Friday, July 9, 2010

California Dreamin'

While visiting friends and family on our trip to California, we scoped out future sites at which to anchor when we head up the coast after beginning our cruise.

24-foot sailboat in Sausalito
Green Dragon in Sausalito
Before I arrived, Windy and the girls checked out Richardson Bay off Sausalito. This spot is occupied by a few cruising boats as well as anchored-out derelict boats, some of them home to liveaboards--all of whom are bohemians, a few of whom are miscreants. For some reason, there is no code enforcement on these vessels, even though a few occasionally sink or drag in winter storms. It is a topic discussed often in Latitude 38. The consensus seems to be that no agency has jurisdiction over these boats when they are not underway, and these boats are never underway. That doesn't sound right to me, but I am happy to hear that this may be an attractive and inexpensive spot to hole up while in the Bay Area. Windy also spotted Green Dragon (pictured), at one time her father's boat, in its Sausalito slip.

Windy and I took off on her dad's motorcyle and rode out to Tomales Bay. The mouth of this bay is about 50 miles north of the entrance to San Francisco Bay, around Point Reyes. Tomales Bay is narrow (1-2 miles) and cuts southeast for about 10 miles along the San Andreas fault in west Marin, close to where her folks live. It is a relatively shallow bay with a tricky bar at the entrance, but based on accounts I've read and boats we saw anchored, we should be able to squeeze in there with Del Viento. It is a beautiful place populated with a few quaint B&B towns and bordered by the Tomales Bay State Park and Ecological Reserve, and Point Reyes National Seashore.

rowing boat in King Salmon
Windy and the girls in King Salmon
While in Humboldt County, we stayed with our dear friends the Stewarts at their home in King Salmon, just at the entrance to Humboldt Bay. Dr. Stewart took us out in his skiff, pointing out potential anchorages at the southern end of the bay. The girls also got some boat time rowing about in the Stewarts' dinghy and explored for hours on the beaches and dunes of King Salmon. We also walked the docs of the Woodley Island Marina off Eureka, much further north. Once over the bar at the entrance to Humboldt Bay, shallow water poses a challenge to heading into the King Salmon area of the bay (and taking a slip behind the Stewart's home). The Fuji 40 draws 6-feet unladen. We will likely draw several inches more in a cruising configuration. Dr. Stewart told us of a neighbor in a comparably sized boat who ties up behind a King Salom home and settles into the mud at low tide. That may be us.

I imagine we'll revisit all of these sites as we head north. This trip made us (perhaps including the girls) wish it was sooner than it will be.


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