Just a quick note to say that on the evening of Tuesday, November 7 we finally docked in Bodega Bay. The last days of our trip were plagued by equipment failures. The wind vane steering had never worked well, meaning that we had to hand steer the boat in four-hour shifts around the clock. But then the face plate of the charge controller was shattered and the engine stopped charging the house batteries. Soon we were low enough on battery power that we turned off all unnecessary loads, including the fridge and the radio. Nav lights and the propane solenoid we were able to keep using because the small amount of solar gain coming into our solar panels allowed some battery recharge each day.
I’m sure some of you were worried when the map stopped updating, but using the radio to update our position just became too energy-expensive. I’m sorry you were worried, we were worried, too!
As we approached the California coast, still fighting for ANY decent wind, we realized our losing battle with the batteries and our last 10 gallons of fuel meant that making our original destination of Pillar Point was not a wise goal. We realized we could reach the fishing port of Bodega Bay and fuel up and rest there. Having made that decision of course we got some of the best wind of the trip! We had a wild exciting ride for several hours taking us directly southeast towards Bodega Bay. Then it died too and we motored the final six hours into Spud Point Marina, arriving about 8 pm. We slept at the fuel dock until 7 the next morning when we fueled up and took a slip. Exhaustion. We slept most of that day, too, waking only to have the best clam chowder in the world across the street from Spud Point Marina.
On Thursday afternoon my mother arrived by car and whisked us off to her home in San Francisco for a few days of pampering and rest. Aren’t mothers wonderful?
At some point in the next week we will move into San Francisco Bay to better deal with the repairs we need to make: wind vane and engine charge controller being the most essential.
Thank you all for following our trip so far, it was wonderful to know there were people out there rooting for us. All in all it was a dreadfully difficult trip, confirming that the North Pacific is no place to be after early September. Having no wind was worse than too much wind as it left us prey to the cruelly unsettled seas. We were tossed like popcorn by competing directions of wave trains, unable to keep the sails full, flung around the cabin, robbed of sleep even when off watch. The necessity for hand steering and the cold air meant that four hours were as long as we could handle on deck, yet we craved more sleep when off watch. The long nights of fall made this particularly onerous. But we are now through the worst part of the trip and hope that the jog down to San Diego, whenever that happens, should be manageable. Thank you readers for sharing this trip with us!