Thursday, October 9, 2014

Morro Bay to Port San Luis

We left Morro Bay Thursday (10/2) with our new friends on S/V Imagine and S/V Mi Vieja close behind.  We had a nice five hour cruise over to Port San Luis.  I had a lapse in judgment and failed to give Hannah her Dramamine thinking that it was going to be a short trip - bad idea.  Poor thing got sick twice in the cockpit.  She cheered up later though and felt better sitting out on deck and watching for whales.  We saw quite a few.  They were spouting, breaching, surfacing all over the place! 

Whale tail!

Pod of sea lions feasting on a school of fish.

Sailor girls

We arrived at Port San Luis around 3pm and dropped the hook in a nearly deserted anchorage off Avila Beach.  We hopped in the dinghy ready to explore the waterfront and have dinner.  We planned on beaching the dinghy until Jake saw the breaking waves on the beach.  We didn’t feel like capsizing the dinghy in the surf so we went to plan B.  There is a giant wharf that extends out into the anchorage.  The wharf is about 40 ft off the water.  We saw some dinghies tied up to the wharf so we headed that way.  As we neared, we saw that it was a very interesting set up.  There is no actual dock to tie up to.  Instead, one secures their dinghy with the stern tied to a 40 ft ladder and the bow tied to a line of floating mooring buoys.  Once tied up, one must pull the dinghy back over to the ladder to disembark and head up, up, up the 40 ft ladder.  This of course is not a problem for physically fit adults without a fear of heights.  It was pretty interesting with the kids, however.   Katelyn thought the whole thing was quite amusing and conquered the ladder as if this is something we do every day.  Hannah on the other hand, made it up the ladder ok.  Once up though, she swore she was not going back down.  This could be a problem.   She did of course make it back down with mom hovering over her ready to grab her if needed.  In the end, I was probably more afraid of the situation than she was.  My only comfort was knowing that at least if one of us fell, it would be into the water, not on concrete.  The girls earned a bravery patch on their life vest for that one.  The next day, we took the free water taxi to land.  Hannah made it very clear, she was NOT doing that ladder again.

Dinghy dock??

The next day we ran into a Canadian couple that we met earlier in Half Moon Bay.  I honestly don’t even remember their names - I refer to them as the “crazy Canadians.”   I’m pretty sure they would
not be offended by this.  They told us that they had been in Port San Luis for 5 days now.  They had somehow hooked up with an organization that teaches disabled veterans how to surf and were having a great time.  They mentioned that they had “acquired” a van and offered to take us into town as we were running low on some basic necessities (toilet paper and beer).  We said sure and hopped in the back of this full size “chester” van with no windows and surf boards piled inside.  This was a fine opportunity to teach the girls a very important life lesson – never get into a van with no windows and strange Canadians, unless of course your parents are with you. 

The Avila Beach area of Port San Luis was very well done.  There isn’t a lot to it, just a few beachy shops, restaurants and hotels, but it is very clean and has a nice beach ambiance.  The beach itself was also nice with some breaking waves perfect for beginning surfers and boogie boarders.  We heard there is a free shuttle that runs back and forth from Avila Beach to Pismo Beach on the weekends.  Unfortunately, we had to leave on Friday. 

Avila Beach waterfront shops and restaurants. 

Avila Beach

Avila Beach

Sunset leaving Port San Luis

Sunset leaving Port San Luis

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