North Pacific Ocean

The North Pacific Ocean has become a playground of sorts for me.

It is not at all “pacified” by whatever forces were in effect when it was named. Occasionally, however, absence of low pressure out to sea and high pressure near the coast will flatten her and lead to a most pleasant motoring cruise. If you want wind in your sails you’ll have to accept the wind waves on top of swells. It’s not a problem unless the swell height is too great with a significantly shortened period between the swells. Then, it gets a little dicey. I’ve seen her in a tempest and I felt that I was in a washing machine.

It is vast. One can sail for a while and still see land. It takes some time to escape the coast. One could sail for weeks or months on end and not see land.

It is alive! Dolphins. Seals. Sea lions. Birds. Fishes. Whales. Sharks. Jellies. I’ve seen them all and more. One of the most impressive things one can encounter is the striking presence of bioluminescent life forms at night.

It is deep. Very much so. The deepest I’ve sailed over was a canyon at the mouth of Monterey Bay …… over 7500 feet deep. That’s over five Empire State Buildings deep!

It is not only a playground but also a place of learning. About ocean currents. Sailing waves in different points of sail. Maneuvers in wind and waves. Safety and preparedness. Celestial navigation. Respecting commercial vessel traffic.

It is a place where one can be lonely. And meditate. Or commune with friends. It’s my favorite spot to picnic.

Here are some photos taken out in the ocean on past voyages. Stay tuned. There will be plenty more to come.

Headed up a swell.
Sails up 12 miles out.
R2 at the beginning of the shipping lane.
At times the swell would entirely hide this 1000 ft long vessel. We estimated some swells 10-12 feet based on how high we were as they passed under us.
Watch for large cargo ships emerging from the fog! You better have seen them on radar before visual acquisition.
My playground.
Out to sea. No wind. Motoring.
Vastness awaits.
A buoy north of Pillar Point.
Can you find the Golden Gate Bridge?
Undulating glass.
On the way out to the mighty Pacific.

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