It is a rather pleasant morning now morphed into afternoon here at anchor in Drakes Bay.
We left Alameda yesterday morning at 9AM, and two hours later were motoring past the main ship channel buoys outside the Gate – extremely clear as we could see Pt. Reyes, Southeast Farallone Island, and the Air Force installation on the point outside Pillar Point Harbor – all at the same time. Wind was light from the east, of all things, so off engine and Beetle started reaching to the northwest at reasonable 5-7 knots. An hour later the wind shut down so on motor and we powered through loads of crab pot buoys (Dungeness Crab season recently opened), only to find we had powered through the transition from Easterly to the filling Westerly breeze – so off engine again and a light air uphill sail for another couple hours. Lots of birds out, no seals or whales, it’s been fairly warm (though still with jackets and fuzzy hats on), and then the wind shut down again.
I assembled the folding crab trap, Kristen baited it with the thanksgiving dinner turkey neck, and we dropped the pot in 80 feet of water just outside the limiting line set by Fish & Game, noted the GPS coordinates of the pot, and then were in with hook down just about sunset.
It was somewhat chilly last night, so the heater was run and the boat stayed toasty warm on the inside what with Kristen cooking up a batch of pasta and hamburger meat. As we have a lot of hamburger, tonight we’re thinking of handing Hamburger with pasta simply by reversing the ingredients. Will have to see if this fools anyone.
This morning the dinghy was inflated and launched, got to play with the new-to-Beetle electric air inflator pump, it worked out very well. 7 minutes of run time consuming roughly 14 watts (10 amps at 12vDC for 7 minutes). Nice part is that while the dinghy is inflating you can also be organizing the oars, fetching life jackets, and freeing the outboard motor and gas can. Kinda fun!
A 2 mile dinghy ride out to the pot, portable GPS in hand, up pot and inside were two keeper-size Dungeness male crabs, crabs were deposited into cooler brought along for that purpose, pot re-baited with chicken gizzards in the crab bait tin, and down went pot again.
Now that we have two rather large crabs, it was time to do the morning Drakes Bay tour starting at Drakes Estereo – slowly tooling along in the dinghy whilst watching the hawks fly along the hillside, harbor seals floating in the water, lots of elephant seals in the NW corner beach, a couple of people working on their surfing at the larger swell East of the Estero.
There’s one other boat anchored nearby, there were 11 boats here last night (4 sailboats and 7 fish boats), and now they’ve all headed out in different directions other than Beetle and the boat near by. It’s now 12:30pm – and I am informed that Beetle does not have a cheese grater, which is true. Something to add to the list of required boat parts.
And now topsides for a bit of a read. And almost forgot, Nibs the Black Cat is along for the ride, he’s been pretty good about exploring, hiding, burrowing, and generally being a cat that doesn’t complain too much about being on a boat. He has gone to the side and transom a number of times to look for the dock, something he expects to find once the boat has stopped moving – but to his chagrin no dock yet. Doesn’t stop him from looking, though.
Life is good from here on Beetle!