October 1, 2008
We explored San Miguel Island a bit - took the skiff over to the beach, and hiked down the beach, then up a trail to the top of the bluff overlooking the bay. Discovered a marker on the bluff commemorating the Portugese explorer Joao Rodriguez Cabrillo, buried on the island in 1540. Many weird and wonderful plants there, and lots of seals sleeping on the beach. A volunteer ranger and his wife were hanging out on the beach, and we chatted with them for a bit. They come spend a few weeks on the island, and have it mostly to themselves.
September 30, 2008
We departed Port San Luis at 3 am, and headed out under brilliant starry skies… We found a pretty calm and relatively flat sea, and made our way down the coast. Chad caught a fish, but it escaped as we were netting it. Not 30 minutes later, though, we hooked another one and managed to keep this one - even bigger than yesterday's fish! We will be eating well
for a few more days now (not that we weren't eating well to begin with!)
We passed by Vandenberg AFB and could easily see the space launch
facilities from an unusual perspective; we then passed several oil
platforms -there aren't too many left on the California coast, but we
saw most of them pretty closely. After passing point Arguello, we made
for San Miguel island. Along the way, the wind picked up, and we
regularly were seeing 8-9 knots as the swell helped us along.
Fortunately, the crew seems to have become inured to the motion of the
boat, and we could easily eat and tend to chores.
Approaching the island, we saw whales (blue whales we think) up pretty close! We reached the anchorage around 5 pm, and while it's very pretty, the wind is howling – we'll be keeping a close eye on the anchor tonight.
September 29, 2008
Last we heard from the intrepid sailors, they had put in to Stillwater
Cove… The story resumes:
We set sail in the morning, figuratively speaking; the skies remained grey, and winds very light. Mercifully, the swell was much smaller and easier, and the fog higher, so although we spent most of the day and the following night under motor-power, we were able to eat and function pretty well.
We caught a fish on Sunday, a nice albacore, who gave us a delightful dinner one night, lunch today, and another meal yet to come.
We saw lots of wildlife - some whales in the distance, many dolphins and porpoises came racing over to play, including some at night leaving glowing trails of bioluminescence in their wake.
This morning brought us past Moro Bay, and into Port San Luis by
lunchtime. We anchored and had the aforementioned fish for lunch, then
took the dinghy in to shore for a beer and a shower. We got the boat
ready after dinner for the morning's passage to the Channel Islands -
we will leave around 3 am, so as to arrive at San Miguel Island before
September 27, 2008
We made our way out the Golden Gate and right into the fog - cold, gray and a big Pacific swell. Heading south, we split into two 4-hour watches and made an average of about 4 knots. With the wind nearly dead astern, and wind light and moving about, we had a hard time keeping the headsail filled and elected to run through the night under just the mainsail.
No one was feeling well in the rolling swell - it was impossible to eat or drink, and the fog made it very cold and damp. By morning, we
were all wiped out, and decided to take a break.
We came in through the fog to Stillwater Cove, which turns out to be right under the end of the famous Pebble Beach golf course! It is nice and calm and still, we ate and slept up and cleaned things up on the boat. The stars are out and magnificent for the moment, until the marine layer comes back in.
We'll head out in the morning for Port San Luis, which is likely to
take another 24 hours. Our run yesterday was about 105 miles, which
wasn't bad given the conditions.
–chad, aboard the S/V Libertine
Voyage of the Libertine: Day 1
September 26, 2008
I’m aboard my friend Will’s sailboat, Libertine, in Oyster Point marina (South San Francisco) – we are leaving this morning for a journey down the California coast, to the Channel Islands and back. With Will as the captain and Coleen, Alan and myself as crew, we will be on the water for the next 6 or 7 days; next stop is planned to be Port San Luis. I will post updates as connectivity permits! We should be underway by 10 this morning.