I made it to Santa Cruz! All by my lonesome. Actually its really not hard at all, and I'm not pushing very far, so its easier than going up to Alaska. Here are some pictures from leaving the Bay area, and heading into Half Moon Bay, and then down into Santa Cruz.
I'm anchored out near the pier here, and its not too rocky right now, but the wind sure has picked up.
Going out the Golden Gate was really a fun trip, the current was behind me, so I blasted through at 8 knots. Then I watched some pilot boats and container ships rendezvous and one container ship actually stopped in the water and turned sideways to the waves in order to drop the pilot off. The water turns a deeper blue when you get out a ways from the San Francisco Bay, and I hope it will turn still a deeper blue when I get into Mexico.
In Half Moon Bay, I came upon a sailboat on the beach, and of course, I investigated and salvaged what I could, so now I have some new equipment! I got two Lewmar 40 two speed winches, and two Lewmar 8 one speed winches, which are fine and dandy! I also got some more pulleys that slide on a little car that sits on the track on the side of the boat, and you run the jib sheets through them. I had lost one of my extras for my Spinnaker sheets, and now I have two matching ones to replace that.
I love salvaging things. Then I got up early this morning and motored most of the day, because the wind was really light, but its been picking up once I got in (of course). I'll head on into Monterey Bay tomorrow and probably stay the night in Monterey.
There is another thing I think I'll get pretty soon. I was looking at a marine store and looking for Radars when the man behind the counter told me I should check out his VHF that has AIS. VHF is the radio that you talk into, and call the coast guard or whoever with, and AIS is a positioning system that Big Boats are required to have that sends out their location and speed and name out on the VHF radio (in digital) and if I get this radio thing, I can see their position and heading and name, and that alerts me to the fact that they are there. It works to about 15 miles, so I get a beep or an alarm that tells me someone is within range, and then I wake up and make sure I don't get run over! This is for running at night, so I can sleep without fear of getting hit. Small fishing boats won't send out their signal, but I think I can be sure they will have someone on board awake and watching, and I can put up lots of lights to alert people of my presence. Anyways, this is more for going further off shore alone and not being too scared.
Its 400 bucks, so I'm a bit hesitant, but its my birthday in a week, so maybe santa claus will come...