10/08/2012, San Diego
We have left Santa Catalina and sailed to Oceanside for one night. The following day we went onto San Diego. The winds were unusable, too light and on our stern, so we motored for about eight hours. This created a lot of bobbing so, by the time we got tied up at our new moorage; the solid ground was pitching and rolling worse than I can recall experiencing after riding much worse seas for days without landfall.
We have seen lots of cool military vessels here including a couple of very large and fast ships throwing huge white waves and spray. Each appeared (from a distance through binoculars) to be powered by two very large fans. They quickly pulled up on us but before they got close enough for a good look, they turned and went to shore. As I watched through binoculars, they each appeared to create a storm of fog and water as they went through the surf, then a sand storm for a short distance up the beach and poof, gone, disappeared. Wow! The "Big Kids" sure have some cool toys in this nation.
We are docked at Cabrillo Isle Marina with Wi-Fi and cable TV at our boat, use of the Sheraton swimming pool and whirlpool, superb restrooms, showers and laundry facility, and surrounded by major restaurants. We are within boating and walking distance of anything a cruiser could possibly need or want. This is the perfect resting and provisioning place for us to begin the Baja Ha Ha October 29th. I have already, quickly and easily found replacement items that I had searched for all over Portland without success.
10/03/2012, Santa Catalina Island
We are leaving Catalina Island tomorrow after six days here on the hook. I think we are beginning to become a little bored with it because we now have developed some complaints about the island that was perfect and beautiful when we arrived. Even though as I sit in the cockpit watching the sun drop upon the jagged and treacherous hillsides; long dark shadows are beginning to stretch up through the canyons and ravines with thousands of cactus, sparkling in the steeply angled sunlight like pretty green, translucent sugar sprinkles attempting to bring some beauty to the perilous rock they have sprung from, I feel a little sadness to be moving on. Once again, I begin missing the ones I love at home and wish they we here to share the experience.
But I must console myself with what is yet to come! The beauty and experiences seem to get better and better the farther we go. So eventually loved ones, I am confident that you will be hooking up with us in some fabulous and irresistible places to share in Desert Vision's vision.
10/01/2012, Santa Catalina Island
We have left San Pedro after two days. It was a great stop because Iris has many friends there. So Iris was whisked away from the boat for errands and a sleep-over and I had Desert Vision all to myself one night and was able to get quite a lot of boat maintenance accomplished. The second night we had guests aboard for a fun evening of partying before our cruise to Catalina Island the following morning. It was really great to see so many friends all together that I hadn't seen for a very long time.
We have since migrated to Catalina Harbor on the little island of Catalina. The water has continued to get warmer and clearer and the weather is getting warmer as well. We are anchored on the Pacific side, at an isthmus toward the middle of the island so it is only a dingy ride and a short hike to Two Harbors on the opposite side of the island.
Two days ago River, Greg and John (who flew down from Portland that morning) pulled into the harbor. Thus began the partying on that evening! Yesterday involved swimming around Desert Vision, hiking, and later on, drinks with Greg at the little bar in town. On our way back to Desert Vision we rescued River and John whose dingy engine had failed during their attempt to meet up with us. This was followed by drinks and dinner on River and Greg's 52 foot Tyanna.
We like it here where we have reasonable protection from winds and swell so, barring any sign of the soon to be expected Santa Ana Winds, we will probably stay here about a week before continuing south.
09/25/2012, Marina del Rey
Channel Islands Harbor was great! We spent some time with Carolyn Boone and met her very cool sister Billy. We got to spend some time with John and Suzann Duffy and two of their young, Erin and Colin. So we rested, had some great meals and headed south to Marina del Rey.
Along this trip we noticed the water getting clearer and bluer. We must have sailed right through Dolphin Central as well because we ran along with fifty to sixty Dolphin all traveling with us for a couple of hours. It was unbelievable and entertaining to watch them chasing, charging and high speeds, playing with the boat which is of no competition to them at all.
We have enjoyed our stay at Marina del Rey California Yacht Club, thanks to John and Suzann. We had a lovely dinner and sundowners with Iris's college friend Carolyn Gilmore and her husband Michael. Now we are rested and ready to continue south tomorrow. We plan to go to San Pedro for two nights and then out to Catalina Island.
We are sharing dock space with the owners.
09/22/2012, Channel Islands Harbor
Catch up again.
OK, sorry again but I've been too exhausted to write. We spent that one night at Santa Cruz Island on our anchor on the roughest shore yet. It was beautiful when we went to bed and then the wind shifted and the sea-swell and wind came right in upon us with no protection. The winds kept us broadside to the swell and the rocking was extremely violent! We got very little sleep and left as soon as we could in the morning. We sailed up the other side of the island but weren't too impressed with the anchorages after the previous night so, having been so impressed with Santa Barbra, we sailed back. With eleven to twelve knots right on the beam, we zipped along smoothly at a steady seven knots for the whole thirty mile trip.
We anchored off the beach and were delighted to be back in the beautiful town that we had become so enamored with. But after sunset the wind shifted and we spent another sleepless night laying abeam to the swell. At first light I began building an anti-rocking devise composed of a five gallon bucket with a hinged bottom, and a five pound dingy anchor under it. Then we swung the boom out to port and dangled the devise into the water from off the end of the boom. It worked! But later in the evening when the winds shifted and the larger chop and swell landed on or beam, the devise proved too small to end the violence. So another sleepless night on the hook we spent rocking violently. At first light we pulled up our anchor, raised the sails and set a course for Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard.
This is our new favorite harbor. When we pulled into our slip we immediately launched the dingy to see the sights. Among the beauty and many delights we found a pizza restaurant with a dingy dock. So we landed and I had about four beers and the best pizza that I've ever had in all my life!!! We will have enjoyed a few days of recuperation here at the dock before we continue south.
09/17/2012, Santa Barbra
Friends and family,
I must once again apologize for this delay but I have included more pictures in the photo album to the right of this. The morning after we left Point Conception the winds and sea were calm. We put out the sails and started the motor and soon we were making our way toward Santa Barbra with a four Dolphin escort. They began playing alongside us until they were sure they had our attention. Then they moved up just under the bow, racing back and forth at amazing speeds, and coming just as close to the bow as they could without getting hit buy us. Iris and I moved up to stand on the fore deck so we could watch them under the bow.
After awhile the four of them settled in continuously under the bow sprit with their powerful tail fins inches from the hull, revolving over, under and around each other for about 25 minutes as if to tell us, "you folks are going the right way, doing the right thing and we will guide and bless your course." It was truly a beautiful and kind of spiritual experience to be blessed by those magnificent creatures..
When we made Santa Barbra, we secured an amazing moorage! The harbor of 1,100 boats is thus far the cleanest, prettiest, most organized, safest, and most secure moorage that Desert Vision has ever been in! We were in a single slip right on the end by the channel so that we saw everyone going in or out of the harbor pass by us. The wide, pristine, concrete docks protected us so that Desert Vision may as well have been sitting on dry land for we never felt her move.
That night we had a lovely dinner with Jay and Chelsea Duffy who have the privilege of living in this wonderful town. The following day Iris and I explored this impressive home town of the rich and famous on foot until Jay and Chelsea picked us up and taxied us around to various stores for food supplies, propane and a new bow roller for the primary anchor on Desert Vision.
Our third day in this splendid town we were visited by some of Iris's long time friends and their families who drove out from 45 minutes inland to party on Desert Vision with us. This was a great time and it was good to see people that I haven't seen (some, for many years).
Now you are caught up to real time. We have departed the memorable Santa Barbra and set out to explore the Channel Islands. We have anchored in a small cove off Santa Cruz called Smuggler's Cove. It is very beautiful here but I do think it is probably too rough a coast for Iris and I to get the rubber boat ashore without getting flipped. Maybe we'll think about it tomorrow. There are a few other boats anchored here with us, I would really like to see someone else do it first.