Change in Latitude, Change in Attitude

30 January 2008 | Moraga, Ca.
23 January 2008 | San Diego, Ca.
20 January 2008 | Pacific Beach, San Diego
18 January 2008 | San Diego, California
17 January 2008 | 7 Miles South of the San Diego/Tijuana Border
15 January 2008 | Ensenada, Mexico
15 January 2008 | 100 MIles South of Ensenada
13 January 2008 | Isla Benitos
09 January 2008 | Bahia Santa Maria
08 January 2008 | 100 Miles South of Magdalena Bay
07 January 2008 | Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
06 January 2008 | Rounding Cabo Pulmo
05 January 2008 | La Paz, Mexico
25 December 2007 | Moraga, Ca.
15 December 2007 | Ensenada de Los Muertos, Mexico
10 December 2007 | Los Frailes, Mexico
05 December 2007 | Smack Dab' In The Middle
02 December 2007 | Mazatlan, Mexico
30 November 2007 | 128 Miles South of Mazatlan, 28 Miles Offshore
27 November 2007 | 15 miles Northwest of Manzanillo, Mexico

Signing Off...For Now

30 January 2008 | Moraga, Ca.
It has really happened. The end of another journey. The reality bomb drops in a ball of flames and molten rock. Images of Chilis Restaurants, Walmart, and Chevron scatter across my bleak and blurry vision. I stumble and quickly find myself in the small town where I grew up. Kelly Clarkson comes through the satellite radio and I am afraid. Where is this place that has captured me? It is dark and raining with dreary expectations. Leaves are gone, trees are bare, but the grass looks beautifully green from where I sit. I sense greener pastures are near.

We had close to the best sail of the entire trip on our way from San Diego to Dana Point, which is just shy of 50 miles. The forecast called for nasty conditions with strong winds and big seas. L.A. was on a crash course to get hammered with numerous weather systems throughout the weekend and we monitored everything close. As luck would have it, everything worked out far better than we ever would have expected or anticipated. Contrary to the prevailing wind direction, we coasted our way up the coast of Southern California in a moderate Southerly blow. It didn't push more than 18 knots the entire day, and we flew the bright-colored spinnaker along the gorgeous rocky seashore. For the first time in many years the high mountains along California's southern coast were sprinkled with a soft dusting of light snow. "That can't be snow on the mountains?" turned into "That is amazingly beautiful!" The skies were clear and the sun warmed my face. The chilly, yet fresh air smelled clean and clear as I inhaled, while the sun brought a smile to my face. My hands dug deeply in my fleece-lined and fuzzy pockets. After sailing almost 4000 against the wind, Mother Nature gave us a little push, which I interpreted as a welcome home gift. Our relationship has grown to new levels over the months and I developed a respect for Her far greater than any in my short past. I was incredibly thankful for this time.

Julie's sister visited us that night in Dana Point and helped begin the celebrations. Saturday turned out to be quite a busy day for us as we FINALLY had to be somewhere at a particular time. We were scheduled to arrive at the Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Harbor at exactly 5:15 pm. For many months we so greedily lived by "we're leaving when the weather is right". Our family and a few close friends were waiting on the dock to welcome us home and we didn't want to be late. Chris' two, long-time sailing buddies came along for the ride as well, which was actually a relief as they helped a lot and provided great times. The mood was fun and light-hearted. I had the typical "deep breath" experience when we entered San Diego Bay just a few weeks ago. The hover-craft, the sound of the channel bells, and skyline made the moment what it was. Pulling into Newport was more of a fun and celebratory time. I however, was a bit nervous for our final docking and didn't want to screw anything up. Fortunately, our crew was great and the landing was just perfect. Chris and Julie popped the famous South African champagne and lit flares off the bow. The bright red flames lit the harbor's boats while fellow friends blew horns and cheered. We embraced for a few hugs and pictures on the bow and enjoyed the moment. I sincerely thanked both of them for sharing such an incredible adventure with me, and toasted a glass of bubbly.

We celebrated at the yacht club, showed a slide show, and ate Fajitas (go figure). It was wonderful to see our families and put a cap on this unbelievable journey. A number of people asked me what my favorite part of the trip was, and I always answer the same way, "Too many to list!". But if I were to pick just one, it'd clearly be the constant ability for epic exploration, and physically living on top of the ocean for a solid 6 months. Living with just a few inches of fiberglass between me and the sea gave me a sense of unknown that I have never experienced before. Something new always happened and kept apprehension high. What is on the other side of the island? How deep is it here? I wonder how many birds actually live in that tree? Having the ability to wander over to a nearby or new reef, walk the beach around the corner, and simply live on, off, and in the sea was almost spiritual at times. It is something I now closely cherish, will never forget, and keep close.

In closing, I am humbled by the opportunity I had and moved by the many experiences. Every adventure is unique and special in its own certain way. This jaunt truly was memorable, and I can only imagine what the next one will entail. Well, one thing is for sure, the end of one journey brings an opportunity for another.
Vessel Name: Cisnecito
Vessel Make/Model: 46 ft Nautor Swan
Crew: Andrew Roberts
After working in the insurance industry for 4 years, I jumped at the opportunity to join Cisnecito, a 46 foot Nautor Swan. She currently lays in Colon, Panama preparing for her last extended cruise back to Newport, Ca. [...]
Cisnecito's Photos - Change in Latitude, Change in Attitude (Main)
Photos 1 to 18 of 18
Water Maker Project 002
Las Perlas Catch 001: I got the honors...
Contadora, Las Perlas 028: Tons of dolphins all day...not easy to time their jumps!
Contadora, Las Perlas 016: Bacardi girls taking care of business...
Contadora, Las Perlas 006: Walking up the weigh-in
canal transit 2 023: Chris and the Panamanian Pilots...super nice guys.
Journey back to Colon via Nombre de Dios 006: Fellow yachtie anchored on the opposite side of the reef.
Journey back to Colon via Nombre de Dios 038: Panamanian man in Nombre De Dios
Journey back to Colon via Nombre de Dios 026: Typical Island
Journey back to Colon via Nombre de Dios 006
Typical hut on Chichime: Typical Hut in the San Blas Islands
San Blas, Chi Chi Island 008: Local boys in Chichime Cay, San Blas.
IMG_0079: Fun boots!
IMG_0023: Catching a final Giants game in the city
12 Photos
Created 6 February 2008
31 Photos
Created 1 February 2008
6 Photos
Created 1 February 2008
7 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 1 February 2008
23 Photos
Created 1 February 2008
16 Photos
Created 25 November 2007
25 Photos
Created 16 November 2007
15 Photos
Created 15 November 2007
8 Photos
Created 17 October 2007
16 Photos
Created 8 October 2007

Checked Out and Headed to Central America

Who: Andrew Roberts