Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Local Gusts"

We pulled into Alameda late yesterday afternoon, where we will spend a week working on the boat and visiting family and friends. Upon further reading, I don't think we were in a true gale, as I wrote in my last installment. We were in gale conditions for over three hours, but I think it was a local phenomenon produced by the topography around Cape Mendocino. Apparently, these California headlands produce something known as "corner winds," and it is also not uncommon to go from 15 knots to 40 knots in a matter of minutes in the vicinity of Pt. Reyes. We had calm conditions rounding Pt. Reyes this time, but we still have Pt. Concepcion ahead, which is nicknamed the "Cape Horn of California" (who knew?) due to this phenomenon.

There is not much else of interest to report. We have seen marine mammals every day. Apparently, the coast is a bountiful feeding ground in October, because we did not see this many marine mammals on the trip up the coast in May 2010. After leaving Ft. Bragg, we saw a school of 50-100 white-sided dolphin. The grub must have been good, because they showed no interest in bow riding; they just kept moving slowly through the cloud of chow they were feeding on.

Another thing of note: truly of note! It has been sunny every day since we left Seattle, with the exception of the downpour the morning we left and our gale conditions. We're talking unseasonably warm. Yesterday, I came into San Francisco Bay (which usually has a strong breeze) wearing a light pair of cotton cargo pants, a T-shirt, and bare feet, and I was still too hot. It's supposed to reach 76 in Alameda today!

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Tall Ship, San Francisco Bay

This post edited and post-dated from a previous email. 

1 comment: