Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24, 2014 - Port San Luis and transit to Santa Barbara

We wanted to post a couple more pictures from our great time there.  We spent every afternoon at the beach, except one entire day we spent on the boat due to high winds.  We lifted our dinghy prior to the winds and put out 250 feet of anchor chain so we felt comfortable with our anchor "scope" and the expected winds.  The winds were blowing a constant 30-35 knots, and the strongest gust was 38 knots (43.7mph).  That's gale force, which is defined as 34-47 knots).  But all was fine on our vessel.  After the windy day, and since we had lifted our dinghy up to be safe, we took the free water taxi back and forth to shore for two days.  What a great service by Port San Luis.  They do have a schedule though so you need to plan accordingly.  The one thing we missed here was our bicycles which were nearly impossible to get to land.

The big pier near the beach we like was closed during the storm, and it remained closed for most of the next day even though the seas were calm again.  Yesterday divers were inspecting the pilings all day.  Perhaps the storm damaged the pier?  It was a pretty significant storm with big seas that made for some impressive breakers on the beach.  The breakers just about reached the bottom side of the pier!  The roar from the crashing waves on the beach was also quite impressive.

Kevin and Cindy on the water taxi, ready to boogie board
Most afternoons were spent on the beach, boogie boarding, and getting ice cream.  Every sunset was beautiful and the pelicans were so much fun to watch.  They were around every day diving for fish from quite high.  You could see them dive downward, fold in their wings, roll 180 degrees, and then completely tuck in their wings just as they hit the water.  They would completely disappear under water and reappear several seconds later, usually followed by a big gulp, indicating a successful mission.

Beautiful sunsets while at anchor 

Hanging out on Avila Beach.  This is the pier that was closed during the storm.

Working on a sandcastle, in the warm sun.  Avila Beach.

Steve and Zappa.  Steve is working on quieting our anchor
bridle, which carries the load from the anchor chain to the
big cleats.  The bridle's lines made a lot of noise during the
 storm, making sleep a bit more difficult.

Kathy and Kevin boogie boarding

Kathy and Kevin boogie boarding
We left at 3AM this morning for Santa Barbara.  We had originally wanted to go to the Channel Islands but there are very high winds forecast for Sunday (gale force again).  You have to anchor in the northern Channel Islands (no marinas), and apparently most of the anchorages have just marginal holding bottoms.  We don't want to take a chance in an unfamiliar anchorage with gale force winds coming.  So, to be safe, we are in the Santa Barbara marina instead.  This is a large marina with about 1200 slips.  It's also very busy with paddle boarders, kayakers, small sailboats (kids sailing classes), and the regular marina traffic to contend with.  It was a different experience coming into this marina.  We are not used to dodging novice paddle boarders in the main fairways.  Once the winds have passed we expect to head to the Channel Islands.

A couple notes from our transit which was smooth and easy today.  We did not see any whales but saw a huge pod of dolphins.  They had a great time playing in our bow wake.  We have some good video but it's too large to upload, so here are some pictures.
Dolphins with the bow of our boat in the picture  calm seas!

more dolphins and bow of our boat.  The water is very clear down here.
They swim within inches of the hull, and they make it look effortless.
Very fun to watch!!!

Cindy and Kevin watching the dolphins

More dolphins.  Yes, this is the open ocean!

One of the Offshore Oil rigs near Santa Barbara.  There are dozens of them.
Finally coming up on Santa Barbara and after passing an oil rig we smelled something like creosote.  The water for about 5 miles, just before turning into Santa Barbara, was covered with a sheen of a smelly and oily substance.  How can this not be an environmental issue?  We saw no one trying to do anything about it.
Oily sludge on the water

More oily sludge on the water.  It had a very strong creosote-like smell.

A few hours before Santa Barbara, we saw a Nordhavn heading south towards Santa Barbara like we were.  We decided to speed up a bit and get to the marina prior to them.  It is first come first serve at the marina (they won't take reservations) and they only had one open slip left for a boat our size (and the Nordhavn 46' is roughly the same size as us.  The race was on, and we won.  When Steve went to the office and registered, the marina staff said someone else was coming for the one remaining slip, but again said it was first come first served, so we got the slip.  As we untied from the registration dock to move to our assigned slip the Nordhavn arrived and tied to the registration dock.   We felt bad for him, but lucky for ourselves since we got the last slip in this huge marina.  Later when we walked to shore to check out our new surroundings we saw that they did find the Nordhavn an end-tie, so we both got what we wanted!

They are closing the main street tomorrow for the second annual Santa Barbara Open Streets festival.  Someone in Avila told us how great it was last year, and as luck would have it we are here for this years event.  This is a busy weekend in Santa Barbara with lots going on.  Tomorrow we get the bikes down and will ride the streets without cars (Open Streets Festival) and have some fun ashore.  It's supposed to be in the mid 70's tomorrow, and today the water temp passed the 70 degree mark for the first time - perfect.

Another 95 miles completed today, and we are now in Southern California!  Mexico is getting close.

October 28 update:

We have found out that the oily sludge on the water is a constant problem here in Santa Barbara.  It is actually coming from leaks in the sea floor, and they are natural leaks (not man-made).  Here is more info:

Thanks Mark N. for sending me info about this!

No comments:

Post a Comment