One of the lessons on this trip thus far is that Reputation May Exceed Reality.
Not really surprising if you consider the tradition of tall tales told by salty folk.
Translation: the hype and anxiety of Point Conception back in the SF Bay is not shared by locals from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara. They have learned to live with the many moods of Point C and gauge their travel past it to suit. Similar to navigating the bipolar swings of a spouse, perhaps? The Golden Gate Bridge is another such Bogeyman, and stories abound of vessels crashing on the rocks, tossed on the Potato Patch, or bashing into a tanker in the fog prevent many a sailor from attempting to get Out.
Another story we are told is that one shouldn’t travel down the coast in the winter. While it’s true that you can get stuck waiting between weather windows and ambushed by winter squalls, the clarity of the atmosphere at this time of year might just make it less dangerous than in the summer when fog obscures everything and there are far more boats out and about with which to collide. Sure, it’s been a bit chilly, but that’s what foulies and long johns are for. Satellite images are immensely helpful in anticipating weather and what to expect.
I do not wish to downplay the potential for disaster. I consider my utmost respect for the Ocean’s variable nature to be my key survival tool. As always, Anything Can Happen, and Usually Does. But I will henceforth try to reserve my anxiety for situations that are plainly hazardous and not just rumored to be sometimes so. My stomach will feel better, and I think I will become a better, more confident sailor in the long run.
Kudos to the Morro Bay Yacht Club. They were gracious with us throughout our extended stay, were inclusive, amused, and only asked us when we were planning on leaving a few dozen times.Photo taken by traveling Catamaran Zen – Thanks, French!