If you have read PelluciCal Adventure – Part I you are well aware we have set the bar very high with our stop in Monterey. That was going to be tough to beat. But we did!
Friday, October 11th we find Bill in the galley busy whipping up some amazing omelettes. He had been promising us omelettes all week but this was the first chance he had to actually cook a real breakfast!
Following breakfast and a few quick showers we shook the lines loose and left Monterey in our wake around noon. We had an overnight sail to Morro Bay ahead of us and we wanted to arrive in the daylight hours. Linda decided to drag a lure through the water but with no luck. As the sun was dipping below the horizon we decided to gather the line in. We did not want to deal with a fish while sailing in the dark. When I grabbed the lure to secure to the pole I noticed the protective coating was still on the hook….. (Please don’t tell Linda)
The evening was beautiful and we did have a little wind. We pulled out the sails as the moon reflected off the soft, rolling swells. It was magical gliding along toward our destination hearing the burble of the waves along the hull with the moon as our guide. If you’ve never experianced sailing under a full moon as you glide over a smooth, rolling swell it is something I never tire of. For me, all my senses are on high alert because the visibilty is limited so you focus on the motion and sounds around you. We normally reduce sail to limit the risk of having anyone out on deck. We try to have two persons on watch during the night and that works well for us. (and to keep me awake) It is magical and good time for reflection.
We timed our arrival perfectly. As the first rays of sun peaked up over the mountains and the darkness faded, the large rock protecting Morro Bay was growing before us.
The passage into the harbor was straight forward passing along the large rock and following the large bend around to the South.
We soon found ourselves in front of the Morro Bay Yacht Club. We had contacted the yacht club the day before and she thought there may be room at their dock. When we arrived the guest dock was full but there were several mooring balls available. We hailed the guys on the dock as we went by to see if they were departing that day. They said they would be off the dock by noon. Sweet! We grabbed a buoy in the meantime and had lunch. It was closer to 2:30 when they vacated the dock and we were ready. Pellucidar swooped in and got herself a prime spot right in front of the yacht club. The yacht club is very close to town with very nice facilities so this was a score!
Once secured to the dock we took some time to relax and grab showers in preparation of our adventure into town.
We enjoyed exploring Morrow Bay. We walked up through town and just enjoyed an afternoon on solid ground. We spent one extra day and Linda said it had nothing to do with the Seahawks playing that afternoon. Yeh, I don’t buy it for a minute either! I was even able to find a place to get a haircut!
As the sun dipped to the west the light painted and everchanging backdrop.
Our next stop was Santa Barbara. This would be another longer sail so we left Morro Bay under cover of darkness and headed south. I would rather leave a harbor at dark than enter one I am not familiar with. I still have visions of going into Neah Bay in the dark. In addtion the weather was pretty benin and we had to round Cape Concepcion on the way to Santa Barbera which can be very rough at times. We rounded the cape giving it plenty of sea room and honestly it was one of the smoothest parts of our entire journey. One of our fellow cruisers who had gone before us experianced 9′ to 10′ waves off the point. Not if we can avoid it!
I recalled seeing the large oil rigs off of Santa Barbera on previous visits by land but did not realize how many there were. They look really spooky at night! As we continued down the coast our noses picked up a distict oil smell. As light dawed the next morning there was a visible sheen on the water and the oil smell was more pungent.
We were a little saddened by the oil floating on the sea but that soon was replaced by the sighting of dolphins! 100s of dolphins came to play around the boat. Linda hung over the bow rail for what seemed like along time filming, talking to them, and getting sprayed. Dolphin spit is apparently ok. Go figure. I would estimate they were around for over an hour. What a cool way to pass the time.
Dodging multiple oil derricks we finally pulled into Santa Barbara Harbor. When you enter Santa Barbara and contact the Harbor Authority they direct you to a harbor dock where they come aboard and place a dye tablet in your holding tank to make sure you don’t pump overboard.
I found it interesting we had just sailed through miles of Santa Barbara Channel coated with a layer of oil and they were concerned about my 30 gallon holding tank. When I mentioned it to the young man that came aboard I don’t think he shared my sense of humor….. I got my point across but that could be the reason they put us at the very far end of the marina…
Santa Barbara was to be another one of our amazing stops.
Once we got settled in our slip, Bill and Janet went exploring while Linda and I reached out to a few friends in the Santa Barbara area to coordinate schedules. One of our friends was the VP of sales from my old company. Matt has lived in the Santa Barbara area for many moons. We were looking forward to catching up and he always gives an excellent tour!
The other couple we reached out to were mutual friends who left on an adventure of their own a few years ahead of us. Richard and Brenda on Morgan were anchored in town. It would be great to catch up and hear their story first hand. We had followed them at R&B Adventure on Facebook and on Patreon. Make sure to check out their ongoing adventures there!
We had just sent out our initial inquiries when the phone buzzed with an incoming message. Bill and Janet were wondering if we wanted to take a tour of Santa Barbara via hotrod. Of course we would! This is something we would have never done on our own but with Bill and Janey on board there is never a shortage of adventures!
This is no ordinary hot rod. They had taken a 1927 Ford Model T, rebuilt it from the ground up and streeeetched it into a fabulous limo. Running around Santa Barbera in an open air rod, wind blowing through your hair (yes both of mine were blowing) and the speakers pumping out Beach Boys tunes for all to hear was one of the highlights of our entire trip.
Our driver reved the engine every chance he got. That coupled with the great music drew alot of attention. We drove up past the Old Mission Santa Barbara. Established at the Feast of Saint Barbara on December 4th, 1786, it was the tenth of twenty-one California Missions to be established by the Spanish Franciscans. We did not make the time to tour the grounds but 200 years later it is thriving. I grabbed the following from their website:
More than 200 years later, the Mission continues to be the chief cultural and historic landmark in the city of Santa Barbara. Home to a community of Franciscan friars, a beautiful church with a large and active parish; a museum and gift shop; a cemetery and mausoleum; and twelve acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.
The Mission’s commanding position and grand proportions, graceful lines and soft, blending colors all reinforce her title, “Queen of the Missions.”
We be-bopped along our route and soon came upon the historical frog wall. The rumor is that somewhere around 1989 someone placed a single frog along the rock wall on Paterna Road. Over the years, others have added their own contributions and it has grown into a well known attraction!
As we passed the frog wall and crested the hill we were star struck with the view of Santa Barbara Bay and the ocean beyond.
Our drive continued into Montecito. This is where some of the big stars live. We drove up to Oprah’s house…. ok ok ok – we only drove by the road that goes to Oprah’s house. It’s closed to sailors…. and most everyone else for that matter! If she were to speak with the crew of Maiden I’m sure we would have been invited in for tea. We dropped down along the water and drove by Ty Warner of Beanie Babie fame’s home as we headed back toward town. Our ride was nothing short of spectacular and our driver dropped us back at the marina a a favor. What a treat. We are so thankful to Bill and Janet for this experiance.
We just made it back to the Marina when Matt swung in and picked us up and took us up to his home before we ran out to dinner. Matt has been part of the Santa Barbara communitee for years. He has a very nice home up on the hill overlooking the Channel Islands. We had a great time catching up and some great Thai food. Then we watched the sun drop into the deep blue of the Pacific. You can’t make this stuff up!
The next morning we had a rare opportunity to breakfast with Richard and Brenda from R&B Adventures. They left the Everett area a few years ahead of us and have been working their way South ever since. We caught up with them in Santa Barbara. This year they are planning to head further south. Deeper into Mexico and possible beyond. Follow them on Facebook at R&B Adventures.
Here are a few shots from around Santa Barbara
The next morning we left Santa Barbara in our wake. It would have been a tearful departure after such a wonderful visit but we had more adventures awaiting over the bow. Welcome aboard as we head off toward Catalina Island!