Necessity is in Monterey

Eva and Jan Fr. Mack
Wed 3 Nov 2010 19:10
Our position is 36:36:22N 121:53:43W
Wine tasting is over. We are sailing again. The start was cautious: Sausalito to Half Moon Bay. That is still close to San Francisco, but on the ocean side - only 25 miles. We stayed there waiting for northerly winds and for our wind generator that was being repaired in Arizona. Four to five days made us part of the local community. Here we met Ed and Mary, a very nice local couple planning their next cruise. They took us to a very good restaurant for an excellent meal. Oddly enough we may meet Ed again in Oslo in December when he is visiting at the university at Ås close to Oslo (he is working in biotech). Here we met Sid and Sandra planning to sail to Galapagos - Sid's lifelong dream. Sandra needed some convincing that a 32' boat was the best way to get there. And we met Arne and Ann-Mari, he a local fisherman from Bergen, Norway, and she from Stockholm, Sweden. They had made a very good life for themselves in California, but visit Scandinavia once a year.
Not least, the San Francisco Giants won the baseball world series beating Texas Rangers in the finals. For a Californian it is extra nice that both presidents Bush were watching. It does not matter one bit to the locals that only American teams participate. We have now moved again, this time to Monteray, the once capital of California. The sailing down here was great most of the way with Necessity doing better than eight knots. We came in at 2 in the morning and were fumbling around in the dark when a bright light beam found us. The harbor master was up and guided us to an easy slip. The only problem; a huge sea lion had picked the same pontoon as his spot for the night. His loud protests when he had to share reverberated among hundred of other sea lions in the harbour. Sea lions are really loud.
They are not the only wild life here. Quite a few sea otters use the pontoons to give their babies swimming lessons. Today we sat and watched in amazement a mother and baby only a few meters away. We can now tell you that the very young do float, but they are not great swimmers. The mother stays close and urges the baby to swim, then takes her young up on the pontoon to dry and for a lot of grooming. Then they try again. It looks like hard work. This is one area were the US differs from Europe. We are in the middle of a town in a densely populated, very rich state, and there is wildlife like we were in the wilderness. Rather more wildlife actually than the wilderness back in Norway. We still experience something "to write about".
jfm 02.11.10