Two small whales welcomed us into Half Moon Bay at around 6:15pm. It was overcast and chilly, but we had made it! Damien had been in the bay before for previous races, so he had a good idea of where to go. The anchorage in Half Moon Bay is beautiful, secluded and free. Heck yeah. We were told that it can get rolly and uncomfortable, but it was perfectly calm for the few days we were there. Once we had the anchor down and I had called home, we realized one of the water tanks was empty. We had filled up prior to leaving, what the heck? Holy moly, we had a hose clamp fail and all the water in our port tank had emptied through the loose hose during our sail. The port engine room had water in it and was a steamy mess. Next thing I know, Damien has ripped his pants off faster than Magic Mike and climbs down in. He was able to get the water out, make a temporary repair and get us back in business. We wouldn’t have water from the port tank, but the other side was still full and would last a few days.
Completely dark by this time, Bella needed to stretch her legs and take care of business. We weren’t sure whether there was a dock we could bring her to or if it would be better to take her to the beach close by. We weren’t making good decisions at this point. Overwhelmed from the day, we decided to take her to the beach. In hindsight, this was pretty dumb. It’s never a good idea to try to land your dinghy on a beach you’ve never been to in the dark. Lots of things could go wrong. On the top of the list was damaging our dinghy or us getting hurt. Luckily the worst that happened was that I jumped in too soon and ended up soaked up to my armpits. We made it though, and learned a good lesson. Wet, sandy and cold, Bella took care of business and we managed to make it back to the boat.
We spent the next few days taking the dinghy into town and exploring Half Moon Bay. We had our first round of fish and chips and bought fishing licenses and a tiny crab trap from the bait shop. We hung out at the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club and enjoyed the view of Brizo at anchor. We fueled and watered up at the fuel dock (our first one outside of Emeryville!). Most of these days felt surreal, like it wasn’t really happening. It felt like we were in a dream that we would wake up from and find ourselves back home in Danville, on the way to work, back in our regular life routine. Thankfully, we weren’t dreaming, we had done it and we were on the move.
On Saturday, May 11th, our good friends Randy and Natalie came out to have dinner, spend our 4th night at anchor with us and make the trip down to Santa Cruz. We dropped Natalie off at the dock in the morning so she could spend the day with family and pick up Randy that evening. We got back to the boat and around 10am pulled up anchor and we were cruising again!
The sail down to Santa Cruz was really fantastic. Except for the part when the electric winch for the main sail gave up on us. Randy and I took turns getting the sail up, in pretty big waves, facing backwards. We gave it all we had, got the sail up and I was pretty sure my stomach was going to give back everything it had. So I sat down for a while and checked out the horizon while Damien and Randy kept things moving. And wouldn’t you know it, the wind died and we needed to drop the main. Since things quieted down, I laid down with Bella on the couch and enjoyed the ride with a little nap. While I was out, Randy and Damien pulled out the jib and surfed the waves at 16 knots! This is the fastest we’ve sailed this boat and it was awesome (from what I heard).
Flying down the coast, we made it to Santa Cruz around 4pm and anchored near the pier with a cool view of the Boardwalk. Damien and Randy picked up Natalie & her cousin in the dinghy. We had tacos for dinner and another beautiful sunset at anchor. So far, so fantastic.