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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10/12/2010 - Enjoying Half Moon Bay

So far we've had a pretty good time here in Half Moon Bay. The weather has been excellent. Nice and warm during the day and cooling off for sleeping at night. The Pillar Point Harbor Marina is a nice little marina.

(the view from the end of Johnson Pier back towards the marina office)

The showers are free but they could use a couple more of them, especially on weekends. The bathrooms are kept clean and the laundry facilities are the cheapest we've had since Newport. Like the showers, they could use a few more washers and dryers but that's kind of nitpicking. I'm still a little flummoxed by the attitudes of the guys in the office. They're uniformed, complete with badges, and are all either Harbormasters or Deputy Harbormasters as far as I can tell. Since this is a pretty common stop for sailors making their way up and down the coast, you'd think they'd be hip to what cruising sailors want. I already related how it didn't even dawn on them to offer a shower key until I specifically asked. Well, I also asked about buses into Half Moon Bay, which is about 3-4 miles down the road. They allowed as how there was bus service but they didn't really know anything about it and suggested that taking a cab was the best alternative. This in spite of the fact that they had a bunch of bus schedules in the office.

Well, in spite of their help, we decided to try the bus system ourselves. We grabbed a couple of schedules and, after the laundry was done yesterday, we headed into town to Safeway for provisions. Now, I'll grant you that San Mateo County could use some help to make their bus schedules a little easier to interpret, but we managed. Of course, on the way back we got on the wrong bus and ended up way at the south end of town at the end-of-the-line. The driver cut us some slack and took us back through town and dropped us off at the right bus stop with specific instructions about which bus to take.

Since then I've figured out how to read the schedules and we had a very successful trip to town and back. Bus rides were $2 each way. So we both rode in and back for $8. If our one experience with cabs in Newport is any gauge, there is NO way that a taxi ride to and from town would have cost us less than $20. Probably closer to $35. And then the driver wants a tip on top of that! No thanks. And all our drivers were very nice and helpful

But c'mon San Mateo County, clean up those schedules. Even if you don't want to list every stop on the schedule (and why not?) at least put the complete list on your website so visitors could have a little better chance of figuring things out.

Tomorrow we're heading back out to sea. No particular hurry about getting underway so we'll probably leave either late morning or early afternoon. We're getting anxious to get down to Southern California waters so we're going to skip a few places that we've already seen from land at one time or another over the years: Santa Cruz, Moss Landing, Monterey, San Simeon, and Morro Bay. We're making a beeline to Port San Luis where we'll visit our nephew Thomas who's attending Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. There's no marina so we'll either anchor or pick up a mooring. I'm going to call the harbormaster tomorrow to get the lowdown.

This will be a 175 mile trip so, if we can average 4 knots in a straight line, we should get there about 30 hours after we leave. However, averaging 4 knots in a straight line may be a bit of a problem as we're planning on sailing as much as we can. The winds are supposed to be generally out of the north, northwest and northeast at about 10 knots which sounds just about perfect. Since Thomas doesn't get done with classes until 6 PM on Friday, we probably won't see him until Saturday anyway so we don't have to be in a hurry.

So, as before, we'll be incommunicado for the next few days. Been fun having internet access on the boat the last few days. Oh yeah, that was another thing the "harbormasters" didn't know about. They suggested I go across the parking lot and sit in front of the Ketch Jeanne Restaurant and access their wifi. They didn't tell me, probably because they didn't know, that a company called Coastwave provides wireless access all over town, including the marina. It costs, of course, but it's available right on the boat.

Hoping for a sunny, warm trip the next couple of days. I think the high temps of the last couple of days are over but maybe it'll still be warm-ish. That's why we're anxious to get south: autumn is approaching.


Anonymous said...

Yikes. One of my best friends on the planet is a bus driver for San Mateo County. I'm glad they're so nice...even if the system is a bit inept.


Steve and Lulu said...

The system is fine. It's just the schedules they distribute to the public that need some help.