Voyage Plan Changes – North to SF Bay

By now most of you know we departed Ventura, CA, yesterday morning.  The plan was to go into Santa Barbara for one night, then get underway very early this morning for San Simeon Bay anchorage.   When we got within a few miles of the Santa Barbara entrance we called for a slip and found out there was none to be had.  No, not one.  It seems two of their docks are ripped out and new ones are being installed (we assume this part) and many of the permanent boats were now tied to the transient dock.

Cheated!  I didn’t get my last Brophy’s Restaurant fix.  So, okay, it’s early so lets power out some more miles.

Plan B – Coho Anchorage

The thing about plans is they are only good if they work – and so it was time to move to Plan B. Returning to Ventura was not part of the plan.  The Coho Anchorage is located conveniently just a mile and a half east of Point Conception.  We knew it could be a rolly night, with poor sleep, but we did just put away another 40 miles.  By the time we got to the Coho Anchorage it was lost in fog.   We never saw Point Conception or Point Arguello, either.

If you are on Facebook you saw this photo of Point Conception.  Coho Ancorage is in there, too.

And within moments everything, including us, was swallowed up in the fog.  I really don’t like fog.  I mean, really, you can’t SEE where you are going!  Fortunately, or not(?) I am used to going in fog – due to the many nautical fog miles of passage.  So, we are thinking the conditions aren’t that bad.   Of course you couldn’t see more than a few hundred yards, but the water is mostly just rippled and the current was pushing us along at over 8 knots.  And the Captain smells more miles calling to him…of course!   (I knew it, I just knew it…)  So, the Captain says,

“Why don’t we just peak our nose out past Point Conception – just see what it’s like.  We can turn around and come back to the Coho Anchorage.”

“Uh-huh. Sure honey.”  Me?  I know where this is leading – and it isn’t an early bedtime.

“Well, this isn’t that bad”.

(I hate “that bad” term).

“No, it isn’t bad at all.”

“Well, dear – I think we should just keep going.   Port San Luis is only 40 miles up the coast.  We can pull in there.  We’ll arrive about 10:00, but you can sleep in the next moring.  And we will have a short day into San Simeon.”

Plan C – Port San Luis

And, so we continued on to Port San Luis.  Arrival was 1230.   No, not 10:00, and then I heard Bruce tell our contact 11:00 or 12:00.   Well, really this was no big surprise.  He got me on the “sleep in part”.   We had over a mile of visibility by the time we arrived in Port San Luis.  Bruce thought it was perfect.   We anchored with no problems.  This entire day was good for us, as the swell and the light winds were out of the south – giving us a nice push.  The swell was rolling into the anchorage, but the wind kept our bow into the swell and we slept – not late, but early – very early – 0430 early.  The wind died down and we found ourselves broad to the swell.  The rolling started and the big wash/bash noise as the swell came upon DESERT VENTURE.  There was no sleeping – really.  The swells were on a long period, so each time they moved on I was hopeful of more sleep – until the next set came along.

Then I heard it.  The huge “I’m not getting sleep sigh”.  And, I knew sleep was over – for the time being.

Plan D – Morro Bay

Morro Bay Docks, California.

Image via Wikipedia

“Dear”, says the captain, “let’s get going.  We aren’t sleeping.”

Okay – so I played possum for two more minutes.


“Yes, dear, you are right.”  Big sigh – or maybe it was a yawn.

Being the conciliatory man that he is, he says, “Let’s go to Morro Bay.  It’s only about 20 miles from here.  We’ll pull in, go back to bed and get some real sleep.  We can sleep as long as we want.  Maybe go ashore for a cute coffee.”

I hate it when he dangles a cute coffee under my nose.

And the other reason was we knew that trying to anchor at San Simeon would be a bust.  It would be the same conditions that woke us up after three hours of sleep.  It was the right thing to do.

So, we got up, hauled the anchor back aboard, and went to Morro Bay.  We arrived at 8:30, in light fog. It was overcast this morning.  The sun just came out.

Morro Bay Yacht Club

Moorage in Morro Bay is limited.  The Morro Bay Yacht Club lets you tie to their dock – if there is room.  There wasn’t.  They have several mooring balls you can use, too.  We got out our mooring buoy tools, went to work, and on the first try got our line through the ring.  If there was anyone keeping score, I say we got 9 out of 10 on that maneuver.  I couldn’t get the boat hook to grab the ring – so I lost us a point.  But, Bruce managed to snag the buoy before it passed by.

Bruce gets the points on that quick save.

Toast, tea, a little bacon, and it was nap time.  Much needed nap time.

We put away a major portion of the trip.  Revision D of our Plan worked out great.   We got here, moored, slept, and will sleep even more before we leave.

Our Next Phase – Monterey or Half Moon Bay

Tomorrow, at first light, we will depart Morro Bay – on the flood.   We have a plan, and a second plan.  Remember a plan is only good if it works.  If it isn’t working and you can’t fix it move on to another plan or idea.  Just ask Seth Godin, he will tell you.

Plan A is to go all the way to Half Moon Bay.  It will be a very long day – well day and part of the night. It would not surprise me to arrive at midnight – or later.  We will probably rest a day in Half Moon Bay before making the final few miles under the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco Bay on Tuesday – arriving at the end of our weather window.

If we are too tired to go the distance then Monterey is an option.  See, there we go with plans and options – Voyaging on to SF Bay.