Francisco and Parts South
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Mañana and the Golden Gate Bridge
Oct. 2, 2003: After a relaxing morning, we raised the anchor and followed Sowelu out of Drakes Bay, headed for San Francisco. We kept our speed at 7 kts so we wouldn't be too far ahead of Boja and Mai. Two humpback whales passed us, but no fluke splashing today. There were lots of pelicans as well. In flight, they remind me of some prehistoric creature. They have long wings and a long, slender beak. They hover above the water looking for food and do a controlled crash as they dive for the fish. It looks like everything's streamlined until their body hits the water, and then there's a big splash. They look much more graceful when they sit on the water. As we were approaching the Point Bonita Lighthouse, we caught a glimpse of part of the Golden Gate Bridge. Wow! We were very excited that there was no fog. There were confused seas as we rounded the point, but I sat braced on the side deck and took lots of pictures of Mañana approaching the Golden Gate Bridge. Jim and I were really excited; we hadn't realized how much this meant to us. We'd been over the bridge years ago on our Gold Wing and now under it in our boat. It's only a bridge...but what a bridge! Alcatraz was ahead of us and the city of San Francisco was to our right. There was all kinds of boat traffic -- this place is hopping! We entered Richardson Bay, looked for Matarua and anchored nearby. Sowelu was an hour or so behind us. It's rolly here and the opposite extreme from anchoring in Drakes Bay. I'd love to lower the dinghy and explore the town, but not today. We made Greek pizza for dinner and toasted San Francisco with a glass (or two) of wine.
||DC Loves Tapioca!
Oct. 3, 2003: Jim lowered the dinghy and we visited briefly with Boja and Mai and Peter and Joyce. Joyce gave us directions to the library and Peter gave directions to the various dinghy docks. It took a couple of tries, but we tied up near the West Marine store, which is as far from town as you can get. We checked out a grocery store and found the prices to be very high, but this is Sausalito, seemingly the land of Mercedes, Porsches and BMWs. After buying a chart of the Delta area, we walked towards town and found a deli for lunch, and then located the library. The library has a wireless internet connection, so we'll bring the computer into town tomorrow. While in the library, I checked out the latest edition of Cruising World and saw a story about "Sunstone", a sailboat that went from Kodiak, Alaska to New Zealand. Sunstone was at anchor with us in Drakes Bay and now in Richardson Bay. Small world! We poked into the marinas on the way back and found the dinghy dock that we'd missed this morning. We kicked back and relaxed in the evening. Discovered DC LOVES tapioca! Jim popped the lid on one of the containers and DC came running and wouldn't leave Jim alone. DC's never done that before.
Oct. 4, 2003: We found the dinghy dock close to the library and updated our web site and checked our e-mail. We hosted the crew of Sowelu and Matarua for dinner. Jim prepared the tuna steaks in a Thai peanut sauce and Joyce brought dessert. We are all first-time cruisers and were discussing "the dream", our joys and our fears. It's comforting to Jim and me to know we aren't alone in what we feel. We were having a great time together and then fireworks in San Francisco bay began. We had front row seats, although from a distance. We have no idea what the occasion is/was. Everyone left after the show was over.
|A Day with Family
||Nephew Nicky at Bat
Oct. 5, 2003: We left Ruthie at the Sausalito Yacht Club and took the bus into the city. Joyce, Bill & Nicky met us and we drove through Fisherman's Wharf to Coit Tower. Climbed a million steps (oh, my aching calves!) to get to the tower, but a really nice view from the base. Then back down a million steps and off to the Maritime Museum, which was very interesting. After that we went to Joyce's for lunch and thought we'd tour the conservatory at Golden Gate park, but we couldn't find a parking spot, so we decided to head back to Sausalito. Stopped at the Golden Gate bridge and walked out onto the bridge, then drove to Fort Baker so Nicky could play ball. When we got back to Sausalito, we walked around a bit and then said our goodbyes. Returned to the boat around 1900. All in all, a lovely day and visit.
Benicia Old Capital Building 1853-1854
Oct. 6, 2003: We waited for the fog to burn off before leaving Richardson Bay. We passed under two bridges on our way to Benicia and either passed or were passed by several LARGE tankers. The further inland we got, the hotter the temp. was. We put the bimini up (ahh...) and after checking into the marina office, it was a race to see who could change out of the long jeans faster! We walked into town, bought a few groceries and came back. We then went to the Benicia Yacht Club for a drink...3 drinks and dinner later (!)... We met several people who were more than happy to offer suggestions on where in the delta we should go, what to see, what to avoid, etc. The yacht club facility was great - big screen TVs with Monday night football and the Red Sox vs. Oakland A's playoff (the Red Sox won...GO BOSTON!!).
||At Anchor in Snug Harbor
Oct. 7, 2003: A real lazy morning since it's going to be a short day. Left Benicia around 1045, heading up the Sacramento River. The depths are now 30' in the dredged channel, but only in the teens outside. This is a far cry from cruising in the NW where the depths are routinely 200' or more and in the Mendocino Canyon in the Pacific Ocean, where it was 3000' deep. The landscape is basically brown, barren hills with occasional trees and there are lots of refineries and a very big wind farm. We had to call a bridge to open for us, and that was a first. It was a mischievous feeling knowing we were the reason the traffic was stopped, if only for a few minutes! We turned up Steamboat Slough and the depths were 10 feet or under. We're acclimating to the depth...30 feet now seems VERY deep, 10 feet is comfortable, but 4.5 feet makes us both a bit nervous. We anchored just past Snug Harbor in 10 feet of water. It's very peaceful here with the birds chirping, herons croaking (for lack of a better word to describe their cry), kingfishers, fish jumping and a flock of egrets in the trees.
Oct. 8, 2003: Years ago when Jim worked in Copperopolis, he flew in and out of Sacramento. It wasn't surprising that he decided he really wanted to go to Sacramento, so we changed plans slightly and headed out at 0830. At the junction of Steamboat Slough and the Sacramento River, we had to ask the bridge attendant to raise the bridge, and again in Paintersville. We were able to squeeze under the Freeport bridge, but had to make our way through all the fishermen. The closer we got to Sacramento, the more fishermen. We docked at the Old Town docks under the old, gold Tower Bridge -- $38 for the night and no electricity! Walked around town and purchased ice cream cones and postcards. It's quite hot here. Then back to the boat for quesadillas (thanks, Joyce, for turning us on to them!). I have a feeling it will be a noisy spot.
Images from Locke, CA
Oct. 9, 2003: Around midnight, some fishermen pulled alongside the dock shouting to wake everyone that they'd seen 3 people in a small boat stealing from boats up river. We called the police like they asked us to do, but then couldn't go back to sleep for a while. We left Old Sacramento at 0845 with Walnut Grove the destination. The current was in our favor, but we had to weave in and out between fishermen until we got past Freeport. Tied up at the town dock at 1230. The guidebook we are using said the moorage is on the "honor system", but it is really $20 for no amenities. We walked around town, bought liquor and groceries and then watched a couple try to land a BIG salmon. At 1630 we walked to Locke, about a mile away. We went to Al the Wop's bar. What a place! It borders between funky and seedy. Among other things, people stick a thumbtack into a dollar bill, wrap it around a fifty cent piece, and throw it up into the tongue & groove ceiling. Done right, the bill sticks and the coin falls back down. We also noticed some bras and g-strings stuck up there as well. We had a drink, talked to the bartender and came back to the boat for dinner. I had left my camera on the boat but will walk back for pictures tomorrow morning. Locke was the only village in the US originally built and inhabited exclusively by Chinese immigrants in 1915. The entire downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the last remaining rural Chinese town in America. Jim has a room reserved at the Ryde Hotel for tomorrow night (just 3 miles down river). He confirmed it has a bathtub (but the TV is in the lounge). I can't wait!
|The Ryde Hotel
Oct. 10, 2003: We had breakfast at Alma's Cafe and then walked back into Locke for photos. It was very blustery out so we hung around at the dock until the wind died down around 1400. Arrived Ryde Hotel's dock at 1435. The Ryde Hotel was built in 1927 and is art deco style. Our room was small and simple but had a modern bathroom. Jim upgraded to the "Romance Package" and champagne, dinner and breakfast were included. We had the champagne with a delicious dinner and brought the remainder of the champagne and the goblets back to the room. I drew a bath, complete with bath oil and bubbles -- absolutely heaven! And even Jim enjoyed the shower...no need to worry whether that quarter you put in was going to give you 3 or 5 minutes! We didn't have to fight the cats so we both had a good night's sleep, but I commented that I was afraid I was going to fall out of bed (I sleep against the cabin wall on the boat).
||At Anchor in Middle Slough
Oct. 11, 2003: Checked out after breakfast and left Ryde at 1000. The bartender had told us the Georgiana Slough is nice, so we decided to check it out. It was extremely narrow, several miles were 150' or less wide, but plenty deep ("plenty" being a relative term!). We hooked up with the Mokelumne River and then the San Joaquin River. Not as many fishermen, but more boats; however, people seem to understand and respect the rules of the road. We anchored in Middle Slough for the night. Quite peaceful once the sun set and the boat traffic stopped, but then the mosquitos inundated us. Guess you can't have it all!
Oct. 12, 2003: It's my big 5-0! Jim surprised me with a gift that Babs had him sneak on board -- a pareu for when we get to the really hot climate. It was a very interesting process trying to figure out what I wanted for this, a major birthday. In my "old" life, the folks at the office most likely would have decorated my cubicle with black balloons and I'm sure Jim would have taken me out to dinner. I, most likely, would have asked for a fire opal something or other. But out here, I wear the simplest of jewelry. So when I thought of what it was that I was truly missing, the bathtub and TV came to mind. So Friday night's bath probably meant more to me than anyone can imagine and I thank the powers that be for having a husband who can understand and not belittle my request. We left Middle Slough at 0915. Had we thought things over a little more, we probably would have spent an extra day in the delta. "Fleet Week" (similar to Seafair) has been going on in San Francisco all week with today the finale. The boat traffic was horrendous. We decided to go back to Richardson Bay, since it was a good anchorage and we now know where to find the laundromat and library.
Bridge Types in the Delta
||Sea Lions at Pier 39
Oct. 13, 2003: We took the bus into San Francisco and played tourists. Walked along the waterfront, watched all the sea lions at Pier 39 and then walked down to Fishermans Wharf, where we had lunch. Poked into the Mechanical Museum, which is free (there's that good 4-letter "f" word). The museum contains arcade machines from days gone by, and the majority of them still work (not free). We decided we'd take a ferry back to Sausalito for a change of scenery and had a nice ride around the back side of Alcatraz. Stopped into the grocery store before heading back to the boat. We always seem to be shopping -- the refrigerator and our cabinets are too small to really stock up on supplies.
Oct. 14, 2003: Loaded Ruthie up with dirty laundry and the computer and headed to the dinghy dock that we THOUGHT was closest to the laundromat...WRONG! We remembered the location incorrectly and ended up walking several blocks with our haul. By noon, though, our chores were done and we were on our way back to Mañana. Had a leisurely afternoon; prepared the boat for tomorrow and did a few chores. It was quite rolly in the anchorage.
Oct. 15, 2003: Raised anchor at 0700 and headed for the fuel dock in Alameda, 1-1/2 hours away. We'd been told they had the cheapest fuel around. Benicia was $1.85/gal, Sausalito was $1.57 and Alameda was $1.30. It was worth the trip considering we needed 350 gallons! We left Alameda at 1015, dodged well over 50 sailboats off San Francisco's waterfront and passed under the Golden Gate Bridge (in the fog) at 1133. Had a rolly trip to Half Moon Bay, arriving there at 1505. Dropped anchor, washed the windows and broke out the beer. It sounds strange, but it feels good to be headed south again, although we both thoroughly enjoyed our 2 week reprieve in the Bay/Delta area.
Oct. 16, 2003: Up and out at 0710 with Monterey as our destination. Spent all but about one hour in 1/4 mile visibility fog. We saw a bit of the coastline north of Santa Cruz, but were immediately socked in again until we arrived in Monterey Harbor, at which point we were greeted by many fishing boats in front of us! (It's a good thing the fog lifted!). We are at the marina as we had requested our mail be forwarded here, but it's reasonably priced and we may actually spend 2 nights. There's a great looking beach next to the marina that is begging to be walked on and Jim has some errands to run. We're also thinking about spending a week in the Channel Islands (about 50 miles offshore between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles) and there are limited provisioning spots, so we'll have to do some grocery shopping before heading out. There's an orange cat (Hawkins) on the boat next to us and DC doesn't know what to think. He hopped off the boat a couple of times although he knows he's not supposed to. Monterey has more than its share of sea lions...other ports had sea lions but they seemed confined to a special float. Here, any horizontal surface seems to be fair game, and we were warned they may try to get on our swim platform. I could watch them for hours, but don't care to do so up close and personal from my aft deck! Many of the boats at anchor have plastic construction fencing around the decks trying to prevent the sea lions from coming aboard.
With over 1300 nautical miles under our belts, I thought I'd throw this in. Jeff Foxworthy, watch out!
You Might Just be a Cruiser If:
- You can't remember the last time you had more than one shower in a week;
- You don't think anything of wearing the same t-shirt 2 or 3 days before washing it;
- You haven't a clue what day of the week it is;
- You can scan an anchorage and recognize boats from ports weeks before;
- You judge each port by the grocery store/laundromat;
- Your first questions in a new location are either "Is there an internet cafe nearby?" or "Where's the library?"
- Experiments in cuisine are the norm when trying to put a meal together with what's on board.
- There are no socks in the laundry.
|"Cute" Sea Lions
||Sea Life at Old Fisherman's Wharf
Oct. 17, 2003: Walked into town to take care of errands, but came across a bakery that looked pretty darn good and gosh, we just had to give the danish pastries a try! Then on to a notary, the post office and finally Safeway's. They had a good sale on wine and Jim ended up carrying back 4 bottles in his back pack. After lunch, we headed out to the Old Fishermans Wharf and Cannery Row, the one Steinbeck wrote about. Both locales are major tourist draws and I'm surprised to write this but I actually walked past all the stores (with the exception of one that had postcards by the door). I'm really getting pretty darn boring when I don't bother to poke into tourist shops any more! The sea lions in Monterey Bay are totally out of control. We noticed a few boats at anchor that were covered with them. Apparently the plastic construction fencing only works for a while and then the sea lions break it down. Thankfully none came on our boat.
Big Sur Coastline
Oct. 18, 2003: Up and out by 0630 with San Simeon Bay as our destination. We started out in 1/8 mile visibility but it cleared nicely by the time we got to Point Sur. The coastline is very rugged, but a different rugged than Washington or Oregon. Once the sun took hold, it warmed up and we were able to sit on the flybridge for a couple of hours. We must be getting further south! The water is definitely a brighter shade of blue. At one point we found ourselves in the middle of a pod of spotted dolphins. They are definitely very spotted with a large dorsal fin. They did not play in our bow wake; in fact, they swam along until we got near them and then they dove down, much more timid than any of the other dolphins/porpoises we've seen. But still, they were everywhere, and the little cheat sheet we bought said they are around where there's yellowfin tuna. As we approached Pt. Piedras Blancas, we could see the Hearst Castle up high upon the mountain overlooking the sea. Geez, it's huge (guess that's why they call it a castle). I had originally thought it was closer to sea level and was hoping that we might be able to walk around the grounds but it appears to be 3+ miles out of town, and with no wheels, we won't be visiting (although we walk alot, I have NO intention of walking UP a mountain!). We arrived at the anchorage at 1655; Jim went up on the flybridge to look at all the stars while I did the day's dishes.
Oct. 19, 2003: Trying to sleep was an absolute bust. This place was the rolliest we've stayed. When we got up, we noticed Mañana was the only boat beam to the waves. Have no idea why, but we had breakfast and left at 0830. Had a beautiful run down the coast -- swells 8-12' but no wind and no fog. About 20 min. out of Port San Luis, the steering cable broke. Jim was able to ascertain it was the cable between the upper and lower helm stations. It is also the cable which the autopilot uses to steer the boat. Luckily we could still use the lower helm. Well, therein lies two of the definitions of cruising: hours of sheer boredom interrupted by moments of sheer panic, or the other: performing maintenance in exotic ports of call! We anchored next to Sowelu and Jim took Ruthie to the chandlery -- no cable in stock, come back tomorrow. He did a great job trimming the hair on my neck. Haven't decided just what I'm going to do with my hair...let it grow?? Boja joined us for dinner; Mai is visiting her sister.
Port San Luis
Oct. 20, 2003: A relaxing day. Jim went back to the chandlery but they'd have to order the cable. There's a store in San Luis Obispo that has it for a terrific price but town is 8 miles away and a $25 cab fare -- one way! Jim hooked up 2 lights and the fuel flowmeter, plus installed the aft cabin curtains. I read and worked on Bonnie's eagle. Jim helped Boja with his engine. At 1800, we went to Sowelu for dinner.
Oct. 21, 2003: Jim got a ride into town to get the cable and spent quality time replacing both upper helm cables. We should be set for a while :). I washed down the port side of the boat. Boy, was it filthy! (I was able to wash the starboard side when we were fueling up.)
|Pt. Conception Lighthouse
Oct. 22, 2003: Up at 0400 (ugh!) and out by 0450. The weather forecast is marginal today and forecasted to get worse tomorrow, but we left anyway. It was pitch black and thick fog. Have I mentioned how much I hate cruising in the dark? While Jim was napping, I read up on the Cuyler anchorage on San Miguel Island, our destination. It's not good holding for winds out of the NW, so we altered course to Cojo, just around Pt. Conception, and arrived at 1330. The winds were in the high teens by mid-morning and rose to the mid-to-upper 20s after we rounded Pt. Arguello. Jim asked if I wanted to continue on to Santa Barbara, but it's another 35 miles (5-6 hours) and I didn't think I had it in me. We both napped in the afternoon, and by evening, there were 2 other boats joining us in the anchorage.
Jumping Dolphins Statue
Oct. 23, 2003: We actually got a good night's rest, although Jim was up a couple of times to make sure the anchor was holding. There was no wind when we left the anchorage, and we noticed how much warmer it is. Everything we've read said Pt. Conception is considered the beginning of Southern California, and we believe it. Even the water is yet a bluer shade of blue and much clearer. We had 4 dolphins play in our bow wake and we passed through a couple of areas where raw petroleum bubbles up from the sea bed. (This is naturally occurring, not a man-made pollution.) An oily film covered the water and it was definitely very smelly. We've also passed a half dozen oil platforms. We arrived in Santa Barbara at 1430, lowered Ruthie and went to check out the town. We are surrounded by palm trees, Bird of Paradise plants, hibiscus and a beautiful beach. For 25 cents, you can catch a trolley that will take you down the main drag of town, where all the major shops are. We located the library, an internet cafe, the laundromat and the grocery store. I'm in dire need of new walking sandals and I figured I'd find something in "southern California" -- wrong! All I'm seeing are boots(!) and being told that it's the wrong season for sandals! Although the main drag is very upscale, it is apparent that there is a lot of poverty in this town. Just one block off the main drag and the scenery changes dramatically. The man in the library said they put on this "upscale" face for the tourists.
Mural Room in Court House
Oct. 24, 2003: In the morning, Jim dropped me and the laundry at the boat launch and he took off to get his air tanks refilled. He then realized he'd lost his bank card and Underwater Sports in Seattle screwed up his tanks (the air wasn't properly dried when they filled the tanks, so a thin layer of rust formed on the inside of the tanks) so they couldn't be refilled without being "tumbled" first. He wasn't a happy camper! After lunch we headed back to the dinghy dock for a trip downtown. We passed a HUGE catarmaran, and ended up talking to two guys on board. They invited us to drive under(!) the cat between the hulls; the only hitch was we had to sing -- so we did: "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Three dead men on a pirate's chest". Never in our lives have we driven underneath a boat -- we didn't have to duck. I mean, this thing was really huge!! We walked to the shuttle bus and met a lady who told us to check out the court house. She also told us that Christopher Lloyd, Steve Martin and John Cleese live in town and are frequently spotted rollerblading down the boardwalk or swimming at the beach... just like regular poeple. We got an ice cream cone at Stearns Wharf and then caught the shuttle down State St. Did our e-mail at Kinko's (for free), visited the mural room and tower balcony at the court house (mural room spectacular and views from the tower outstanding), then to the bank regarding Jim's card and finally to Ralph's grocery. The entrance to Ralph's was very la-ti-da! Thankfully the prices weren't bad and they had a "club" price, so we joined the club and no one batted an eyelash about the Seattle address. We hurried to catch the last shuttle back to the Wharf, only to discover the Waterfront route ends earlier than the downtown route on Fridays, so we had to lug the groceries 1/2 mile back to the marina. A dense fog had rolled in very suddenly which made it a bit of a challenge to find Mañana in the anchorage. The fog lifted once we got the groceries put away, but came back after we went to bed.
|Dolphins in our Bow Wake
||Pelican's Bay Sea Life
||Mañana in Prisoners Harbor
Oct. 25, 2003: Woke to dense fog. Headed to Santa Cruz Island at 0930; we could barely see in front of us. At one point, we had 12 common dolphins playing in our bow wake. It never ceases to put a smile on our faces! Talked to Sowelu -- they are on San Miguel Island, but we headed to Prisoners Harbor. Arrived in thick fog and we were weren't sure exactly where to anchor. The sun broke through around 1500 so we took Ruthie to shore and hiked a little. The air smelled of eucalyptus trees, a fragrance I enjoy. Then we took Ruthie to Pelican's Bay, just over 1 mile away. The tide was out so sea life of purple sea urchins and orange starfish were exposed at the water line. Quite spectacular! Supposedly Humphrey Bogart read the book "The African Queen" while at anchor in Pelican's Bay. The story goes on to say that he could picture himself in the lead role and had the boat captain make a ship-to-shore phone call so he could buy the rights to the story line. And the rest, we all know, is history! We'd brought our portable GPS with us and Jim opened Ruthie up to see what she could do...she ran quite comfortably at 17 kts - yee haw! (Mañana does less than 9 kts). The water is 69.7 degrees so we took the opportunity to wash our feet from the swim platform. We've only got 1/2 tank of fresh water so no showering allowed! I made beef stroganoff for dinner.
Oct. 26, 2003: It was rolly from time to time, and for some reason, our flopper stopper was making a tapping sound, making it impossible for me to sleep. I eventually went up to the main saloon, and laid down on the settee, only to have the table hinges clicking. Needless to say, I didn't have a good night's sleep. There was a strong smell of smoke in the air when we awoke and the park ranger told Jim it was from 4 different fires down in the Ventura/Los Angeles area. The boat was covered with black ash. Jim asked the ranger for suggestions on where we could go to escape the smell and ash, and he recommended Cueva Valdez, which was where we had planned. After breakfast, we headed out for the short ride. We anchored in Cueva Valdez, and deployed both our bow and stern anchors. We'd never used a stern anchor, so it took 3 tries before we got it to hold. Thankfully there was no smoke smell and much of the ash blew off as we were underway. It was very warm and Jim used the opportunity to go for a swim and clean the boat's waterline. We were hoping to meet up with Sowelu, but we are tucked way into the cove and apparently we can't get our signal out to hail them.
Oct. 27, 2003: Had a good night's sleep, except for the two squid boats, which were anchored on the outside of the cove. They work at night by utilizing multi mega-watt bulbs to attract the squid and have their engines/generators on. After breakfast we hopped in Ruthie and went to the Painted Cave, about 2 miles away. According to our guidebook, the Painted Cave is one of the biggest and most remarkable sea caves in the world. It is some 600' long in a north/south direction and composed of a series of four "rooms." The first room is big enough to easily hold a boat the size of Mañana. The cave gets progressively smaller until you are in complete darkness at the bitter end of the third room, where it turns west for another 150' to the fourth room. Jim and I only went in as far as the opening of the third room because of the sea swells, but it was quite an experience! The breaking waves made a thunder-booming sound from deep within. Jim brought his scuba light with us so we could see the walls and overhead. We then took our time motoring back to Mañana, exploring the various coves along the way. The water is extremely clear and we were able to see some bright orange fish in one location, and then came across 4 sea lions that were playing. We turned the engine off and just watched. They were very curious about us, and swam underneath the dinghy a couple of times. Mostly it seemed that we were their audience and they performed for us, leaping out of the air, twisting as they did so. One just casually floated on its side with its fins and flippers in the air. They left us after 10 min or so. In yet another cove, we motored up close to the beach and saw dozens of sting rays on the sandy bottom. I'd guess their wing span was about 3' across, and they had a skinny tail, about 1' long. After lunch, Jim went snorkeling and even I went swimming.
Views of Forney Cove, Santa Cruz Island
Oct. 28, 2003: We moved over to Forney Cove, on the south side of Santa Cruz Island. There were a couple of boats in the anchorage when we arrived. Decided the boat was filthy enough to warrant washing it with salt water. It looked better afterwards but is now coated with salt crystals. We spent the afternoon reading up on the flybridge.
Oct. 29, 2003: Jim spent the morning working on wiring as it was foggy and we thought we'd wait to see if it burned off. It was still gray when we left after lunch, although the fog had lifted a bit. We were headed for Coches Prietos (translated means "Black Pigs"), but when we arrived, there were 14 squid boats off the cove. We recalled what 2 were like a couple nights ago and said "No Thanks!" It would have been a very pretty spot. So we continued on to Smuggler's Cove and passed at least 6 more large squid boats going in the other direction, which validated our decision. Smuggler's Cove is quite large, but open to swells. There's a nice sandy beach and an old olive grove on shore, but we arrived at sunset and did not explore. Jim had to dive under the boat to remove kelp that was wrapped around the propeller shaft and propeller. Better him than me -- the water is 66 degrees. Jim made Spanish rice for dinner.
Bob, the Booby Bird
Oct. 30, 2003: Up and out by 0615. It was an extremely rolly night and neither of us slept well. And although today's trip was 10+ hours and rolly (we are definitely out of practice for long uncomfortable days), Mother Nature did reward us with dolphins that played in the bow wake, a Booby we named Bob and the sighting of 3 Risso dophins. Bob joined us at 0930, landing on our bow rail. He spent over 3 hours with us, which is why we felt we should name him. He spent nearly the entire time cleaning himself. He flew off, nice and clean, at 1245. Catalina Harbor is on the south central side of Santa Catalina Island. As we arrived, we heard, "Mañana, is that you?" over the VHF. It was Tom, the prior owner of the boat. He said we looked good and he sounded happy to see us. Mooring buoys are $25 a night, so we opted to anchor near them, but it was cozy quarters and we're near the harbor entrance, so it was rolly all evening. In the meantime, I'm sick and tired of rolling, need a good night's sleep and still haven't resolved going to Mexico in my mind. The thought of cruising 800 nm with limited anchorages in a country I don't even want to go to is weighing more and more on me, the closer we get. Unfortunately there's no turning back at this point as I promised Jim one year -- only 8 months to go.
Oct. 31, 2003: I made muffins before Tom & Judy arrived. Judy said it felt strange being on the boat. They were both very pleased with the work done to date and dismayed with all the rot we'd found, but all in all, very happy to know that the boat is being used for its intended purpose. We followed them to the dinghy dock and walked 1/2 mile to Two Harbors. Two Harbors is beautiful -- lots of palm trees, and a lovely beach with very clear water. We went to Imagine (Tom and Judy's boat) for happy hour. They, too, have a project boat, but she's nice and roomy and in relatively good shape.
Nov. 1, 2003: Jim started the last of the work on the fresh water plumbing and I worked on Bonnie's eagle. We went to Two Harbors for a hamburg & fries (the first we've had since we left Orcas Island) for lunch, purchased a couple of supplies and then back to the boat. We were talking to a worker at the store who suggested we work at Two Harbors when we return from Mexico. He said Jim had enough varied experience to be hired and was sure I'd find something. As an employee, the mooring buoy would be free. Hmmm, it's a thought. Jim drained the water tank so he could replace the fitting on the bottom of the tank and then we poured the water back in -- not that there is much water left in the tank. Tom filled Jim's two dive tanks, but they'll need to be tumbled in San Diego. Peter sent an e-mail saying the truck's sold. Yippee!
Nov. 2, 2003: Jim worked on the plumbing and after lunch we went to Two Harbors to do laundry and shower. Normally the shower is 25 cents for 90 seconds, but we each were able to have a complete shower using only one quarter. Whether that was accomplished because the timers were on the winter schedule for the locals, or because the shower afforded luke warm water at best, I don't know! I just know I wasn't about to put another quarter in for a cool shower!! I called Pat and we had a nice long chat. Tried Colleen but got her voice mail. We readied the boat for tomorrow's crossing and climbed into bed early. Three squid boats came into the ancorage in the evening and they all had their generators running and lights on. It sure made the anchorage look and sound like we were in the middle of a major city.
Nov. 3, 2003: Up and out by 0600 and followed Imagine to Long Beach. It was quite rolly as we came around the back side of Santa Catalina Island, but eventually smoothed out. They arrived before us but we were able to get the slip in front of them. It was raining when we arrived, but fresh water is exactly what Mañana needed. In mid-afternoon, after the rain stopped, we walked across the street to the mall. Jim bought a few parts at Boat World and I bought some sale items at a natural food store. Jim's best friend, Andy, arrived at 1715, just as I was heating up supper. We put an extra plate in front of him and caught up with what's been going on. It's been 3 years since we've seen each other. For the first time in over two weeks we're in a marina instead of an anchorage. Jim said something's wrong with the boat...it's not rolling back and forth, and since we're plugged into shore power, we splurged and had several lights on.
Nov. 4, 2003: Sue & Trevor stopped by in the morning to say hi and check out the boat. Sue drove us to Belmont, a nearby district of Long Beach, where we had a coffee and window shopped. I finally found sandals...twice as much as I wanted to pay, but they are comfortable and will hopefully last for the duration of the trip. Jim continued working on the plumbing in the afternoon and I made brownies. Sue picked us up at 1630 and brought us to their house for a BBQ dinner. We had a great time catching up with life. Cory and Trevor have grown up so much in the last 3 years.
Nov. 5, 2003: A major Oops today on my part. I decided I would give the deck boxes on the flybridge their final coat of paint. As I was pouring the paint out of the new, full can, I tipped it off center and several inches of paint poured out of the can and onto the deck and my foot. Jim came to my rescue to help me clean up the mess, but the best way to deal with all the paint on the deck was to just roll it out. So, only one deck box actually got painted. The deck looks great; it's too bad that the surface wasn't prepped though! We went food shopping in the afternoon and Tom & Judy joined us for dinner. They apparently have a way with animals...both DC and Jerry were climbing all over them.
||Jim, Jan & Trevor
Nov. 6, 2003: The Cappon family arrived en masse at 0900 for a short cruise. Trevor was so excited to show Cory the boat. We went to Long Beach to see the Sea Launch, a satellite rocket launcher. Although we thought we were far enough out of the restricted zone, the Long Beach police stopped by to chat with us. They were very polite and we moved on. Jim fired up the BBQ when we got back to the marina, then we hopped in their van and went to the Huntington Gardens and Library in Pasadena. I got to see the big, white HOLLYWOOD sign high up on the hill. We didn't have much time at the Gardens, but what we saw was beautiful. Apparently Mr. Huntington was a very wealthy man! The gardens were divided into themes (Shakespeare, desert, subtropical, rose, Japanese, bonsai, Zen, etc.) and the library housed a collection of antique statues, paintings (the original "Blue Boy") and porcelain. Definitely a place to return to when we have more time. To round out the day, we got to experience the wonderful L.A. rush hour traffic.
Nov. 7, 2003: We had a slow morning as Jim has caught a cold. We left Alamitos Bay at noon, after saying goodbye to Tom & Judy. We encountered miles of trash between Long Beach and Newport Beach, and off Huntington Beach, we had a large piece of heavy black plastic wrap itself around the prop. Poor Jim had to dive to remove it. Thankfully the water was 67 degrees and he got it all off in one quick dive. Once removed, we had an uneventful trip to Dana Point from the flybridge. We'd secured a reciprocal slip with Dana West Yacht Club, so after arriving around 1630, we changed into "civilized" clothes (translated: Dockers) and went to the clubhouse to check in and have a drink. This club wasn't nearly as friendly as Benicia Yacht Club. I made a meatloaf for dinner and we were in bed by 2000.
Nov. 8, 2003: Tim and Elaine arrived later than expected. They tried calling us but good old AT & T has really screwed us over and our phone wasn't receiving incoming calls. We got underway at 0830; it was nice enough out that we rode on the flybridge -- warm sunny skies and relatively calm seas (plus a favorable current). Elaine actually took a nap! We cruised 1-2 miles offshore so Tim was able to give us a guided tour of the coastline. Arrived San Diego at 1615, but found no empty slips at the municipal dock, so we dropped them off at the police dock and anchored in the La Playa anchorage. Matarua hailed us as we were looking for a spot to drop the anchor, and we noticed Sowelu here as well. Took Ruthie to the dinghy dock, where Tim & Elaine were waiting to take us out to dinner. We passed Arthur DeFever's boat, A/R DeFever. Mr. DeFever is the designer of our boat, and still very actively designing new DeFevers. Tim loaned us his cell phone for use while we're in San Diego...thank you very much, Tim!!
Nov. 9, 2003: Boja stopped by to say hi as we were having our coffee and invited us to dinner. In late morning, we went over to Sowelu and Mai and I caught up with the news as Jim tried troubleshooting Boja's GPS/computer interface problems. We then found our way to an internet cafe and had some lunch. Stopped by Matarua on our way back to our boat; they gave us a few tips on how to go about doing all the necessary paperwork. It sounds like we're going to be incredibly busy running in circles (can't get this paperwork until you've done that paperwork, and you have to pay cash for this, and get a money order for that, etc.). Not to mention that the cats need their international health certificate, fishing licenses need to be obtained for everyone ON the boat, AS WELL AS the boat and dinghy! Sounds like a proper ripoff to me -- I highly doubt that Ruthie would be able to fish on her own!! So that's $200. And then there's the "San Diego Shuffle"...you can only anchor in this anchorage between Friday and Monday morning, then you have to move someplace else for a couple of days, all the while you'd really like to be at the municipal dock, but there aren't many slips and they are full, and no reservations are taken. The LaPlaya anchorage is near all the chandleries, but the chandleries aren't open on Sundays. The other anchorage is closer to downtown, which is miles from where we are, and don't even ask where the laundromat is! And you thought the cruising life was a simple one! Ha!
Shelter Island - Municipal Dock
Nov. 10, 2003: We were up very early and started circling the municipal dock (like a vulture) waiting for a slip to open up, which one did by 0800. After registering and having breakfast, we went to Sowelu so Jim could continue with yesterday's troubleshooting (he was successful). We then went to the dinghy dock, only to find they are now charging $5.00 to put your boat there, whether it be for 5 min. or 5 hours. What a ripoff! We refused to pay, and told them that we need propane and diesel before heading south, but we'll take our business elsewhere. It's the principle! Of course, that then meant that there was no place for us to leave the dinghy so we could run our errands. The municipal dock is 1.5 miles away and there's no public transportation. And at that moment, along came cousin Tim, completely unannounced and at our disposal. He must have ESP. So he took us around to several stores, and we are the envy of the dock, having a chauffeur that knows the stores with the best prices. Once again, thank you very much, Tim!
Nov. 11, 2003: Jim has laryngitis and I awoke with a bladder infection. And this is the day Linda and Fred arrive! After making several phone calls, I located an urgent care facility. I called Tim and we figured out a schedule that we hoped would work. Linda and Fred arrived about 30 min. late, after which I went to the doctor's. By 1330 we were on our way back to Mañana. Jim had spent the morning doing more installation on the water maker and hosed the boat down. We had a great afternoon reminiscing and laughing. Linda thinks this is a great life...I told her I'd go back and do her job and she could continue down to Mexico with Jim. She turned me down saying she'd send Fred with Jim!
Nov. 12, 2003: Tim dropped Lin at the boat and the rest of us went downtown so Jim & I could start the Mexican paperwork process. First stop was Kinkos, for a million copies, then off for passport photos for our visas; next stop, the Mexican Consulate so we could fill out the visa application (we need to come back tomorrow to pick them up). From there we drove across the city to the bank for a money order and finally to the Mexican Fisheries Dept. for fishing licenses for us, Mañana and Ruthie. I still say it's a total rip off! Today's stops cost us over $500 -- OUCH!! Afterwards, we came back to the boat and had lunch with Linda. They left in the mid afternoon and Jim continued working on the fresh water plumbing for the water maker.
The "J" Twins
Nov. 13, 2003: Once again, Tim dropped Lin off at the boat while the guys went downtown so Jim could pick up our visas and then by the Coronado bridge, where Jim dropped off his air tanks to be tumbled. Lin kept me company while I put the final coat of paint on the deck box (with no spilled paint). As she has never seen our web site, I turned the computer on so she could see it and some of our other photos of this trip. We had lunch on board when the guys returned and Jim worked on the fresh water plumbing after they left (this is starting to sound like a broken record.) At 1600, we went aboard Genesis for Happy Hour. Genesis had rafted off us for a couple of days when we were stuck in Charleston, OR because of weather. John & Judy from Encanto were also present. John is Jim's twin -- same height, weight, bald head, mustache and goatee.
Nov. 14, 2003: We were running low on clean underwear, so I washed a bunch and hung them on the guys (the lines that stabilize the boom). I guess you could say I was "flying our colors!" Tim dropped Fred & Linda off at Seaport Village and then came to get us. We had an 0930 appointment at the local vet's for Jerry & DC's international health certificate exam. DC now weighs 16 lbs. (he's gained 2 lbs) and Jerry's put on 1/2 lb. and is up to 9 1/2 lbs. Both cats were given a clean bill of health, although the doctor said the spot on DC's nose that isn't healing could be skin cancer, an embedded foreign object, or a fungal infection. Without a biopsy and x-rays, he can't tell for sure. In our prior life, we would have made an appointment, but our cruising kitty just won't support that workup. Hopefully whatever it is won't worsen over the next 8 months, when we'll be able to find temporary employment on our way north. Returned the cats to the boat, and Jim ran into the office to pay for another 5 days in the slip. Then we were off again. Tim dropped me off at Walmart's so I could begin provisioning. Meanwhile, they continued on to Poway, where Jim had his dive light repaired and Tim had a personal errand to run. They came back to get me, and we went to Costco. We wolfed down a bratwurst, did our shopping, and then went on to Pacific Beach for Tim to run another errand. He gave us the scenic tour on the way back to the marina, passing thru Oceanside, a beautiful area. We had totally filled the trunk and back seat of his car, and it took 2 dock cart runs to get it all down to our boat. Then poor Tim had to go pick up Fred & Linda before heading home. At this point, I have to say Jim & I are the most envied people at the municipal dock, having a cousin who is willingly and happily chauffering us around (in a Mercedes) to anywhere and everywhere we want/need to go. We are now referring to Tim and the Mercedes as "Uncle Fred's Taxi Service"!
Ed, Tim, Elaine, Jim, Jan, Lin & Fred
Nov. 15, 2003: At 0900, Fred and Lin were at the boat and Jim was on his way to a senior citizens computer users' group with Tim (the seniors are retired from the profession.) I was in the middle of vacuum bagging steak, hamburg, and pork chops with Lin's help. Lin informed me that my second cousin, Ed, was to join us on this afternoon's cruise. This was news to me...I didn't even know I had a second cousin named Ed!! He arrived shortly after 1100, Elaine showed up at 1115 and the guys returned around 1130. Ed had brought along an assortment of Subway sandwiches and Elaine had the baklava (these folks know how to eat well!). A dock neighbor help us move Ruthie out of the way (we wanted to leave her behind so no one would take our slip) and off we went, into the wild blue yonder. There's an old ship, the Star of India, who turned 150 this year. She leaves the dock 3-4 times a year and today was one of those days. We cruised out beyond Point Loma and into the ocean. Both she and another boat, The Californian, were out cruising and were so spectacular! Jim was able to get up close and personal...everyone on board had a camera going and it was actually quite funny as we all jockeyed for position on the flybridge to get just the right shot. We had lunch while out and didn't return until 1515. At that point, everyone was feeling lazy, so I put a pot of coffee on and we continued chatting. Of course, we had to have a family photograph, which was a circus unto itself, but after all was said and done, everyone ended up with a nice family shot on their camera (thanks to Travis from Jaluka, who we met in Newport, OR). I talked to Colleen after everyone had left. We both miss her so much. I don't know which is worse...not hearing her voice, or hearing it and missing her that much more. This gypsy lifestyle is only fun if you're a gypsy.
Nov. 16, 2003: Three guesses how Jim spent the day?! I tried to find room for some of our larger bulk items that we bought on Friday and also washed and hung six t-shirts. There was a nice breeze and they all dried before we went out. Tim came by at 1630 and brought us to his house in La Mesa for a family dinner. Elaine outdid herself with both a pork roast and a roast beef. She had called earlier in the day telling me to bring over the laundry, which I did. I just didn't know what to do with a washing machine that wouldn't accept quarters! We didn't return to the boat until almost 2200. Unfortunately Tim has caught Jim's cold and Fred was also out of action with a bug. We told Tim to take tomorrow off and rest a bit!
Nov. 17, 2003: We are still trying to figure out where to store 20 lbs. of rice and 6 lbs of coffee. All our cupboards are full. Jim started doing the wiring on the generator and I spent the afternoon quilting a small square as a thank you gift for Tim & Elaine. We talked to Peter & Babs after dinner and Peter confirmed our Toyota is sold and the money is on the way to our bank (yeah!). We'll cancel the insurance tomorrow. Afterwards, we checked in with Tim; unfortunately he still has his cold, but Fred was better and he and Linda spent the day at the San Diego Zoo, which they said was terrific. Jim says at this point in time, there's a 50/50 chance that we'll be able to leave for Mexico on Thursday morning. At any rate, we have to move out of this slip at that time.
Nov. 18, 2003: Jim rode his bike down to the chandlery, and ran a bunch of other errands at the same time. It was a beautiful day, so much so that I finally put a pair of shorts on! I roughed up the flybridge rails and prepped them for varnish while he was out. Unfortunately, the wind started to pick up, making conditions unfavorable for varnishing. Tim stopped by with Jim's two air tanks and it turned out that they did not need to be tumbled. Sounds like the folks in Santa Barbara were wanting to take us for a ride. In the afternoon, I polished the stainless rails while Jim worked on the generator, and at 1730, we had a potluck dinner aboard Encanto.
Nov. 19, 2003: Jim took the bike back to the chandlery for yet more parts. I walked -- first to Downwind Marine (1.5 miles) for the buddy boat gathering (and free coffee and donuts), then to the post office, next to the pharmacy, then to a barbershop for a $10 haircut and finally another mile to the grocery store for some major shopping. Took a taxi back to the boat and tried to figure out where I was going to put everything! Tim picked us up at 1700 and we had dinner at his house; another delicious meal. Back to the boat at 2100 for what will be our last night at a dock in a long time.
Nov. 20, 2003: Neither of us want to play the San Diego shuffle and Jim was able to buy us an extra 24 hours at the dock. The water maker/generator is quickly becoming the system from hell. If it's not one thing, it's another. He made some good progress but we still look like a gypsy boat with all contents of the lazarette piled on the aft deck. Hauled the TV out of the aft cabin and watched a movie after dinner -- a strange British mystery that we'd taped years ago, and then a couple episodes of the Red Green show.
Nov. 21, 2003: We followed Encanto out of the marina and over to the La Playa Anchorage. Jim called the Silver Gate Yacht Club to ask about a reciprocal for Monday, but they said they'll have to call us back that day. In the meantime, we can use their dinghy dock (we refuse to go back to the Chevron dinghy dock, where they are charging $5.00). We rode around but couldn't find the Silver Gate Yacht Club, so we stopped at the San Diego Yacht Club (a la-ti-da club) and they gave their permission for us to leave Ruthie there for a few hours. Walked all around town, getting information/prices and picking up needed pieces. Unfortunately Jim realized that he needs to install a return fuel line on the generator. I'm beginning to wonder if we'll ever leave San Diego. Although I'm not anxious to go to Mexico, I am getting restless. There's no way we'll leave without knowing the water maker is working as it should. John, Judy, Sami and Gabi from Encanto came over and joined us for dinner.
Nov. 22, 2003: Jim received a phone call from a couple who own a 40' DeFever and have been following our progress south. Scott was in town with wheels and offered to drive Jim around for parts. I stayed on the boat watching pelicans dive for fish. Each pelican had a pesky seagull trying to get leftover food. More boats came into the anchorage today.
Nov. 23, 2003: Woke to find the boat covered with soot -- what a mess! We heard that the Santa Ana winds had blown down from the mountains, bringing the soot from all the fires with it. I washed the boat as best I could with salt water, something I really hate doing. We left Ruthie at the SDYC and went to the chandlery. The salesclerk reminded me so much of Colleen that I wanted to run around the counter and hug her. Jim continues to plug away on the generator. John picked up a hose for us; we hope it works out. Had a nice supper and a quiet evening. The boat looks like a bomb exploded inside and out. Hopefully we can start stowing things soon; messes make me nervous.
Nov. 24, 2003: Once again, we awoke to the boat recovered with soot. Can't wait for the winds to swing around to onshore. Today's Monday and we needed to leave the anchorage. As we hadn't heard back from the Silver Gate Yacht Club about a reciprocal, we dinghied over there. The gal took our information (again) and said the port captain would get back to us. Someone on the net was selling a small dinghy anchor, something we need, so we tracked them down and bought it. Silver Gate finally got back to us saying they had no slip available. We then tried Southwest Yacht Club; they'd give us one night free and then it would be $1/ft. We decided against staying there as we really need 2 or 3 nights. So we packed up and left La Playa, headed for the A-9 anchorage (affectionately known by cruisers as Gulaag 9), although we don't have a permit to be there. We stopped for fuel ($1.48/gal x 220 gal), but NOT at the Chevron station that was charging for dinghy parking. We dropped our anchor around 1230, had lunch and got to work feeding the fuel line under the berth, thru the hanging locker, etc. Scott called to see if we wanted to get together, but we turned him down because we were in the middle of this project. Jim realized that the hose that John bought will not work, nor will the parts that he bought yesterday. Gulaag 9 is in between the airport and downtown; a very noisy spot because of all the air traffic (both commercial and military), but when the lights of the city come on, it's spectacular. San Diego has a beautiful skyline. Over the VHF radio, the navy refers to all its boats as "Warship", regardless of what type of boat it is. "Warship 68" is on the outside of the anchorage and Warship 3 came into port last night. Both are large aircraft carriers, and had their boat numbers lit up with bright white lights.
San Diego Skyline
Nov. 25, 2003: A cruise ship had come in sometime during the night -- it's massive against the backdrop of the city. No soot this morning, but I never washed off the soot from the day before. I took advantage of the sunny skies and quickly wiped down the flybridge rails and got a coat of varnish on them. They will need another one or two coats. The Coast Guard is on the other side of the anchorage and as I was varnishing, I was listening to their PA system announcing a Morale Meeting to be held at xx o'clock. Just what morale needs! Maybe they'd have better luck with morale if they surprised the workers with free donuts instead. Jim is still plugging away on the generator; hooking up the exhaust to it has him stymied. There's no way we'll be able to leave tomorrow, and we both agreed we'd rather not be cruising on Thanksgiving Day. So, it looks like the earliest possible day we'll leave here (assuming he finds suitable exhaust parts, and the water maker membrane hasn't gone bad from no use) is Sunday. If the membrane has gone bad, we'll be stuck here several more days while we order a new one. The membrane is one of those things where the saying "If I knew then what I know now" applies to. Jim tells me it's extremely expensive, so our fingers are crossed that it's still good (the water maker store is closed on Friday). I sat watching all the planes landing and taking off and desperately wished I could be on one of the planes headed "home". Not that I know where home is anymore, and if I did figure out where it is, would I return to continue with the trip? I guess I'm just getting depressed with the onset of the holidays. Tim stopped by with 10,400 pesos -- we feel rich! We decided to rent a car because we have a bunch of errands to run.
Nov. 26, 2003: Up and out early to begin our errands. Updated the website, returned pieces to the chandlery, went to the bank and ran to several more marine stores trying to locate something that will work for the exhaust. Had coffee and donuts at Downwind - a small buddy boat group this week. Then we went out to Napa, where Jim was able to return the hose that John had bought for him and on to WalMart to return the fishing line and buy new blue jeans that we'll use as dress jeans. From there we headed downtown towards the Coronado Bridge in search of the elusive square head screw. They are not popular down here. And last but not least, we went to Home Depot. After that, we grabbed some lunch, returned the car and were given a ride back to the anchorage. Jim immediately began work on the exhaust -- hooray! The new hose he bought works! He continued working until 1830. John, Judy and the girls stopped by at 2100 to wish us a happy Thanksgiving -- they hope to head out tomorrow.
Nov. 27, 2003: Happy Thanksgiving! We got up early so Jim could call his mom. I noticed the windshield looked really dirty and then saw soot all over the rails. While Jim was working on the generator, I washed the bow and rails with buckets full of sea water. Then I attacked the transome steps, swim step and Ruthie. By the time I had finished, the rails were coated again. One of the cruisers heard a health warning had been issued and, indeed, our eyes and throats stung from the soot. We said goodbye to Encanto and Tim met us at 1100. Jim shared his triumphant news -- he got the generator working! We had dinner with Tim, Elaine, Ed, and Elaine's son Mike and his wife Sandy. Ed did the cooking; he's a gourmet cook and uses plenty of cream and butter in everything. Oh, so delicious! I did a load of laundry (thanks, Elaine!) and Tim brought us back to the anchorage at 2030. I talked to Pat and Lin; tried Colleen twice but got her voice mail and Peter & Babs were in Victoria with Douglas and Juliana.
San Diego at Sunrise
Nov. 28, 2003: Woke early to a spectacular sun rise. Jim hopped out of bed to take a picture. I had planned to visit Seaport Village, but Jim said he'd like to join me so we'll go tomorrow. I did a bit of housework (the soot is seeping inside the boat) while Jim continued working on the generator and water maker. It was windier and rollier than normal but unfortunately, the soot didn't blow off the boat. Jim hooked up the generator so it can charge our batteries and got the water maker working as well. The initial output from the test faucet indicated a lower-than-expected flow and a higher-than-expected particulate matter (but still less than city water). That most likely means we need a new membrane. After an hour, we switched the flow to go into our water tank, which was almost empty. When Jim sampled the water, it was raw sea water. What the hell? The water was fine through the test faucet but contaminated through the water tap. Putting our heads together, all we could figure was the back flush valve is faulty. Great! What little water we had in the water tank was now totally contaminated. Time to stop work and have a drink. Colleen called later that evening and we talked for an hour.
Nov. 29, 2003:We turned the tap on to drain the contaminated water and then Jim set about to figure out how to get good water into the tank. After he figured it out, we filled the tank 1/4 full and then hit the button to clean the membrane. The back flush valve wouldn't close and our good water was now going in reverse and flowing out of the boat. What next? I quickly turned off the breaker to stop the flow and give Jim time to develop Plan B. We'd invited Tim & Elaine to dinner, but I needed to pick up some groceries, so after lunch, we used the head and then were going in search of a grocery store. The holding tank indicator showed the tank as "full". Quite literally, "oh shit". Company's coming at 1700, the tank's full, we need food, it's 1400 and no time to pull up anchor and go out to sea to pump overboard. Now what? We took Ruthie to a neighboring boat and got phone numbers for pump out boats and directions to the grocery store. The pump out company said they'd be here in 30 min. so we waited. That was the best $20 spent! Then we went across the bay to Coronado Island, dodging sailboats and thankful that Ruthie does 17 kts. to the grocery store. While I stowed the food and washed last night's dishes (couldn't wash them earlier because sea water was in the water tank), Jim installed a shut off valve to keep the water in the tank. By the time Tim and Elaine arrived, there was no sign of our frantic day! Had a wonderful visit and dinner. Jim returned them to the parking lot at 2000. Maybe I'll get to Seaport Village tomorrow.
Nov. 30, 2003: After our mid-morning coffee, we took Ruthie to the dinghy dock closest to downtown and then walked a mile or so to Seaport Village. Poked into many of the stores, which were all over priced. Jerry Lewis' boat, Sam's Place, is a lovely older classic-style boat which is kept at the marina there. After poking for a while, we walked up town, hoping to find a cheap eatery for lunch and then walked back to Ruthie, probably for a total of 3 miles. It felt good to walk. We were back to the boat by 1500 and spent the remainder of the day reading and relaxing.
Dec. 1, 2003: Jim talked to the folks we bought our water maker from and it appears the back flush valve was incorrectly wired at the factory. Other than that, Jim has everything wired correctly and will rewire the valve. He was told they now recommend a one-way valve be installed, and advised we will probably be okay with the membrane, even though it's at a decreased output. With that knowledge in hand (and feeling much better about things), we headed to Home Depot and Shelter Island by bus. We left Ruthie at one of the dinghy docks and walked to Pacific Highway, where we caught a bus to Home Depot. We then walked to Joanne Fabrics in search of some ball fringe, but didn't find it. We got tired of waiting for the bus and decided we'd walk 1/2 mile to catch the connecting bus to Shelter Island. We stopped at the Water Maker Store and bought a one-way valve and asked their opinion of the membrane (they concurred with Aquamarine). From there we went to the chandlery and then to Downwind to send a fax and let them know we're expecting a mail package tomorrow. Then back up to Rosecrans Blvd. to catch the bus, and got off at Nimitz Blvd. for the transfer, which was a mistake. There was a detour where we should have caught the bus, so we started walking along the bus route to the next stop (maybe 1/2 mile). It was then we realized the next bus wasn't for another hour. Our vague memory had us remembering that the Coast Guard station was only 1.5 miles away, and we knew we could walk that in less than an hour, so off we went. The bus passed us an hour later, just as we were approaching the dinghy dock. We had walked at a very good clip and figured we'd walked about 3.5 miles (so much for that 1.5 mile memory), putting the total for the day at close to or above 5 miles. We were really starting to stiffen up by the end of our walk, and moved very gingerly later that evening. We hope to leave San Diego on Weds., two weeks later than originally planned.
Dec. 2, 2003: Thankfully, neither of us woke up sore from yesterday's hike. Jim rewired the water maker control panel to correct the factory's wiring error; now it works like it was supposed to. In preparation of tomorrow's departure, we had to wash down everything that was on the aft deck, first with sea water, and then with fresh. Jim had emptied the lazarette while working on the generator and water maker and everything had gotten covered with soot. We were able to obtain a reciprocal slip with the Kona Kai Yacht Club, so we headed back to Shelter Island after lunch. Once back in the land of civilization (that means electricity and a water hookup), I washed down the boat with fresh water, changed the bed sheets and did two loads of laundry while Jim went to the chandlery for some spare parts, picked up our mail and ran a few other errands. Tim arrived around 1700 to pick up his cell phone (we can never thank him or Elaine enough for all they did for us). He brought us a copy of Peggy Lee's version of "Mañana" and stayed for coffee while we listened to it. After he left, we took advantage of the yacht club's free showers, had dinner and readied the interior for tomorrow's day at sea. We'll see just how out of practice we are!
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