Several CIYCers recently completed a delivery of Gary and Sandy Wineroth’s 60’ Hatteras north along much of the
coast. Why has California
bought another big Hatteras boat? Ask
him and his wife and they just say “cowboy logic.” It seems that Gary sold their 58 footer last year because
he was “stove in” (his words) by meds to lower his cholesterol. He was concerned about having to stoop over
in the engine room for checks and maintenance.
This is where “cowboy logic” comes in—he bought a boat with a larger
engine room. Gary
The new boat is named Cowboy Logic II. This one is a 1978 sports fishing model with a 18’beam and twin 12 cylinder Detroits nestled in a stand up engine room. This space is coupled to a separate utility room full of mechanical goodies and a washer/dryer. Overall, the boat is approximately the size of a small condo--three staterooms with their own heads, a big galley and a salon large enough to sleep two (more on that later), a pair of stuffed side chairs that could each sit two and a coffee table and side credenza large enough to set out a full buffet.
The crew was Gary, Curt Hayes and yours truly. Jack DiBartolo joined for the last leg of the trip. Curt (“Hayes Engineering”) and Gary went to the yard in Long Beach for five days of intense fiddling and fixing before the trip. Curt and Gary got most of the bugs worked out making the boat ready for sea. On Monday, November 17th the thee of us drove south to start the trip north.
We were held up a bit on the first morning, Tuesday, while the yard workers installed new wiper blades and arms suggested by the weather report of rain along the way. The story will come back to those wipers later.
Day One at sea ended with our entry to
harbor at dusk. We immediately went to the fuel dock to top up, a routine at
every stop along the way. After checking in, we were assigned to an empty berth
and enjoyed a celebratory arrival drink, which also became a routine. Santa Barbara
Day Two started at zero dark thirty (6:30) with a planned 98-mile voyage to Port San Luis, about 15 miles south of
. This leg had us
rounding the notorious Point Conception, home to many wrecks whose hulks still
rest on the bottom. Seas were boisterous, a term the navigator wrote in his log
in quotes. Intermittent rain was not a problem until the center windshield
wiper arm came off and swung crazily across the glass right in front of the
helm. Since the windshield is nearly 20 feet off the deck and the windows
didn't open, we were in no position to do anything but watch it and hope that
the glass wasn’t getting scratched. Morro
Our destination, Port San Luis, is a scenic “dog hole” anchorage near
where many northbound boats take shelter. It wasn’t blowing particularly hard
but the wind had shifted during the day to come around behind us from the southeast.
After hunting for the entry buoy and then the narrow channel to get around a
breakwater, we eventually tied up to the fuel dock. Actually, it was a high
pier on spindly pilings with a low log which was protected by tires. This was
apparently the “camel” the dock guy told us by radio to come along side of. The
surge was more than moderate necessitating plenty of lines and balancing on the
edge of the deck with the fuel hose passed down about 20 feet and swung out to
our deck guys. Pismo Beach
We put in our average 300 or so gallons, our routine at each fuel stop to SF, got assigned a big mooring buoy out in the bay and eventually got the boat “settled” for the night. Darkness came early in the murk of light rain no moon. We all sat in the salon looking at each other slowly turn green. The boat was rolling like it had no keel (it does, and loaded Cowboy Logic II weighs 50 tons).
The captain and Curt slept in the aforementioned large salon. I got into my narrow bunk and basically wedged in with my toes jammed against the bulkhead. About 1 AM the boat hit the mooring buoy, pitched into it by the surge and a shifting wind direction. There wasn’t much to do but wait for the next heavy slam which came at about 4 AM. Gary and Curt, who were sleeping just inside of the hits, got up and Maguivered a fender in place.
By 4:30 we were all up and sitting in the salon once again looking at each other waiting for enough light to leave this horrible place. After Curt made one of his twice daily engine room checks, we departed for
. It was barely first light, not helped by a
lack of moonlight and the fact that we might have been no more than half awake.
Captain Wineroth won’t visit Port San Luis again. He is not alone in that thinking.
Day Three was mostly uneventful as we made our way north to
125 miles or so away. There was
little wind and only occasional rain. It
wasn’t stormy, but the seas were significant (10-15 feet) and a bit confused. Nor was it particularly dangerous (as I said
the boat weighs 100,000 lbs.), but this left us with the need to hang onto
something in a three-point stance for basically the duration till the last
ocean leg was complete. It was like doing 10 hours of daily isometric exercises
hour after hour. Monterey
Monterey at sunset is, as you might imagine, one stunning
sight after another--cruising along Cannery Row, turning eastward at ’s Lovers
Point and heading for the sounds of hundreds of sea lions inside the harbor. We
went to the fuel dock for the obligatory daily 300 gallons (do the math) and a
berth assignment. Curt got up on a long ladder to repair the center windshield
wiper, for the time being. Pacific Grove
We headed out across
and soon got into an area the ship’s
log reported as “whale city.” We saw Humpbacks,
Blues and whatever else hangs out in that bay. While I was looking backwards
for some reason, the Captain and Curt saw a humpback come fully out of the
water about 50 yards dead ahead. Monterey Bay
yelled, Curt was speechless and I was apparently taking pictures of the sunrise,
birds or something else of little interest compared to a fully breeching whale. Gary
Cowboy Logic II was northbound to
and home sweet home. We spent
three hours between San Francisco
and SF’s Potato Patch dodging crab pots, maybe a thousand of them. The rain
hadn’t been all that heavy but for some reason two of our brand new, very
expensive articulated windshield wipers were now in full failure mode. Then as
we decided to give SF’s Half
Moon Bay Land’s End a very wide
berth, heading out about five miles off the Cliff House, the chart plotter went
south—as in dark.
This wasn’t a serious problem since the radar was functioning and the visibility was ok. The seas across the notorious south bar were running a bit high at 15 feet or so thus were tolerable and the wind was light—we were basically surfing to the aforementioned barn. Our radar proved helpful as we cleared the bridge’s south tower a little after 3 pm, as planned.
As we were approaching the bay we called Jack DiBartolo to see if he wanted to join the crew and take the last leg up into the Delta. He liked the idea and met us at
. We talked till we were done and then all hit
the sack. South Beach
The crew was up bit later than usual (0700) on Day Five for the last leg into the Delta and on to Willow Berm Marina. The rain was coming down pretty good and the foggy horizon was no more than a half mile off. Wait for it to clear or press on? By this time we had gotten pretty comfortable with the radar and we had all the right paper charts and gizmos for navigating on paper so the crew decided to go.
The fog was patchy so we got the electronic fog horn going and took off across the bay at about 5 knots, compared to our usual 12. Picking our way buoy by buoy, we got across the “slot” without incident and were happy to see the
largely in the clear. From this point on
it was high cotton. By New York Slough,
Jack had gotten the chart plotter going about the time it wasn’t needed (he was
a electronics tech in the Air Force and that training came in handy). The windshield wipers could wait as the sun
was bright and the seas calm. Richmond-San
We arrived at Willow Berm about 1 PM to see shortly thereafter Jo Anne and Sandy who greeted us as long lost sailors (it had been a long 6 days after all). We filled them in on the various adventures and toasted the good crew work that brought Cowboy Logic II home through an area that canhave the most treacherous seas on the west coast.
As the crew was leaving the boat, Captain Wineroth came forth with a brass plaque, saying “this is for you guys:”
When crew and captain understand each other to the core, it takes a gale-- more than a gale to send the ship ashore;
for the one will do what the other commands, although they are chilled to the bone;
and both together can live through weather, that neither could face alone.
Those words were meaningful. Thanks Gary for a trip to be remembered!
Ted "Hawkeye" Lyman
More pictures can be found at www.ciyc.org on the photo tab.