Yesterday was a great deal of weather watching, phone conversations with Kristen regarding weather, and running up the coast from Marina del Rey. As we were passing Point Dume (where the fancy people have their houses) a new weather forecast was put out by NOAA which suggested a narrow weather window north to Morro Bay. By narrow, I’m talking about +/- 3 hours would make/break the run to Morro Bay. If you made it you were golden; if you missed, you would be hating life for many hours dealing with 25 knots from the NW gusting 30. But at least the window was there… we changed course, abandoning the idea of stopping at Santa Cruz Island and instead aimed directly for Santa Barbara, figuring that the next forecast could be picked up about the time Beetle was outside the breakwater and I could decide at that time to a) go for it! or b) punt and step off the trail and into a comfy slip in the harbor at Santa Barbara.
About this time the USCG started a broadcast stating that an EPIRB had been triggered somewhere outside Channel Island Harbor – if anyone sees something please to let them know. And sure enough, an hour later there’s a Coast Guard orange rescue helicopter buzzing about and then a 25′ big red USCG boat comes up alongside and they ask if I have an EPIRB? I say YES (have to shout over their engine noise), and they ask for the serial number. When I read it off to them they were disappointed that it wasn’t the one they were looking for. Off they sped, looking for other boats that might have an EPIRB that had accidentally triggered. (later the Coast Guard broadcast that they had in fact found the EPIRB, and everybody on board was safe).
Then later on in the evening, around dark, the latest forecast was released and it still showed a super-narrow window with significant wind coming in, so I punted. A quick tie up at the Harbor Patrol dock, stepped up to the office to procure a transient slip (paid up thru Sunday night), and it was off to sleep.
And the steaming light went out again – what’s up with that? I checked the bulb and it is definitely blown though I can’t see the break in the filament – something to put under the microscope. Lindi ran me up the mast again this morning and I replaced the bulb (again), then walked up to the West Marine store at the head of the marina and, too cool, they had two more light bulbs of exactly the correct kind, so I bought them to put back in the ship’s stores.
Kristen is hoofing it down the coast in her automobile, she’s due to arrive in a couple of hours and it will be fun to hang out with her in Santa Barbara. I do not know if Nibs (aka, Black Cat) is in the car with her, or not. One never knows with cats.
The stop here in Santa Barbara is solely to wait for weather, and it does look there’s a good window opening up Sunday night that will run through Tuesday morning, and that should get us to Morro Bay. Assuming the forecast holds, current plan is to bail from Santa Barbara 11pm or midnight Sunday night and do the 100 mile run to Morro, to arrive there Monday late afternoon/early evening. This window has held through two forecasts, PredictWind shows nothing of this whereas the local NWS guys are calling for it as well as the NAM and GFS models. Hopefully this happens, as we can keep on moving up the coast and watch for the next window.
It’s pretty nice here in Santa Barbara, this time I’m over on the south side of the harbor with the bigger boats, and there are some pretty boats here. There’s a Sundeer 56 across the dock, a huge Grand Banks trawler the other way, and a bunch of other really well maintained boats. It’s fun to see the boats when everything is shining and gleaming and they look good.
Bad forecast – there’s a big patch of green and brighter green down in the lower right corner where I want to go. Would be nice to NOT have green there; in fact, white (0-5 knots breeze) would be ideal! That’s the GFS model forecast for midnight Saturday evening local time. You can pick up these model displays from http://www.passageweather.com, a super site for quickly viewing world-wide weather model data.
Better weather. This is for Monday afternoon, lots of white and light blue down in the area of interest between Point Conception and Morro Bay. Of course this is only a computer model output, so who knows if this will actually happen – but I hope that it does. The model data changes every 6 hours, therefore I will be checking it over the next several days to see if the model comports with the NWS Oxnard forecasters – those are real people looking at a lot more data than just a weather model output, and so far they agree with what the model thinks.
Beetle at the interesting marina in Santa Barbara. In this particular marina you don’t get the extravagance of a dock finger on each side of your boat, but you do get a concrete vertical piling to ram into upon entry to your dock; I guess the pillar provides a stern cleat to wrap the dock line around so at least the fenders don’t squeak again the dock continuously. Still – if you’re going to go to the effort to put in a dock piling then you might as well go ahead and put in the dock to go with it.
The steaming light is working again. I do not know why it went out the second time – hopefully it was only a bad bulb. The little bulbs are expensive at $26/eaches and I would like them last a good long while. I’ve now checked again with a voltmeter and ohmmeter the continuity and voltage through the wiring from the circuit breaker up to the wires that enter the light fixture, and everything looks perfect. Hopefully it was only a weak filament that caused the light to go out.
My brother demonstrates how to look good on a boat. He actually was a male model at one time and it’s important in this pose to NOT have your entire hand in your pocket, that’s why the right hand thumb is exposed on the outside of the pants pocket. Note the upraised eyeline to camera right, the chin is solid, I think we have a winner here. It was fun to grill up some burgers and catch up on news with him.