Click here to browse the photo galleries of this trip.

So after lots of work on the boat in the Napa Valley Marina we plunked her into the water. Then we did lots more work. Some of that work is listed on the Projects page.

Then we started moving. First around the Napa River, then when the rain was supposed to stop (May) down the Napa River to Berkeley. Dan and Joe did that trip, which went very well and was a successful maiden voyage. Pics from that trip are here. It ended up raining again in late June (!).

We day-sailed the boat out of
Berkeley for the next month or so, learning the ropes in the windy SF bay and reorganizing much of the boat. This included many trips to the marina's 'dumpster mart' where enterprising shoppers made off with our unwanted items within an hour or two. One man's trash....we opened up lots of space (and still could bear to get rid of more stuff). I was consoled that these things that were formerly moldering in our lockers would now molder--I mean would now be of use to others.

Next we made the big (to us) trip out of the Golden Gate, which in our minds signified the start of our cruise. By this point we'd canceled our slip, moved out of our house, and were living on the boat.

We exited the Gate on an ebb tide in the morning, which sped us out towards Half Moon Bay, about 35 miles south. The trip was rough in the main shipping channel where the ebb hit the waves, but it smoothed out after that and we had a fine trip. We anchored in Half Moon Bay that afternoon in the warm sunshine, tidied up the boat, inflated the kayak, and paddled to shore for a celebratory dinner.

Neither of us had spent much time in Half Moon Bay, and it's very nice. No one told me how good an anchorage they have. It's huge, very well protected, with fine holding and easy shore access. Laundry, bathroom, and showers were available with a key deposit, and there were lots of nice hiking trails nearby. There was even surf a short walk away. A bit foggy though.

We spent about a week in Half Moon Bay- some pictures are mixed in here. We knew there was a big south swell in the water that would make Santa Cruz extra rolly, and didn't have to be there until July 5, so we took our time.

The trip from HMB to Santa Cruz took about 10 hours. We had 20 knots of wind and short period 6 foot seas, which was a bit more that we'd hoped for and left us a bit green, but it was fine. Pictures of this leg are here.

We spent a couple of uncomfortably rolly nights in
Santa Cruz, then moved to Capitola where the dinghy landing and anchorage were better (although still a bit rolly during medium S swells and windswells). We anchored out, although there are moorings for rent during the summer (about $160/week). The anchorage was good- about 20 feet sand, and plenty of room even for the 4th of July crowd of boats.
On July 5th we emptied the Volvo, signed the title over to Camilo ($250!), hid the key and raised anchor for the day's sail to Monterey (about 25 miles). We had an easy trip with just the right amount of wind and grabbed a visitor's slip in Monterey.

This was our first time in a slip (as opposed to at anchor) in three weeks, and it was luxurious to be able to just step on to the dock. We cleaned up then walked a few blocks to the Tuesday farmer's market. Neither of us had any idea that Monterey was such a popular tourist destination. The farmers market was packed and pleasant on a warm, sunny afternoon.

We explored town the next day, and visited the library to check the internet's weather forecast. Things looked good that night for the upcoming 95-mile trip down the Big Sur coast.

We pushed off at 6 PM, quickly sailing out of the Monterey sunshine into the Big Sur fog. A long night of motoring through the fog followed, but we were comfortable and it passed like a dream. We alternated 2-3 hour watches, where the person on watch would take a look around every 15-20 minutes to make sure things were in order. A kitchen timer would wake us up when we dozed. The autopilot steered a dead straight course. Far better than when we hand steered, especially in fog without landmarks.

The fog lingered well into the next morning, and we decided to stop at
San Simeon Cove, directly below Hearst Castle and about 20 miles north of Morro Bay. We pulled in 20 hours after leaving Monterey, dropped the hook in sunshine, and had a nice rest.

The anchorage is beautiful, enclosed by a well treed point, a crescent beach, and low table lands backed by mountains. We took the kayak to shore to explore and have a celebratory ice cream. Pictures of the Santa Cruz to San Simeon leg are here.

The next day we sailed to Morro Bay, and dropped the hook for a couple of weeks of living mostly on land in Cayucos. We took care of a couple of boat projects (mostly utilities- water, electrical, waste) and enjoyed our new home base before heading further south to the Channel Islands.

Once a good weather window appeared (read: light winds and small seas) we headed south. We left Morro Bay at 4:30 AM, aiming to reach Cojo anchorage in the afternoon. The wind piped up near Point Conception, but we had a fine trip and were very happy to reach Cojo intact.

After a few nights in Cojo and another nearby anchorage, we crossed the channel to Santa Rosa island, then spent most of a week exploring Santa Cruz island before sailing back to port at Santa Barbara. Pictures and details of this trip are here.

We spent a week in Santa Barbara enjoying the wonderful weather and great harbor area, then sailed to Ventura in search of a new home base for the boat. We found a slip in Ventura Isle marina, where the boat will stay for a while.

After a trip to North Carolina, Joe did another trip to Santa Cruz island with his friend Jason, this time mostly exploring the south coast of the island and looking for surf. Pics and details of that trip are here.

That put us into September, at which point we began waiting for Alina to emerge. So I figure that's a good time to stop the cruise narrative. Since then we've been tending to baby, business, and mostly land-based interests.