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Prying ourselves loose from the Bay

Sausalito has really really sticky mud. And nearly all of Richardson Bay has depths of 15 feet or less which means that about 50 feet of our 60 feet of scope was smothered in thick, black, gooey muck when we finally cranked it in for the last time yesterday. Despite taking an absurdly long time to wash the chain off with our bucket, the process wasn’t nearly as difficult as starting to hoist the chain in the first place.

We’ve had an amazing time in San Francisco, splitting our time between the conveniences of Emeryville and the quaintness of Sausalito. We had friends and family scattered all around the Bay and spent nearly every day visiting with someone. It was a nice change from what was sometimes a lonely cruising life up in B.C. and if the hoards of southbound cruising boats indicate anything it’s that we’re not likely to be lonely again for a long time.

Golden Gate finally astern (and one of the newest members of our solar farm)

When we weren’t visiting, or exploring downtown San Francisco, or eating Dim Sum in Chinatown, or ice-cream in Sausalito, or riding the BART to visit old friends in the Mission district, we were spending money. Lots of it. Sadly, our old Costco dinghy finally bit the dust when the transom drain plug rotted out and we couldn’t keep the water out so we picked up a new West Marine RIB. Despite scouring Craigslist for months we were unable to find a used dinghy at a decent price so we broke our longtime tradition and bought a new one. The price was right and after zipping around in a RIB for the past week we’ll never go back to a flat-floor dinghy again. Oh, boy is it fast, stable and fun!

We also added two more solar panels to our aft rails, a project we knew we’d have to complete in San Francisco. With four panels we now have 530 watts of solar power, plenty to keep our little vacuum running daily to pick up all the cracker crumbs that are constantly finding their way to the floor. And the laptops, autopilot, stereo, toaster, lights, HAM radio….

So, despite having many many reasons to stay for another week in the Bay we were getting itchy to keep making our way south as October(!) is only a few days away. We reluctantly washed the Sausalito mud from our anchor chain for the last time and motored out the Golden Gate yesterday. With a perfectly clear blue sky and a 4 knot flood current against us we had plenty of time going out to gaze at the brilliant orange bridge we’ll always be fond of.

The water is getting warmer! (Half Moon Bay)

Our 25-mile trip down to Half Moon Bay was pretty uneventful, excepting a 12-15-foot high swell that was rolling down from the NW storms brewing off the coast back home. It was more than a little nerve-wracking crossing the infamous San Francisco bar (what if there’s a rogue wave? Oh god, this one is like a mountain, what if it’s going to be the one that breaks??) But despite our sweaty palms we were in deep water soon enough and greeted with a pleasant SW wind that kept our sails full and nearly on the beam for a few hours.

By late afternoon we’d made the easy entrance to the Half Moon Bay break-watered harbor and were anchored in 10 feet of perfectly still water, the anchor quickly setting into sticky black mud, no doubt.


  1. Rich Davies says:

    Are the solar panels enough to power all of your accessories including the laptop? I guess further north in Europe we’ve not had enough sun to make them worthwhile!

  2. Dani says:

    So nice to hear your stories about San Francisco! We are so far away from California, but hope to go there one day..by boat.

    We live down in Louisiana so we are looking forward to the heat going away..you on the other hand, coming from BC are undoubtably migrating for warmer weather.

  3. Trevor says:

    If you are planning on making a stop in Monterey, let me know… we have contacts we met there when we sailed through that loaned us passes to the best aquarium!

    1. Sara says:

      Hi T! It’s too bad we didn’t coordinate earlier, we visited the aquarium yesterday. Very pricey field trip but WOW that place is better than we remembered it (stopped in back in 2002 as well). Oh well, our budget is completely shot. Must leave Cali soon! We’ll be here for a few more days, send us your friends’ info anyway — it would be fun to meet locals! We’re at the dock for the next two nights, had howling wind and driving rain last night and need a good nights sleep (or two) before we sail for Morro Bay on Friday.

      Miss you all, hope everyone is well!!