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Walt Drechsler

The PelluciCal Adventure – Part I

Brisbane –

Janet Bacon and Bill Bond flew into San Francisco on a beautiful Sunday morning. They taxied to Brisbane Marina where they were to join us in our pilgrimage to San Diego.

G2 Gives A Warm Welcome to the Crew from My Sunshine

G2 welcomed them aboard and once their gear was stored aboard Pellucidar, we headed off to grab some lunch and provision for the trip. We found a nice shopping center that had groceries, hardware and lunch! Trifecta!

We arrived back to boat, paused for a before departure photograph……

The Before Picture

and prepared for an early day tomorrow while we enjoyed a magnificent evening with the sun setting over San Francisco Bay.

Sunset in South San Francisco Bay

Monday morning had us up early and off the dock at 0700. Our destination is Halfmoon Bay. Getting out of Brisbane is like running a the slalom course in a very shallow ditch. But we made it and headed out toward the Bay Bridge.

Today was the beginning of fleet week in San Francisco. We crossed wakes with the USS Princeton as we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge. The crew were out on deck in the dress uniforms. What a spectacular site!

USS Princeton CG59

Both wind and sea were calm as we left the Farrolone Islands to starboard and turned South. It can get very rough out here with an ebb tide and west wind so we were very thankful. We would soon coin a phrase that would be repeated throughout this trip. “We are living a charmed life”

Half Moon Bay oops – change of plans –

We made good time down to Half Moon Bay on a beautiful Monday morning. Linda (aka Admiral) suggested we continue on to Santa Cruz while Mother Nature was behaving. Unanimous vote had us continuing South.

As we left the Golden Gate and Farrolone Islands in our wake the Blue Angels bid us fair winds and following seas as they practiced for fleet week.

Santa Cruz – Our one night stand

We arrived in Santa Cruz just as the sun was was beginning to dip into the deep blue of the Pacific. Bill caught the sun just as it was setting behind the lighthouse!

Santa Cruz Lighthouse

The marina was full but they allowed us to tie next to the fuel dock for the night. There was some swell coming in that pulled pretty hard on the lines. We double the mooring lines and walked up to the restuarant overlooking Pellucidar backlit in the afterflow of the sun.

Pellucidar basking in the after glow of a Santa Cruz sunset

Bonus! The restaurant had a great salad bar. Just what us old salts needed after along day on the water. And clam chowder of course!

Weather reports for the following afternoon and beyond were not favorable. We heard rumours of afternoon winds reaching gale force. That could be anywhere from 34 to 47 kts. They were also predicting waves in the bay up to 8′ at 6 seconds. We topped up with fuel as soon as the fuel dock opened and made a run for Monterey Bay 21 miles away. We had no desire to participate in Mother Natures version of “spin the boat on the wave crests”!

Monterey Bay –

We arrived in Monterey Bay well before the winds. This is a tight little marina. We followed the channel in ok but I missed the first turn once in the marina and had to do a ring around the rosy to get going down the right channel. Honestly the entrance was not obvious. (to me that it) – In the picture below we came in through the slot in the top to the second fairway then turned left. All the way to the end and went right. Then we spun the boat onto the second end tie right in front of the yacht club.

Montery Bay Marina

Monterey was really our first official stop on the PelluciCal Adventure as we had bypassed Halfmoon Bay. This stop would set the bar very very high for the rest of the trip. You will see why we (Janet) coined the phrase “We are living a very charmed life and thankful for it”. This phrase would be repeated many times throughout the rest of our trip!

Pellucidar berthed right accross from the Monterey Harbor Yacht Club

The harbor master and staff gave us a very warm greeting and provided a very nice berth right across from the yacht club. As we were checking in, Janet noticed a poster for The Maiden Factor hanging on the wall. Their plans to head south had changed due to weather so they were coming back up from Los Angeles to Monterey. There was to be a dinner at the yacht club followed by a boat tour the next day. We would have to delay our departure by a day to attend but it was a rare opportunity we all felt could not be passed up.

There is an old saying in the sales arena “salesmanship begins at the third no”

Janet contacted the yacht club inquiring about tickets for the dinner. She got an email back saying they were sorry but the dinner was sold out……

Wrong answer. Think back to Star Wars……….

She sent a follow up email with a little more syrup and ah, ok, lets call a spade a spade, she was begging. Grovelling would be more accurate. It was shameful… but very very good!

Janet then recieved another email and I’m paraphrasing here…. ” It is sold out. Even some of our members don’t have tickets. What part of sold out do you not understand?” ( I added the last part) Was Janet detered? Not in the least. She scoured the internet looking for any avenue to a sypathetic ear. One of the numbers she called happened to be in England. I’m just really glad she was on our side! Does anyone know what time it is in England about now? We’ll get back to this…..

In the meantime, we heard they were showing the movie Maiden at the yacht club this evening as a prequle to Maiden’s arrival the day after tomorrow. We visited the yacht club with our very best smiles on to see about attending. We even took a burgee along. Well, we met the commodore and lets just say our charms were not working this day. Needless to say they were not worthy of our burgee! Long story short – we did not attend the movie but with the charmed life thing going for us it worked out better anyway.

Earlier in the day Bill had noticed a boat on the next end tie that previously had their Seahawk flag flying but had taken it down. Bill wanted to investigate and possibly repremand them for lowering the sacred pennent but I was a bit hesitant. He finally talked me into walking over to a least get a few more facts. Maybe they had a justifiable reason but not one we could think of that would be acceptable. We arrive on the scene to find a young man deep in the back lazarett up to his elbows. He graciously climbed up and out to see what we need. As he wipes off his hands and looks up I recognize Andy Cross from Yahtzee. Jill comes out and says hi along with their two sons, Magnus and Porter. They own Three Sheets NW and Andy writes for several other publications. Their family has been living and traveling onboard for about 7 years. If you have not read about any of their adventures you should check out Obviously they were in the middle of projects so we did not stay too long but invited them over later in the evening to catch up a bit. I don’t think we ever did find out why the flag was down but we had a good laugh about it.

Yahtzee in Monterey Bay

One of my friends from high school lives in Monterey. Ron and his wife Cindy came over for a visit that evening. We were soon to be joined by Andy, Jill, Magnus and Porter from Yahtzee. We had a great time catching up. Porter and Magnus entertained themselves in the cockpit while the adults visted down below. They are both amazing boys. Bill and Janet mingled like they had known everyone for years. What a truly special evening. We don’t need no stinkin movie….

The next day Linda and Janet head off shopping. Maiden is not due in until the following morning so we had a day to devote to tourest stuff. As they were strolling amongst the shops, Linda found a wallet laying on the sidewalk. They ask around but really could not identify which shop he had been in. Janet does some Google magic and starts making calls. Janet was nominated as she has earned alot of credibility lately in tracking down anyone, anywhere! She left messages with several numbers but no response. In the mean time Ron picked us up at the marina for a tour along the 17 mile drive to Pebble Beach and Carmel. What a specatular part of the country this is!

We travel through Cannery Row and then along the ocean around Point Cabrillo, Lovers Point, Point Pinos, Moss Beach, etc. The views are so spectacular we can hardly take it all in. Ron stiopped a few times so we could take pictures. Just as we are entering the guard shack for Pebble Beach the phone rings. Its Richard (now Rick to Janet) who is the owner of said wallet. After a brief exchange it is determined we are a short way from his house on Pebble Beach and could we deliver it? The guard at the shack, overhearing one side of the phone conversation catches on and allows us through without charging us the normal $10.50 fee! “Charmed Life”

We drive up to Richard (Rick’s) house and he meets us in the driveway with a very nice bottle of wine for our trouble. He was very appreciative.

I’m not really sure about the time line but sometime in our day Janet gets a voicemail from Jeff who is Maiden’s contact from the yacht club……

Janet’s persistance had paid off! One of the phone calls she made just happened to be Tracy Edwards. Tracy was the skipper of Maiden when they competed and took second in the Whitebread Race back in 1989! Apparantly the call had woken Tracy up but she let it go to voice mail. Tracy emailed her contact Jeff at the yacht club and basically said, “Get this woman tickets” More on that later…

We continue along our drive down to Pebble Beach where we stop and enjoy some refreshments as we wander around the grounds and 18th green. Stunning!

From here we continued into Carmel where the houses get pretty funky. It was fun winding down these narrow roads along the shore up close and personal to these unique designs of architecture.

As if the afternoon tour was not enough, Ron took us back to their home where he and Cindy prepared an amazing meal of ribeye, shrimp and grilled vegetables. Of course we had the wine Janet’s good friend Rick provided for us.

I know this is beyond believable but you can’t make this stuff up!

Now, back to the Maiden Factor….

It’s the next morning and we have been keeping a weather eye on Maiden via AIS. They are due in today and the air is electric with excitement. A small crowd gathers at the public warf and grows as their arrival time approaches. For a small town as compared to some of Maiden’s other stops, Monterey pulled out all the stops and really showed Maiden a very warm welcome. There were a fleet of boats to escort them into the bay as well as the local fire boat spraying water everywhere. In talking to the crew later, they were a very suprised and appreciative of the overwhelming greeting they sailed into!

Following Maiden’s arrival we grabbed an Uber and headed out to Cannery Row. Lots of history here. It was the basis for one of John Steinbecks novels of the same title. (I am now reading the book)

We did the tourest thing and had lunch at The Fish Hopper

Janet decided to have her meal in a glass!

Janet’s “Protein Shake”

We headed back to the boat as we had to get “gussied up” for our dinner with the crew of Maiden at the yacht club.

We arrived at the club and mingled a bit before the event while enjoying a few refreshments.

The yacht club put on a very nice dinner and the presentation by the crew of Maiden was spectacular. As we were the “guests of Tracy Edwards” the girls got their picture taken with the crew!

Of course we sat in the front row! Hello! Snap!

Bill and Janet on the front row!

Oh, but it gets better!

Linda chatted up Courtney, the engineer on Maiden at some point during the evening. She told her how we had delayed out trip just to make sure we did not miss out. Maiden had a group of kids coming by in the morning for a tour of the boat and to get some hand painting done on their spinnaker. (this is a cool thing they do with the kids. Check out their Facebook page at The Maiden Factor)

So Courtney invites Linda down early the next morning for a tour of the boat. (Linda said the rest of us could tag along if we had to) She gives Linda her cell number and tells her to call when we get there. We arrive at the dock and wander around for a bit as the crew begins to arrive from their shore berths. When Courtney arrives she grabs Linda and we get a personal tour of Maiden! It is a Bruce Farr design. 58′ x 16′ aluminum hull. She has been “upgraded” a bit to carry passengers with some interior panels and water tight doors but pretty much very similar to the boat they sailed the Whitebread in. Accomodations are very tight. There is room for sails, more sails and a few bunks as well as storage for clothes and food. They have a zoo of stuffed animals on board. Linda thought G2 may want to do an around the world cruise but thankfully he declined! I could not bare trying to find a G3!

Even writing this I have to pinch myself at all the things we did and saw in Monterey. It seems like an adventure that happened over a few months rather than a few days. The next run is a long one. We leave Monterey around noon the next day and do an all night sail to Morro Bay under a full moon. I hope you will continue to sail into the next harbor with us.

Until then, fair winds and following seas.

The Crew of PelluciCal Adventures.

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