A West Coast Recap
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Written by Eric Loss – Skipper aboard Sea Dragon.
photos by West Coast, Sea Dragon crew
West Coast Crew
Last Friday afternoon marked the unofficial end of our 2018 season, with the departure of our deckhand and frequent blog and playlist contributor Ally.
One year ago today, we departed Plymouth under grey and grizzly skies to cross the Bay of Biscay and sail to Madeira. 20,000 miles later, we have left the smoke and fog of Seattle and Vancouver to arrive in sunny Chula Vista.
SD leaving UK
Chula Vista Marina, San Diego
We’ve had a great trip down the West Coast, and really enjoyed getting to share Sea Dragon with so many visitors along the way. Because so much of what we do is ocean passage-making and voyages to remote locations, it’s rare that we get such a great opportunity to meet all of our fans and supporters and open the boat up to all of you.
Our tour started in Sausalito, where we rafted alongside the schooner Seaward, operated by Call of the Sea.
Matthew Turner, Seaward & Sea Dragon
Past deckhand Katie Jewett was instrumental in helping arrange logistics for our San Francisco visit.
Putting us in touch with Call of the Sea, the California Academy of Sciences, Spaulding Marine Center, as well as Latitude 38, California’s boating newspaper.
We’d especially like to thank Mary from Call of the Sea and Captain Zach for putting up with our traffic across their clean decks as we conducted boat tours and even put together a bit of a reunion sail on the bay – it was great to see both Stiv and Boxy, who together have probably spent more miles on Sea Dragon than anyone but Shanley and I.
We had a great trip from Sauce-town down to Monterey, if you ignore the lack of wind and the drone of the engine. What one hand takes away, the other one gives, and we got to watch dolphins and dozens of humpback whales breaching, blowing, and generally whaling about across the glassy waters of the Pacific.
Whale & Dolphin watching
The harbor of Monterey was very accommodating, letting us open the boat to a very busy day of tours (and even a TV crew) over labor Day Weekend.
Eric, interviewed by KSBW news
Our very own Dr. Looney gave a great and very detailed presentation on her own PhD work to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
George from MBARI gave up his Monday off to give us a tour of their very impressive facilities, vessels, and ROVs as well.
George & crew @ Monterey Bay Aquarium, Research Institution
We stopped in Morro Bay and at both Santa Cruz and Catalina Island to give our non-local crew a bit of a taste of what Southern California used to be like.
We also got to sneak in our best (and only) sail of the trip down the coast, surfing at 10+ knots in 25-30 knots of wind for hours before getting into the lee of Santa Rosa and motoring in to beautiful Coches Prietos on Santa Cruz.
After that it was on to AltaSea in the Port of Los Angeles, a new and super exciting project that is turning 35 acres of abandoned docks into a center for Marine research and innovation. We hadn’t visited AltaSea before this visit, but the potential of the site is immense and we are huge supporters of their vision and hope to be back again soon.
AltaSea’s Open Day – Mary presenting
SD outside AltaSea
Finally we visited my homeport, Dana Point, and docked at the Ocean Institute. It was awesome to be back in my old stomping grounds and meet lots of friends from the past, in particular Skip and the Mariners Sea Scouts, who were instrumental in my early life and love for sailing.
That brings us back to Chula Vista, where we are docked next to the schooner Bill of Rights and are doing some deep cleaning and light maintenance on board before we take a few months off
– Shanley and I have been aboard for 10.5 out of the last 12 months, and Sea Dragon has sailed a lot of miles since her UK departure a year ago. It’s time for the team and boat to rest before getting into our refit period over the winter. We are also in the midst of finalizing our 2019 season, which should be ready soon. Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting announcements about our schedule coming soon! Once again, thank you to all who helped and came out to see us for with 2018 West Coast Tour!
Call of the Sea
California Academy of Sciences
Spaulding Marine Center
The 5 Gyres Institute
Story of Stuff
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Dana Point Ocean Institute
Bill of Rights