Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So Long SO Cal

We can't time all of our cape transits perfectly. This is our last one and we will be leaving Southern California in our wake. Today was just one of those days. Showing up to round Pt. Conception at sunset is a bad idea, even on a forecasted light wind day. The seas kicked up and the winds held steady at 18-20 gusting to 22. And that was 10 miles before we got to the Point. So, lucky us, there is an anchorage just tucked in behind the point where we rerouted to to wait for the wee hours of the night when the winds will hopefully lay down.

The last two days have been pretty mellow until this afternoon. The nights are cold and wet. A marine fog layer hangs low and limits our visibility. We've been lucky though, at least in So Cal, the marine layer has been burning off by noon or so and the sun peeks out for a little while. Playful bounding sea lions do tricks in our wake and wide-eyed seals make my heart melt. Today in the Santa Barbara Channel we passed though what seemed like a sea of dolphins, numbering most likely 700 or more individuals. Big males jockyed for prime position at our bow and smaller ones accompanied us at our beam. It is really something to see so many of these incredible animals appear seemingly like alchemy from the sea. We never cease to delight in their visits and are grateful for each return.

I am tired and words are hard to come by. Gar is snuggled into the port sea berth already and I long to crawl into my own, on the starboard side. The winds are beginning to settle down and we are rolling in the swell. Two old skeletons of unfortunate sailboats lie awash on the shore. Kelp waves in the shallows, creating a slick of calm. A sea lion is barking somewhere nearby. The orange sun sinks behind the giant oak-like trees onshore, leaving them in silhouette. We're off at 2am to round Pt Conception and hope to get to Monterey Bay or beyond before the wind again diverts our progress.

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