September 28, 2010, Alamitos Bay, CA
Marina Del Rey was impressive. We had a wonderful stay at the Del Rey Yacht Club tied up next to our friends on sv Isabella. The kids voted the pool one of the best on the west coast! And the people there were some of the nicest we've met at any club. Kudos to the Del Rey Yacht Club!
On Saturday, the family strapped on their big kid panties and walked from Marina Del Rey to Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Venice Beach was a site to behold and must be experienced to be believed. We all enjoyed the sites as we dodged skate boarders, roller bladers, bikers, and weirdos. We pumped some quick iron at the outdoor beach gym and cheered for the kids doing adult level tricks at the skate park.
Santa Monica was nice too. We were able to visit with some friends who live there and experience the world famous Santa Monica Pier. As a side note, the kids think the word "pier" is one of the funniest words in the world. They keep referring to the "pier" as a man who is peeing. So, when we say we are going to the pier, they ask what his name is. They want to know why we are going to see this guy....as they are laughing so hard. Some people's kids....
Anyway, the world famous Santa Monica Pier was a bit of a letdown. We thought it would be bigger and more exciting. But it wasn't. We still had a great visit with some good friends that made the long walk worthwhile. Thanks Lynn and Mike!
After departing Del Rey, we motored again for another 35 miles down to Long Beach. Enroute, we saw a blue whale! It was BIG! It didn't put on much of a show, but it did come to the surface a few times. There were a lot of boats jockying for viewing position so we didn't get too close.
The LA / Long Beach area is huge! We finally made it to our berth at the Long Beach Yacht Club in Alamitos Bay around 1700. This is a nice area, but the temperatures this week have been near 100. Inland locations have been reporting temps of over 110 degrees! Apparently, after a really cool summer, LA is experiencing a really hot September. Who knew?
Anyway, gotta go for now. Lots more to blog about, but for now, the kids are dragging us to the pool...again.
San Diego and the Baja Ha Ha are getting closer every day. We can barely contain our excitement! The log reads over 1600 nautical miles with many more to go.
September 28, 2010, In and Out Burger, Long Beach, CA
Tami and the kids enjoyed their very first In and Out Burger today! And, yes, it was better than a Whataburger. Mmmmmm good!
September 23, 2010, Marina Del Rey, CA
Marina Del Rey! And the weather is gorgeous. After a smooth, windless day of motoring, we tied up to the Del Rey Yacht Club reciprocal dock. What a great place! And the people are so nice. Once again, we are docked next to our friends on sv Isabella, Rod and Jane. The kids have already taken a dip in the swimming pool and we have just put the steak on the grill to cook along with some giant mushrooms and peppers. Dinner is smelling awesome.
I found out that a really good friend of mine from high school worked nearby so I was able to re-connect with him before he had to catch a flight from LAX. This is truly an amazing place. It is hard to fathom how many boats are here. Tomorrow, we hope to check things out in more detail and perhaps take a walk to Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier. More to follow...
September 22, 2010, Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, CA
Here we are tied up to the reciprocal guest dock at the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club in Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, CA. What a beautiful place this is! And FREE!!! We joined up with our good friends Rod and Jane aboard sv Isabella back in Santa Barbara and share the dock once again with them here. The club is wonderful, a pool, hot tub, restaurant and bar, great facilities, and awesome showers. The people here are some of the nicest we've met. We were even fortunate enough to be invited to the home of one of the members here for dinner on Monday night. Earlier that day, they even drove Tami and Jane to the commissary over on Port Hueneme to get some grocery shopping done. They were so generous and we all had just a great time.
Yesterday was spent doing boat chores, cleaning, and reorganizing. The kids helped me scrub the decks and they look great now. Today was spent relaxing by the pool in the awesome sunshine, job hunting, and snoozing. We even took a spin on Rod's paddle boards earlier in the day to introduce Abby to stand-up paddle boarding. She hated it at first, but finally got comfortable sitting there on the board while I paddled. She'll come around eventually, especially once we get to warmer water.
Tomorrow, we head further south to Marina Del Rey, the largest marina in the world! Will post more from there.
September 17, 2010, Santa Barbara, CA
So for our small loyal band of blog readers, we must apologize for being severely delinquent at updating the blog. We appreciate the fact that there are friends and family that really care about our adventure and how we are doing. So, in an attempt to make amends, we will get everyone caught up and let you know where we have been the past few days.
After a two week stay in San Francisco Bay, we headed south and stayed two nights on the anchor in Half Moon Bay. Our next stop after that was Monterey. We got such a great deal on a slip that we decided to spend two nights tied to the dock in Monterey Harbor. While there, we had an awesome trip to the aquarium. It was probably one of the best ones we have ever been to. We will try to get some photos into the gallery soon. We also enjoyed a great dinner at the Old Fisherman's Grotto at Fisherman's Wharf and acted like tourist in all the gift shops.
From Monterey, we decided our next stop should be Port San Luis near San Luis Obispo. We wanted to stop in San Simeon and see the Hearst Castle, but the weather forecast for rounding Point Conception (the Cape Horn of the North) was only good for a few more days. So, we decided to make good distance south in order to round the cape in favorable conditions. Since Port San Luis was 125 miles from Monterey, we decided to do an overnight passage and arrive the next afternoon. We left Monterey in the late afternoon under absolutely gorgeous conditions. We sailed for a bit out of the harbor, then as the sun went down the wind went with it. We saw our first whales! We spotted a pod of about 10 humpbacks about 500 yards off the starboard beam just before sunset. It was magical. We motored for the next 19 hours on glassy seas with absolutely zero wind. It was a dark and cold night, but overall an extremely comfortable passage. The kids slept liked rocks down below and Tami and I shared some informal watches and took naps when we could.
Port San Luis was nothing to write home about, at least from our perspective. The anchorage was not very comfortable and the dinghy ride in would have taken half an hour. So, we decided to just stay a few hours and then do another night passage to Santa Barbara, another 95 miles south. We left Port San Luis around 2300 hours with the kids already in bed. We had checked and checked and checked the weather forecast for Point Conception and were convinced it was as good as it was gonna get. So we motored through another dark, foggy night and rounded the cape at sunrise. Thankfully, it was a very benign passage. The neatest thing was passing the huge oil platforms in the dark and fog as you enter the Santa Barbara channel. Having safely rounded Point Conception, we celebrated the fact that we were finally in Southern California. We were told that it would be 'noticeably warmer' here. We laughed at this as we shivered in our foul weather gear and 45 degree temperatures at 4 in the morning.
We arrived Santa Barbara on the afternoon of the 15th. We anchored in 'fools anchorage' just east of the wharf. What a mistake that was! Of course, we didn't know it was called 'fools anchorage' until later. The holding is terrible, it's crowded, and unprotected. We rocked and rolled all night long. It was probably the worst night we have ever had on the anchor. Some time in the night, we actually got rolled so bad that a bunch of our stuff fell off the desk, galley counter, bookshelves and seats. The boat was a wreck in the morning and we were exhausted. We knew we wanted to enjoy the town, so we immediately decided to call and get a slip in the marina. Fortunately, they had 1 left so we motored through pea soup fog around the wharf and into the harbor where we tied securely to the dock. Our friends Rod and Jane were there already on sv Isabella, so we got caught up with them. It was a nice reunion. They came over to the boat for dinner and we enjoyed some great grilled flank steak, fajitas, and sea stories.
Today, we visited the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and took a long walk up State Street to see downtown. The museum was amazing. We all enjoyed the self-guided tour and displays. If you are ever in the area, we highly recommend it. The weather was nice and we all enjoyed a great day. This really is a neat town. We've decided to stay until Sunday when we will head further south. Rumor has it, things only get better from here. So, we are eagerly looking forward to some good sailing and warmer weather. We are all anxious to put away the foulies and put on the swimsuits.
By the way, the log sits at over 1500 miles now since leaving Olympia, WA in early June. We are having a great trip and are always eager to see what the next day brings. We are ever appreciative of your prayers and encouragement and are happy to share our story with you.
September 14, 2010, Monterey Bay, CA
You don't hear them in Washington. You don't hear them in San Francisco either. But as soon as we were still and quiet, tied to the dock in Monterey Harbor, we heard them! Well, at first we didn't know what we were hearing. We thought there was something wrong with our boat, such as the fiberglass delaminating, or something else going horribly wrong. Then we remembered that we had heard rumors of small animals in the water that make this constant clicking sound.
After an awesome trip to the Monterey Aquarium, we finally learned what they were - Snapping Shrimp! They are also known as 'Pistol Shrimp'. Apparently, they have one claw that is much larger than the other and it's joint is hollow and cavitates when it moves. The shrimp use this noise to 'stun' their prey. I guess they either suck at it or eat a lot because they make this noise all day and all night. You can hear it through the hull of the boat. It is the strangest thing. Apparently, these little guys live all along the west coast south of San Fran. I guess we can expect to hear them just about everywhere we stop from now on.
Maybe this is where we get popcorn shrimp from?!?