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.
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
Mandala and Craigs Boat at Anchor