500 to play there. I hear it is famous. 
1038 in the morning. We are about 15 miles out of Morro now. This is Max resting after his watch. 
Jen just got out of bed with Samey. Ben has been on deck with me since about 0700.  He has been dozing on and off.   The kids woke at 0500 or so and stayed up for an hour or so. 

Here is Samey in her "lair". 
1145am. "Wing on wing" less than an hour out. 
I'll post more photos later. Jen's blog should have some also. The links to the family's blogs should be to your right.