10/24/2008, Mission Bay, San Diego
Richard spent all morning going up and down the mast replacing the main halyard and attaching flag halyards. At midday we took off with Daisy and Rupert, two of our children and Daisy's fiance Keith (who are all visiting from Seattle) to try out our new drifter and the newly serviced, much fretted over wind vane.
We had mild Santa Anna wind conditions, perfect for our tests.
Daisy and Keith 'barked' at the sea lions lazing on Mission Bay entrance buoy as we passed them and Rupert took the helm when he wasn't helping with sail deployment. All helping me with time on the camera.
The drifter is just what we needed for light wind conditions and came back newly christened "Big Panties" to much hilarity.
The vane seems finally to be working as it should although it still needs some adjustment where the tiller is attached.
All in all it was a successful afternoon's sail and we are a few steps closer to ready.
Go to ' Photo Gallery' - end, for more photos.
This is the photo we have on our 500 new "boat cards". These are like business cards you exchange with other crews as you travel around and meet new people. Our old racetrack friend Bob Bloomer has been helping us with the printing of them; we used to train "White Mischief" for him a long time ago amongst other horses. Behind us is Seaforth Marina in Mission Bay.
The last two weeks have been a flurry of visitations with old friends at local restaurants in San Diego as well as multitasking our projects still to get done. I've been tied to my 'un-friend' the sewing machine, making folding bike bags, anchor chain locker liner and other vinyl delights for preserving things on board from the ravages of salt air and wave action.
Richard has thousands of pieces of paper stuffed in his pockets on which are written all the lists. You don't even want to know...
10/05/2008, Mission Bay San Diego
Dear Richard & Virginia:
On behalf of the Bristol Channel Cutter and Falmouth Cutter website, thank you for your support.
I am thrilled for you to head south into Mexico then beyond the distant horizon. Sometimes I dream of such voyages. You two are doing it. Perhaps you will cross paths with Greg and Kay on Little Wing.
"What does a person need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat, and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activitiy that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idocy of the charade.
The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie chaked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?"
Fair Winds Mandy, Fair Winds and Thank You,
09/15/2008, Quivera Basin
You've heard the saying, "like a fish out of water, "like a man with two left feet" and so on. Well since finding homes for our dog and parakeet on spacious, dry land where they will be happiest, a small grungy looking, female duck has adopted me. She is not supposed to be living in salt water. Ducks should live in freshwater ponds, rivers and lakes. But this one was raised around the marina where we currently await our November departure to the South Americas. All her siblings were picked off one by one, leaving her the lone surviving duckling. This duck is under constant attack from large fish and hungry California Sea lions. She has attracted a mate (also M.I.A.) and shown off two broods of ducklings since early spring, but after two days the brood begins to disappear until she is alone again; all picked off by predators who would not exist in a nice freshwater pond. Some days I feel like kidnapping her and delivering her to a nearby lake, but then I think that she would find her way back to this marina, which in her mind is her home. "Survival of the fittest" is definitely Nature's mantra and despite her daily struggles with ocean predators she has survived so far. I try not to feed her more than once a day, but she is insistent and does love my cornbread recipe. I'm growing more and more fond of her scruffy little shape paddling around our boat and daily I find myself searching the water and feeling a surge of relief when she rounds the corner for breakfast.
Had a long trip back to Catalina -12 hours of motor sailing. Saw a couple of whales in the distance. Water flat and glassy. Little wind to speak of. Arrived at the Isthmus at midnight, the radar was nice to reasure us of any traffic around. We picked up an outside mooring and crashed. The next day we cleaned up and went over for a shower at Two Harbors. Spent another night and on 09/11 sailed south to Button Shell Beach where I had a snorkel in the kelp forests.I saw lots of big, fat, happy, orange Garibaldi fish.
09/06/2008, Santa Cruz Island
Had some great sailing all day finishing up with bulwarks under before tacking followed by a terrific reach into Pelican Bay to meet up with the others.We had them over for some drinks and bits to eat around 1830
Pelican Bay is quiet and well protected on the eastern shore of Santa Cruz. It is surrounded with multi colored cliffs and some beautiful trees on the top where a hotel and gardens used to stand. We did not go ashore, but enjoyed the scenery anyway.
Arrived at Willows at 1800 after a day sailing around the west end of the island in some quite strong, changeable winds and currents. At one point we clocked Mandy running wing and wing 7.1 knots towards Gull Island. We later jibed unexpectedly and the main sheet caught the escaped tip of our man-over-board pole and broke the whole thing in two. All a bit frantic.
We looked into Forney's for Eugenie M but she was not there. We decided to put into Willows for the night as time was getting on. There was another boat there too which left in the morning.
Had a reasonable night and the next day we visited the beach to stretch our legs a bit.
Had a nice relaxing day in the sun. I swam and had a solar shower, got Richard under it too, so all felt good.
In the evening the swell began to build from the south and it became very rolly. At 2000 we almost upped anchor, but decided to stay. Should have gone though because neither of us slept with the motion and the anxiety of the crashing surf noise. By dawn 09/08 we had both anchors up, stowed the dinghy and were out of there.