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Old 21-06-2015, 20:30   #16
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay is worth the stop, plus it breaks up Leg 8). It's a LOOONG day from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay itself.

Safe journey.
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Old 22-06-2015, 00:19   #17
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

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<snip>
The HMBYC has a Labor Day bash-party-fiest that is out of this world (and the large number of sailors that bring their boats attest to that fact!). There is a hand operated ferry from their dinghy dock to shore.
I think we had more than 60 sail and motor boats at the Labor Day party last year. However, the ferry to our docks is no longer hand operated. It has a motor. We're very civilized now!
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Old 22-06-2015, 12:27   #18
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

Most of the coast has been well covered in this thread, but the long slog from Morro Bay or San Simeon to Monterey can be broken up nicely by planning to get into Pfeiffer cove a couple of hours before dark, so that you can see the clear spots among the kelp, and get your hook down. I have done that coast over a dozen times and stopped often at Pfeiffer. Good holding and very good protection from the normal N.W. winds. If the wind is from any other direction, you should take advantage of it, and keep going. The cove is only a few miles S.E. of Point Sur. I have gotten beat up at Point Sur, more times than I have at Conception, so leaving Pfeiffer early in the morning, after a good nights sleep and getting around Pt Sur before the wind kicks up is a good thing. On coastal trips, I avoid sailing overnight if at all possible. Best of Luck to you. ______Grant.
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Old 22-06-2015, 17:09   #19
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

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The major problem with the Morro Bay entry channel is it's unpredictability.
FWIW...
I've always found that the Morro Bay Coast Guard can predict it VERY accurately. They've even launche rescue boats because skippers have tried to leave when the Coast Guard had said "NO". And the launching did not turn out to be in vain! Before entering Morro Bay I suggest ALWAYS calling the Coast Guard - unless you're a local and have much local knowledge.
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Old 22-06-2015, 17:18   #20
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

Sam mentioned the fog. For those who are unfamiliar with northern California weather broadcasts, weeks upon weeks go by unmarked by change: "low fog near the coast, extending inland night and morning."

When you understand that this is normal, common, etc. it will help with picking safe spots to anchor. We've never been into Pfeiffer: used to watch the high and dry fishing boat ashore whilst we went past at a goodly distance offshore. My recommendation would be to pass it by unless there is very good sunlight.

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Old 22-06-2015, 17:23   #21
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

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Most of the coast has been well covered in this thread, but the long slog from Morro Bay or San Simeon to Monterey can be broken up nicely by planning to get into Pfeiffer cove a couple of hours before dark, so that you can see the clear spots among the kelp, and get your hook down. I have done that coast over a dozen times and stopped often at Pfeiffer. Good holding and very good protection from the normal N.W. winds. If the wind is from any other direction, you should take advantage of it, and keep going. The cove is only a few miles S.E. of Point Sur. I have gotten beat up at Point Sur, more times than I have at Conception, so leaving Pfeiffer early in the morning, after a good nights sleep and getting around Pt Sur before the wind kicks up is a good thing. On coastal trips, I avoid sailing overnight if at all possible. Best of Luck to you. ______Grant.
I've never been in Pfieffer, but it's good to know that it's there. All I know about Pfeiffer is from hearsay, some that have been there, others that have no more knowledge about Pfeiffer than I. From what I've heard from others that have been in Pfeiffer it doesn't sound like a place that I'd plan to stop. Of course they had entered Pfeiffer as a refuge, not a previously planned stop.

And talking about Sur, my experience is also that Sur has given me more trouble than Conception. One time I was delivering a boat with questionable rigging and so it was motoring only. I spent about 6 hours with the Pt. Sur light at the same place, the same bearing and the same verticle angle above the horizon. It was a gasoline engine. When I was down to about 3 gallons I gave up and went back to San Simeon. Swam to shore with two jerry cans and hitch hiked to Cambria. Bought 10 gallons of gasoline, and hitch hikd and swam back. I then went back to Morro and filled up. By the time I got back to Sur it was early morning and Sur was a pussycat. Since that time I have planned to be at Sur about daybreak or before.
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Old 22-06-2015, 21:43   #22
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

On my first trip down the California coast in the mid 70s, I was talking to some fishermen in Monterey, and they gave me advice on the various anchorages on the coast. They are the people that told me about Pfeiffer Cove, and I tried it. Other than being totally alone and not seeing any lights on shore, I loved it. I later met the owner of the house on the hill that overlooks the cove, and he said that when the N.W. winds really kick up, the cove is full of Monterey fishboats. Fishermen know where to hide when things get nasty. I have used it 6 or 8 times when I was tired, and didnt want to carry on overnight. Having watched a boat crash across the reef at Half Moon Bay, and seen Santa Cruz and Morro Bay closed out, I find it odd that people who recommend those places seem to be afraid of anchoring in a cove. Of course, if the wind shifts, you get out, but if the wind shifts, you can go north easier. Safe seamanship is not limited to just going from marina to marina. Enough said. _____Grant.
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Old 22-06-2015, 22:27   #23
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

Ann - I agree with you.
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Old 22-06-2015, 23:58   #24
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

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On my first trip down the California coast in the mid 70s, I was talking to some fishermen in Monterey, and they gave me advice on the various anchorages on the coast. They are the people that told me about Pfeiffer Cove, and I tried it. Other than being totally alone and not seeing any lights on shore, I loved it. I later met the owner of the house on the hill that overlooks the cove, and he said that when the N.W. winds really kick up, the cove is full of Monterey fishboats. Fishermen know where to hide when things get nasty. I have used it 6 or 8 times when I was tired, and didnt want to carry on overnight. Having watched a boat crash across the reef at Half Moon Bay, and seen Santa Cruz and Morro Bay closed out, I find it odd that people who recommend those places seem to be afraid of anchoring in a cove. Of course, if the wind shifts, you get out, but if the wind shifts, you can go north easier. Safe seamanship is not limited to just going from marina to marina. Enough said. _____Grant.
Grant, I think you have it right about Pfieiffer. When Ann and I declined to try it years ago ('79-'80?)we were pretty inexperienced and had nothing but paper charts and old timey piloting skills, so identifying the cove in the late arvo wasn't all that easy... and then there was that wrecked trawler on shore where we thought the anchorage was.

Since then we've lived for many years at anchor, and lots of the places we choose are pretty marginal. We've gained skill at evaluating spots, and I bet if we were to ever cruise the Northern Cal coast again we'd have a go at Pfeiffer's if the timing was right.

As others have said, we were beaten up by Sur more often than Conception, largely because we knew about Coho anchorage which gives one a chance to attack Conception at its more favorable times. Without the u se of pfieffer, no such advantage is there for Sur, so it is well worth investigation.

Cheers,

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Old 23-06-2015, 07:34   #25
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Re: Fav Harbors; San Diego 2 San Francisco

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I've always found that the Morro Bay Coast Guard can predict it VERY accurately. They've even launche rescue boats because skippers have tried to leave when the Coast Guard had said "NO". And the launching did not turn out to be in vain! Before entering Morro Bay I suggest ALWAYS calling the Coast Guard - unless you're a local and have much local knowledge.
As I said in my earlier comment, the CG boys at MB can tell you what the bar is like "now", and likely to be like for a few more hours, but beyond that, their answer has always been, "..your guess is as good as mine." One cannot plan now for an entry 10-12 hours from now, but one can hope, eh? I no longer sail that coast but did, and with some experience as to the wind and swell direction, one could get a sense of what it might be like at the bar, but no certainty. We, unfortunately, surfed a Cal 2-29 over that bar on one occasion and if it were not for Lapworth's design of the yacht to favor surfing, we'd likely have broached and rolled. N'any case, if the OP wants to chance it...different ships, different long splices, eh?
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