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Allan and Rina's Sailing Adventure
The travels of S/V Follow You Follow Me Continue....
We Got Pooped!
10/11/2008, Two Harbors, Catalina Island

What a night.... after a wonderful day, with smooth seas and light winds, the Santa Ana winds piped up about 1am this morning. All sailboats were moored fore and aft "bow in" facing the shore, and when the winds, sustained at 22 knots with gusts to 25-30, hit us, they hit our big fat flat sterns and pushed us all around. We stayed put, but the brand new Catalina Morgan 44 with a rookie driver was inches away from gouging a hole on our port midship hull. Several boats had to be untied because they were dragging the weights on the sea floor.... and once loose, their only option was to go all the way around the island to Cat Harbor, a 2-3 hour motor, to anchor in the better protected anchorage.

So what does "pooped" mean? When you you get pooped, it means waves come over the stern of your boat into the cockpit. Several times waves came through the open transom and filled the cockpit floor with 3-4 inches of water, which then drained quickly. Nobody slept for the remainder of the night due to the crashing of waves on the back of the boat, which made it shudder. Rina ended up sleeping in her big fuzzy blanket in the cockpit, with the VHS tuned to channel 9 listening to all the calls for help from harbor patrol. Speaking of harbor patrol, they were fantastic. Calm and collected at all times while helping boaters get out of trouble. Rina has a great story about a boat full of people with only one person qualified to run the boat.....coming up next.

Santa Ana winds are predicted for the next couple of days so we are plotting strategy.... if not too bad, we are headed to Avalon, if worse, we'll head to cat harbor tomorrow morning to wait them out.

and yea, this picture does not *even* begin to describe what the conditions were like.....

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10/13/2008 | gene
Glad all is well. On 10/9 the NWS had called for strong offshore winds late 10/10 or early 10/11. They were right on.
Morning in Catalina
10/10/2008, Two Harbors, Catalina Island

After a brisk motorsail from Marina Del Ray to Catalina Island in light fog yesterday, we awoke to clear skies and even clearer water this morning. The anchorage is quiet while we enjoy morning tea in the cockpit. While quiet now, it's expected to much busier later today as cruisers descend on the harbor for a weekend cruisers rally.

We conducted an exercise in battery management last night. Normally our batteries will deplete to about 60-70% of capacity overnight, without any concern for amp conservation. We pretty much leave whatever lights on we want, leave the inverter running to power TV's and Stereos and such, as well as leaving the refer/freezer running all night.

Instead, we powered down everything except the lights after watching a thoroughly depressing movie (Monsters Ball). The lights we did use were LED's so they drew very little. This all made a huge difference and we woke up to 86% battery capacity, down from only 88% when we went to bed.... This all translates into less charging time, either through the engine alternator if we are motoring or motorsailing, or via the genset while we are in port. As we will be in port for the next 3 days, minimizing genset time is a big deal. Another reason is that you never know if the genset will break. While in Santa Barbara Marina, a main transformer went out on the dock for 3 of the 4 days we were there, forcing us to use the genset to charge batteries. After an hour or so, the genset would quit with a "oil pressure" error" We had seen this previously, with intermittent oil pressure sensors. Turns out the spade connector to the sensor was installed wrong, with the spade between the plastic shield and female connector, and had rattled loose, but not off, causing the intermittent behavior. Since reseating, it has worked fine.... a good example of the sort of persistent monitoring and troubleshooting required on the boat (see boat lesson #1 from previous post)

Anyway, time for some downtime for the next 3 days...

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10/10/2008 | Alyssa Alexopulos
Dad, I like your new scruffy look... keep it up. no joke. lol. it suits the cruise.
mom, i'm still jealous of your wide-brimmed hat.. you look great in it! I wish I was there to make friends with your dolphins, seal, and bird.
Megan can't wait to see you guys. I think she has the whole house to herself that week you guys are in san diego.
10/15/2008 | Don Durant
Did you install a Mastervolt generator? I had exactly the same error message & the same issue w/ the spade connector while we were in the Delta last summer. At least you knew what the problem was. Fair winds, Don
Assume the Position!
Rina / SUN!
10/09/2008, On Passage to Marina Del Rey

Wow, I guess I'll be doing alot of this....assuming the position in the cockpit, sitting in the sun, watching for sea life...AND WARM! I'm really enjoying this adventure. I'm still trying to find things to do since I did most of them before we left( hint, hint, allan)...LOL Can't wait for Catalina Island, off there today! Cruisers PotLuck in Two Harbors and the Avalon Jazz Festival after that! Hope everyone is doing great!

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Gallery Updated
10/08/2008, Santa Barbara Channel

We've updated the gallery with more pics, by request and will try to do so more often..... Click on the Photo Gallery link to the right...

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One of those moments...
10/08/2008, Santa Barbara Channel

...when it all makes sense. We left Santa Barbara at 630am and caught this sunrise in the Santa Barbara Channel. Calm seas, a nice warm wind from the starboard beam, and the boat moving smartly thought the water. When you try to imagine what it will be like out here, this is what comes to mind for Rina and I. We both just stood at the rail of the dodger, gazing at this sight for 30 minutes....

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10/08/2008 | Mike Wolf & Family
I am very happy that you have reached such a goal. I prefer much bigger ships, but on the ocean is the main thing. We are sorry that we missed going out on your ship before you left. In a few years we will need to try an get out there. Dustin would really like it. But for now it is ice hockey. Keep the pictures coming. I really envy you and am pretty jealous. Take care. the Wolf's
Note to Lindsey
10/07/2008, Santa Barbara

Hi Lindsey,

Thanks very much for your comment on our blog and more importantly THE adventure.... Our plans are to finish out the month in Newport, Catalina and San Diego, then head down to Cabo with the cruisers rally, then spend the winter on the pacific coast of Mexico, down to Puerto Vallarta. In the spring we will head back up to the Sea of Cortez. From there, we really haven't decided where to go next. We figure we will learn a lot from fellow cruisers (as we have already) about the best time to be where to dodge hot weather, hurricanes, persistent rain, etc.

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Kick'en Back in Santa Barbara
10/07/2008, Santa Barbara

The last couple of days we have settled into a pattern, late morning rise, coffee/tea, followed by an excursion into town on our bikes. We did a wonderful Sunday brunch at a sidewalk cafe on State Street with decadent "endless mimosas" and crab benedict .... yum. The pic above represents our usual "catch", bringing food or other stuff back on our bikes.... We've traversed 6-7 miles away from the Marina on our boat to find little parts here and there. We found a great deal on some fishing gear so we can catch a little sushi on the way down the coast of Baja. Difficult to see, but Rina has a fishing net strapped to her bike and I have a 6 foot fishing pole, plus our racks loaded up with gear.

We've met some nice people here in the Marina. We attended a benefit for the Sea Shells youth sailing program, consisting of wine tasting and tours of various boats at the marina. Afterward we hosted a couple who are preparing to cruise on a similar boat as ours, so we had lots to talk about. In our neighborhood we have met the local rigger after catching a lady walk her dog and then let him poop right on his dock lines, suggesting that she clean it up. Unfortunately she did'nt clean it very well, as a couple of hours later he went to pick up the dock lines and as we came back to the boat, he had a funny look on his face.... I explained that we had suggested that the dog walker wash off the lines, and he asked if it was black lab.... sure enough... apparently she does this kind of thing ALL the time.... He's threatening to glue her dock lines to the dock.....

While we've had fun here, it's off tomorrow morning to Marina Del Ray, right off Venice beach for a day or two.

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Friends on the Dock at Santa Barbara
Rina / Sun after the morning rain
10/04/2008, Santa Barbara

Here's some friends that I made on our dock...very nice, they really don't have much in conversational skills...but I liked them. I've heard many stories of these seals taking over boat decks....thanks to our high free-board, they can't reach us.

ok, off to do more chores...boatwork is never done...funny, huh?!?!

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One of our Favorite Ports
10/04/2008, Santa Barbara

Rina and I always have fun in Santa Barbara. There is a West Marine right at the docks and good restaurants, bike riding and lots of friendly sailboat types hanging around. We'll be here for a couple of nights before heading to Santa Monica on Monday and then Catalina on tuesday. We had a gorgeous sunset last night, followed by rain early this morning. That's ok, gives us time to do a bunch of those little projects still on the do-list.

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10/06/2008 | Linda
It was great meeting you both in Santa Barbara. I'm glad we happened to be having a wine tasting event at the harbor.
Thank you for having us aboard to see all the wonderful preparations you have taken for your big cruise. You've given me some great ideas for improving conditons on Viking Lass.
I hope you found the produce store. Have you been able to stay in Santa Barbara for a few more days?
Best of luck to you on your amazing adventure. Have fun and enjoy the blue water and warm sun. I'll enjoy following your progress.
Linda Bishop
Stupid Boat Trick #2
10/03/2008, Somewhere around Point Conception

Rina and I both make a big deal about battening things down before we sail. We have checklists for doing so that we are pretty good about.... usually... stupid me... I'm so proud of myself for fixing a horrid squeak that developed in one of the bulkheads that I forget to put my ^$&^$$ screw organizer back in it's home.... resulting in a mess on the floor of the garage..... that's ok, a rainy Saturday morning gives me time to put it all back together... Note to self: Don't ignore the mess in the garage!

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Who: Allan & Rina Alexopulos
Port: Sutter Creek, CA
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