Monday, June 12, 2017

Day 9 Sailing from Portland to San Diego

Postscript [During the night of the 3rd our Autopilot control unit began acting flakey.  I replace the control unit, we had a spare one. The wires from the connector plugging the unit into the sidewall of the boat had become exposed create a periodic electrical open.]

June 4th of 2017

At midnight I came on watch and decided we should pull into the next harbor on the way to check everything and get the crew some rest from the last few days.  Looking through the charts the bast place to pull in was Morro Bay.

Morro Bay is seen from the water by two geographic features.  The first is Morro Rock, standing 576 feet tall ir is a volcanic plug.  Morro Rock is now a historic land mark with a walking park surrounding it.  The other feature is the three large smoke stacks coming from the old PGE power plant.  The plant was shut down about four years ago and it's unknown what they will do with it.

Morro Rock

Looking into Morro Bay

There is a Shell fuel dock, and almost no transient moorage so it was going to be a short stop over.  I took the watch from midnight until we got into Morro Bay.  We approached the bay's bar roughly about how 6:30am as the sun came up.  At the same time the fog came in making it hard to find the red and white bar marker.  As we found it raising out of the fog came a fishing boat a 1/8th mile off our bow.  Both of us turning to port avoided a collision.  The swells were still large, as we approached the next red buoy.  Coming into the bar saw both sides of the bar markers keeping to port as the depth and current favored that side.  Once across the bar a series of small buoys supported a dredge pipe which seemed to surround the inlet past the bar.  It was impossible to find our way through and we nearly aborted this beautiful harbor.   We finally found the channel, and motored our way up to the fuel dock.

The fuel dock was 20 foot or so above the water, so docking was a little bit of a challenge with the current moving through the bay.  We finally tied up and we were there before they'd open.  About 7:30am the operator opened the fuel dock.  We topped off the fuel, water, added oil and checked all systems.

Looking down from the fuel dock by the ladder.

Paul getting ready to work his magic on the engine.
One thing that had happened was the clamps holding the transmission heat exchanger had fallen off and no one had noticed.  We'd noticed it a few days back and repaired it temporarily with cable ties.  Since we were in the small town, Bill volunteered to pick up oil as well as hose clamps needed for a proper fix.

Heat Exchanger on the back of the engine for the transmission
Paul disappeared for a walk while I waited on the boat.  Later he appeared with a large brown paper bag.  Once we got the new clamps on, we got underway.  Paul then announced he gotten biscuits and gravy from the local cafe as a surprise breakfast.  Bill warmed them up and it was a nice meal after crossing the Morro River Bar back to sea.

Shortly after crossing the bar.

Conditions through the day were much better then before, but the swells continued through the day and into the night.

Swells on the way to Point Conception

As dusk set in the Autopilot motor basically fell apart on the cockpit floor.  I picked up the pieces and brought out a replacement. It continued to work as we went on to Point Conception in hopes of calmer seas and nice wind.