On Our Way!

Category: Ships Log

Week of 10/26/13 - 11/02/13

Last Saturday morning (10/26), about 6:45am, we finally released our dock lines to begin our journey south. 


For the last few months we’ve been living at the Emery Cove Yacht Harbor on D-dock.  D-dock is a great place to call home, with some of the nicest boat neighbors you could ask for and one of the best harbormasters around. Although excited to finally be on our way, we were also a bit sad to say goodbye to such a great place.

Leaving Emery Cove Marina and motoring across San Francisco Bay, just before sunrise.

As we motored out across the bay, we saw a tugboat approaching us from the Oakland harbor. Lo and behold, a new friend from our dock, Carl, was working on this tug and called out a greeting to us over the tug’s loudspeaker! It was an awesome farewell.  Carl and his wife, Christina, recently completed a 3-year cruising circuit of Mexico, South America, French Polynesia, Hawaii, and back to San Francisco aboard their 33-ft Ranger, Bamboleiro.

Carl's tugboat Liberty passing by us (see Carl standing just outside the wheelhouse).


A picture of us motoring across the bay that Carl took from the tugboat.

By 8:20am we were under the Golden Gate bridge, and turned left. Our first destination was Santa Cruz, which we reached 14 hours later, about 9pm. Our plan was to stay overnight and leave by noon the next day (Sunday), however the weather report called for strong winds and steep waves, so we decided to anchor out next to the Santa Cruz pier Sunday.  It was lucky we did because when Christian called customs Monday morning to let them know we had left San Francisco (our boat is registered in Austria, so as a foreign registered vessel we have to check in and out of every port), he found out we actually needed to go to Oakland to clear out of customs in person! This was not articulated in the information we had, which implied you only needed to call.  Luckily our friend Lora Lee (who lives in Santa Cruz) came to the rescue. When she heard about our predicament, she and her husband lent us their car so we could drive to customs in Oakland. We were able to complete all the paperwork in Oakland and be back in Santa Cruz by early evening (a trip that would have taken us 8+ hours if we were to use public transport, our original plan).  And when we got back she offered us hot showers and a home cooked dinner. It was just what we needed before continuing down the coast. What started as an unpleasant delay turned into a serendipitous excuse to spend a wonderful evening visiting with friends.

Green Panther tied up to the fuel dock in Santa Cruz harbor.


Enjoying a wonderful dinner with Lora Lee, Phil, and Sergei in Santa Cruz.

We left Santa Cruz 4:30am Tuesday morning, and continued down the coast to San Simeon Bay. We arrived about 2am in the morning and anchored for a few hours of sleep, leaving again in the late morning on Wednesday. San Simeon is a lovely anchorage, but we decided not to dally since the weather was good, and you never know when that will change. Our next stop was the bay at San Luis Obispo Wednesday night, just before Point Conception. After a night’s sleep, we re-fueled and did not stop again until we reached San Diego Saturday afternoon. This was our longest passage so far; 2.5 days and 2 nights at sea without stopping.  A hot shower never felt so good, along with 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep on a boat that wasn’t rolling back and forth! We know we won’t have these luxuries soon, so are making sure we appreciate them now as we ease into the cruising life!

Glassy ocean conditions (no wind) as we motored along the Big Sur coastline.

Anchored in San Simeon Bay.


On our way to San Diego, we spotted a large group of California sea lions hanging out together in the ocean. Often they raft together to rest and possibly keep warm by exposing their flippers to the sun, but this group was very active and did not appear to be resting. Perhaps there was a school of sardine in the area. 

For the next couple days we will stay here in San Diego to re-provision, visit with friends, and improve a few things on our boat to make the upcoming passage down to Baja California a bit more comfortable (such as installing our bimini top to provide some shade).

The inside of our boat is slowly getting cleaned up and starting to look more ship-shape!

Tied up at the public dock in San Diego.


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