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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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Securite, securite, securite
11/02/2010, between San Clemente and the mainland

A securite (pronounced "say cure a tay") message on a VHF marine radio is a warning of a possible hazard, sort of like a heads up call, it is always repeated 3 times before the message is sent. Here in Southern California we hear a lot of securite calls as the US Navy issues them as warships move in and out of the harbors and as they conduct training exercises off of our coast. They are issued on VHF channel 16 (properly said as channel one six). Late yesterday afternoon we received the following securite broadcast; " securite, securite, securite, this is the United States Naval operations center on San Clemente Island, break. this a message to all vessels in the vicinity of San Clemente island. The southern end of San Clemente island is closed to all marine traffic, we will be conducting live ammunition exercises (read bombings) off of the southern end of San Clemente Island, all mariners are advised to stay 10 nautical miles off of San Clemente island and not to pass between warships and the coast of San Clemente (damm good advise), for any concerned traffic this is United States Naval Operations center monitoring channel 16, 12, 13 out.
Just to clear up any misconceptions resulting from my earlier blog regarding the Naval Security dude with the broken radio, the US Navy is a mariners friend, they are constantly keeping us up to date of their intensions and activities. Last night we spoke with 2-3 US warships on channel 16 as we worked our way home, they are ALWAYS friendly, polite, and ready to help. God bless the men and women and their families who service our country so selflessly.
This picture was taken as the sun set over San Clemente Island....just before the bombing started.

Halloween in Two Harbors
10/31/2010, Two Harbors, Catalina

Like many small towns across America Two Harbors gets much more into halloween than us big city folks. The people decorate their houses and yards, they have parades, they set up haunted houses and the kids can still go trick or treating. Here at Two Harbors they set up a haunted house high on a hill overlooking the harbor and across the ocean at the mainland, on Saturday night they reserve the haunted house for the kids...last night it was 21 and over and wild. We were able to mix it up with all the young local adults as we gathered around the entrance waiting for the opening, all the locals made us feel very welcome and at home, which is cool considering we were mostly in our 40's and 50's and they were mostly in their 20's. The haunted house itself was pretty much the same as they all are...oh except they didn't charge you $20 to get in...they did have a pumpkin that asked for donations...ya gotta love small town USA.

Catalina dive trip
10/31/2010, West end Catalina

This was really a dive trip that Mark and I decided to make into a sailing trip too. The diving here on Catalina is amazing, you are able to step off the dive boat into an aquarium like atmosphere, fish surround you on all sides, the thick kelp forest rises from somewhere below. There are pinnacles that raise 300 or 400 feet from the ocean floor that create basically a 400 foot wall with marine life EVERYWHERE.
San Diego Dive club is a great bunch of people that have been doing this trip for many years, they are all very experienced divers who shared many things with me...I can't wait to return to Catalina and continue exploring the many awesome reefs around the island.

11/10/2010 | Beth
Love reading your blog, Steve and am jealous that you've been able to use your diving OWD certificate.
something is heating up
10/29/2010, Two Harbors, Catalina

As we were motoring into Two Harbors, Catalina I heard a funny squealing noise coming from the cabin of Jennifer K, I asked Mark "what is that" Mark said "I don't hear anything (OK so we are both a little hard of hearing but at least I admit it), I scrambled down the companion way into the cabin I immediately noticed smoke pouring out of the engine compartment, I yelled at Mark "there's smoke down here" the next 5 minutes were full of action as we both were running around trying to figure out what was causing the problem, Mark ran to the bow and dropped the hook in about 50 feet of water, we turned off the engine, which was at 230 degrees, normal is around 180, and decided that the engine was to hot to work on at the moment so we might as well eat lunch (just like men). We've been messing around with the engine for awhile now and Mark (who use to own a diesel repair business) has eliminated a few things, but we still don't know the root of the problem, but we do know that we have a lot of hot water and that we were able to get Jennifer K's engine it looks like we'll be sailing back to San Diego as much as we it happy hour yet???

10/30/2010 | Vicki
It's 5:00 somewhere :)
10/30/2010 | Steve Cook
You are sooo right Vicki...but it was 4:00 somewhere that day LOL.
10/31/2010 | amber
You forgot to mention that you didnt send out your spot and your daughters and poor uncle thought you were lost at sea....
Sunny and hot
10/28/2010, San Diego to Avalon

WOW... what an amazing 29 hour journey. We left Coronado Cays Yacht Club at 0930 and dropped anchor at San Clemente Island at 0230 this morning about 300 feet off of a little beach at the bottom of a 2000 foot cliff (see picture). We saw two sunfish along the way, have you ever seen one? I never had until yesterday...they are a white circular fish about 3 feet in diameter, they lay flat on the surface and when we past them just a few feet away neither one made any attempt to move, although the one we past a few hours ago did raise one of his dorsal fins and wave at us us we went by. We saw a ton of military activity including a large super fast warship that put out a wake that had 8 foot breaking waves that reached about 1/2 a mile behind her. We also saw smoke on the water that we think was dropped by a couple of choppers that were practicing touch and go landings on another warship. The skys have been cloudless and last night the stars were unbelievable, the milky way spread across the sky and Mark and I were kept busy trying to figure out all the different stars. The ocean last night was oily glassy and with a nearly full moon and super clear visibility we had no problem watching all the other traffic in our area. As we crossed over to Catalina today I pondered how lucky I am to be able to be involved in this great creation.....the earth.

10/28/2010 | mike
I enjoyed reading your blog, sounds like some great adventures.

I would like to extend an invitation to join The mission of galleyswap is to get a group of sailors together that enjoy sharing recipes and galley tips. Membership is absolutely free and if you do decide to join the galleyswap community please post some recipes.

Blog friends and Catalina
10/26/2010, planet earth

Last night I met Rich Boren from S/V Third Day, the Boren Family, Rich, Lori, Jason and Amy have been inspirational to me as I have been following their blog for the past 8-9 months. The Boren's have been cruising Mexico for the past two years and the information I have been able to gather from them has been invaluable. I look forward to meeting them in foreign waters some day soon.
Tomorrow I will be leaving for a sailing/diving trip to Catalina with my friend Mark Burrows on his boat S/V Jennifer K. Mark is a hard core sailor and wants to try and sail all the way there, you need to know that our prevailing winds here in Southern Cal are right on your nose going to Catalina making a direct path impossible, most of the time we motor sail most/all of the way there. The plan is we will sail to San Clemente Island, anchor overnight and then sail to Catalina this will keep us on a good point of sail(maybe). San Clemente is an island used by the U.S. Navy as a target range (nice) they have a website that tells you what part of the island they'll be bombing that day and where you are allowed to anchor. Tomorrow there is one little tiny place where we will be able to it looks like most of the island will be used for target practice that night. Lets hope those smart bombs are all working properly, if not we'll just hail them on 16.

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