Our days in Monterey

Monterey is a charming town just over 100 miles south of San Francisco. Its location at the southern end of Monterey Bay makes it a convenient stop for boats transiting down the coast. We came here after an overnight passage from San Francisco. We thought we would stay some 3-5 days. We stayed over two weeks, and loved it.

Monterey was a strong contrast to our previous stay. In Richmond, we stayed in a marina which is exclusive for cruising boats, located in a secluded basin, and wrapped by residential condos. It was a peaceful, super quiet place. We could hear a bird flapping its wings from the distance. And for the days we stayed there, Pesto felt more like a house than a boat, for the water inside the basin was almost like glass, so still it was. Nevertheless, it was also somewhat isolated. To the exception of the warship we visited early on our stay, everything else – including basic supplies – were a drive away. Monterey, on the other hand, is a small town and the municipal marina seems to be at the heart of everything. Restaurants, supplies and attractions are within walking distance from the dock. The marina is for mixed use – pleasure and commercial. The swell outside makes its way into the harbor and sends in a surge inside the marina’s basin. There is a fish processing plant just a few yards away from the docks. And lots of wildlife – above, by the side and under us.

So, for the two weeks we stayed there, Pesto rocked in its slip, we could get the scent of fish from the commercial fleet and fish plant, there was the hum of diesel engines, and we were often with company of birds, otters and sea lions. As strange as it may sound, it felt real, authentic. It felt like real cruising. It was great.

I will let the pictures and their captions tell the rest of the story.

The lively Municipal Marina, tucked behind the fishermen's wharf
The lively Municipal Marina, tucked behind the fishermen’s wharf. A beautiful place at day …
... and night
… and night
There were sunny days, which made the surroundings glow ...
There were sunny days, which made the surroundings glow …
... rainy, foggy days which made everything ... well, wet ....
… rainy, foggy days which made everything … well, wet ….
... and rainy AND sunny days, which made everything colorful and interesting
… and rainy AND sunny days, which made things colorful and very interesting
Our strolls through town revealed its facets, from the small details ...
Our strolls through town revealed its facets, from the small details …
... to its nice vintage architecture,, from the olden fishing days
… to its nice vintage architecture, from the olden fishing days
Raquel lay under this tree, close to downtown, and said she loved the fact trees here turn so beautiful in fall
Raquel lay under this tree, close to downtown, and said she loved the fact trees here turn so beautiful in fall
A few blocks away and we saw the first cactus of this journey - what a contrast!
A few blocks away and we saw the first cactus of this journey – what a contrast!
Of particular interest was our bike ride, which revealed the places beautiful vistas ...
Of particular interest was our bike ride, which revealed the place’s beautiful vistas …
... small pebble beaches ...
… small pebble beaches …
... rocky beaches ...
… rocky beaches …
... and a proper beach-as-we-know-it, which we enjoyed extensively
… and a proper beach-as-we-know-it, which we enjoyed extensively
Back "home", the Fishermen's Wharf, which was adjacent to our dock, was an attraction in its own
Back “home”, the Fishermen’s Wharf, which was adjacent to our dock, was an attraction in its own
The commercial fleet would leave early in the morning ...
The commercial fleet would leave early in the morning …
... and bring back their catch to the fish plant just a few yards away form where we were.
… and bring back their catch to the fish plant just a few yards away from where we were
Even closer to home, there was the wildlife - from the ubiquitous Gulls ...
Even closer to home, there was the wildlife – from the ubiquitous Gulls …
... to the cormorants (a couple of them lived at the dock next to ours. Over the days they got accustomed to us, and carried out their business as if we were not there) ...
… to Cormorants (a couple of them lived at the dock next to ours. Over the days they got accustomed to us, and carried out their business as if we were not there) …
 ... to the Sea Otters (a family lives in the Marina. The male would come every afternoon to catch mussels under the dock. He would then bang them on Pesto's hull to break them open) ...
… to the Sea Otters (a family lives in the Marina. The male would come every afternoon to catch mussels under the dock. He would then bang them on Pesto’s hull to break them open) …
... and then there were the Sea Lions. But this will be subject of a different story
… and then there were the Sea Lions. But this will be subject of a different story

 

We also took the time to do other things, not registered in pictures. We went to a movie theater to watch Big Hero 6, played family soccer in a nearby grass field, implemented a number of minor improvements on Pesto’s deck and down below, and spent a day in the city’s great aquarium. Adriana did a business trip to the frozen US Midwest. And homeschool advanced well.

But as great as it was, at one point we all started to feel the itch to keep going. It is the cruising bug. Two days earlier, when we took Pesto to the fuel dock, the hum of the engine reignited the spark. Out there, a weather window was materializing. It was time to go.

We take the sweetest memories from this place, and for sure we will miss it. Thank You, Monterey !

Pesto-23Nov14-051

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