Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere...

One of the most exhilerating feelings after so much work on Nanu was finally tossing on a toque, foul weather gear and wool socks and shoes and slipping out of the harbour at Half Moon Bay before the sun even rose. Finally, after nearly two months of work, we pulled up the main sail, and passed between the reefs in Half Moon Bay's waters. As the sun rose, and we could see the open ocean to the south of us, we knew that all of the hard work was worth it. We were on the move.
Before we left we had several other projects to conquer before we were home free...

Nanu's windows, after we got into a two-person routine of laying on sealant, tighetning bolts and carefully cleaning up the frightening mess the black sealant (on the white boat) made was a fun job, but certainly messy and frustating at times. The entire project took two days to complete and was often thretened by ominous clouds and rain. After the last window was sealed, both of us stood out on the dock beside Nanu and looked at her. After the initial shock of how much they changed the look of the boat, we now look at her and tell each other, "Rock on! She's ready for anything!"

Nanu's finished windows make them look bigger than the original, but are much more seaworthy!
The new rudder for Nanu turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. The rudder shaft was 1/16" too large for the bearing that it had to fit into and Eric and I spent alot of time hoaning out the hole and putting in, and taking out the rudder time after time. Even now, it's a tight fit and the autopilot has a good workout everytime we get him working!

Our new rudder is taking some getting used to, and was a real challenge to get right.
Eric made several more trips up the mast before we could call it a done deal. Our HAM antenna had to be mounted, along with a brand new backstay. When Eric's dad walked up to the boat with the backstay both of us said, "Whoa! BIG!" And big it is... Our backstay is now a 5/16" stainless steel backstay, big enough to support a 45' boat's mast.

We had a few more adventures in Half Moon Bay before we left...

While I was on a rescue mission of the hoan diving below the boat where the rudder would normally come out, a fisherman came over to Nanu and wistfully asked if I was a diver. I immediately answered no, but he asked if I could do him a favor and look at his propeller. 40minutes later, I walked back to Eric and Nanu with $150 worth of fresh crab and a $20 bill after cutting a bunch of rope from the fisherman's propeller. Eric and I invited our friend Nick down to the boat for a goodbye sort of dinner of a crab boil and we ate crab and drank wine until the early morning hours...

My payment for 40 minutes worth of work. The fisherman felt bad that he hadn't given me more...

Provisioning was a fun adventure at Trader Joe's and a couple of other stores. I was the cookie monster and Eric was the bread and pancake pumpkin king. We loaded up on everything from baking powder to pasta to oranges to our favorite $2.00 wine... it was fun laying it out at the end of the day and looking at everything we had gotten. MmmMmm- chocolate!

We could barely wait to dig into our pantries after filling them up!

Our original plan was to head north to San Francisco to visit Eric's sister and her husband. We worked until nearly three in the morning before tossing off the lines at our slip and beginning to head north. By four am, we were pounding through square seas... which means the height of the waves were equal to the length... which makes for very hard sailing. The wind was blowing from the north, and waves broke over Nanu's bow. It was the biggest stuff I had ever seen in my life. I clung on while Eric did everything, simply amazed that I wasn't throwing up over the edge from sea sickness. An hour an a half later we agreed that we were going nowhere and beating up the boat and ourselves. We turned around and headed back into the harbour and anchored.

After recovering from our northern adventure, we made plans to was to head south (with the wind) to Monterrey and two days later, we woke up early. With hot chocolate and coffee in our hands, we sailed out of HMB and never looked back.

A content Eric sitting on Nanu's bow. He was preparing to change our sail to the 150 Drifter.

The sail down was phenomenal. Early morning we pulled up the main sail and motor-sailed for a few hours before the wind came up. When the wind finally started blowing, we changed out our 120 jib to a 150 drifter and were making 4.5 knots in 8knots of wind. After agreeing we should be changing sails according to wind conditions, Eric decided to experiment with our spinnaker sail (a huge, colorful sail meant for downwind sailing) and in 9 knots of wind, we were doing 6 knots. In 12 knots of wind we were doing 7.5 knots. We managed to shave about 4 hours off of our ETA.

Our spinnaker made for a super-exciting sail from HMB to Monterrey!

We saw whales and sea lions and all kinds of fun and interesting sea life...

Eric's parents met us in Monterrey and we were treated to a tour of Monterrey and Carmel in their motor home. Both towns are historically rich and boast beautiful beaches and crystal clear water. Monterrey has a monarch buterfly reserve that we got a tour of by a friendly local. We wandered around Carmel's beuatiful beaches and enjoyed Monterrey's colorful history of the sardine canning industry that hit rock bottom after the fish left. Now both towns are posh and touristy, but fun to check out.

They also brought cartloads of fun things like christmas presents, Trader Joe's christmas coffee and traditional Danish cookies. Eric has me under control until December 13th (St. Nichlolas Day...a traditional Hungarian celebration) and then I'm breaking out the peppermint chocolate cookies and cinnamon coffee and snowman towels!

Eric's parents managed to get a sunset sail in on their visit to Monterrey.

After two days in Monterrey, we're preparing to set sail again tomorrow morning. Our next stop is either San Simeon ( where we're panning on stopping at the 165-room Hearst Castle), or Morro Bay, (where a 580ft black lava plug stands in the middle of the bay) depending on the wind direction.

Check out our SPOT, because I'm SPOT-happy these days...!

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