Tuesday’s foggy morning was a thing of the past on Wednesday – we woke to bright sunshine that continued all day. A thick fog bank was visible at the mouth of the bay but here inside, at Monterey, it was sunny all day.
It was a day to get tasks done. First, emptying the sanitary holding tank. We’ve been living on board at the dock; the harbor restrooms are a moderate walk away, below the harbor master’s office. Not too inconvenient during the day, but a long walk in the wee hours of the morning. Thus, the holding tank has been holding …
Second, calibrate the flux gate compass directing the RayMarine auto pilot. For you non-sailors, an auto pilot is an electrically-powered device that can be attached to the tiller or wheel to steer the boat while you do something else. After the holding tank had been pumped out & rinsed, we motored out of the harbor a short distance and commenced the slow circles necessary to allow the auto pilot’s GPS unit to figure out where it is on the globe and acquire accurate compass data. The next step is to let the unit drive a series of zigzags for about a 20 minutes to “learn” how the boat responds to autopilot direction. The process went well, and the autopilot successfully drove us back in a following swell – a sea-state challenge it met well. We are satisfied.
Then it was back to the dock for the afternoon and a 20-minute walk to a laundromat in the commercial downtown strip of Monterey. They laundromat was drab and not overly clean, with cracked linoleum on the floors, dim lighting overhead, bad paint on the walls, and 20% of the machines out of order. This is consistent with my experience of laundromats so far; a pattern is emerging. But I got two loads washed and dried and went back to do two more on Thursday. The marina has a washer and dryer (yes, one of each for the whole marina, guests & liveaboards) at the harbor master’s building, just outside the locked guest restrooms, but the washer stopped working on Monday and I’m skeptical that it’ll be repaired while we are here.
While I was away, Randy continued coating the brightwork on deck. It’s noticeably better-looking now. He still has the handrails to do, and additional clear-coats on the toe rails.
Wednesday evening we went up to the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club to participate in their Wednesday night dinner and be sociable. Very enjoyable.
Friday we took a day off from boat & business-related projects and went for a long walk to Point Pinos, the point that marks the southern edge of Monterey Bay. There’s a public bike and pedestrian path that runs alongside the bay for much of its length, although parts of it run through Cannery Row, the old town sections of the city of Monterey and right next to the harbor. I walk along a section of the public path on my way to the laundromat in town. But yesterday, instead of turning off the path toward the business strip as I would if going to the laundromat, we kept walking the path, following it past Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium and along the edge of the bay toward Point Pinos. Once out of the tourist commercial district and past the aquarium, the path follows the edge of the bay on one one side, and passes by residential neighborhoods on the other, with Oceanview Boulevard separating the beach cliffs from the neighborhoods.
About halfway to Point Pinos, you enter the small community of Pacific Grove. There are viewpoints and parks along the trail, notably Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove, popular with families and surfers. The park was supposedly originally called Lovers of Jesus Point Park, and was part of the Methodist retreat camp that was here in the 19th century. The rocky point for which it’s named is a good spot to climb for a panoramic view of the bay. After we spent some time in the park, we crossed Oceanview Boulevard and walked into Pacific Grove. We stopped for a late lunch at a little place called Goodie’s Delicatessen – located in an old gas station. The food was very good: breads fresh, slices thick, salads home made and large, and staff efficient and friendly. From Goodie’s, we walked back to the bay trail, stopping briefly at the local natural history museum. There was a stuffed grizzly and a stuffed mountain lion at the entrance and a nice fellow, not at all stuffy, at the help desk. Could have been worth a visit, but we decided to continue our walk along the trail. Our aim was to reach the point, and the afternoon was getting on.
Oceanview Boulevard along the shore has an interesting array of homes. Few are very large, and many are quite modest. All are very well kept. The view is tremendous, north across Monterey Bay towards Santa Cruz. Architectural styles range from classic Spanish stucco to beautiful Craftsman, with a few blasé ranches thrown in. It seems the area has escaped the McMansion trend, having been already fully built out much earlier.
As you near a golf course toward the point Oceanview Boulevard becomes Sunset Boulevard, and there are several spots provided with car parks and benches for taking in the view. We saw a lot of birds, including one snowy egret actually standing on a bull kelp raft beyond the surf, fishing. We stopped at a pull-out/parking area and sat and enjoyed the view for a while. There was a colony of ground squirrels. One of them got as close to Randy as its courage would allow while he sat quietly gazing out at the bay.
The walk back included a stop at an antique store – Randy is looking for a brass bugle like the kind a boy scout might have had once to replace the compressed air boat horn, which uses disposable canisters. They had quite a large collection of stuff. It filled two floors of an old warehouse, but no luck with the bugle search. The round trip walk was about 7.4 miles, but most of the path was on the level and well defined.
Back at the boat, we enjoyed a fish dinner. We can get really fresh fish at the end of the commercial fishing wharf on this side of the harbor. Randy discovered the tray of random fish bits and pieces for quite the discount. Trimmings as fresh as the fillets and steaks they came from, these make excellent additions to simple meals.
Today – Saturday – we’re working on projects again. I want to reorganize some of the locker space I’m using. After living on board for more than a month, I realized that some things could be put in more, or less, convenient locations, depending on how frequently I’m actually getting them out. A little reorganization should improve operations.