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Author Topic:   Running the coast of California
Leslie Long posted 04-16-2007 08:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for Leslie Long   Send Email to Leslie Long  
Re 1965 coastal trip from Santa Cruz, California, to Morro Bay by three Whalers, we carried two 12 gallon Tempo Whaler tanks on the deck below the console's lower shelf, two six gallon Tempo tanks under the Nauset pilot seat and three 5 gallon cans. All fuel containers were grounded and properly secured. Each boat had a spare fuel line with proper end fittings should failure occur in the fuel lines that ran through the Whaler's tunnels. Two of the Whalers had the then new 55 hp Homelight 4-stroke outboards and one had a Johnson 90 hp 2-stroke. All three boats carried 9 hp auxiliary engines.

A considerable part of the 125 nautical mile voyage was in fairly dense fog making the need for the good old Ritchie Whaler compass essential. Knowlege of variation and deviation was a must. All three boats carried marine charts and had taped to the tops of the consoles waterproof cards showing descriptions of each leg, magnetic headings and their reciprocals, turning points, leg distances,
total traveled so far, distance left to go to Morro Bay. Three charts, one for each boat, were identically marked with data duplicated by the cards. The charts were folded (yes) along the course lines so that the skippers did not have to fight a large chart surface in the wind. I carried a hand held transistor radio receiver about the size of a college dictionary that could be tuned to any of the electronic aids to navigation. The receiver's ferrite antenna made reception very directional to give nul to reveal the transmitting station's direction from our boats. Today, GPS would obviate some of this. But nothing beats being prepared for anything including GPS failure. Depths are great along the Sur coast, so a deep sounding instrument would be desirable. Weather forecasts should be observed.

Today, in addition to a registered VHF marine radio with the RED DSC button,
I would carry a cell phone and a list of phone numbers that might be reached as you proceed down coast. If possible, giving regular position reports would be a good idea, especially to those who care about you.

In my 1963 Nauset Whaler, So Long Darling, I did 13 years of Search and Rescue as a volunteer in Santa Cruz' Coast Guard Auxiliary, during that time I logged over 650 ocean assists, saving many lives and millions of dollars of property. I made rescues as far as 28 nautical miles at sea in dense fog. I worked through gales and breakers, sometimes full of water. I received the two highest awards given by the Commandant of the Coast Guard in Washington D.C. My Whaler's picture going over a breaker graced the cover of two magazines and was written up in Yachting and the New Yorker.

In 1964, three times we ran at dawn in 3 Whalers from Redwood City, out the Golden Gate to the old San Francisco Light Ship and on to the Farralone Islands, then turned to the south to Princeton Harbor at Half Moon Bay and on to Santa Cruz, arriving at about 1400.

I am now 83 and enjoying life on the North Umpqua River in Oregon.

Good Whalering!

runpasthefence posted 04-16-2007 08:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
Great first post, I'm sure you have a ton of amazing stories under your belt.

Welcome to the site.


WT posted 04-16-2007 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Welcome to this wonderful website.

Regarding your run from Santa Cruz to Morro Bay, did you also make the uphill return trip by boat?



PeteB88 posted 04-17-2007 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Welcome aboard - we love this stuff! My buddy, fisheries biologist and fish photographer, lives on N Umpqua as well, one of my favorite places on this planet. Used to fish it when I lived in OR.

best to you

sternorama posted 04-19-2007 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
Can you share that famous picture with us? I'm sure may would like to see it.-G
PeteB88 posted 04-19-2007 11:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
One of us ought to take this man out sometime. Thanks for sharing your experiences, very inspiring to me.

towboater posted 04-20-2007 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
Welcome ol Salt.

North Umpqua? Detroit Lake?
Hey, have the fish come back yet? Man, I hope that gig works.

I was grew up a ways downstream of you...Reedsport. I learned to swim in the Umpqua River near the Scottsburg bridge.

Used to swivelneck on the Piute & Holiday in Winchester Bay. Remember the Impy Poo? Salty?
Once watched the Impala take one over the stern when he was showing off on the North Side. Yeah, that was supposed to be the fastest boat in the fleet but that wave sure as hell caught him. We were abeam on the South side away from the swell. A couple of his passengers dumped out but were saved by guys like you. They deserved Commendations. Cant remember the Skippers name but I think he lost his licence on that maneauver. Almost 40 years ago.

I'll be going back down there Memorial Day weekend to play in the sand with the quads and snag a crab or two with my 19. If you are in the area, just go to the Umpqua Lighthouse and look for the biggest campfire.

ask for michael k
Drinks are on me.

towboater posted 04-20-2007 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
I was grew up...

hehe. ahh the art of blogging...

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