a tow in the mist…

In anticipation of our Autumn Equinox cruise to the Farrallon Island, Denise, Max, Gregory (AKA Walter), Keith and I departed on Saturday afternoon at 1430, stopped at the fuel dock, filled up our tank and headed out to South Beach Harbor for an early Sunday morning departure to the Farrallons. As soon as we got out of the harbor, the wind is blowing close to 20 knots and we decided to take it easy and just roll out the 125 jib as our only sail while close reaching towards the City-we were trucking along at 7 knots with just the jib. On our way out to the channel, we passed by all the finishing racers from the Barth Race and waved to all of them as we passed. The wind was gusty at around 20 knots and soon everyone onboard duck for cover as wave upon waves of bay water splashed onboard like an E-Ticket ride at Raging Waters… The usual wind pattern manifasted on our course as wind peaked and lessened around San Bruno Mountain and picked up speed and shifted directions near Hunter’s Point. The surprisingly strong winds prevented us to entertain Denise’s boys with the typical children’s program that Mist is famous for – riding on the bosun’s chair over the water while the boat is sailing. Instead, they entertain themselves checking out the fleet of large container ships and tankers in formation with the ebbing current. We took advantage of the favorable current, stayed in the deepwater area and weaved our way through the anchored ships until we reached South Beach Harbor in less than 1.5 hours. We docked the boat at the guest dock as per our arrangement with the harbor master, checked-in with the security guard and finished putting the boat to bed so that Mist can have a restful night for the big day tomorrow. We walked down the Embarcadero to the Caltrain station and took the next train at 1800 back to San Mateo, Denise graciously set up a picnic on the train which we devoured on the way home. Bright and early Sunday morning, we met the rest of the crew at the boat and prepared for cast-off. Onboard for this trip: John, Emily, Brian, Ray, Keith and I. We waited until 0800 for Calvin to show up, but not having seen nor heard from him all morning, we concluded that he must have changed his mind about the cruise, casted off our lines and we are on our way to the Farrallons. The current was at the tail end of the ebb and we had an hour to reach the Gate before the current turned against us. Low fog hung over the Bridge as if a fluffy down blanket had been pulled over the suspension towers of the Golden Gate bridge to soften its silhouette. Soon, <b><i>Mist</i></b> is also blanked by this covering blending us to the whiteness surroundings. We snuggled to the north shoreline out the Gate so that we have a reference and found slack water at Point Bonita. With the low overcast, there’s little to see, so we hail for <b>Chai DM</b> on both channel #16 and #71, but got no response. We settle down to motor sailing to the Farrallon Island with the main up. Only much later in the cruise, we found out that Vince had indeed heard us on the VHF, tried to contact us on the radio, but we could not hear his hail. Around a hour or so out the Gate, we finally heard from <b>Chai DM</b> and Vince reported having problem with his fresh water pump on his engine and is currently sailing towards the gate in a light breeze. His heading was 120 degrees, speed at 1.9 knots. We plotted his position and course on the chart and determined that at this speed, he will be near Bolinas Point by the time we rounded the Farrallons. We can intercept him on the way back to give him a tow if the wind had not strengthen in the afternoon as it usually does. Having agreed to this plan, we continued on our intended course for the Farrallons. The fog/low clouds hung over us stubbornly, occasionally lifting a little but always lingering throughout the whole day. As we motored steadily towards the Island, we saw many porpoises in small pods feeding and sounding all around us. Occasionally, we see another boat – mostly powerboats – fishing and trolling around the Farrallon Banks. We counted our blessing that we didn’t see any great white sharks milling around us as the Farrallon Island is a known breeding ground for the great whites. <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/photos/Farrallon track1.png” title=”Combined tracks for Mist & Chai DM” target=”_top”><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/photos/thumb_Farrallon track1.png” width=”500″ height=”328″ alt=”Combined tracks for Mist & Chai DM” class=”centered” /></a> <br /> <i>The track show Mist’s tracks (in green and overlapped with purple) around the Farrallon Islands and Chai DM’s tracks (in purple) sailing from Drakes Bay…</i> Even before our GPSs’ (we had 4 onboard) told us we are nearing the island, we started to smell a strong odor from Island. We can tell the wind, what little of it, comes from the SouthWest as we approached the island from the NorthEast. We can smell the odiferous bird droppings a long time down wind of the island. The island is close enough now that we needed to be watchful of low-protruding rock formations and surfs. <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/?pp_album=1&pp_image=Picture_3_01.jpg” title=”Track around the South East Farrallon Island” target=”_top”><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-photopress/thumb_Picture_3_01.jpg” width=”500″ height=”397″ alt=”Track around the South East Farrallon Island” class=”centered” /></a> We slowed down a bit to check out the surreal landscape of rock formations shrouded in fog and rising from the ocean with occasional rays of sun to spot light it. Several rock formations around the island had an arch opening that seemed large enough to paddle through with a Kayak, but far to dangerous for us to get too close as swell awashs it with white foam. We rounded the island slowly, saw a number of fishing boats and several tour boats anchored on the west side. We observed a number of buildings scattered on the island and marveled at how difficult it must have been to build such structures on this inhospitable and barren island. Later in the journey, we heard from Vince that there was a reported boat sinking near the Farrallons and 4 persons were rescued out of the water, but we saw no evidence of that activity while we were rounding. After circumnavigated the island, we contact Vince aboard <b>Chai DM</b> to see what his current position and plotted a reciprical course to intercept him as we decided that there just isn’t going to be much wind for Vince to be able to make it safely back to Coyote Point in a reasonable amount of time. A tow from us will ensure that his is back safely to the bay. So we now have a “mission” and the three navigators onboard started to apply our “theories” of best practices to perform a search and rescue manuever in the fog. Since we had gotten two reports of his positions at this point, we can now plot his actual course and speed. While he reported his current course was 120 degrees at 1.7 knots, we plotted his course and found that he had been set towards the east of his previous projected course line. Whether this was due to current or leeway, it wasn’t clear as in slow speed, leeway is always much higher than expected as well as any current influence of the California Current which flows North to South at about 1 knot. We compensated for the drift/current set and plotted yet another interception point. It’s a good thing we have two rocket scientist on board to do the math as I was getting a little tired doing the math and preferred to visualize the vectors on the GPS and chart instead. <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/?pp_album=1&pp_image=Picture_4.jpg” title=”Vince’s course from Drakes Bay” target=”_top”><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-photopress/thumb_Picture_4.jpg” width=”500″ height=”282″ alt=”Vince’s course from Drakes Bay” class=”centered” /></a><br /><i>Chai DM’s track from Drakes Bay on Sunday morning</i> Throughout the returning leg, we kept in contact with Vince at regular intervals and plotted his positions to keep track of his course and drift. By this time, his speed had picked up to 3.5-4 knots from increased wind and we adjusted our course to intercept. As a result, we travelled in a gradual arch heading further south as we find his position and intercept point to be further south than our previously projected course (see chart). This means that we had travelled an extra 1-2 NM to intercept him – not a problem in this case as this is not an emergency, but certainly not the most efficient method for SAR if lives were dependent on our arrival. At this point, Keith suggested another approach that may provide a bit more certainty based on WWII submarine tactics (is he really THAT old?). His approach would be to plot <b>Chai DM</b>’s fastest possible speed to safe harbor, set our course to that point, when we reached the interception point, head on a reciprocate course where we are converging at the combined speed of our 6.5 knots and <b>Chai DM</b>’s speed in current wind strength at 3-4 knots. At which point, we could converge at a combined rate of 10.5 knots in addition to not having to sail that 1-2 NM of extra distance. This means that we could intercept Chai DM several minutes earlier and given better odds of saving lives. This tactic should be modified by a couple of data points: >1. Given the hull speed of Chai DM of 5-6 knots, it would have meant he would theoretically be at the SF entrance or further in the channel – we should modify our interception point to just the entrance to the Gate and headed up on a reciprical heading; >2. we should request Vince to keep us updated if his average speed changed so that we can modify our interception point further up or down as needed rather than for us to find out at our initiative. This is so we can adjust the moment the average speed is changed rather than introduce latency and error margins when we initiated the contact. This was all good information and knowledge for the next time when we needed to intercept a boat in fog or had to perform SAR in an real emergency. This ocean cruise provided an added bonus of both practice SAR experience and object lessons for us to be better navigators and sailors for the future. <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/?pp_album=1&pp_image=Picture_2.png” title=”Converging towards fog” target=”_top”><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-photopress/thumb_Picture_2.png” width=”500″ height=”304″ alt=”Converging towards fog” class=”centered” /></a><br /><i>We had to turn north to meet up with Vince</i> As we got closer, we radioed each other more frequently on his coordinates and when we are within a few hundred yards distance of his coordinates, we started to use the fog horn to see if we can determine whether <b>Chai DM</b> is north, east, south or west of our position in the fog. Finally, we saw two sailboats emerging ahead through the fog in our proximity and we asked Vince to blow his horn so we knew whether to turn left or go right to the sailboat on either side of us. Vince did so and we headed north to find him ghosting down us with jib and main. He dropped sails and we did as well to keep distraction and compications to the minimum while we laid out our spare anchor line for a tow. We paid out over 120 feet of line, coiled it so we can throw it to him. It was a little tricky to be close enough to throw a line to another boat in rolling swell and not make contact, but we approach <b>Chai DM</b> on leeward to avoid his boat rounding up to us, threw him our tow line and reversed engine so we would slow down a bit while waiting for him to rig the towline. <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/?pp_album=1&pp_image=Picture_1_02.png” title=”The final approach to Vince” target=”_top”><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-photopress/thumb_Picture_1_02.png” width=”500″ height=”335″ alt=”The final approach to Vince” class=”centered” /></a> <i>We headed south much further at the last moment, but in hindsight, we were close to converging with Vince, but just to make sure we didn’t miss him, we headed far enough south to be sure.</i> In no time, we were heading back towards the Gate with <b>Chai DM</b> in tow. Surprisingly, our cruising speed did not slow down very much by towing him and we made steady hull speed of 6.5 knots towards the Gate. By the time we reach the Goldend Gate entrance, the tidal current is now ebbing with conviction and vigor and the wind had picked up to a healthy but atypical velocity in the bay. As well, we heard many reports of ships in and out of the Golden Gate Bridge on Vessel Traffic channel that we kept a sharp lookout for other boats in the fog as well as big ship traffic. We tried to stay as close to the shore as possible to stay away from the ships. The passenger cruise liner that we passed at Pier 31 in the morning was heading out the Gate occasionally blowing his horn in the fog. While we could not see her, it sounded much louder than I would feel relaxed about. After tediously slow making headway of 2-4 knots against the flood, we finally made it through the channel and got a brief current relief at the base of North Tower. We took care to listen to Vessel Traffic report and after a while of no reported shipping traffic, we decided it behoove us to cross the shipping channel and head for the South side of the bay to get current relief. <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/?pp_album=1&pp_image=Picture_6_01.jpg” title=”Dis-engage from the tow in front of StFYC.” target=”_top”><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-photopress/thumb_Picture_6_01.jpg” width=”500″ height=”281″ alt=”Dis-engage from the tow in front of StFYC.” class=”centered” /></a><br /><i>tracks showing the disengagement of the tow on the south part of the crossing. The top green line is from the morning outbound track</i> After safely arriving to the South side of the channel, there was decent breeze blowing. We slowed down to release <b>Chai DM</b> from our tow and coiled our tow lines. <b>Chai DM</b> unfurled her jib and started to sail. We agree to keep in touch after we drop off our crew at South Beach and evaluate if further tow was needed. The wind was 10 knots plus and steady. Vince was able to sail smartly under jib alone . We headed close to the StFYC shoreline to get favorable counter current and motor sailed with our jib to South Beach Harbor at around 7:30 PM, nearly 12 hours since our departure at the same point this morning. After a brief stop over at the harbor to drop off the crew, Keith and I headed out the harbor and made radio contact with Vince. He had already reached the Ferry Building and will be soon under the Bay Bridge. But the wind had lighten a bit compared to the central bay, that it was prudent for us to standby him in case the wind continue to lighten in the ebb current. <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/?pp_album=1&pp_image=Picture_8.jpg” title=”Track showing our rendezvous point north of the Bay Bridge ” target=”_top”><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-photopress/thumb_Picture_8.jpg” width=”482″ height=”500″ alt=”Track showing our rendezvous point north of the Bay Bridge ” class=”centered” /></a> By the time we wer abeam of South Beach Harbor, the wind had lighten enough and the sun is setting fast. With all of us anxious to get back to the harbor as soon as possible, we decided another tow from Mist would be the least complicated and worry-free way back to Coyote Point for both of us. We circled while Vince dropped sails and prepared a towline on <b>Chai DM</b>. When he was ready, we converged to grab the towline and resumed a direct course to Coyote Point Harbor, using the flashing amber light atop of the Yacht Club as visual guide on such a clear evening. We set Otto (the auto pilot) to our course and settled down for a hour and a half uneventful ride back to home port. <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/?pp_album=1&pp_image=Picture_9.png” title=”Even in the harbor, our adventure continues…” target=”_top”><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-photopress/thumb_Picture_9.png” width=”469″ height=”500″ alt=”Even in the harbor, our adventure continues…” class=”centered” /></a><br /><i>Even in the harbor, our sailing adventure continues as we rescue a wayward fender which decided to take a dip!</i> As we approached the harbor, we disussed the best method to bring <b>Chai DM</b> to her slip. We ended up pulling <b>Chai DM</b> along side and tied up for a side-tie ride to <b>Chai DM</b>’s berth. While doing so, one of Vince’s fender fell overboard, so we had a quick man overboard drill with the two boats tied together to retrieve the wayward fender. Afer we successfully retrieve the fender, we approached our final channel only to find another obstacle: a small 26 foot power boat had completely come adrift at the gas docks partially blocking the fairway while we are now in a doublywide beam due to our side-tie towing configuration. We carefully avoided the adrift boat in the narrowed passage and continued down to the end of the channel, releasing <b>Chai DM</b> at just the opportune time to give her enough speed to coast rest of the way down to her slip and dock. We did a pirouette with the boat and slipped quietly into our berth and put the boat away quickly. For a brief moment, I thought about making an effort to secure the adrift power boat on the gas dock opposite of our docks, but I decided Darwin theory has been working just fine for thousands of years – who am I to change it tonight… We drove home feeling refreshed and exhausted at the same time. Had it not been the towing adventure, this would have been yet another non-descript foggy ocean cruise in my log. But with the challenge of two boats finding each other in the fog and the tow in against the ebb current at the Golden Gate entrance made it an interesting trip and great learning experience. We have Vince to thank for adding spice to our trip…

cruis’n the pacific ocean

 

After 3 days 22 hours 8 minutes and 49 seconds and 497 nautical miles under the keel of SV Paradigm, we quietly pulled up to her new berth in Coyote Point Marina on Thursday, September 29th, at 0856 hour without fanfare and ceremony. Tired and a bit worse for the wear from keeping watch on a rocking and heaving boat for the last 4 days, but relieved that we manage to bring the nearly new J32 to her new slip from San Diego to San Francisco without drama and mishap – we are finally home! The journey consisted of 3 legs: Leg 1, from San Diego to Santa Barbara, Leg 2, from Santa Barbara to Monterey, and finally leg 3 from Monterey to SF. This segmentation of the trip was determined by the fuel consumption rate rather than by design. But in hindsight, it may be the right call for this trip regardless of fuel requirements, but also for a small respite between life onboard a constant rocking platform and our own cooking! SAN DIEGO to SANTA BARBARA: Leg length: 173 nautical miles, 1 day 6:46:23 hours, average speed: 5.58 knots

After some trouble with getting the broker from Sail California in San Diego to own up to problems that was to be fixed before our arrival, we left San Diego in a flurry of last minute repairs and provisioning (nothing like trying to find a refrigeration repairman called Capt’n Frost on a late Saturday afternoon, diagnose and repair a clogged head with a free-lance repairman or going grocery shopping with 3 guys at 11 PM on the eve of departure each with their own ideas of provisions for the journey). After motoring out of the San Diego channel and rounding the last channel buoy, we hoisted the main and set a course to 295° magnetic and let the autopilot take the wheel. Even though this is a delivery rather than a cruise, there was a great sense of relief to escape from the dependency of shore and the bitter taste of unprincipled brokers just by virtue of leaving land and into the big blue Pacific.

We wasted nearly two full days relying on an unscrupulous dealer, expecting him to fix what was pre-existing condition on the boat. Now that the boat is finally underway and all systems seemed to be working fine, we settled down to the routines of the boat: trimming sails, keeping watch, organizing the ship’s stores and trolling for fish dinner. Our destiny is at last under our own actions! Around midnight, we approached the island of Catalina and can see the glow of lights in Avalon. It was too bad that our departure was delayed as we would have seen the famed resort in twilight had we left as planned. The Santa Catalina Island is much larger than I had envisioned from accounts. From the time we approached the southern tip to passing the northern tip took us over 4 hours. Just after passing the Santa Catalina Island, we changed course to 10 degrees magnetic to cross the shipping channel perpendicular fashion to minimize any unnecessary or prolonged exposures to commercial shipping traffic. After traversing the channel safely, we reverted to our orignal heading and continued motor sailing to Santa Barbara.

Just after passing Port Hueneme around 1300, we encountered a heavy squall complete with thunder and lightening and hail. It was interesting how we can see the front approached us and see the lightening around us before the actual squall reached us. The wind picked up steadily and then very quickly, the rain came along with small hail stones and we were smack dab in the midst of a thunder storm and just as quickly – about 30 minutes, the storm passed and we were left in sunny skies and light breeze of 8-12 knots once again. A short time after the squall, we saw bait fish peppering the surface all around us and dolphins (as in Flipper) porpoising all around us – zipping by the boat as if we were standing still, and feeding on the bait fish. Appearantly, the dolphins encircled the bait fish school and take turns taking a mouthful of fish as they circle the school. My guess is that they can swim at least 4-5 times our speed or nearly 30 miles an hour. It was facinating to watch them swim around the boat and surfacing just out of reach. Delightful creatures.

About 1600, we finally approached the oil well platforms outside of Santa Barbara. We weaved and dodged between several of these rigs before reaching Santa Barbara with a good breeze pushing using us along all the way into the harbor. The gas dock normally closing by 1800, was busy transfering sea urchants caught by the local dive boats. It turns out Santa Barbara is one of the major sources for Sea Urchins or uni (in sushi-speak) for restaurants here and in Japan. One boat I chatted up with told me that they had 1700 lbs of urchins on board from a day’s work, but on a good day, they’ve harvested nearly 3,000 lbs of the spiny creatures. Have to admit that even though I’ve tasted Uni, I’m still unsure if it is something I find that tasty, but it is quite a popular item in Japanese restaurants. The Uni taste very rich and creamy with a slight bitter after-taste. We refueled, had dinner at a local restaurant on the Santa Barbara Wharf and debated about when to leave the harbor.

Our original plan was to arrive in Santa Barbara early afternoon, but because we left SD later than we planned we arrived in SB late also, we will not have the scheduled rest nor opportunity to sightsee the quaint waterfront area. Never the less, safe passage around Pt Conception and Pt. Arguello weighed heavily upon us given all the stories we heard, we decided that the best time to pass is at 0800 and a midnight departure is the prudent time to leave this harbor. We agreed to keeping to our watch schedule a little more closely than the first leg as we were all feeling a little fatiqued from staying up on watches with irregular and insufficient sleep. From the refueling at the gas dock, we calculated that our actual fuel consumption on this leg was 0.8 gallons per hour, which meant that we needed to adjust our route plan to include another refueling stopover as it would be too close a call to make it all the way to the Gate. We decided that Monterey rather than Santa Cruz would be the logical choice for the next refueling stop and the next leg would be the longest non-stop leg of this delivery trip. SANTA BARBARA TO MONTEREY: Leg length: 218 nautical miles, 1 day 16:06:03 hours, average speed: 5.45 knots

After we cleaned up a bit at the showers, I took the first watch of this leg to take us out of the SB harbor at 2308 and through the oil rigs that dotted the SB coast and our route. To minimize the milage, I had intentionally plotted the course closer to the coastline and weaving through the oil rigs rather than around them. If the weather was foggy, I would have opted to sail a little longer and outside of the rigs, but that would have added significant miles to our journey. But tonight, the wind was none existent and the waves were flat. We made good speed through the water at nearly 6.5 knots with crystal glossy water reflecting the lights of the oil rigs. Passing by these oil rigs at night seemed almost surreal as if we were in a scene of a science fiction story. All of the rigs are brightly lit up and look like space docking station and we… we are on a space ship, not a sailing ship, ghosting by the various landing pods looking for our gate. Periodically, I am fooled enough by the surreal sea scapte to expect Hans Solo in Starwars ejecting from one of the pods. But the only craft coming towards us for sure was a private patrol boat stationed near one of the oil plaform to keep uninvited visitors out of the area. We stayed far enough away to give a respectable distance from the oil rigs as not to offer them any reason to stop us and they obliged as well, keeping their bow pointed towards us, but not advancing closer than necessary to make their intentions clear. Message acknowledged and understood. Nonetheless, it feels like a time warp as we pass numerous oil rigs on this stretch of Santa Barbara coast and my mnd momentarily gave-in to the night illusion.

We rounded Pt Conception around 0600 due to the favorable winds and good boat speed we’ve had as well as that we left at 2308 rather than 0010 last night. We were rather anxious to move on and saw no sense in waiting for an hour to get started. Both Luther and I slept through this important milestone being off watch and we have learned from the first leg that it’s important to get your sleep while you can or else deal with proping your eye lids open while you are on watch. But we were able to witness our passage around Pt Arguello when Paradigm sail passed it as we changed watch. 

Just around the Point Arguello, abeam of Purisima Point, I was on watch at the helm and deep in my own world trimming the sail and adjusting the course on the auto-pilot to optimize our speed and VMG, when suddenly, a small military jet trainer flew by our boat from astern to port at nearly boom level. Momentarily, I was perplexed why some damn fool pilot would fly so close to the water, then realized maybe they were trying to read the name inscribed on the hull in order to contact us. The plane zoom past us and climbed up with a turn to starboard and quickly went astern and east towards the coast. I turned the radio to channel 16 and immediately heard the Navy OPS center hailing for the sailing vessel Paradigm. I responded to the hail, and was told to switch to channel 11. We were approaching a naval excercises area and the operator request us to bear away from our current course and direction and head west instead or face deadly force… We immediately tack the boat away as I’m sure none of us onboard would like to be the object of a target practice – unintentional or otherwise. The navy surveillance plane, swooped around to verify that we are heading out, then just as quickly and quietly as their approach dissappeared into the clouds and vanished.

The next portion of this leg was one of the more difficult segments as wind and waves are now strenghtening and squarely ahead of us. In order to keep the boat speed up and VMG as best we can, we had to tack the boat against the NW wind and waves. It took some time to figure out what is the optimal angle to go upwind and ease out the main as to let it help the boat forward. It’s far better to ease the main so there’s just a slight luff than to trim it in too tight and stall on the face the wave. So instead of a straight line path of following our planned route, we tacked back and forth as appropriate to keep our VMG above 5.0 knots, but realistically, it was more like 4.6 knots as the average. We spent the night sailing the boat up this section of Central California coast and finally reached Point Sur around 0800 on Wednesday morning in low clouds/high fog conditions, visibility about 0.5 nm, staying a respectable distance from the rocky shoreline in these conditions.

One has to appreciate how accurate the GPS’s were as navigation aid compared to the old days of even just using RDF throught this foggy section. We knew exactly where we were and when it would be ideal to tack away from shore. We rounded the Point Pinos buoy within feet of the buoy just navigating by GPS. We pulled into Monetery harbor at 1414 and proceeded to the fuel dock on the west end of the harbor passing by a jetty full of sea lions barking loudly and smelling quite odiferously. After refueling and replenishing the water tanks, we went to a deli by the wharf and had a sandwich for lunch and not realising it but it was also to be our dinner that evening. Vince had heard on the VHF radio that a significant storm front from Alaska is approaching the California coast by Friday and our best window is to depart immediately to make it to San Francisco before the storm hits and waves of 8-12 feet are expected. So after a brief respite at the deli, once again we casted off the dock lines and were on our way north again. MONTEREY TO SAN FRANCISCO: Leg length: 106 nautical miles, 18:01:52 hours, average speed: 5.89 knots.

By now, we are getting used to our watch routines. Vince took the first watch after leaving the Monterey Harbor. The breeze was about 10 knots and as from an angle that favored port tack on a heading of 310 degrees. By midnight, we reached Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Around 0300, we passed Pillar Point Harbor, and by 0630 we can see the Golden Gate Bridge. Fortunately for us and perhaps due to the fact that we were between the departing storm on Tuesday, and the approaching storm front due Friday, the night sky was clear all the way from Monterey to San Francisco Bay with no sign of fog or low clouds – visibility was excellent. We were indeed happy there were no fog and good breeze of 10-15 knots through the entire way as it made this segment quiet and uneventful.

At 0530 we pass abeam of the South Channel shoal near the entrance of the gate and headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge (0632). Much to our delight, the tides were in our favor and we rode the flood all the way into the bay and well into the South Bay until we pulled into Paradigm’s new slip. We all breathed a sigh of relief and congratulated each other on the quiet conclusion of this adventure. Our planned route indicated a total route of 445 NMs, our actual track showed that we had travelled 497 NMs – due to the extra distances from tacking upwind. Fuel consumption was slightly more than the published data of 0.6 gallons, but less than the initial 0.8 gallons per hour after we got used to motor sailing for most economical fuel/speed trade-off and was able to optimize the angle of VMG and wind directions to reduce fuel consumption. All in all, it was a good trip and I’m glad to have this adventure under my belt. But it’s certainly good to be back on solid ground for a while, before another urge to head off into the ocean takes hold.