For over a decade we talked about “cutting the docklines, heading out the Gate, hanging a left and not looking back.” It’s why we bought our particular boat: to sail oceans. It took a ton of sweat, tears, money and really hard work to get us there, but on October 10, 2022, we did it. (For a detail of our prep, see the blog post Cruising Preparation on a Fast Track.)
We did look back. We knew it was going to be a long time before we saw the Golden Gate Bridge from Sonho, and it was definitely bittersweet. We were leaving our home in Alameda, California for a foreign country and although it was a lifetime dream, it was also terrifying. Did we have all the safety equipment to sail thousands of miles on the ocean? Were we really able enough sailors to handle doublehanding on overnight passages? Would all of the newly installed systems work? Would we like living in Mexico?
So, as I blogged back in November, we cut the dock lines and headed out the Gate and hung a left. Following are recollections of the first leg of our journey to Mexico. (Click here for the first blog post on our journey: Living the Dream on Stagg Time.)
Day 1: October 10, 2022
Departed 0806 from Marina Village Yacht Harbor, Slip P16, Alameda, California
Arrived 1538 at Pillar Point anchorage, near Half Moon Bay, California
We left our home of 13 years under the usual fall, coastal conditions … grey skies and cool, light air. As we motored out the Alameda-Oakland Estuary (which I fondly refer to as the Alameda Riviera), we fired up the new electronics and auto pilot, cranked up the RPM’s on our recently tuned engine and put them all to use for the first time. (Thankfully, they all worked perfectly and Aaron wiled away the ocean hours programming and learning.)
We had left ourselves no time to test our new systems. The weeks leading up to our departure were the most stressful we have ever experienced in our relationship. There were so many goodbyes, last minute details and a few surprises that almost kept us from leaving (again). We had put all we had into the preparation (which sorely tested our marriage) and finally figured that whatever needed to be bought or fixed could happen on the way to San Diego. It was time to go.Continue reading