Entering Morro Bay involved surfing several of the long waves stretching from Estero Bay to the Morro Bay dunes. They were coming high, and at an oblique angle to the breakwater, but we surfed in just fine and turned our attention to avoiding the copious shallow zones. Otters and harbor seals abound. T-Pier pump-out was closed, so we went straight for the anchorage.

The anchorage area is very narrow – you are sandwiched between the dunes (beautiful, but extensive shoals) and the mooring balls (only 3), with approximately 15 feet of water. Tides are strong, and the wind does not often agree with the tide, so it’s a pretty easy spot to drag. In many anchorages, 10-15 feet of drag would not be catastrophic, but in Morro Bay you could easily find yourself against a piling or (if there are boats moored) on a collision course.

We have a new Rocna anchor, and more than 200 feet of chain. We dragged once, and got to do a quick maneuver to re-anchor in very high wind. We had our anchor alarm on a tight margin from then on, but seemingly did not drag again. The strong wind persisted, and stayed cold all week. Even checking the anchor snubber was a multi-jacket affair.

Still, it is a ridiculously gorgeous anchorage – the dunes, the town, the Morro, the animals, the kayakers – with a view I can never afford when visiting on land. The sunsets were superb, but so were the sunrises, and the middays. I highly recommend spending time there.

Recreation in Morro Bay

Morro Bay is really cute, easy to spend time on shore or onboard. Our first goal in a new place (after anchoring safely, tidying up, etc.) is to connect with the yacht club. We got in to meet a few people, take showers, and get recommendations on local restaurants. Bayside Cafe, in the back bay, had the best pitch: a $9 burrito that can feed two people.

So, off we went in the dinghy. It took longer than we expected to get there, but even when we were out of site of the morro, the hills and valleys maintained their otherworldly beauty.

Since we were just off an overnight sail with one crew member ill, we were starving, and got a burrito each. Enough food that we ate no more than half on site, and had to take the rest to go, great quality, and super nice people.

With the anchor dragging once already, and continuous cold wind, we spent most of our time at the boat. Dinghy & walked to get groceries, went to a social event at the yacht club, but not much else.

After about 5 days, we started looking for our weather window and making our plan. A weather window to get from Morro Bay to Port San Luis was open for just a few hours longer than it would take us to get there, and then was going to be far too high the rest of the week, so we committed and started preparing.

On our penultimate day, the weather was going to be warm and light-winded enough until 11 a.m., so we braved putting a bike on shore with the dinghy. We were close to a public 3-hour dock, and it was much easier that we expected. We went with my bike, since it’s smaller and lighter, so I got to run the fun errands (hardware store, fabric store, and grocery top-up) while Charles did laundry.

We are still experimenting with the best way to get the dinghy onboard, but we got it on, pulled up anchor, and started moving in nice, light wind.

The whole time we were in Morro Bay, we were 100% solar charged and added no water to our system. Relaxing!