Monthly Archives: September 2016

Grey Torpedoes

montslo-3-of-3Three grey torpedoes rocket towards the hull, turning at the last moment, they exhale through twin wakes and join others playing between the hulls.



Click for Video.                                       Ignore tuneless whistling soundtrack


Heading South

After a great sail to Point Reyes, the wind went light forcing us to motor south.  Originally we had planned to go all the way to Half Moon Bay, but it was about two hours farther and would have forced us to arrive in the dark.  We made the decision to divert into the familiar waters of San Francisco Bay and anchored for the night at Clipper cove on the east side of Yerba Buena Island.  Inside the bay the wind was of course honking in the slot.  In clipper cove we arrived to a spirited one design race (Vanguard 15) followed by the amazing lights of the Bay Bridge from a different view point.


The next morning we left on the outgoing tide for Half Moon Bay.  A three hour detour, but hey, we are cruisers.  There is no schedule.   Still getting used to that.  We dingied in and had lunch at the “best dive bar on the coast” well that’s what the sign said.  Lot of Pelicans on the breakwaters.


Resting half way between Santa Cruz and Monterey about 10 miles off shore.

The next morning we left for Santa Cruz.  Lisa put together a marathon of activities, full contact tourism.  First a bicycle ride to Capitola for the Capitola art and wine fair.  Wow, very crowded, and a startling contrast to the serenity of almost three weeks in Tomales Bay.   One of the booths had a lot of beautiful pictures from the tropics and it turned out that the artist Evelyn and her husband Terry Drew have a cruising boat, Aquarelle, in the Caribbean.

After the art show back to the boat ,leaving the bicycles and then walking to the boardwalk to “enjoy” a ride on the big dipper followed by dinner at Laila, a great middle eastern restaurant recommended by Norman and Lynda.


Now we are tied up at Monterey.  Doing a little boat work.  It’s different having to ride your bicycle to the Home Depot to find a new strap wrench.  Not having a car is a real perspective shift.  Luckily, Monterey has a beautiful bicycle trail along the dunes almost all the way, so no mixing it up with traffic.  We also have really enjoyed the Uber drivers we have met.  Seems to be a great concept. We enjoyed the Jazz Festival on Saturday. After a refill on provisions, we plan to head south for what will be our first overnight (alone) to Santa Barbara or one of the channel islands.  Still under discussion, but likely,  we’ll depart early Monday morning for Santa Barbara where we will wait for the wind in the Northern Channel Islands to subside.  Guidebooks make the anchorages sound a little sketchy so we want settled weather.



berklee quartet

From Berklee School of Music in Boston – MIXCLA +1


Well, our SAT phone had a defect and now we have a new one.  The tracker is back on and shows us in Santa Cruz, which is where we are right now.  We did not however arrive overland as the blue line from Tomales to Santa Cruz might indicate.

Time and Tide

Time and Tide wait for no man, so since we like high water we are leaving Tomales at 6:15.  Its gloomy with a thick marine layer.  We escape the clutches of the tide passing over the bar, and head toward the flashing red bouy that marks the safe water beyond Tomales point.   Greeted by confused 8 foot seas with the wind 12 to 15 knots, almost on the nose we have 3 knots of boat speed, an eternity, well at least 10 hours of motoring  to Point Reyes.  Because of the southerly seas and swells, we won’t be able to hide out at Drakes Bay.  We briefly consider running to Bodega, getting a slip and enjoying the comforts there, but the weather is like this for at least a week and we are going to warmer waters.

It’s a sailboat, so we put up a full main and genoa, fall off and point.  Our rounding will be about 5 miles wide, but we need some power.  We have owned footloose for almost three years, but we are still learning.  She wakes up and starts to head down the track at 6 knots pushing her way through the confused swells.  We grin at each other, great boat.

Around Point Reyes we tack towards the coast in a dying wind.  Eventually we are motoring south in flat seas.

You Tube: Sailing south in flattening seas

Water, Sun and Diesel…Learning to cruise

So we are trapped in Tomales, too much wind and waves for a comfortable trip to Pillar Point, our next stop. Meanwhile we run the boat. Like managing your own metropolis. Will there be enough water, electricity, how’s the sewage doing? A lot of it is out of your control. When you need the chart plotter, you need it, so the 2 amps are necessary. The sticky wicket comes with water. Water that we take for granted on shore, pour all over our veggies, water the garden, fill the hot tub or take a long shower. Off the grid there is an equation that relates water to our energy consumption.
If you get bored easily, now’s the time to check out ;-). Just be sure to enjoy the picture at the end.
Our solar panels can produce about 40 amps per hour (AH) in strong sunlight, The Solar panels can produce roughly 40 amps for 8 hours of strong daylight or 320 AH per day…as long as it’s sunny.
Keeping food cold takes about 8 amp hours for 24 hours or 192 AH per day.
So after refrigeration we are left with 128 AH from solar.
Our boat is blessed with the ability to make fifteen gallons of water per hour. It needs 15 amps for that hour (15 AH) to do that, or one AH per gallon. If we use 50 gallons per day we need 50 AH per day for water leaving 78 AH for everything else. Chart plotter is about 24AH per day radar another 15AH.
When you think about it, the item we have most control over is water. So how much water do you need to wash your hands, or a radish? Should you rinse the cutlery in one big wad, or fork at a time?
This is important because when we run out of AH from solar, we have to run the generator.
The generator produces up to 125 amps per hour, usually while it’s powering something else, like a hot water heater, and burns about ½ gallon per hour. If 40 percent of the diesel output is used to recharge the battery by putting more AH into the bank then each amp hour needed to make one gallon of water, takes about 1 teaspoon of diesel.
A gallon of water would not be usable with a teaspoon of smelly diesel floating on top. I wonder how my equation compares to the one we had on land. I never really thought about it. It was too easy to just turn on the faucet.
Out here we are going to work at not washing things with diesel.

OK, we are not trapped any more, publishing this on the way to Monterey when we should have another update.

Sunset Padddle

Sunset Padddle