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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Waiting for weather to round Point Conception

June 5, 2010
Day 1741
Position: 34°26.9266 N 120°26.6937 W
Anchored at Coho Anchorage near Pt. Conception, CA.
Miles sailed this year: 5061nm
Miles since day 1: 31594nm


Between billowing white and blinding fog banks we enjoy a striking golden shore of sandy beaches and crumbling stone cliffs. Anchored snuggly in Coho Cove we are awaiting favorable weather to round Point Conception which is know by some as 'the Cape Horn of the Pacific Coast'. Yesterday afternoon we approached the Coho anchorage with wind gusts up to 41 knots true. Although we were motoring the last few miles the strong winds required I lower the dagger boards to help the boat track straight. Two recently wrecked sailboats sit high and dry on near the base of the cliffs an ominous reminder to tread carefully.

We shared Coho anchorage with a 63' sailing race boat named s/v Limit hailing from Sydney, Australia. s/v Limit is headed to San Francisco to prepare for the upcoming TransPac race to Hawaii. Heavy weather the previous evening convinced the well seasoned delivery crew (from Australia)to seek refuge in Coho Cove and wait for better weather as well. However, having a schedule they chose to depart in the face of a Gale warning just after midnight. I called s/v Limit on VHF 16 for a weather report around 2AM. It sounded like they were getting a whipping with winds steady at 30 knots while we had only 5-15 knots in the anchorage. We hope they had a safe voyage. Very glad we decided to sit tight and will remain anchored here until we like the weather forecast... it could be a few days.

Today I ventured ashore to investigate the wrecked sailboats on the beach and scavenged a piece of stainless steel lifeline to use for a crab catching device I plan to build. On the way back out through the surf I almost flipped the dinghy in the chilly 54 degree water. I narrowly escaped getting really wet by diving to the front of the dinghy just as the wave began to crest and thereby kept the boat from flipping. Very exciting. The remainder of the day I tried in vain to catch a fish for dinner. Kathy spent her day watching movies, baking a cake and bravely, yet very briskly taking a bath in the super chilly sea water... I guess we are getting used to the cooler weather quicker than I anticipated.

Since San Diego we spent a few days in Newport, a day in Channel Islands Harbor and two nights in Santa Barbara. In Santa Barbara we installed a new radar unit to help guide us through the darkness and fog that will frequent our journey North.

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