As Captain Willette returned to the Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 for the next leg of the Pacific Adventure, weather moved in to immediately delay the departure. After reviewing reports from the National Weather Service and consulting with the weather routing team at Commander’s Weather (https://www.commandersweather.com/) Captain Willette and crew decided to wait for the a better weather window before departing on the 300nm run south from Monterey, around Pt. Conception, and into Marina Del Rey.
The Waiting Game
Below is Captain Willette's logs from the journey to Marina Del Rey:
UNDERWAY FROM MONTEREY BAY
Under the reproachful gaze of a family of sea otters that had decided to make our slipway their buffet table and were forced to relocate, ST47 exited the sanctuary of Monterey Bay and quickly found herself facing the remnants of a gale warning that had passed through less than 12 hours earlier. As ST47 turned south she easily tracked down the face of the 12-15 ft quartering NW swell on her stern and made turns for 10 knots to time our arrival off Pt. Conception. Despite forecast assurances of diminishing winds and seas the crew took quiet notice of the current 20-25’ seas and 30-40kt winds off Pt. Conception. Although weather routing had not yet steered us wrong, the weather patterns off the headland at Lompoc was notoriously fickle for creating its own weather systems and defying forecasts. Time would tell as the miles continued to slip beneath the keel.
0145 LAT 34 23’.5 N LON 120 32’ .2W BRG 146T Speed: 15kts
Under broken cirrus clouds, which portend fair weather for the day ahead, ST47 rounded Pt Conception in a 4-6’ swell directly astern, 10kts of wind out of the West and tracked Eastward down a moonlit path lit by the 79% waning gibbous moon. As the 30 sec interval lighthouse beacon of Pt Conception fell astern captain and crew fired up the galley and celebrated with an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink breakfast scramble which was promptly dubbed the “Pt. Conception Scramble”. However, in keeping with the poultry reference, remember the one about “counting chickens until they’re hatched”?
MARINA DEL REY
With the intermittent autopilot acting up again, the crew assumed manual steering, which, accompanied by a dense fog that reduced visibility to zero, cut short the celebration as holding course required intense concentration during the pre-dawn hours of the night. With a lack of any stationary terra or celestial objects to guide on for reference, captain and crew were subject to frequent moments of vertigo in the pre-dawn darkness, until the welcome glow of sunrise lifted the grey veil and a bluebird day unfolded in front of us.
1000 LAT 34 00’.5N LON 118 30’ .7W BRG 100T SPD 22kts
With dolphins trailing in the stern wake ST47 was met by an escort vessel led by Bob Denison, President and Founder of Denison Yacht Sales. Cruising at a smart 22kts both vessels entered Marina del Rey and made their way to the Denison dealership docks. After introductions and a warm dockside welcome, captain and crew secured their leg of the Swift Pacific Adventure while cleaning crews boarded in preparation for her Memorial Weekend cruise to the Channel Islands with world famous photographer Doc White, his wife Ceci and Barrett Canfield, owner of the South Coast Yachts Beneteau dealership located in San Diego.
Check back next week for the final leg to San Diego!