Pebble Beach AT&T Pro Am from the Sea

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Every year we sail our 36 foot sloop, Athena, from Monterey over to the AT&T Pro-Am golf tournament with friends for either the Saturday or Sunday round. This year we braved the high seas of Saturday the 13th on our way to Stillwater Cove.

We have done this for more than 20 years but his year’s sail was unique. The swells were high and the breakers at Point Pinos enormous. The famous Maverick’s big surf competition was held the day before because the waves traveling across the Pacific were enormous.

Another interesting challenge was the land was shrouded in fog, and we had to employ our radar to be sure to be far enough off shore not to be endangered by the surf. When I saw the size of the breakers I almost turned back as I was not anxious to have huge waves broadsiding the boat when we shifted our course to the south to Cypress Point and Carmel Bay.

We have never turned back, and I decided to sail west of the Pt. Pinos buoy to have ample room between us and the coast when we shifted our course south. We had been motor sailing since leaving the harbor as the wind was directly from the west, and we did not have time to tack all day to clear the point.

After turning south, with the wind on the beam, we killed the engine and rolled out the jib. Just south of Pt. Pinos the size of the waves diminished, and we had no problems with the broadsiding waves. We had a terrific sale to Cypress Point but we could not see anything on shore as it was totally shrouded by fog. We learned later that there had been a fog delay during the tournament.

At about Cypress Point the wind totally died, and we had to motor sail to Carmel Bay where bright sunshine greeted us. About mid-way up the bay heading directly toward Carmel Beach we lowered the main sail and motored the rest of the way, anchoring in Stillwater Cove at about 12:45.

CBS television had two great shots of us, one moving up toward the coast and the other of Athena entering Stillwater Cove. Follow this link to see those shots:
https://www.dropbox.com/sc/w6a3byql2sjy62y/AABuKIhAVIKROVCvEybmYyj8a

On board were my girl friend, Priscilla Franklin of Pacific Grove, my long-time sailing buddies Frank and Susan Raab of Carmel Highlands and old friend and recent addition to our crew, Barry Kilzer of Carmel Valley.

We had a luncheon party in the cove, looking over at the swarms of people on the course and listening to the crowd roar when one of the golfers made a great shot. It was bumpy in the cove this year but the temperature was nice, and we had great fun noshing on the lunch prepared by the Raabs, goodies brought by Barry, guacamole prepared by Guacamole Queen, Priscilla, champagne and white wine. Such is life on the Monterey Peninsula.

At 2PM we raised anchor and motor sailed to the top of Monterey Bay where we unfurled the jib and had a terrific sail back to Monterey Harbor where we docked at 4:15PM. It had been a rougher trip than anticipated but in all was an exciting and wonderful day.

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