Monday, August 29, 2011

Ben's Guest Blog from San Fran

We've arrived in San Francisco from our roughly 56 hour run from Newport, OR!  Recall that we were trying to squeeze past Cape Mendocino before the serious weather moved into that infamously tricky point by Tuesday night and Wednesday and we were able to do just that.  As we approached the latitude of Mendocino Sunday afternoon, well off the coast about twenty miles, the USCG weather reports curiously started giving forecasts for less severe weather in the near coast range (0-10 miles) than for the offshore range (10-60 miles).  Go figure!  So we changed course slightly and maintained a 6-8 mile cushion from the shoreline through the night.

Although this was the right move, it didn't mean that we escaped one hundred percent of the rough stuff - a 'near gale' joined us for dinner and stayed for the sunset.  Thirty knot winds and seas of 8-10 feet, both following us from the north luckily, made for a moderately bumpy ride for a while.  It seemed as if the cockpit was going to be swallowed up by each approaching wave, nearly cresting onto the swimstep (see photo).  Nothing the stabilizers and an extra pillow (to keep from rolling out of bed!) couldn't handle, and by mid-day Monday the seas had calmed to an easy 3-4 feet, perfect for our passage under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Besides that slight weather hiccup, the transit was more or less straightforward and easy.  Noteworthy for me, however, was one of the most memorable birthdays I've spent, complete with one of Susie's famous three-layered carrot cakes!  (If you're planning a birthday, try to schedule it while you're on board Last Mango - you won't be disappointed!) 

Now in San Francisco Bay, we've stopped at KKMI Boatyard for some troubleshooting of the house battery bank which doesn't seem to be holding a charge and to look into the anemometer (wind indicator); it's nonfunctioning forcing us to use more primitive devices such as the 'door-ometer' (the arm strength required to open or close the pilothouse doors under the force of the wind).  Hopefully we'll be able to move on to our planned mooring at the Oakland Yacht Club tomorrow, where David and Susie will stay until next week before they head further south. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time onboard Last Mango and I'm deeply thankful to my hosts for their hospitality along the way.  I'll be following the blog as their journey continues and will be wishing I was going the full distance with them.

Written by Ben

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