September 23, 2017 the day we (finally!) set sail on the sailing adventure that Allison and I have been dreaming about and planning for since our first date. Literally.
We set the alarm for 5:30 am. The alarm was a bit rough on the ears after going to bed well after midnight, celebrating and saying goodbyes to friends. But the excitement for the trip was a welcome shot of adrenaline that got us out out bed.
Since we’re embarking on a year of cruising, it was only fitting that within the first 30 minutes we encountered our first technical glitch. We were minutes away from casting away the dock lines when Allison noticed the temperature warning alarm on the diesel was flashing — definitely a bad sign.
We immediately turned off the engine and started to troubleshoot. What could cause the engine to overheat? Faulty thermostat? Clogged raw water filter? Broken water pump? After some more troubleshooting we realized that the overheat alarm was only coming on when the engine was in neutral at low RPMs. When we revved up the engine the overheat alarm went off. Strange. To make a long and suspenseful story short, we realized that there was probably an air pocket in the coolant system. I had flushed the system a week earlier, but had neglected to leave the heat exchanger cap off after initially filling up the system. Rookie mistake.
Two breakfast burritos later, we were back at the boat and kicked off the lines and set sail. Yahoo!
It was a simple and pleasant sail to Half Moon Bay, the first stop of the trip. We motored for the first hour as there was no wind. Confused seas out of the gate brought us a healthy dose of smashing and bashing for the first thirty minutes, but thankfully the swell evened out after turning South.
By 10 am the winds came up to a pleasant 9–10 knots and we spent two glorious hours gently surfing across the swell on a broad reach.
Half Moon Bay was easy to access and offered a beautiful, protected anchorage. We dropped the hook and had a somewhat relaxing afternoon, working on putting away the boat (we didn’t quite get it to 100% before departing) and working on boat projects. You know, fun stuff like getting the AIS system to integrate with the navigation system and measuring the effectiveness of the new solar array.
Now sitting back as the sun makes its retreat behind the horizon enjoying a glass of wine. Here’s to a great first day.
Departure: Sausalito Yacht Harbor
Destination: Half Moon Bay
Distance: 25 nm
Transportation: Motored three hours; sailed two hours