So here we are in Monterey CA. We had a good sail over from Moss Landing on Monday (it’s now Sunday – nearly a week has already gone by!) arriving mid-afternoon at the entrance to Monterey Harbor. What you see as you approach the entrance is about an acre of boats on mooring balls, right in front of you; RIGHT in FRONT of you.
You have to get actually into the entrance before you see the channel marked by tiny toy buoys that winds back through the mooring field to the marina. The entire harbor is pretty much open to the Bay, since the protective jetties do not overlap. It’s not quite the same Pacific Ocean down here. And thus, there is constant moderate surge throughout. The public marina is right in front of the old downtown area of Monterey, so it is an easy walk to a variety of interesting and useful venues.
Among the interesting and useful venues is the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club (MPYC), where we were made to feel very welcome and invited to join in social events. There are museums and galleries, a Trader Joe’s, a post office, various business services, restaurants, and numerous coffee shops within walking distance.
As with many of the older coastal towns, the harbor is near the center of town. And for Monterey this means being at the center of tourism as well. One of the enjoyable aspects is all the different people and languages that we see and hear from around the world. Last evening it was German, right now a vibrant conversation in French is happening on the Esplanade.
A small “West Marine Express” is 1.5 miles away. A walk along a “rails-to-trails” pathway running along the perimeter of the Bay will get you there. The abandoned railway used to serve the canneries, delivering supplies and picking up cannery products for sale elsewhere.
Cannery Row is west of downtown Monterey. We walked the short mile west through Cannery Row and spent most of Wednesday at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a world-class aquarium with an emphasis on public engagement.
Among the interesting people we’ve met are a fellow from New Zealand in a Cabo Rico 40 who is set on completing a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of the Pacific, stopping along the way for the occasional climbing expedition; Mt Shasta is on the agenda later this month, Denali is on the agenda when he gets to Alaska. This route is against the prevailing winds.
Heading north along the West Coast at this time of year, he may have an interesting trip. We wished him well.
At a MPYC dinner on Wednesday, we met a Canadian couple who were on their second trip down the West Coast to Mexico in a Coast 34’. It’s a boat that shares several design parameters with Velic and is of similar vintage. We had dinner together at MPYC on Wednesday, and again on board Velic on Friday. He is a retired pilot and she a retired school principal. Their first trip south was a loop that took in California, Mexico, Hawaii, and back to the PNW Coast of Canada. This time, they plan to head west from Mexico, as we are. With luck, we’ll connect with them again somewhere ahead.
The past couple of days have been used to completed tasks we didn’t have time to do before we left. One of those, something we try to do every six months, was a “refresh” of the exterior teak on Velic. We love the look of our teak, but it does require maintenance. The best approach we’ve found is to tackle it piece-by-piece, maintaining momentum as we move from toe rails to dorade boxes to hand rails, etc. each piece its own project, but part of the whole.