Super awesome ride to Half Moon Bay

Today was totally the best ride of 2011.  It is only a minor technicality that it was my only ride of 2011 thus far.  Because, seriously: awesome.

I dilly-dallied a little bit in the morning as the weather report promised that it would be sunny this afternoon; when it was still grey at 12:30, I gave up and started the 20-minute process of gearing up for a 50F ride.  You would think 50F would not be that cold, but you would be wrong.  I am cold when it’s 75F outside.  I am clearly part lizard.

After donning my socks, windbreaker long johns, jeans, short-sleeved shirt, long-sleeved shirt, armored overpants, neckwarmer, heated jacket liner, armored jacket, heated gloves, earplugs, and helmet, I was finally ready to go.

The ride to Half Moon Bay was unremarkable.  I stopped to stretch at the summit, at the Hwy 92/35 vista point, but otherwise just zipped straight to the coast.

My first stop was along Main Street when I happened to look over and see an empty parking lot with this utterly fantastic mural.

The mural was done in 2009 by Fabio Sanzogni and depicts world-class surfer Jeff Clark.  Best backdrop ever for a blue bike.

Man, I love finding stuff like that.  The best part about the Ninja is that I can pull U-turns in the middle of small town streets to double back and get these types of photos. 😉

I had two people stop and chat with me while I was photographing the bike and mural.  The first lady took my photo with the bike and commented that her daughter would love a Ninja like this.  The second person was a nice man who also offered to take my photo, and again complimented the Ninja.  Half Moon Bay is clearly a town of people with impeccable style and taste.

After the mural, I headed to my reason for riding to Half Moon Bay: clam chowder at Cameron’s.  I mean, really.  Is there anything better on a grey winter day than sourdough bread bowl clam chowder?  I didn’t think so.

Love Cameron’s.  Love Love Love.

I wanted to see the ocean after lunch, but knew I had to keep the mileage to a minimum and thus couldn’t head south to San Gregorio.  So I thought I’d head to Half Moon Bay State Beach, where I could both see the ocean and scout out the campsite that I’d reserved for April and I next June.  I was pretty sure it was an awesome spot but it never hurts to confirm. 😉

When I got to the park, I realized that I was going to have something far more interesting than a future campsite to photograph.

Tuesday morning, around 1am, the captain of the crab boat Phyllis J fell asleep and missed a navigational buoy guiding boats into the harbor; the boat ran aground.  None of the three men aboard were injured but the boat was full of crab…all lost back into the sea.

Rodolfo Rodrigues was one of the three men aboard the Phyllis J.  Still clearly shaken up over the incident, he described the boat swaying back and forth in the surf, pots flying everywhere (think Deadliest Catch).  His partner almost went overboard, but Rodolfo was close enough to grab him with one hand while holding a railing with the other.   The boat completely capsized, leaving the men without injury, but cold, wet, and frightened.  Rodolfo’s family is in Los Angeles and Mexico; he hasn’t told them of the shipwreck.

The Phyllis J was only recently pulled up onto the beach; it spent most of its time since Tuesday on its side in the ocean a few yards out.  Coast Guard divers were able to secure its fuel tank on Tuesday afternoon; no environmental leaks have been reported.

The biggest question now is: what do with the ship?  Rodolfo heard that the boat would be cut in half and moved.

A Half Moon Bay newspaper article backs up Rodolfo’s story:

“‘The plan is to cut the vessel in half, and move the boat up on the beach right next to the bluff,’ Parker [salvage representative] said. ‘Then a crane at the edge of the bluff will pull it up and get it on a transport to the owner’s yard, where he’ll weld it back together.’ [boat owner] Fortado’s boat is docked at Pillar Point Harbor in Princeton located immediately north of Half Moon Bay.”

This one looks like the boat is still on rolling waves:

The Phyllis J’s batteries have also been removed and the state plans on testing the sand for contaminants. The boat will likely be in place at least through next week (I can’t find any updated news stories past January 6) — it’s roped off, of course, but would be a fun place for photographers looking for something unusual.

The ride home was also uneventful.  I stopped again to stretch at the 92/35 vista point — apparently my muscles didn’t want to go more than 10 miles without a stretch; OK, then, I can do that.

The ride total was just under 35 miles and so far, so good.  I took a hot bath upon arriving home and my back seems to be doing just fine.  I am far more optimistic and cheerful than after my last blog entry. 🙂

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