Woke up: Half way between Pt. Arena and Bodega Head, CA
Went to sleep: Drake’s Bay, CA
After 72 hours at sea, including three overnight passages, we are about an hour away from dropping the hook in Drake’s Bay, 25 miles north of San Fransisco. I think I know how Christoffer Columbus must have felt. The boredom, the fear and the discomfort compile to make landfall oh, so, sweet.
Drake’s Bay is named in honor of Sir Francis Drake who anchored here during one of his two circumnavigations, about 335 years ago. Mr. Drake is described as, “Cocky, foppish, with his pointy goatie and extravagant handlebar, the bright red hair, and the dashing arrow scar on his right cheek, Francis Drake is the original Captain Blood,” according to Dallas Murphy’s Rounding the Horn.
I questioned anchoring here when I read of his treachery. Sir Francis sailed at the favor of Queen Elizabeth, the second oldest child of King Henry VIII. Due to her father’s falling out with the Catholic church and her own long-standing grudge match with King Philip of Spain, she and Drake hated all Catholics and all Spaniards and conquered, looted and murdered them at every opportunity.
Whether from pure ego or his desire to please Elizabeth, Drake pushed his men beyond misery and death to find a nautical passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Drake finally found the southern end of South America and rounded Cape Horn around 1577.
Within minutes after securing Penelope to her anchor and setting the anchor alarm, Peter had the dinghy inflated and deployed. We motored to the beach and stepped on shore for the first time in six days. Peter felt shakey and thought the earth was rocking. I felt great. I felt great because it is Sunday afternoon and I don’t have to hurry home to pack my lunch and get my clothes ready and set the alarm for work tomorrow. We took our time exploring this historical place.
Point Reyes Lifeboat Station
In 1927 the Army Corp of Engineers constructed the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station. During the 1930s and 1940s the crews responded to many wrecks and stranded vessels. The station housed the life boats and a rail system deployed the rescue team to the bay. With the advances in navigation and communication technology during WWII, the station saw less activity and was abandoned in 1968.