Our first working stop on our cruise south is Monterey. A scenic port and home of the Monterey National Marine Sanctuary. Monterey is a very special place on the California coast. The incredibly deep canyon that cuts through the bay causes a nutrient rich upwelling from deep in the Pacific that supercharges the marine life in the bay. Compared to the muddy brown waters of our home in San Francisco Bay, I’m always startled to be able to see the sea floor at the marina and be able to clearly see bottom of Sonrisa from the dock. While walking up the ramp to the harbormasters office I stopped Kristin on the ramp and we stared down into the water for several minutes mesmerized by the activity of the community of tiny little crabs going about their business in the rocks.

Two large pelicans and smaller birds on rocks at the shorline.

The day after arriving I was back ‘working from home’ aboard Sonrisa. Our cellular internet from Nomad Internet and the custom antenna and router I installed are working very well. In fact, in less congested locations like Monterey I’m getting multiple times faster cellular internet than at our home marina in Emeryville. The first week at work while cruising was surprisingly normal. Since I’m in the same surroundings on the same network doing the same work, I tend to forget that we’re someplace new until it’s time to go outside for a break or the day is done. When I’m in the thick of my work I forget where I’m at anyway, so each time I go outside I realize once again I’m someplace new.

book store in Monterey

Still, once the day is done Kristin and I explore the town of Monterey together revisiting some favorites and getting some errands done. Staying onboard in the marina puts us right next to Fisherman’s Wharf and all of the sights, sounds and smells.

Lights of Fisherman's Wharf outside the porthole window.

Since the next passage to Morro Bay is longer and involves passing the Big Sur coast, I opted to get a paid weather routing forecast from WRI. Point Sur is one of those California capes where the coastline makes a turn and the predominant northwest swell piles up along with the winds. Point Conception is the major cape that divides Northern and Southern California, but Point Sur deserves respect as well.

The forecast shows some big swells for our planned departure day Saturday, so we opted to wait until Sunday for lighter winds and calmer seas. This is one of the compromises of sailing on a schedule, your weather window choices are more limited.

The delay gave us a free day in Monterey on Saturday to get some errands done. Top of the list was to get a mix to make Kristin’s special dairy-free cake for her birthday next week. This was my first opportunity to break out the awesome little Brompton folding bike to ride up the hill to Whole Foods. Our friend Mary gave us the Brompton when she upgraded to a new model. This bike is truly tiny, folding small enough to slide under the chart table when not in use with room to spare. It unfolds quickly and is surprisingly sturdy and capable for a small bicycle.

folded bicycle stored under chart table

The bicycle was very handy for getting a bit further from the marina for groceries, hardware store, and (solo) sightseeing.

Greg walking with folding bike up harbor ramp toward the street.

We celebrated our last night in Monterey before heading further south with a waterfront walk to Pacific Grove and a bit take-out order from our favorite Hawaiian grill Hula’s.

Kristin sitting on bench outside Hula's