sailing homepage : trip reports : 1: sf to sd : monterey to san luis

Oct 11-12: Passage from Monterey to San Luis Obispo

After spending all afternoon at the Monterey Aquarium, we decided to press on and make the overnight passage to Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo. It's a long trip down the coast, probably 20 hours, and it's dangerous and difficult to come into an unknown port in the dark, so this section is best sailed overnight.

Leaving Monterey


Hanging out at the mast

The Monterey seashore is nice, with million-dollar homes overlooking the bay, and a cool old lighthouse / bed and breakfast at the point. Lots of rocks awash too.

Looks expensive


Cool lighthouse

Danger was everywhere. We were all alert, at our posts, scanning the horizon for the first sign of trouble. Concentration and teamwork would be key for this critical portion of the voyage.

Will dozing off


Sara calling for help

The sunset was beautiful. We tried to sail for a short time, but there was no wind. I guess because we had sailed just two days ago, we were okay with motoring. It sucked, but no one talked about a "change in leadership" like they did before.

"Take it down? I just put it up!"


Everyone onboard has a camera

Beautiful sunset


Beautiful clouds

We "sailed" through the night, which was both exciting and tiring. There was some fog, but the stars that weren't obscured were really bright. There was no one else out there, but we kept a keen eye on the radar all the same. Just like in Mexico, we saw two types of phosperesence: a deeper general 'glow', like from our prop, and discrete surface lights that would sparkle brighter than stars!

The "all-boy" watch


How cute am I?!

We tried to take watches, but I was really nervous about the crew and boat. I couldn't sleep at all for the worry.

Sara plotting our position


Some pictures didn't turn out

Thursday morning - which I had to look up, we all had lost track of what day it was - was as wind-less and calm as Wednesday evening. We motored on. Morning rations were issued, and complaints regarding the quality of the gruel was noted in the logbook.

Another day begins


Mike at the helm

Everything was dull and boring. None of us slept well, and we all craved a little stimulation. Sara made me give my Xbox to Stephen from work (damn you Stephen!), so we had nothing to entertain us. Nothing except ... DOLPHINS!

Sara sees something cool!


What's that over there?

Dolphins off the port bow!


They're coming this way!

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The dolphins were something that we had all read about, all dreamed for, but they were so much cooler than any story or website could ever convey. These animals are all about having fun. Jumping, playing, splashing and chirping, they swarmed us.







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Several different pods came over to check us out. There must have been something like 40-50 dolphins dancing around us.

At the bowsprit


Swimming below us

Everyone gathers round


So quick and nimble

Under the 'sprit


Up close!

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It was so cool to see these guys play under and around us. After a while they split off and we waved and cheered as they headed further out to sea.

California coastline


Nuclear power generation?

We continued on down the California coastline, passing what looked like a nuclear power plant, before we arrived at Port San Luis, a little northeast of San Luis Obispo. We chose not to stop at Morro Bay, given we were making good time and we wanted to be as close to Pt. Conception as possible. Port San Luis is a commercial stop, though, and getting some diesel was a real production.

Passing down the hose


Wanderlust tied to the pier

We grabbed a transient anchor ball and rested for the afternoon. I don't think anyone slept, but it was nice to hang out without the monotonous drone of the diesel. Our plan was to wait until nightfall, then continue on around dangerous Pt. Conception to Santa Barbara.