Friday, October 30, 2015

October 27 (Tuesday) through October 30 (Friday) Arrived in Bodega Bay, CA

Our next opportunity to leave Humboldt Bay did not present itself until the following Monday. We probably wouldn't have left if it wasn't for a fishing vessel that entered the bar and moored just down from us.  With a need to verify the bar condition apart from the Coast Guard's report of 12 foot breakers, I rushed over to the fisherman to ask about the bar.  "Oh the bar.  It's fine.  It was really calm coming over.  Yeah they are exaggerating [bar condition]. You will be fine."  assured us the fishing boat captain.  With this vital intelligence, we headed toward the bar instead of the pump out station which we would have needed for another 4 days of stay at the marina. We made it through nervously but like the fisherman was saying we were fine.  Big swell but no breakers.

On our way south, we passed two major rough-sea milestones: Point Mendocino and Point Arena.  Point Mendocino is noted for its turbulent waters and high winds.  When one looks at the underwater topography, one understands why.  It's a convergence point for multiple ridges called Mendocino Triple Junction where turbulent seas can be present.

Before passing Point Mendocino, we were blessed with a siting of a large pod of White-sided Dolphins.  We were surprised to see so many at once.  They stayed with us long enough for us to capture them on our video.  See below.
Check out their snouts and eyes.  It's difficult to capture their faces normally. They were only about 2-3 ft long.   
Lucky for us here are the videos of their visit. Click on the links below.

Sophia is controlling the poor man's auto helm.  We tied lines to the steering wheel and pull the lines based on the direction we want to go.  It's kinda like reins on horses.
In full rain gear ready for rain. 
Bodega Bay

 Although we wanted to pass Bodega Bay and motor into the the Bay of San Francisco, its hazardous bar report helped decide to hang out in Bodega Bay until the next front subsided.
The following morning's look at Bodega Bay and it's series of markers.  The black lump in the water closer to the boats is Sona paddling toward me. 
Thank God for the moonlight that peaked out of the dispersed clouds at 10PM.  It lit the way for us as we entered the bay entrance.  Before entering we knew that it would require a close coordination between Jeff and I.  It was to be a long entrance marked with total of 20 sets of red and green buoys.  The scary part is that half of them weren't lit! Again, we employed our electronic gadgets at the helm and the bow along with a set of hand held walkie talkies for relaying confirmation of buoy sightings. Once we entered the marina, it was quiet and serene.  Searching for cleats on the dock, I saw a dark lump about 4 ft long at the spot where I needed to land on the dock.  As our boat glided closer, the dark lump moved and started barking at me.  We had disturbed a sleeping sea lion.  Afraid to jump onto the dock, I waited a little longer so I can find a landing spot away from the disturbed creature.  Thankfully, it was annoyed enough to slide into the water and leave the dock.  We were able to tie up at midnight safely and turn off the engine.

Next morning, we met a delightful person named, Sona. She introduced herself with a compliment on my white rain boots.  She is from southern California and keeps her beautiful boat Galetea (Island Packet 38) here in Spud Point Marina.  Monthly trips bring her up here to keep up with her boat maintenance.  Her and her husband, Mike plan to cruise around the world as we do but aren't quite ready to set sail.  It sounds like in about two years, it will happen.  She is one of these high energy women who have so much to share and as a former elementary teacher and outdoor educator she loves kids.  As we exchanged our journeys to Bodega Bay and how the two separate trips were based on graces from God, we had a lot more to share and to talk about.  Sona says it is so refreshing but rare to talk to people who are so ready and aren't afraid to talk about God.  I agree.

Sona took our pictures saying that it's so hard to get a family photo when on a boat. 

Per Sona's recommendation, we called a diver who cleans boat hulls.  From the top of the water, we can see long strands of brown growth on our boat hull that must have been slowing us down.  The diver showed up in his 18' Sea Dory (so cute!) with his dive gear.  Efficiently he suited up, tied up to his air supply hose, and swam under our boat to scrape its bottom.

It looked so fun that Anna said she wanted to try it. 
Look how clean our boot stripe is now. 

On our walk into the town of Bodega Bay. we saw so many different birds.  Pelicans have always been so interesting to me.  With it's enlarged beak, it seemed somewhat awkward to me.  But, seeing it in real life and close up in its elements, it's a very graceful and elegant bird.

On our way, we came across a grove of eucalyptus trees.  We collected some leaves as souvenirs. 
Ice plants strewn along the side of the road as ground cover.  Among its succulent green leaves, there are these purple treasures now and then. 

Bodega Bay is full of birds and of many variety.  We have seen most of them in our neighborhood in Sandy Point but here are some that we haven't seen, especially pelicans.

These are marbled godwits. Sona, the bird expert, tells me that you identify them by its rounded body and long beak. 
These pelicans are so graceful as they glide in the sky.

A close up of a brown pelican. Notice the little bit of yellow above it's eye. 

A pelican in flight looking for that fish to dive for. 

What's the difference between storks and pelicans?  Searched on google and here is the answer:
Pelican: long bill, throat pouch, short legs, and swims well
Stork: shorter bill, no throat pouch, long legs, and better at wading
 Sona, the naturalist, the writer, the sailor, the teacher, the artist, and the faithful child of God, invited us to go bird watching at 7:30AM in the morning! It wasn't the best time for us but the girls and I were eager to learn and experience what Sona had to show us.  We saw and heard: starlings, blue bird, morning doves, ravens, godwits, plovers, herons and sea gulls.

Near shore, there were lots of "stackers" rocks stacked by various people who passed these paths. Sona said we must build stackers.  So, we did. As we were builidng, a man passed by to teach us that in other parts of US and other countries these stacked rocks are used as a way to communicate to those who pass in your path.

She was a gift from God to encourage us, befriend us, and to help us know that there are other fellow Christian Cruisers out there. It's funny but all the cruiser blogs that I have visited and researched have not really dealt with the subject of God.  Many mariners believe that there is a higher force out there but seldom talk about God in the way Sona does.  How can you not when you are out dealing with the elements and know that there were many close calls? How about the beauty that surrounds you in the sun rises and sun sets, a sudden delight that sets in your heart as you watch a large pod of dolphins weaving around your boat, or realizing how small you are in the big ocean among the millions of bright stars in the sky?  God's majesty surrounds us and is everywhere if we just look and listen.  Among our exchanges we shared our experiences with the Holy Spirit, holy detachment, and simply how God's love is so immense that it's incomprehensible for the human mind.  What a blessing she has been for our stay at Bodega Bay! Our boat is now full of her generosity: a bag of fruit and vegetables, a sack of potatoes, and gifts of her prized possessions for the girls and myself. We pray that they will soon be underway on their boat to live their dreams. In this small world, we may meet again and tie up next to each other in some foreign water.

For those who know us well, they know that Jeff is the king of Belgian Waffles and how much we love hanging out in the morning making delicious breakfast.  We were lucky to have Jeff's famous Belgian waffles waiting for us after our bird-watching adventure. One of the power hungry appliances we brought is our waffle maker.  We love our $13 waffle maker.

Buttermilk Belgian Waffle Recipe
Buttermilk Belgian Waffles.
·        2 cups all-purpose flour
·        2 tablespoons sugar
·        2 teaspoons baking powder
·        1 teaspoon baking soda
·        3/4 teaspoon salt
·        2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
·        3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
·        2 large eggs (separate yolk from whites)
·        Vegetable oil for waffle iron if needed.

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl  
2.  Whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and egg yolks in another bowl, then whisk into flour mixture until just combined.
3.  Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until foamy and fluffy.Fold in the egg whites carefully into the batter. This step is how we get our waffles so light and fluffy with crunchy sides.
4.  Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes. 
5.  Transfer the cooked to rack in oven to keep warm, keeping waffles in 1 layer to stay crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.


  1. Love all the photos! How exciting to see the dolphins and all the bird life--and to have a sea lion welcome you on your arrival! And how fortunate to meet someone like Sona along the way! Doesn't sound like you'll need to hire anyone to clean your boat hull again--just give Anna a brush and let her jump overboard.The photos of Jeff's waffles inspired us to make some of our own this weekend! Yummy!

  2. Awh....Bodega Bay, another of my former stomping grounds. What amazing adventures and so happy to hear of your new Christian mariner friend. The beautiful picure pictures remind me of a beloved bible verse: Psalms 19:1 creation declares the glory of God and the sky speaks of His handywork.... The beauty we see now is a small taste of our heavenly home :)