1. an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and colour.
2. the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or multiple lines (harmony), and sounded or to be sounded by one or more voices or instruments, or both.

This is what long distant cruising is all about. Not the sounds from the stereo but rather the collection of sounds created as the boat moves through the water or lies at anchor. We constantly have an ear open for the different noises we hear and expect to hear. (While Barb has both open, I only have one that just barely works.)

All the sounds mean something. The snap of the flags gives you an idea of wind speeds, the slap of water on the hull indicates size and direction of the waves, hum and vibration of the engines, if they are on, and so on. There is an odd sort of harmony to it all.

When the music changes or there is a new sound, it generally has a meaning and a required course of action. Like the conductor of a band we try to keep the melody of the boat on track. When it all comes together it is just like a symphony as the boat glides across the water. When the sounds are out of synch its about as much fun as listening to someone pick up a violin for the first time.

We have experienced both since our last update.

We left Monterey at 4 am as it was going to be a long day to San Simeon our next port of call. We were buddy boating with Sedna and as much as we plan for the weather your never really know what you’re in for till you get there.
Just out of the marina and while still in shallow waters, suddenly there are silver streaks and splashing water directly in front of the boat. Reef! is my first thought even though I have plotted the course and know there should be nothing here. Turns out it was just a pod of dolphins that came to pay a visit. Their racing bodies creating lines of bioluminescence and splashes when they surfaced. Very cool once the heart beat got back to normal.

Not to be out done shortly after this event, Sedna radios to tell us a bat has flown into there cockpit enclosure and Ken was trying to get it out. (Apparently Cheryl was busy elsewhere in the boat 😊)

From San Simeon it was off to Port San Luis our staging spot for our Point Conception transit. The next morning  was another 3 am start as we wanted to round Point Conception early in the morning as it has a nasty reputation for steep waves and high winds that build during the day. This start time would see us around the point in the morning and on into Santa Barbara in the afternoon. The transit  was even better than we anticipated, with calm seas and light winds. Easy button for this one! As a side note a boat that tied to the dock beside us later that evening rounded the point in 30 plus knots of wind and 9 to 12-foot seas. Glad we missed that!

We enjoyed a couple of days exploring Santa Barbara’s beaches, shops and even a nice dinner out. It was our reward for making it past all the milestone crossings and officially being in Southern California.

Santa Barbara harbor
View from our dock

From Santa Barbara it was over to Santa Cruz the largest of the Channel Islands. We stayed in three spots on Santa Cruz, Pelican Bay, Cueva Valdez, and Coches Prietos. All of these are considered anchorages here but compared to what we are used to in the Pacific North West they are just indentations of the coast line with limited protection. If I may continue with my music analogy, we spent 3 nights rock and rolling with waves from one direction and swell from another. Not the most comfortable nights we have had, to put it mildly.

We did take the dinghy over and into the Painted Caves. About 600 feet of caves you can boat into and around. Take a flash light as it’s pitch black. The rooms inside are about 20 to 40 feet high and the eyes of the sea lions will scare the crap out of you the first time you see them. Not to mention the sound of them echoing around us once the lights had woken them up.

Painted Cave entry
Sedna and Stray Cat at anchor
Sedna in a Santa Cruz anchorage

From Santa Cruz Island it was across the channel and back to the mainland. Our first thought was a stop at Ventura, but the marinas were full and there was no anchorage so its off to Oxnard.

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