By now I have been out on the boat 3 times. The first one was in South San Francisco Bay and the last two in the Pacific. I really do prefer to be out in the Pacific as marine life is abundant and very much inspirational. The last time out, my brother and I went to Santa Cruz where we lowered the boat in the water using the public ramp by paying a fee of $13.00. It is a little more than the $8.00 charged in SF Bay but in my opinion it is worth paying. As we were only two on the boat and in order to level the boat for rowing purposes, I filled up a 20-liter-jug with water and used it as counterweight at the bow. That worked great, is was about 20 kg (44 lb) of additional weight, which was almost equivalent of having my son over there, and allowed us to row on a leveled boat.

We left the ramp under the light winds of the early morning, did some circles near Seabright beach and another one beach to the south of the ramp, and then decided to do a stretch to the Municipal Pier. This pier was reasonably far away, we couldn’t distinguish anyone on it from where we were, but we decided to go for it anyways. We were very impressed with the speed of the Whitehall 14, although I had not previously measured the distance in a nautical chart nor did I have a GPS with me, along the way I could notice the progress as the pier got bigger and bigger. When we got closer to this huge pier, I could notice several dark spots above the water surface at the point of the pier, and as we got closer these spots turned out to be a group of 20 something sea lions in the water. And they were noisy, jumping out of the water every now and then. They were definitely having fun. We were about 5 or 10 meters from the group and stayed there  a little while enjoying the animals.

After filming and taking pictures of these magnificent animals we turned back to the Santa Cruz marina. The way back was equally fast and lots of fun.

I am beginning to feel proud of my Whitehall 14 and the level of performance and adventure she can provide. For me this is just the beginning and I expect to have other great moments on the boat. My brother, who was visiting us from Brazil, was only talking about this boat trip and I am sure this will be one of the best memories of his trip to California.

Carlos Muller