October 13, 2023 | Leg 8, Day 13

October 13, 2023 | Leg 8, Day 13.
Monterey to Morro Bay.

On our departure day from Monterey Bay, we set out from the pier at around 1:30 am. What was once an unfamiliar bay became a place filled with cherished memories and stories.

Our southward journey began with a detour to the northwest due to the bay’s vastness. Beneath the bay’s surface lies Monterey Canyon, one of the deepest submarine canyons, teeming with fascinating deep-sea life. Despite decades of research, only 5% of this bay has been explored. This notion extends to the entire Pacific and beyond, highlighting how little we know about our life-sustaining oceans.

Under the clear, starry sky of the new moon night, the winter star line, Ke Ka o Makali’i, adorned the eastern sky. Northeastern swells propelled us towards our next destination, Morro Bay, and the majestic Big Sur coastline began to reveal itself in the morning light.

With the rising sun, the ocean grew malie (calm), offering breathtaking coastal views. A large pod of dolphins playfully encircled Hokule’a, while whales breached and spouted in greeting.

Approaching Morro Bay, the iconic Morro Rock loomed on the horizon. Its distinctive shape filled us with wonder as we passed by. Our arrival was marked by the presence of a local pilot boat, as well as numerous outrigger canoes and dragon boats, guiding us to the harbor.

Warmly welcomed by local tribes and communities, their chants and dances lifted our spirits. We eagerly look forward to learning more about the peaceful bay and its people during our stay.

-Kanako Uchino Dumaran