08/21/2011, Santa Barbara Harbor
Last week was our culmination of Southern California events before starting our next journey. Debra's mom and stepdad arrived for a visit with Debra and her brother. We started with a Korean BBQ dinner and play at the Kirk Douglas Theater. Debra and I really enjoyed the very black humor but our opinion was not universally shared by the others. We then took Don sailing for a daysail a week ago Friday, as Marlene stayed behind to avoid another bout of seasickness. We were also joined by Graham Fuller and two of his friends who each had their turn at the helm. Saturday was marina day as everyone came over for lunch and time on the water in a motor dinghy for those who were lazy and sea kayaking for the others. Sunday was thoroughbred racing in Del Mar, just north of San Diego. The drive to and from the track left something to be desired, as we had our fair share of Southern California freeway stop and go. However, the trip was well worth the effort as everyone came out winners on the day, be it small. The highest winner combination (Debra/Andy, Marlene/Don, Toni/David) now has to buy dinner for the six of us, and it was Marlene/Don, who won about $100 so the net may end up being a loss when the rest of us collect on the bet. Don and Marlene are now safely back in Chandler, AZ, as David drove them home last Tuesday.
We spent the rest of the time provisioning and preparing the boat for what we hope to be a month-long adventure. We are stocked full in the freezer, refrigerator and pantry, and the boat has been brought into top condition. We are also carrying an extra 15 gallons of diesel fuel in jerry cans on our swim platform, just in case.
We are now firmly in the process of our most challenging sailing exploit to date. We have completed the first two (and easiest) legs on our journey to San Francisco Bay. We left MDR early Saturday morning for our trip to Channel Islands Harbor. As expected, we started in overcast skies and no wind. The skies never cleared and the winds never cooperated, so it was motoring all 30+ miles. After arriving and securing our berth, we went to a free concert in the park near the marina and enjoyed 2 hours of Cajun music. It was then off to dinner at a local seafood restaurant, Sea Fresh, owned by an actual fisherman in the area. His specialty, garlic tuna roll, sushi style, was to die for. Toasted chunks of garlic and tuna sashimi sat atop a basic roll. If you are ever in or near Oxnard, it is well worth the trip. We had a long walk back to the boat and culminated the evening with two games of cribbage, splitting victories.
This morning we were off to Santa Barbara Harbor. We had heard about numerous whales in the channel, so we decided to take a roundabout way for whale watching but unfortunately sighted no whales. We started the day again in overcast skies, but they finally cleared as we approached Santa Barbara. Again, the winds did not cooperate, so it was motoring all day. We were able to secure an end tie up berth here which ended up being a fairly significant task, as we were now dealing with 15 MPH winds in the harbor. Nevertheless, after some maneuvering, we were able to secure the boat to the dock without incident. We took the opportunity to explore the harbor on a walking tour beginning with drinks (Marg for Debra and Stella for me) and some peel and eat shrimp. We later found a candy store with homemade fudge and could not resist small squares. It was then back to the boat to prepare for dinner. We took the recommendation of Marsha Strong, a former resident of SB, and dined at La Super Rica, a mexican "dive," which those of you who know me are my kind of restaurants. Neither one of us were disappointed by the fare, especially the Pozole special. Then as we were leaving, we had our first official Southern California celebrity sighting. Standing in line to order was David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young! I knew that he was a big sailer but not that he was in Santa Barbara. Did not make personal contact but it was definitely him as he was wearing a CS&N jacket. We are now securely back on the boat awaiting the arrival of Bob Emerick tomorrow night as he will help us along the rest of the journey which promises to be far more challenging- rounding Pt. Conception and Pt. Sur on our way to our final destination.
Look for more blogs as we continue this adventure.
Debra and Andy