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Follow our adventures as we sail the Pacific Coast of Mexico.
San Diego Zoo
09/21/2009, San Diego

Hey first off, Welcome little Kadence Dunn - Congratulations Cory and Camille - she is beautiful!!! I can't wait to meet her.

Monday we went to the zoo. New parents, this is a little lesson we learned. Do not hype your two year old up for 2 days before a big event. Big Mistake. Sunday 3.30am and Monday 4am Carden was wide awake yelling "Mummy...Daddy...Go to zoo?...see monkeys?" Ugh!

We got an early start (as you can imagine) and were there when the zoo opened at 9am. It was pretty amazing. We took the "Monkey Trail" first and had loads of fun watching the monkeys climb and swing. It's really well laid out and has upper and lower paths so you really feel like you are walking in a treetop jungle. The apes were cute and the little baby ape was really hamming it up for the crowd.
Next we had a look at the hippos, which Carden loved, and the Polar Bear which was really really cute (behind 3 inches of glass).
The Zoo has a gondola Skyride which was a welcome breeze and took up over the park to the kids area, playground and boring goats at the petting zoo. (Maplewood Farm goats are much more exciting). We saw gorgeous Flamingo's and a sleepy Panda Bear.
We ate the most disgusting lunch ever at the burger shack, regretted a $5 bag of cotton candy and then headed back on the Skyride to see the much hyped Elephant Odyssey.

The most impressive thing about the Elephant display is the engineering that went into the cages. A massive steel monstrosity with bars 10 inches wide and electronic doors that squeeze the elephants from the cleaning area to the feeding area and then out to their 7 acre paddock complete with concrete "shade trees". Really quite sad actually. I think I may be have been a bit spoiled by staying at the Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand 3 years ago where we fed 10 elephants from a raised bamboo platform and then walked them down to the river for a bath. There were no cages or concrete palm trees and the elephants just wandered the property freely. (Hmmm, actually seems quite dangerous now I think about it)

We popped in to give our regards to Mr Giraffe and his family and then left the zoo at 2pm EXHAUSTED. Another lesson learned: Carden will scream bloody murder to walk by himself everywhere in San Diego EXCEPT the zoo where he is very clear about being carried.

US West Coast
Our Super Sunshade
09/17/2009, San Diego

This post may be interesting to other boaters.
We finally perfected our sunshade design.
It is a 10x12 seamed piece of Navy Sunbrella. ($200 for the material, $150 for the professional sewing)
We have 4 11foot lengths of 1" PVC crossing it ($11) - supported by the boom, tucked into sewn pockets. Grommets with bungees keep it in place.
We inserted 4 feet of 3/4' wood dowels ($5) into the middles of each length of PVC to prevent the PVC from warping and sagging into a TeePee.
So far its working!!!

About the Boat
Big Day Out
09/16/2009, San Diego

Gosh, it has been forever since we last updated the blog - we really have been neglecting our updates.
So, before Carden and Grandma arrived we relaxed around the boat and explored a bit of the town on our new cruiser bikes.

We hit up the local Home Depot and bought 4 12 foot lengths of pvc pipe for our self designed sun awning. It looked amazing, better than we could have hoped. But... a few days later the pvc pipe melted under the California Sun and drooped into a Tee-Pee style sun awning which was NOT the envy of the marina. So, after much discussion and messing around we have started over and this time we are going to re-inforce the pvc with little wood dowel inserts - I'll let you know how it goes.

Grandma and Carden arrived last Thursday. We had a grand reunion at the airport which seemed like it was in slow motion with cheesy backgound motion (you know the running toward each other arms outstretched and lots of hugs and kisses). Im never letting him out of my sight again -we missed him so much.

Apparently on the way to San Diego the plane was sitting on the tarmac and people were getting hot and frustrated and little Carden piped up in his loudest voice "Ariba Ariba" and the plane cracked up. His vocabulary is insane, he was telling us the whole cab ride that "mummy and daddy lost - i find them - we go to boat - I find daddy - daddy lost". He talks so much - AND he can count to 10!!! He is so smart (or it seems so because Jeff and I have forgotten how to count since being down here)

We have had a wonderful week here with Faye visiting. We have had picnics on the beach, swimming in the pool, trips to the park, lunch at a "Tuna derby", bike ride to Little Italy and the Farmers Market, shopping at the mall and relaxing on the boat. Today we biked all the way along the seawall and took the ferry to Coronado Island then we had lunch at an amazing place called Burger Lounge (think homemade buns, organic grass fed beef, fresh veggies and super amazing fries and onion rings)

After lunch we spent an hour playing at the beach. Butter sand and warm Pacific Ocean. Carden went WILD jumping in the waves and wouldn't do anything else for about an hour, after which he grabbed his toolbox, walked up the beach and said "All done mummy, I go boat" Oh okay, I guess we were done?

On the way back we stopped at Seaport Village a purpose built tourist village for the Cruise Ship crowd. While Grandma zipped around the stores Carden and I went on the Carousel Circa 1895. He rode a white horse that he named "Elephant".

We also dipped into Point Loma Seafoods, a wonderful place where the locals grab halibut burgers. They also sell every possible fresh fish and seafood known to man so we had yummy barbeque gigantic prawns for dinner marinated in my new delicious invention (apricot jam, soy and sesame oil - try it!)

Im uploading more photos to the previous blogs and our albums and will try to be more diligent about updating the blog this month.

US West Coast
Kona Kai
09/03/2009, San Diego

The last few days have been pretty lazy. We are really maxing out our down time before Carden and Grandma arrive. The other day we rented a minivan (that Jeff loved so much he insisted on driving) and drove up to Ocean Beach to buy some bikes. We were looking for used bikes but in the end we bought 2 new cruiser bikes because they were pretty inexpensive.

I love my new bike.

We took advantage of being childless and drove up to the swank neighbourhood of La Jolla for dinner at Georges in the Cove Yum!
The next day we explored San Diego neighbourhoods by car. We parked along the Gaslamp Quarter at 10.30am in hopes of finding a little breakfast place but then we passed a really nice Indian restaurant offering $15 all you can eat buffet and Jeff was sold.

The last few days we have been doing little boat chores, me cleaning and Jeff fixing things. We go for bike rides to see the Sail Repair Man or just for fun. I've managed to get an account set up so that I can make telephone calls on my mac via Skype. It works pretty well except for this morning when I was on the phone to my bank in Vancouver at 10am which coincided with the USAF launching their entire squadron of F14s and Blackhawks to circle the San Diego Bay which made it sound like I was calling from the front lines of Bagdad.

Aside from that, we are great. Jeff has been doing a lot of activity this morning. He got up at 9am. He was reading when I left for a bike ride and when I came back he had moved into the shade. After breakfast he laid down to read and now he's switched cockpit seats. (He must be exhausted!)

US West Coast
Vancouver to San Diego Offshore
Amber and Jeff
08/31/2009, Offshore

Here are the links to some of our offshore sailing clips.

Offshore conditions
3rd reef briefing

80 reefing

Gord & Pete on Deck

How not to flake a main

San Diego!
08/30/2009, Shelter Island

We are in San Diego!

We pulled into the Bay around 8pm last night. The crossing from Catalina was uneventful. They say you know you're in the States when the radio chatter increases - and boy did it ever increase as we got closer to San Diego. There are more than a few boaters around here who think that Channel 16 (the emergency and hailing channel) is a subsitute for their cell phone. "Hey, I got a Bonito and a couple of Barracuda, anyone else out there having fun?" Ugh!
We also heard a lot of requests for Vessel Assist which is kind of like a boat tow company - Until the Vessel Assist started taking on water and requested Vessel Assist. Lots of traffic and commotion down here.

As we approached, two fighter jets were flying across the bay and landing at the military base. I don't know how many of you know this but I am a big fan of military jets. I never got over Top Gun. So with this climate, the palm trees and the jets - I am positively giddy down here. The first time I saw them I was waving and clapping until Jeff pointed out we weren't at an air show and those weren't the Blue Angels and could I please stop clapping because the other boaters were starting to stare. I'm sure the novelty will wear off but I fly up the companionway stairs every time I hear them taking off.

The Kona Kai Marina where we are staying is awesome. It's a big resort with pools and hot tubs, parks and fire pits and beaches and beach cocktail service. Shelter Island, the area we are in, is a 3 mile strip on the North side of the Bay and is very posh. A seawall, marinas, a seawall - haven't found the Starbucks yet but once I do I will be in Yuppie Heaven. All I need is my dog, my stroller (and child), my lulus and my Iced Caramel Macchiato and I can join all the other posh tourists sporting Nike's and visors. No seriously, it's nice here and I can't wait for Grandma and Carden to come down and enjoy it with us. (11 days)

We are in the process of buying some cruiser bikes for transport off Craigslist (Im wondering how many of my friends are reading this with raised eyebrows because they have seen me try and ride a bike - I'm here for 2 months, I'm sure I can figure it out in that time)

Jeff and I have a huge list of boat work that needs to be done and both of us have done a fantastic job today of finding everything else to do but boat work.
On the big list: Construct the sunshade (it is a million degrees here!); lube the roller furler and replace the line; fix the rip in the spinnaker; clean the dodger and put a fan in the engine room.
Oh, and relax a bit.

US West Coast

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