to Half Moon Bay - 52 NM, 9 hrs, 1/2 hrs sailing

An easy nine hours from Santa Cruz, virtually all under motor, took us to Half Moon Bay. Along the way, in the place we called Cephalapod Alley, we came across quite a few whales. The water was clearly very rich in sea-life, and off the bow we saw the steam like cloud of a whale: Thar she blows!.

In the middle of the day, we saw between 8 and 12 whales, singly, or in groups of one or two. Tho difficult to photograph, they are quite distinct to the naked eye. One or two were seen to be thrusting their heads vertically out of the water, but most were just lazing along, showing their backs and tail fins as they would surface for air and dive.

In a short time we had pulled into Half Moon Bay and "dropped the hook" in the free anchorage. How nice it was is hard to describe. Secure and snug behind the breakwater, the anchorage was as calm as any marina, and after we had lowered and setup the dinghy, it was only a few minutes drive over to the charming little town of Princeton on the Sea.

Cephelapod Alley and Entering Half Moon

The first evening, as we were having our evening drinks and "music hour", a gent drove up in his dinghy and made signals to come aboard. Before too long, Craig was sharing a beer with us, giving us the low-down on Half Moon Bay, and giving us a tutorial on how to carve your own wind-generator blades. At first we thought he was merely trying to sell his wares, but then he told us about his website, one of his many, and how he has taught rural Africans and South Americans to create these inexpensive generators for under $100. Really amazing stuff.

Anchored in Half Moon Bay

We slept in the next morning, getting up after 9:00 am in the gentle harbor. We rigged the dinghy and went into shore, where we had a lovely breakfast at a quaint house-like restaurant (Cafe Paradise?) with a view of the bay. Later, I hooked up with Craig for a tour of his boat.

He said he wanted to show me his boat, a ferro cement 46' ketch, named Sunovacg, so that I would be able to compare all boats in the future to his as the "messiest boat in existence". Not too far from the truth, as I boarded and tried to find a spot not covered with fresh epoxy, experiments in progress, or other well-found and often-used items. He had a whole machine shop on his boat where he manufactures his wooden blades for sale, selling as many as 20 (at $200 each) in a month. We had a wonderful long conversation about ground tackle (anchoring) and many other aspects of sailing. He is prepping his boat for a trip south, and is supposed to leave before July 4th, but to my untrained eye, it looked as if he would be at least a week or two getting things in order. I wonder if he will still be there on our return trip, and if not, I hope to catch up to him in one of the southern ports.

Images of Half Moon Bay

That night we had a simple but nourishing meal of macaroni and cheese with tuna. Drinks, music, and an early evening as we got ready to leave the next morning for S.F.

Mandala and Craigs Boat at Anchor