After way more than a year refitting Eurybia we have finally moved on. Not far and not fast, but surely you’re expecting that by now? On Sunday Sept 1, smack dab in the middle of Labor day festivities we left our marina in San Francisco Bay at 6 am on a very foggy day. Our intrepid friends that bought back our previous boat Phoenix joined us for the trip. The Richmond marina was, as usual, clear that dawn, but everything beyond Angel Island was hidden in fog. However the sun was coming up so surely it would all burn off?
Radar didn’t appear to be working, although it had worked the last time I experimented with it. No problem. AIS and GPS were fine – GPS showed us where we were and AIS showed us where the big fast ships were. The fog wasn’t so thick at water level that we didn’t have time to react to small slower boats that appeared out of the fog, but I didn’t want to guess with the ferries or freighters. No wind either, but the engine sputtered along happily.
Approaching the Golden Gate in heavy fog was a little unworldly – swirls of fog would open up for a second’s view of the red towers, then all would fade back to grey. The foghorns were booming in several funereal tones, warning of imminent destruction. Luckily there were very few freighters passing through at 7:30 on a holiday Sunday morning so the passage was not as fraught as it can be. Once we cleared the Gate, the ocean rollers moved in, abeam, of course. Although barely a curve on the smooth near-windless waters they still packed enough force to toss us side to side. An unpleasant motion, but no wind to allow the sails to help with the motion. We suffered privately and ate cinnamon buns to pretend all was fine. Jon later owned up to having felt as sick as he ever had on a boat. I was just uncomfortable – the trip down from Seattle in 2017 was far worse, more violent and went on for days not hours. And although rolling is uncomfortable, snap rolls are the pits. We had no snap rolls on Sunday, the waves were coming from a single direction – abeam.
I think I’m the last person in the world to discover Autopilot. Our previous boats haven’t had them and we never bothered to deploy the one on Eurybia in our day sails on the bay. But on the long trip to Pillar Point, since we were motoring anyway, I let Artemis the AutoHelm do the driving. Kind of like cruise control! No longer tied to standing behind the wheel! Yay, loved it. Now the next thing we have to learn is how to use the Cape Horn wind vane. We had an Aries on Phoenix but I’m sure there will be learning curve on the Cape Horn, too. The next jump to the Channels will be a good time to learn that I guess.
In winter of 2017 we had sailed Phoenix from Bodega Bay to Pillar Point, but being winter in backwards California of course the weather was lovely and sunny. Now that it is late summer it is cool, foggy and windless. But at least the spiral-like approach to Pillar Point was familiar now and we had no problems wending our way in. We anchored in 25′ at high tide in the middle of the anchor field at 1 pm and assembled the port-a-bote dinghy on the fore deck with little trouble. Jon and our guests rowed off to shore while Zoë and I waved goodbye and got comfy in the cockpit with our books and squeaky toys. You’ll have to guess who had which. Our friends had left a car at the Harbor the day before and drove Jon to Richmond to pick up their second car and to let Jon pick up our old truck. (We plan to keep the truck for the few weeks we are here then give it to friends to sell as we move on down the coast in late September.) Jon rowed back to Eurybia about 6 and we ate leftovers and half a bottle of vino before tumbling into bed at 8. Long day, all well.
On Monday we took a down day meaning we didn’t leave the boat and were planning to goof off all day after our strenuous day before. However the radar issues were bugging me and I tackled that project. Turned out to be user error – it looks like it’s best to first go to the Radar page on the Raymarine E80, do all the set up and range setting there, then go to the Chart page and request a radar overlay. Once I did that it all worked fine.
As is typical, once the radar was “fixed” I noticed the AutoHelm was no longer working. It has a big “NO LINK” message posted on the screen. ARRRGH! Now that we have left the marina and the nearby electronics wizards it decides to pack it up. Appears to be most likely to be a soldering issue inside the box, requiring shipping back to the factory, but I’ll research to see if there are other possibilities. It worked all the previous day with no problems!
Aren’t boats fun?