The Voyage of the Swan
Most of the passage to Monterey looked like this. At least there was plenty of wind. Sun in the NE Pacific tends toward sparse.
There were whales everywhere. We saw two breaches and lots of frolicking. Whales know how to have fun.
A little patch of blue appeared from time to time.
Mahi Mahi at the Monterey Aquarium. There are only a few places in the world were pelagic fish are kept and presented this well.
At the Aquarium.
Now this is what I’m talking about! The sailor’s reward for a successful passage: Cioppino on Cannery Row.
Our dockmate at the Monterey Marina.
Doc Ricketts’ lab on Cannery Row. Wedged all around by modern buildings, this little place is a national treasure.
Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck, our favorite author.
My daughter, who, since this picture was taken, has blessed me with a beautiful grand daughter. Thank you so very much, Sara.
The ubiquitous pelican. This one is on the rocks near Fishermen’s Wharf, Monterey.
Good friend and OBT (left), Jim Cotton, at Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Harbor.
Passing Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands group SW of Santa Barbara.
Clearing kelp from our mooring lines at Catalina. Kelp has many uses in medicine, food and elsewhere.
Buttonshell Cove at Catalina.
Rhonda is really happy to be in warm and sunny Catalina, a paradise only a few miles from bustling Los Angeles.
A great blue heron flies by the boat. This big bird had a nest on the cliff above Swan’s mooring.
Jim and Kathy’s “Green Flash” moored near us at Catalina.
Jim, Rhonda and Kathy at Two Harbors, Catalina. We re-provisioned here.
A bald eagle dismantling its prey near the boat at Emerald Bay, Catalina.
Paul and Leslie’s beautiful “Rocinante” nearby at Emerald Bay, Catalina.
Swan, moored at Emerald Bay. We spent 10 days in this gorgeous spot.
Hiking to the weather side of Catalina. Fields of Cattails, cactus and anise covered the hills.
Geri, Bill, Paul, Leslie, Rhonda and the rugged weather coast of Catalina.
Snorkling the clear water at Emerald Bay. We saw leopard sharks, rays, sheepshead and lots of other sea life here.
Moored in clear water, at last.
Voyages: California
Back to Cruising the Northwest 2
July 27 to Sep 6, 2011 – We sailed from Neah Bay, WA to Monterey, CA in nine days. We were becalmed for almost two days, then the rest were cold, wet and windy, between 15 and 35 knots. We saw many, many whales, mostly humpbacks. When we were becalmed, one whale loitered next to us for hours, breathing loudly in the dark.
The new AIS worked great. There was a lot of ship traffic, especially off San Francisco. At one point 11 ships were within 20 miles of us. But we all danced together safely. Visibility was poor much of the time, but we all knew where the others were.
The wind was dead aft most of the time, not an enjoyable point of sail in larger seas, and not fun when reducing or increasing sail, but Swan surfed down the faces of 10 foot seas like she was on rails.
Monterey is a beautiful town. We went to the incredible Aquarium and enjoyed the sights. The bus/trolley system is free. There is also a city-wide WIFI system that is also free. The people were also beautiful, like Albert, who we found, after he’d left, had picked up our tab, and Mark who gave us his thermos and Donna, who gave us a ride back to the marina from the grocery store. Thanks a lot. You are all the best.
We left Monterey and sailed south to beautiful Santa Barbara, passing the infamous Point Conception in 30 knots of wind. At SB, we visited our good friend, Jim Cotton, sea urchin diver, kite surfer, sailor and world adventurer. You can read about him in Tom Kendrick’s “Bluewater Goldrush.”
Then, we sailed to Catalina Island for a reunion with our friends Jim and Kathy (“Green Flash”), Bill and Geri (“Bel Ami”), Paul and Leslie (“Rocinante”) and Bill and Joni.
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“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

 — Helen Keller To California Page II