On Sunday, Sept. 24, we left the safety of Santa Cruz Marina and set out again. The winds were minimal, not enough to sail, the waves were 3-4 feet, it was bumpy, but fine. By dark, the waves were 5 – 6 feet high and coming from two directions. The wind also picked up. No place to duck in, so on we went. We had planned to take 4 hour shifts, but needed to help each other to see, so sleep was minimal. What happened to the 5 weather sources checked that all said it would be beautiful! Ugh! One thing for sure, no one can predict weather accurately! Morning finally came and it was better. We sailed along to 12-15 knot winds and enjoyed looking at the scenery. We were also joined by our first pod of dolphins! We were a little nervous when the charts said that we were near Vandenberg Air Force Base in a “danger area zone” and heard on the VHF radio that they would be doing some kind of testing?? What??? We did notice that there were no other boats around. Did they know something that we did not? Hurrying right along, we saw the structures that had launched a space shuttle as well as the Space X station.
We were now nearing Point Conception. This is described in the chart books as the “Cape Horn” of the Pacific. The fated weather reports told us that we would have a
good rounding of this cape…..now we heard on the VHF that there was a “small craft advisory” for that area…..oh sure there was! OK…..we have bad weather experience…..here we go! Large, confused seas, but not much wind….we were around it! And as a “ha-ha” to the big bad cape…..we anchored for the night right behind it in a small bay. A much needed stop for the night.
The next morning we were off at daylight toward Santa Barbara. It was an amazing day to be on the water. We passed at distance by some of the beautiful Channel Islands and passed a bunch of stinky oil rigs. We saw oil on the water and later learned that this “seepage” is natural and comes from the sea bed, not the oil rigs…..sure, that’s what they say!
Seals guided us into the huge harbor. There are probably 1,000 boats here! Santa Barbara is beautiful!