Labor Day, 2003
Half Moon Bay Rendezvous

Article by Kathryn Munn

Bundled up against the fog chill, seven intrepid Islander 36s set sail for Half Moon Bay on Saturday, August 30, 2003. Departing from the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge at 9:00 am, offshore cruisers included Noncents (Jack and Sandy Thompson), Mischief (Charles and Kathryn Hodgkins), Evanescence (Smokey Stover and Larry Reinstra), Woodbine (Ron and Karen Damsen), Dreamcatcher (Vern Verling, Cheryl Lawson, and boat dog Jack), and Dayna Marie (Glenn Zimmerman, Joe Weathers, and David Scardigly). Mustang (Joseph Krensavage and James Roten) galloped out the Gate earlier in the day for a spin around the Farallones, turning south at the Lightship Buoy when the winds deserted her.

Riding out with the tail end of the ebb tide along with dozens of other boats headed out the Gate, the trip across the potato patch was almost painless. Islander 36 boat captains picked anywhere from 2-4 miles out for the easy run down the coast. The sail down was a sweet close reach in steady winds of 8-10 knots and seas of 4-6 feet. The coastline was visible, albeit a little blurry from the fog, all the way down to Half Moon Bay. Just past Point Montera the wind died out and engines fired up with crews on sharp lookout for crab pots.

At Half Moon Bay Mischief staked out a spot with an easy row to the beach and in short order a raft-up of six alternating Freeports and Gurney-designed Islanders formed. The result prompted one visitor to ask in what year the "big ones" were built. Dreamcatcher swung on a hook close by, visiting frequently by sea kayak. The HMB inner harbor sheltered some 200 boats over the weekend with rafts of up to 9 boats. With boats and rafts spinning around 180 degrees over the cycle of the tide, the Islander 36 raft used a stern anchor to avoid a nasty bow anchor wrap.

After hooks were down and foul weather gear stowed, drinks and snacks started up at 4:00 on Noncents and Woodbine with a potluck on the roomy Noncents following. As usual the eats were plentiful and yummy. Joseph Krensavage's friend Jeanne drove in for the evening and brought pizza. Who knew you could heat up 3 large pizza boxes at once in one Islander 36 oven? The party-hardy crowd on Dayne Marie set out just after anchoring for the HMB nightlife and returned to an early lights out raft later that evening.

Mustang left Sunday morning for an early return. The coastal fog hung around all day Sunday with glimpses of sun in the late afternoon. The day featured dinghy rides around the bay to visit friends, trips to shore for walks around the harbor, and visits from neighboring boats. Dale and Deena Snearly from 36 DD, an Islander 36 from San Leandro, stopped by and promised they will finally join this year. You may remember they were just renaming their boat when we met them last year at the Treasure Island Cove cruise-out.

Local sea life was uninhibited by all the boating activity. Three sea lions swam up in formation to check out Ron Damsen as he sat in his dinghy, diving under the raft at the last minute. Pelicans and sea lions made a show of fishing for their supper and one sea lion looked like he was trying to snag a bird on the fly to add a little variety to his diet.

Laurie Stover drove in to join Evanescence and Julianne Zimmerman and David's fiancée Barbie drove in to join Dayna Marie just in time for the beach party hosted by the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club. A happy crowd of 250 sailors enjoyed a BBQ chicken dinner, a live band, and plenty of beer. The evening was capped off with fireworks. Ron and Karen opted for a salmon feast aboard and Karen's freshly baked cookies greeted sailors arriving back at the raft from the party.

Monday morning dawned a real pea souper with visibility a quarter mile at best. Dayna Marie left first around 6:20 am and the raft split up with everyone out of the harbor by 9:00 am. The ride back was under power in winds of 0-4 knots and seas of 8-10 feet. Some opted to raise a main to steady out the roll of the swells. The GPS track coming down provided a reliable reverse course. The fleet checked in by radio along the way and Evanescence posted information about their radar picture to those boats without. It was quite a rush to see the Golden Gate ghost out of the fog just where the GPS said it would be. Everyone was back inside the Bay by 1:30 pm. Evanescence sailed on North after entering the Bay on her way to the Delta in search of warm sun. It was a fine adventure with gentle seas, steady winds (some of the time), excellent company, and wondrous vessels.

Photos below by Ron Damsen, Woodbine.

You can also find pictures at Charles Hodgkins' Pictures.

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