The Bash Back Home

We’re doing the “Bash” off Big Sur right now.  6 foot seas, very closely spaced and about 20 knots of wind.  Just rounded the lighthouse a little while ago and have a course now set for Pillar Point, about 50 miles North.

Before the rest of the update:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANN!!  The Dolphin Whisperer’s birthday is today.  She’s garble, garble years young!  Have a great one, sorry we didn’t make it back in time, but will only be a day or so off.

So where were we?  Oh yes, we left King Harbor (Redondo Beach) at 0730 two days ago in thick fog.  Used the radar to pick our way out.  Couldn’t even see the navigation buoys until we were right on them although the radar clearly showed where they were.  Other than the fog on leaving, which lifted a couple hours later, it was an uneventful ride to Santa Barbara.  Got there around 2200 and tied up at the fuel dock for the night.  That way we were first in line for fuel when the attendant got there at 0700.  So, fueled up and out of Santa Barbara on the 12th after a brief 9 hour stay.

Flat water out of Santa Barbara toward Conception, gave Geoff time to do some baking (he’s so domestic!)  So, we kneaded a bunch of bread and he made biscuits and almost made French Bread.  The French Bread didn’t rise, so he made it into breadsticks and a scary looking brick.  Well, really more of a discus.  I used to throw a discus that was about the same size, shape and weight.  Anyway, the biscuits and breadsticks have been tasty and the smell of the baking alone was worth all the effort.

12/12/10.  1430.  Dolphins everywhere.  A hundred or so dolphins came over our way just now.  They look to be feeding so didn’t hang around to play, but always nice to see our friends.

I was just thinking that I was looking forward to doing a bunch of reading on this trip, but actually have only just finished two books that I started back in Berkeley.  The reason is that after two months I’m still not tired of just watching the ocean and sea life.  It really doesn’t get boring and is always changing so I can’t get motivated to crack open a book.  Also, I’m spending my time navigating and taking care of the boat, so that’s my excuse.

12/13/10.  0430.  About 12 miles North of San Simeon.  Really thick fog.  Can’t see anything past the bow lights, so I’m just sitting in the nav station watching the radar.  Fortunately from using it the last two months, I know that it will pick up something as small as a 10 inch crab pot marker (in flat water), so I have confidence anybody else out here will show up on the screen.  Still it’s a little spooky that you can’t see a thing.

1700.  The middle of Monterey Bay.  Right about sunset I noticed the oil pressure was dropping.  It normally never moves, so that caught my attention.  I watched it for a while and it was clearly but slowly going down.  Once it moved out of the “green” zone, I decided we needed to take some action, there’s clearly a problem here.  We throttled down and just doing that made it go back up.  Hmmm.  I checked the oil and it seemed high enough-about 3/4’s full which is where I usually leave it.  However given the situation, I added almost a quart.  We re-started the engine and the pressure is back to normal. Now we’re going to watch it and have set an alarm for 30 minutes which we’ll keep going all night.  For now, it’s been steady for over an hour now.  Maybe it was just a bit of dirt or something in the sensor that got pumped out when we changed the RPM.  We have been at the same 2450 RPM for over 30 hours, but I don’t know.  Keeping fingers crossed.

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