What Next?

It is often said that a cruiser’s plan is written on sand, at low tide.

So, here I am writing about what we plan to do in the coming weeks. Almost just for the fun of it.

Here on Pesto the saying above has proven right twice since we left Seattle.

First, when we decided to sail down the coast ourselves, harbor hopping along the way (originally we had considered hiring professional assistance, and bring Pesto in one single passage from Seattle to San Francisco). We are very glad it happened this way. The passages we made along the coast have been a great learning opportunity for us, and a confidence booster. Moreover, we visited great places and got to know Pesto better. It has been great cruising, really.

Then, when we were in Crescent City, we prepared a detailed plan for the second part of our descent of the US west coast. We even drew it in a glamorous orange paper and put it inside our sailing guide. We were able to stick to it for 10 days at most. By that plan, we should have been in San Diego by now. For more than a week!

Ok, so, what’s next?

Once we leave Monterey, we will be entering the so-called Southern California, which is supposed to be a different cruising ground to what we have seen so far. The sea water shall be some 4 to 6 degrees warmer.

We are SO looking forward to entering that orange area on the map. It is just a passage away now !
We are SO looking forward to entering that orange area on the map. It is just a passage away now !

 

There are quaint coastal towns like Santa Barbara and Ventura, where we plan hope to stop, but also the very large metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Diego, which will be a drastic change for us. We have heard great things about the latter – and are looking forward to it. Heading west, there are the Channel Islands, which we plan hope to cruise extensively.

The SoCal coast and the Channel Islands - our next cruising ground for the coming month
The SoCal coast and the Channel Islands – our next cruising ground for the coming month

 

This area is also home to the treacherous Santa Ana – katabatic winds that form on the deserts to the east, and flow down the mountains towards the coast at high speeds at time. We will need to monitor it closely.

Satellite image of Santa Ana winds blowing desert dust on to the sea
Satellite image of Santa Ana winds blowing desert dust on to the sea

 

We have been checking the weather for our departure from Monterey. We got stranded here for the last week due to a succession of low/high pressure systems which paraded across the coast and brought (even) cold(er) weather, some rain, and a large swell. The skies have dried up since yesterday though, and so far it is looking like the swell shall subside to within our acceptable comfort level by Tuesday.

We are loving Monterey – and I suspect we will miss this place – but we are also eager to keep going. Slowly but steadily.

So, let’s see if the tide remains low for long enough for this plan to stand. If so, we shall be having out first Thanksgiving Meal on Pesto in the sheltered waters of Santa Barbara Harbor – let’s see.

Have a nice Sunday!

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