My sister Susan and her husband BJ planted drought-resistant landscaping in their Arroyo Grande front yard a few years ago which turned out to be a good thing because there have only been two inches of rain this winter on the Central California coast.
On Presidents Day, we headed for Morro Bay on the way home to San Francisco.
We visited the 128-foot research boat Maria Cleofas which is usually cruising near the protected nature preserves of the Tres Marias archipelago in the Pacific Ocean off of Nayarit, Mexico.
My brother-in-law BJ retired after decades as a merchant marine captain, and then was offered an occasional gig captaining this boat for week-long trips to Las Tres Marias from Puerto Vallarta.
The passengers alternate between naturalists studying the islands...
...and affluent surfers who can afford a boutique trip, complete with chef and crew, as they surf a remote, legendary break near Las Tres Marias.
The Maria Cleofas was wintering in Morro Bay for some dockside repair work...
...so my sister Sue gave us a whirlwind tour...
...of the many levels, nooks and crannies of the boat.
We didn't last long because the polar cold front had arrived that day, and Morro Bay was featuring an icy wind to enhance the experience.
Plus, we had to catch the Amtrak Coast Starlight train going north.
My sister is obsessed with the drought, for good reason.
California Coastal hillsides should not be this color near the end of February.