We have been back in SF for a couple weeks now and after having time to reflect on the trip, here are some highlights that come to mind:
Departing SF and heading to port outside the Gate was amazing. The wind was up as were the waves. We sailed the 20 miles to safe harbor in Half Moon Bay. Our very first landfall.
Sailing the Cali coast was a dream come true. I have been up and down Hwy 1 so many times dreaming about being on a boat and here I was heading to Monterey and next, Santa Barbara!
Santa Barbara was delightful. We spent 3 weeks in and around the harbor as well as extended stays at Santa Cruz Island with friends visiting from the Bay.
We pulled into a tiny anchorage on Santa Cruz and challenged a boat load of other dudes to a game of bocce. We kicked their butts and laughed so hard for hours. These guys were a ton of fun.
Painted Cave on Santa Cruz was a huge hit for us and our friends. The largest sea cave on the planet!
Newport Beach with my friend Barry and his wife took us out for an amazing evening of cruising the waterways and seeing some beautiful waterside homes.
I had never been to Catalina and that was a blast. We played bocce near the plaza.
San Diego - we could not find a slip due to the Haha. I ended up calling all the marinas and one got back to me saying they had plenty of space and we could stay for 2 weeks! We arrive at Fiddler's Cove and it turns out they thought we were military folks and this was a military harbor. They realized our predicament and their mistake and allowed us to stay a week. We had a ton of fun and they were all very kind.
My friend from Delaware, Steve, came out for a week and we had an amazing time. Swimming, Frisbee, 420, bocce, hanging with my son and meeting his cousin for a dinner party.
We had a pretty good sail down the coast of Baja. The best was from Santa Maria to Cabo with 20 knots of wind.
San Jose del Cabo was a very cool stop. We hitchhiked back and forth and folks were happy to give us a ride. What a cool art district with great bars and restaurants.
My sisters and family came down to Cabo for NYE and I took them all for a very relaxing sail along the coast.
Our first real cruising anchorage was off La Pax at an island anchorage. There were several other boats around and we invited them all to join us for a drink. We had 2 couples join us for a fun evening of stories and lies! I am kidding about the stories. : )
Yelapa in Puerto Vallarta was one of my favorite spots. In a deep valley and surrounded by green lush hills, it is idyllic. My son and nephew also visited PV along with John. We had great sails with them and saw lots of whales breaching.
The trip from PV to Ztown was spectacular. There were a couple anchorages that really stood out. One of my favs was Pariso. Secluded and a small bay inside a bay with a pristine beach right off the boat. Gorgeous. We were the only boat there!
Ztown was the highlight. We had a bunch of friends visit and the town was so cute. We saw the Guitarfest and fell in love with one guy who played like the late Michael Hedges. We even went to a private show with him playing his heart out. The Smernoffs, Paul and Murray, Kendall, Michael and Carl all visited. Good times indeed! Grand Island was a place we visited at least 4 times and we always had a ton of fun!
My friends ask, would I do this trip again? Even tho we had the time of our lives over a 7 month period, I would say no! Why? The 2000 mile motor from Ztown to SF took 5 weeks. It was uphill and against mother nature. If you are familiar with the west coast wind patterns, you know our winds are generated up north and arrive here mostly from the northwest. You can't imagine how hard it is to motor against 30 knot winds and 14 foot swells. Day after day. Week after week. For that reason, I won't do it again.
I have been home for 2 weeks now and have seen a bunch of friends and it is so nice to be back. I will continue to sail the Bay twice a week as well as do more Haha's on other peoples boats and then fly home from Cabo. I may even do the Puddle Jump across the Pacific but not on my boat.
All in all, the trip, the boat and crew all exceeded my expectations. I could not be happier at this time. The boat is waiting for me and I hear her call. Oh yeah, and I am taking out 10 friends on Cinco de Mayo to celebrate my return as well as go see the races. We have some foiling cats on the bay that will be approaching 50 knots on the race course! I am looking forward to alot more chartering in exotic locales as well. We have the BVI's coming up in 11 months. Cheerio!
Here is what we will see on Sunday with 6 teams going at it. SailGP