Bye Bye To Morro, To Morro
(Please click pics for full size images)
Morro Bay has been a great refuge during a week of windy and very unsettled weather.
After enjoying the town’s laid-back environment, spotty or no internet connections, but great hospitality and their annual festival, fireworks display which was as good as Victoria July 1st, we finally decided on the 4th of October to move southward again. A weather window broke loose for us! Forecast NW 15-20knots instead of the 25-30knots we had been seeing for days.
Fresh air can be tiring, and it is becoming easier and easier to sleep 10 hours …… or even longer! Late morning starts are become quite normal. We had to set the alarm for 5:30am however which was a totally shocking experience! Uhggg!! Splash water on your face, throw some warm gear on quickly, and prepare the boat for departure wearing headlamps. Lockers secured … check. Dinghy secured on deck … check. Dishes stowed … check. Instruments and radios turned on … check. Engine fluids …. check. We chugged out past Morro Rock through the narrow harbor entrance
and set a course south for 180’ true. The bar at Morro is notorious for destroying quite large vessels. When there is an ebb-tide draining the considerable estuary of water and harbor it runs at over 4 knots at the entrance. When that encounters strong SW wind things get really ugly, really fast. In the 1980’s a whale watching vessel with 45 persons aboard, 28 of them children, capsized and sank in a 30 foot breaker on the bar. Several other less significant capsizes have taken place over the years. The good news is that we had perfect conditions to cross the bar and enjoyed a glorious day-sail down to San Luis Obispo Bay where yet another surprise awaited, a beautiful secluded anchorage
protected from all sides except the south! We set the hook in 25 feet of water. That evening we tried to make contact with a friend of a friend of ours, David Griffiths. His friend is apparently the “law” in San Luis Obispo County. No luck in making contact (Sorry David) and being totally zonked, we went to bed early and slept soundly.
The alarm was set yet again for 5:30am the next day,Friday October 7th. This time for the much longer haul down to Cojo Anchorage just SE of the “dreaded” Point Conception, a veritable graveyard of ships wrecked there over the years. In the 1930’s seven US naval frigates ran aground close by and all were lost in less than 15 minutes. It is said that once south of point Conception, it’s plain-sailing, literally! Once again, for Mayaluga and for our buddy-boat, Nightide it was plain sailing. The weather was perfect and we rounded Point Conception in calm, almost windless conditions,
and tucked into Cojo Anchorage 2 miles further along the coast. We put the hook down in 30 feet of water onto a sandy bottom, set it well and called it a “day”.
Two interesting events are recorded in our log: At first all we saw was several hundreds of meters of white churning on the surface. sounded like a huge waterfall. How strange, we thought, because no reefs are shown on the chart and we were at least 7 miles off the coast. A binocular inspection revealed the secret! A close encounter with over 200+ Pacific White-Sided dolphin.What a sight! We were hoping that they would come and surround the boat to play, but unfortunately that was not to be. The second event was a bit embarrassing! We were admiring/denigrating the huge nuclear power-plant on Cape Aguaella, when the VHF radio announced: “The sailing vessel that has just infringed our one mile vessel-free zone, please remove yourselves immediately!” Who, us? I checked our chart, and sure enough there was a 1 mile ring around the area, but no explanation on the chart as to what the ring meant. Ahhh well, we live and learn and should have consulted the notices to mariners.
As of October 7, 2016 as we bob at anchor here in the very remote Cojo Achorage,
our cumulative distance covered since leaving Victoria on August 22 is 1,162 Nautical Miles. We are now more than half-way to the Sea of Cortez which we will reach on or about November 11th.
Tomorrow we will temporarily separate from our buddy-boat Nightide for about 3 days. They are continuing on to Santa Barbara Harbour to take on fuel, and then the following day will be bound for Marina Del Rey to meet with the prior owner of Nightide. They will certainly be impressed when they see the fruit of 7 years of work that Ian did to restore her while she was lying in Yellowknife. Mayaluga will continue south to a group known as the Channel Islands, Santa Rosa Island in particular where we hope to overnight in Bechers Bay.