Cruising in a Bubble Down the California Coast

Like you, the Adventure Geezer has been stuck at home while Covid-19 rages through the USA — with one very welcome exception.P1110801

Last week I was able to get out for a short adventure to help my friend Charlie move his boat from the marina in Tiberon, deep in the San Francisco Bay, to Ventura about 400 miles to the south. He hired a professional captain to help and invited me to come along to round out the crew. All three of us got tested for Covid-19 before we left so that we could safely move our bubble down the coast.

It was a great trip and a welcome relief from the monotony of quarantine, wiping down food delivery from my favorite Thai restaurant, and the ongoing search for something to watch on Netflix and Prime. Following are some of the highlights of the 5 day trip.

First, for those of you into boat porn it is a Tollycraft 44 CP.P1120082 P1120091 P1110784P1110675P1120025P1120019That’s Charlie on the left and Captain Chris on the right. It was a potentially dicey trip, especially if the weather didn’t cooperate, so having a pro like Chris along was a big help and very reassuring.

The trip began with distant, hazy views of San Quentin and Alcatraz on our way to the Golden Gate, the entrance to SF Bay from the ocean. P1110678P1110687Our first big thrill came just a few minutes later as we approached, then passed under the Golden Gate Bridge.P1110698P1110710P1110721P1110726P1110729P1110733Our first day at sea was a long one, almost 10 bumpy, overcast hours to Monterey where we refueled, walked around and spent the night. As you can see below, everyone is being very careful about social distancing and wearing masks, unlike a certain mango-hued world leader who should know better.P1110760 P1110749 P1110748From there it was a relatively short hop to the famed Pebble Beach golf course. Between the weather and the pandemic, the links were pretty empty so we were able to explore without worrying about getting hit with an errant golf ball, or perhaps one intended to keep me from contaminating the course with my decidedly low rent look, outfit and attitude.P1110801P1110769P1110809 P1110804 P1110795P1110774Another long, overcast day took us along the Big Sur coastline….

P1110955 P1110953 P1110940 P1110918 P1110910 P1110902 P1110897 P1110892 P1110874 P1110870 P1110869… San Simeon, the site for the legendary Hearst Castle. It also marked our transition into sunny Southern California.

P1120010 P1120005 P1120003 P1110996 P1110986This was our favorite mooring of the trip – sunny, scenic, and protected enough to go for a morning paddle in one of our kayaks. P1120023 P1120097 P1120092
P1120076 P1120075 P1120071 P1120065P1120061 P1120059 P1120057 P1120051 P1120044 P1120041 P1120031 P1120030 P1120028From San Simeon it was only a two hour cruise to Morro Bay. P1120119The original plan was to spend a few hours and leave early in the morning to get around windy, churning Point Conception before the weather gets dicey and spend our last night on San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands. But after an extensive phone conversation with a professional weather tracker, Charley and Chris decided that the smart course of action was to leave as soon possible and head straight for Ventura to beat the gale force winds predicted in the Channel Islands the next morning.

We pulled out of Morro Bay at 6pm and arrived in Ventura 12 hours later. The seas were calm and the wind was light all the way. By late morning I was home sitting in my usual spot on the couch reading the Sunday LA Times.

It was a great few days, a welcome relief from pandemic tedium. I’m not sure when, where and how I’ll get out again. It will probably be awhile. Until then, I guess, I’ll just have to make do with CNN and Thai take out.

14 thoughts on “Cruising in a Bubble Down the California Coast

  1. Don is great to see you out with great photos. Glad to hear that you are safe. My wife and I have just returned from Auckland New Zealand where our daughter and family live. We were to be there 3 1/2 weeks but turned into almost 4 months due to Covid. Unfortunately just as we were making plans to return as there were some flights she accidentally feel down a flight of stairs breaking her kneecap and a week hospital stay. We are home now but with difficulty as she cannot put weight on the leg for 8 weeks.
    It is always good to hear about your trips.

    • Great to hear from you, Tim. That sounds like quite an ordeal. At least you are safe at home now. My best wishes to your wife. I hope she heals fast.


  2. That was a great article, Don. It gave me a taste of the freedom you got to experience in these insane times.

  3. I enjoyed this tremendously as it also brought back memories of our honeymoon trip back in 1992. JB and I took the 17 mile drive down the coast and made stops along the way. I remember Charlie! So glad you two are together. “Happy Hanukah from Santa Monica!” Love, Jude

    • A blast from the past! Thanks for the comment. The “Happy Hanukah from Santa Monica” greeting is still on my bulletin board. It’s turning yellow and curling at the edges, but it still brings a smile to my lips.

  4. Hey Chas and Don:

    There but you go I. It looks look you didn’t venture to far offshore. No trolling for albacore? Good weather, yay.

    Glad everything went well.

  5. Hi Don! So fun to read your blog of your trip down the coast on Charlie’s boat. Wonderful pictures and description of your trip. Only thing missing were descriptions of your meals, which I’m sure were exotic. I enjoyed the experience. Ed is in Ventura; I’m still in Phoenix, but will leave Friday for the coast. Your photos whet my excitement to commune with the ocean again, and say hello to those seabirds. Glad all is well and that you had a good time. xoxo Jo

  6. Don, very jealous of you right now. I was planning a bike ride from San Francisco to West Lake Village for late September, but my buddies and I have decided to postpone indefinitely because of COVID. I was really looking forward to Big Sur area.

  7. Hey Charlie,

    Beautiful trip, beautiful pictures! I am so jealous right now!! What an adventure filled with great memories.

    Thanks for for sharing and hope you get out there soon.


  8. Thanks Don. This was a very enjoyable trip for me. I love being on the
    water in calm weather with beautiful landscape. I can well understand how
    much you enjoyed getting out right now. Happy new year and here’s to
    getting out real soon. Your cuz Billie

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