Prism's Blog

San Fran- Santa Cruz- RUDE Capitola – Pebble Beach

Heading for Horse Shoe Cove

We are off once again. We did not leave Berkeley till Monday afternoon as we had to go finish some last minute projects on the Mason before we could leave the bay area. We set off around 4 in the afternoon and has a wonderful sail over to horse shoe cove. The winds were perfect as we scooted through raccoon straights, past Tibiroun, and by saualito.  The sun was just setting as we dropped the hook with the golden gate within a stone throw away from our stern. We checked the weather once more before we went to bed and decided that the following morning was not the morning to leave. We spent all of Tuesday doing more last minute projects and had our good friend Natalie ( AKA Cubbie from our Gold Arrow Camp days) over for some drinks. It was so great to catch up! We set off the next morning, sailing out of horse shoe and making way to the gate, the wind died and we started to get pulled out with the ebb tide. DAMN, I though we were going to make it with out starting up the engine.


We got out of the danger zone and brought the engine down to idle and we drifted out under the golden gate along with the mad rush of the fishing boats heading out to find their catch. Not to mention the ginormous super tankers that are heading to the far off ports of the world. Funny to think that in the time we take to get down the coat, that one tanker will have already gotten to its next port, unloaded and will most likely be back in SF or the next port of call before we even get to Mexico. Show offs.

Once we made it out to the first buoy marker we made our left turn once again. It was calling for winds to be around 5-10knt, but it lied. NO WIND. NOTHING. We motored for about 4 hours, then the wind showed up! We were stoked! So stoked that we bypassed Half Moon Bay and headed right for Santa Cruz. We knew we were going to be pushing the day light limit and would be anchoring off the pier just after dusk. We had anchored there before and felt that we would do just fine. We hoisted the sails and made out way down wind, I must say that we are getting very good at our jibes and had no close calls (at least on this leg). We were about 4 hours away from Santa Cruz when we  jibed in to make our waypoint. Jon looks at me and asked “Hey Shannon, is that an island in front of us? Do we have to go around?” I answered : ” Oh well on Tara we were much father out…” Looking at the chart and the depth we shortly found ourselves in only 30 ft of water, kelp and rushing swells all pushing us towards the island.  At that moment we said ” I think we need to jibe and get out of this” Jibe HO! as soon as we started back into deeper waters we see the red buoy maker just off the point of the island and we both start laughing. We made great time. We sailed in along with the rush of Wednesday night beer can races and dropped the hook at dusk on the north side of the pier. I made a quick meal and we were asleep before we could say goodnight.

The following morning we had a light breeze and made our way over to Capitola. When we were here 2 years ago on Tara we had such an amazing time that we really could not wait to hang out in the very small cute town once again. We raised our large drifter sail and made our way doing about 3 knts, while enjoying the marine nature show that is Monterrey Bay. We had whales, dolphins, seals, mola molas otters and birds all around us! Marine animal life just amazes me to the point that I can forget that I am at the helm and next thing you know we are off course to our destination but are following the dolphins to where ever they are going. Around 10 the wind dies and we make our way over to the Capitola pier where we anchored last time. Our very good friends Bruce and Dawn are anchored off in the kelp near the surf break. When we asked them why they were all the way over there, they were told that it was the only place that they “could” anchor. SAY WHAT! Um no, I told Jon that we were not going to anchor in the kelp next to the breaking surf.  After further talks with Bruce and Dawn, they were told by the Capitola Police that the mooring field off the pier was owned by the city and was leased out to the people on the pier through October 1st. But after the 1st  the mooring balls become a “grey area” and the police didn’t say we could not use them, that they are kinda just “there”. So Jon and I make our way over to the mooring balls and grab one, thinking that if we are in the wrong someone will come out and tell us. A few hours go by, our radio on, we didn’t hear anything from anyone.  Score! We looked around and noticed that the dinghy dock that was off the pier is gone and we have to make it through the surf. So we launch the dinghy and start our row over to the pier. Half way there our oar lock breaks… back to the boat.. fix the oar lock..  back to rowing.. ok here we go. We are heading in to be picked up by family friends who had invited us over for dinner. We are almost to the pier when we hear very muffled yelling “RETURN TO YOUR VESSEL AND LEAVE OUR MARINA IMMEDIATELY”  Jon and I look around and asking ourselves : “did you hear that?” They yell though the mega phone once again, this time with a threat of calling the police and a $300 fine.  We just got done talking to Bruce and Dawn about the mooring and the Capitola police  telling us/ not telling us to use or don’t use the balls. We figure that these guys are not worth it and row back to the boat, start up the engine and move over to where just 2 years before we had anchored off the front of the pier. We drop the hook, just as we get it set we hear the muffled yelling once again : ” YOU CANNOT ANCHOR IN OUR MARINA!” At this point Jon and I are so beyond confused: 1st we are not in a marina. 2nd cause we are outside of the mooring field. and 3rd cause we are the only boat there. Its not like this place was jammed packed with boats, it was empty like a ghost town. They had 4 boats that they could have used to come talk to us, or even hailed us over the radio as we waved our radio in the air pointing at it, they clearly did not get the message. So we moved till the yelling stopped, at this point we are more than a (Jon says half a mile) mile off the beach. There was no warm welcome to the shores of Capitola.

When we did make it to shore and the Hushaws picked us up, we were treated with an amazing dinner, good drinks and even a gift: a solar charging light. (its badass). The hospitality that our friends who we consider family showed us is the only reason we will ever go back to Capitola.

We stayed a few days anchored way out in the boondocks, next to Bruce and Dawn and their boat Lady Jane. We would go back and forth to each others boats talking projects, life and making food. We truly love their company.

We were invited to grab a mooring at the Stillwater Yacht Club which is located in beautiful Pebble Beach. Jon made the long rowing journey to the beach to pick up Mike and Marrissa Hushaw and brought them back to Prism so we could start our sail across the Monterey Bay, out past the point and into Stillwater cove.

There was not a lot of wind to begin with, but after an hour we welcomed a wonderful 10knt breeze into our sails. We sailed along with full canvas up, the sun out, and a flat bay. Our crew for the day were shocked by the conditions and could not believe how lucky we were to be out on the bay. Mike thought that the trip would take us about 2 hours, he however was thinking in powerboat terms. He was picturing our  sail boat soaring though the water doing 15-20 knts. HA! We had to remind him that we travel at about 5 knts and that the trip will take us over 5 hours.

We pulled into Still water cove and grabbed a mooring ball closest to shore, with Kevin up on the pier telling us that we should put a load on it to make sure it was still connected as the yacht club decommissions the mooring field for the off season. We back down and it does not budge. Bring on the cocktails!  We all row to shore and are amazed by the luxury that is the yacht club. When we walked through the club house and out to the pool deck that over looks the cove, it gave us goose bumps to look out and see our boat, sitting so still on the water looking pretty as ever.

All 7 of us piled into Pam’s car and went to Kevin’s house and were treated with wine and a wonderful steak dinner. Kevin and his wife were so nice and welcoming. Once we were all fat, happy, and a little buzzed, we went back to the yacht club. We were met at the pier by a YC staff member who was not happy that we were on his mooring ball. He informed us that we had to move and he would show us where to drop or anchor ( still water cove is filled with kelp and during the day hours its still a zig zag to avoid the kelp paddies.) He leads us out into the cove and shows us where to drop out hook and says ” ok drop 200ft right there, do not back down as our anchor will foul cause of the kelp” Jon and I both look at each other and say Hell NO. The guy  then just leaves and head back to shore. Jon and I are left dazed and confused, our boat is not backed down and there are rocks  and shore all around us. I was at the point where I told Jon that we should just leave for San Siemon right now. He called Kevin again and he came back down with the other guy who told us we could not use the mooring and towed our boat through the kelp to a private mooring and let us stay the night. Once again the hospitality from the people and friends from the  yacht club was so amazing and over the top/ unexpected.

We slept sound and woke in the morning and planned to leave later in the evening. We had an easy going morning and prepped for the passage for going around Point Sur.

As the time came closer and closer to leaving for this passage I felt my nerves growing. This is the same passage that kicked my ass the last time we sailed down this coast in our smaller Caliber 28. I had to keep reminding myself that the weather was way calmer, our boat is bigger, and WAY more sea able. i chanted in mu head ” ok Shannon , breath.. you can do this! the boat can do this!” I seriously need to become more comfortable with sailing, With Jon by my side  i feel 100% safe, but there is still that fear in the back of my head that eats away at me telling me that we are going to flip over and die.

And with that thought we cast off and headed off into the sunset. San Siemon is our heading and I hope the weather is as nice as the forecast says.

leaving Berkeley, CA
our view from Horse Shoe Cove


The Golden Gate all lit up at night



This is good sailing weather!




Stillwater Cove

We have been in San Siemon for about a week now, a lot has happened, and we will fill you in on this later. ( my cell phone has a new address: the bottom of San Siemon Cove)   All is well with us, we are leaving tomorrow morning and heading for the channel islands: Santa Cruz island here we come.

One thought on “San Fran- Santa Cruz- RUDE Capitola – Pebble Beach

Leave a Reply