Looking for a Catamaran Cruising Blog?

If you found this blog via a link from a cruising site ~ we did cruise Mexico on our Ocean 49 cat for a season. See the first text box on the right for links to our preparations, trip down Baja, life in Mexico, cruising and trip back up to SoCal. Unfortunately we are back to the grind in the USA...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Friday, 09-14-07 Alberts, Hungryman's Gulch & Yellowbanks ~ Wind Again!

Up to the sunrise over the East hills.Ok, we saw the beach, so now where to?

We headed outside so Jim could fish.Had a beer on the way (hey, we are on vacation and it's 5 o'clock somewhere...)!

He caught a couple of chunks of kelp, so we headed to the gap between Santa Cruz and Anacapa to fish. He caught one small rockfish and a decent sized sculpin who jumped off right at the surface.

We poked our nose (noses, since we have two bows?) around the corner to see what it would be like if we headed up to Prisoners - didn't look too good, so anchored in "Hungryman's Gulch" (who named this place?). We had a nice view of the channel and Anacapa. And a great view of "Honukai" as they sailed along. We put the kayaks in the water and explored the small beaches, the cliffs and the rocks. We had a few harbor seals following us. The water looked like an aquarium! We watched one freak wave wash a harbor seal off a rock. There were lots of pelicans on the rocks who watched us watch them.

Back to the boat for lunch. The wind started coming up (AGAIN) and I wasn't comfortable in this anchorage, so we pulled anchor and moved over to Yellowbanks, where it was beautiful! For about a half an hour... Then the wind came up... and up.

We watched one kayak blow away from a boat and get rescued. Then watched another guy try to row from one boat to another. He was really struggling, so we finally dropped the dinghy in water to go assist. By the time we got over to him, he had made it back to the boat.

We wathced the wind, waves and spray for several hours. Luckily the 3 or 4 boats anchored in front of us had decent anchors and had anchored well. I made chicken casserole for dinner. We ate inside and listened to the wind. It calmed down around 8 pm (yahoo!) so I read for awhile and went to bed. Jim curled up on the cushions in the cockpit to listen and watch.

Thursday, 09-13-07 ~ Willows to Alberts

It was windy all night - "Enough of this!"
Time to go DOWN ISLAND!

So we had coffee and I made sure I could move my left leg & got out of there! We cruised outside, so we could pick up the weather channel on vhf.

There was no one in Alberts, so dropped the anchor in the middle. It was really nice out!

Time to go fishing, so supplied up and headed down to Blue Banks & Valley. No fish, but the coastline was very pretty.

Back to the big boat. The water temp ranged from 67 to 69 degrees so squeezed our bodies into our wetsuits, slid off the transom and explored along the cliffs. The water was pretty clear. We saw lots of little fish and a few opal eye. I went back to the boat to dry off (out?) and watch Jim.

We watched another boat come in and anchor behind us. The sun goes down early behind the cliff, so decided we better head to the beach while we still had sun. We put fresh supplies in the cooler and headed into "Tar Baby Beach"! There were so many globs of tar we could smell it! I showed Jim the fresh water spring behind the beach. It was amazing that I knew something about the islands that Jim didn't know about! We washed out feet and rinshed off a bit. Back down the the beach for a beer and some "urine sample" (white wine that has been poured into a water bottle...) and playing on the beach.

This is where we met Carmen Alberta (Miranda)!

Back to "Meerkat" for a swim / float in the almost 70 degree water!

We enjoyed some EOS Zinfandel for Happy Hour. Jim looks like he is really having a "happy" Happy Hour!

Then it was time to clean off all the globs of tar from "Tar Baby Beach" (a beach I don't need to go back to!)

Warmed up the leftover tri-trip and garlic bread and steamed some crab legs for dinner. The we sat in the cockpit and enjoyed the evening with candy bars! Did you know Abba Zabbas are "long lasting fun"? And here I had always thought they were more on the lines of "long lasting dental bills"...Early to bed to read and sleep.

Wednesday 09-12-07 Willows ~ "Comfortable in a Windy Anchorage"

We got up and watched the sun take forever to rise. We had our coffee and watched one sailboat head up. They weren't bashing as much as the boat the day before, but it still didn't look too comfortable! We watched the birds dive and listened to their splashes.

Jim went fishing for awhile. He checked out the inner anchorage as there were no boats inside. Then he trolled all along the beaches behind us, but no luck.

I had finished one book and started another...

We watched boats bash up the backside, then turn around and come back. We watched the white caps blow along outside and several other boats sail down the island.

"Up, bash, turn, sail down, up, bash, turn, sail down"...

We sat, read and got some sun - that's all we did the entire day! It didn't help that I had the worst sciatic nerve pain in my left side all day...

Finished the book I had started earlier and Jim finished the one he had just started!

Picked up new ones and watched more white caps. Oh - we listened to the wind a lot too!

Jim bbq'd tri-tip and made garlic bread. We had with the leftover potato salad - another great dinner!

Jim set the anchor alarm so I could sleep - windy all night!!
And a first day that I took no pictures...

Forney's to Willows - Tues 09-11-07

Up to wet decks and breeze.
And even a fog bank over the island!

There were already big white caps out in the passage. Gee, do we sit here in the wind all day or head down the island. As Jimmy Buffett would say, "I gotta go where it's WARM!", so we pulled up the anchor and wove our way back out of the kelp.

We were broadside to the seas and swells coming across the gap, so our boat actually got tossed a bit a few times. Then we turned at Kinton Point and started surfing down the waves again! The sky and fog looked ominous! The fog stayed on top of the island though and was never above us! The boat had some long "surfs" of 10 and 11 kts down the backside!

We saw one trawler bashing up toward us and wondered "why?", and after we passed each other, they did a 180 and turned and headed back down the island. It really would not have been a pleasant trip into the wind!

We headed into Willows and were hoping it would be protected there. And it was! We anchored outside in our usual spot. I made bacon and crab cakes for a late breakfast. We watched "Islander" bash up the island on a whale watching trip. They even called us for weather! We usually call them for conditions... On a sidenote, we talked to a man who had gone out whale watching that day - said it was horrible conditions and he "fed the fish" the entire time! Glad we were tucked in and "Out of the Wind"! The beach looked beautiful, so put the kayaks in the water, supplied up with camera, drinks, sunscreen and a beach towel and explored the inner beach first.

We walked up the hill to take a look at the anchorage and the white caps marching by on the outside.

Then took the kayaks to the smaller beach on the outside of the anchorage.
Explored the beaches to the East of it and enjoyed being on a warm, sunny beach with no wind! It was actually hot, so we went skinny dipping as NO ONE WAS AROUND! We had the place to ourselves. We did some yoga on the beach and watched another sailboat bash up the backside & I mean BASH! Then they turned around and went back down the island...

We kayaked back to the boat for reading and relaxing. We took showers and Jim made burgers and potato salad.

Once again a beautiful Island Sunset!

After dinner we had some dessert wine and pretended Mike and Cyndi were with us!

To bed and I only got up to check on the wind a couple of times!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Monday Sunset at Forney's 09-10-07

After record time crossing the gap between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz, we wove the boat through the kelp into Forney's Cove. And were REALLY happy to be there! It was pretty sloppy outside, but flat and peaceful inside.

We had cheese and crackers & Arrogant Bastard Beer for Jim and some wine for me to calm down after the last hour or so of wind and waves. We relaxed and watched the white caps march across the channel and a couple other small fishing boats come in to anchor.
Jim pulled out half of one of the four halibut filets. I cooked it with a sour cream, dill and caper sauce and it came out perfect! We also had asparagus, corn and a potato. It was a great dinner!

We sat in the cockpit with music, dessert wine and a beautiful sunset! I did get up at 2 am to check the wind and the three boats that were anchored in front of us. We only had 15-18 kts of wind and everyone was holding good, so back to bed!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Monday - San Miguel to Forney's, Santa Cruz Island

Jim pulled up the anchor, and along with it about 50' of slimy, gooey, green sea lettuce. It was blowing all over the deck! We unfurled the headsail and said our goodbyes to our favorite anchorage...

There was some wind outside, but made for a comfortable motorsail.
It was kind of sad to watch the island disappear behind us...

Time to look ahead to the next anchorage!! We saw wind up to about 25 knots along the front side of Santa Rosa and surfed up to 14 kts down the waves. We headed up into the wind to go into Becher's at Santa Rosa and saw wind up and over 35 kts! Forget this! So we fell off and headed over to Forney's at Santa Cruz where we hoped we would have less wind. We surfed across the channel in NO time! And were happy to get into less wind and out of the slop!

Monday Morning 09-10-07 - Beach Morning

Another calm, flat night in Cuyler Harbor, complete with barking elephant seals. Up to a beautiful sunrise over Santa Rosa Island and Prince Island.Jim wanted to go fishing again (after that fat one from yesterday!), so loaded up the dinghy and I joined him.

We cruised along the North cliffs, where he had luck the day before... but not today! We had a small harbor seal following our dinghy (and probably Jim's lure), but Jim called him enough bad names so he finally left us. We trolled all along the beach towards the South shore where there was more wind, but again, no halibut today.

Time to enjoy the beach again! We thought it would be nice to have champagne brunch on the beach, so supplied up and went back to our spot by the one elephant seal. Brunch consisted of mimosas and Cheez Itz...
But what a view!

We only saw two other people on the beach!

We figured we better get another shot of the two of us - Jim in his fishing hat and me in my Costa Rica hat!

Our young female elephant seal spent the morning with us again. We even went and sat behind some rocks for awhile and she lumbered over and took a look at us, as to check on us, then went and lumbered back to "her spot". If I could have figured out a way to get her on our boat, I think I would have brought her back to the harbor... I was fascinated by her flippers and how she could use her appendages to scratch her head, back, eyes and more.

The wind was starting to come up, so we figured it was time to head "downwind" while it would still be a nice trip. Took a last look at the beach, then a few more shots of the elephant seals that have taken over the beach near the cliffs.

Then headed back to the boat to get it ready for the afternoon trip "down island"!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sunday Cuyler Beach Walk

This incredible beach has always been our absolute favorite beach in California! Actually it might just be our favorite beach anywhere! The sand is soft, there is no trash (except for some old Chumash Indian trash and a few pieces of flotsam), no tar and NO people! Well, very few people anyway - just a few boaters and campers that come out on Island Packers. The dunes are beautiful and untouched.

Years ago we found these two caves. They change over the years...
Sometimes they are completely open and you can walk fully upright inside and other years you have to crawl on all fours.

Fifteen years ago, when each day lasted 48 hours, we would take a small ice chest down to these caves and sit inside and talk (and drink Pabst Light, because that was all we could afford). We would play with anything we could find on the sand - put sand dollars in our eyes like glasses and seaweed up our noses to be gross (yes, I have pictures of this). The days would last forever and the caves were a favorite place to explore. It was amazing to go back inside after so many years!!

This time we had water with us (and maybe a Sierra Nevada for Jim), didn't put any sand dollars in our eyes or any seaweed up our nose and the afternoon flew by in about 15 minutes...

The cliffs and patterns are as incredible as the beach.

And the trash we did see didn't bother us.

In the windy times in the past, the walk back to the boat was a struggle. We would be walking directly into the wind with sand blowing in our faces and it was cold! Not this day - it was warm, calm and an easy beautiful walk back!

We talked to some other boaters and watched them swim! We checked out more elephant seals across the rocks on a smaller beach. We sat on the beach until we again had no sun! Then back to the boat for drinks, snacks and an easy dinner of sandwiches. When it got dark, Jim flashed the spotlight in the water and we could see these small orange-red things swimming around. We finally figured out they were "krill", what all the blue whales were eating!