Thursday 7th November 2013
Up well before dawn to leave San Francisco - rather regretfully, since it has been a very pleasant stay with so many friendly SFYC members and staff. Many thanks to John Sanford for encouraging me to visit the club as his guest, although the club finally took over that role, thanks to their Deputy Port Captain's intervention. I look forward to re-visiting sometime.
The Spectra watermaker is now totally reconditioned, thanks to Bill & Darren, and I'm looking forward to using it in remote areas at anchor. I've had strict instructions to flush it through (easily done...) with fresh water after each use, to protect the membrane etc., but it's now 'pickled' since I don't need it while hopping down the coast to Mexico. I also had the genset looked at by Anders - he found the small diesel pump was slightly cracked and leaking - so I pulled out my spare to replace it immediately. The other good news was being offered a gift of two hardly-used genoas by Andy Fromm to replace my torn, worn-out one - we were chatting over a meal one evening and he said he had 26 sails in his garage which his wife, understandably, felt he should get rid of... He's a keen racer and just doesn't use the original cruising nor the older racing sails he'd accumulated. The hoist length was a perfect fit...
I've been busy organizing the aft cabin contents, all of which had to be removed for the watermaker service, and I hung two doors - which had been stowed in Port Townsend with Rob Parish for the last three years! I finished hanging them around 11.30pm last Saturday - just in time to enjoy the last of the Commodore's Ball dancing and music - after a suitable change of clothing! Tim helped me stow other bulky items in the forepeak yesterday - that's still waiting to be dealt with properly, but at least I'm now able to sleep in the aft cabin - first time for three years!
Had a lovely, sunny day on the water, motor-sailing initially in calm seas, south to Santa Cruz, with pelicans lined up on the breakwater as I left Belvedere Cove in the pre-dawn light and the occasional seal and sealion spotted in the water close to the Golden Gate as dawn broke over San Francisco and Alcatraz .
By early afternoon, after some solid motoring with light fog lurking just off the coast all morning and plenty of birdlife seen in the good-sized swell, the wind suddenly picked up as we were rounding Pt Ano Nuevo - to around 23kt! So we had a great sail for 2-3hours, until close to Sta. Cruz at sunset, when the wind died again... I managed to get in safely in the dark, through the shallows surrounding the harbour entrance at Low Water (!), with Brian Beers helping from on shore. (He brought me several delicious fresh items from his bakery)
I'd given a very well-attended, enjoyable presentation at the Tiburon Y.C. Friday week ago - in a lovely clubhouse, with excellent organization of the evening by Alice (ex-Commodore), helped by club members - Thanks for all your help and support during my stay, Alice!
It's been great to be able to catch up with old friends in the Bay area and also to make new ones during this stay.
Yesterday (Wednesday), I was guest of Zia Ahari (Rear Commodore, SF) at a CCA lunch meeting at Marin YC withTom Wylie, well-known boat-builder, as speaker - very interesting, despite a projector breakdown! Zia made the announcement that I was being awarded the CCA's 2013 'Blue Water Medal' - to be presented in NewYork next March - quite an honour! - and I'm looking forward to visiting NewYork for the Awards Dinner at the New York Y.C. - itself an interesting venue.
Wednesday of last week, I was visited by some radio hams - we'd spoken several times on HF radio during my RTW sail, but now we were able to meet up over lunch...Rusty, W6OAT has generously volunteered to be my 'QSL Manager' for all the many radio contacts made on my way around, confirming the contacts I've made, and Jim, K9YC, has been designing and organizing my QSL card - he lives high up above Santa Cruz, in the mountains, among big redwood trees which provide a superb support for his several high aerials!