Eureka, CA to Drakes Bay, CA

After almost a week in Eureka. it was time to head out. Holley (my old boat neighbour captaining Maquinna Pt) had finished replacing her transmission so we were going to buddy boat – nothing quite as fun as sailing with someone else!

We decided to get the second slack over the bar, which meant leaving quite close to sundown. As it turns out, we actually went over the bar in the dark, and it was foggy (like last time) – the sea state was real sloppy which combined with sitting on a calm dock for a week beforehand meant everyone was soon feeling not great.

I hand steered for a while, and then at 2am woke up Kelsey to take over for me, while I lay down feeling not super great, and had a nap. I woke up feeling fine (all hail the Scopolamine patches by the way, it’s made such a huge different to my level of sickness and therefore comfort) and took back over. Russell took over in the early morning and I was woken up by him sprinkling granola in the cockpit. Sticking my head out I saw why – we’d picked up a hitchhiker!

We *think* it was a warbler, and he basically came in hot and crashed into our cockpit.

He was soaking wet and exhausted, but as we made some tea he went into the cabin and sat on the rail near the flame

After a while, he dried off and really perked up – he sat on my head for a long time, including while I made breakfast, and then flew off to Kelsey and explored the boat, including chirping at himself in the mirror

Eventually, fully rested and recovered, he flew off.

That whole day we saw countless humpbacks, and had a really cool pod of Pacific White-sided dolphins follow us for a while. At first there were just 3 of them, and they kept turning sideways to see us waving at them

Then all their friends showed up, and the show really began

This lasted till a blue whale showed up and they all bailed to play with him instead. Pretty outstanding! We sailed a lot of that day, and put the sails away as night fell as the wind died.

The next day, the wind had picked back up so we put out the main… and a bat (later ID as a silver haired bat) fell out. No idea how he got there as we were 20 miles offshore, but…

He just lay on the deck in the sun, trembling, so I scooped him up with our bailer and put him in a bucket in the shade.

He did not like the bucket

I ended up putting him on the deck, under the folded up portabote which he seemed to like, he walked down the deck under it and we later found him hanging upside down under it on the outside of the porthole.

He left during the next night (in Drakes Bay) so I presume there was a happy ending.

The day we arrived in Drakes Bay was pretty outstanding, we had some great sailing against Maquinna Pt

and saw SO many whales, including a lot close up. One of them swam alongside us, stuck his whole head out to look at us, and then breached repeatedly, as if to show off

Look at that barnically boy!

We also got chased by a sealion for quite a while which was pretty funny, he stuck with us for half an hour, jumping out constantly

Finally, after all that excitement we got to Drake’s Bay, a very pretty place, and I got a nice shot of Maquinna Pt coming in with Cass on the bow and Holley driving.

Next stop, San Fran!



  1. Great photos, Matt – I especially liked the plucky warbler and the stowaway bat! Really nice to have you all anchor in Pillar Point Harbor. Fair winds as you head south!
    HMBYC Rear Commodore

    • Thanks so much to you Karen and the rest of the HMBYC – you really made our stay there a very enjoyable one!

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