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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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Happy Holidays from Coronado
12/17/2010, Coronado

All of the parking meters throughout Coronado have been draped with green festive looking covers with the above message. What a novel idea....a community actually giving it's residents and visitors something for free...unlike the larger city across the bay, that other than large retirement benefits to it's former employees,
doesn't give anyone jack. Now I guess you could argue that it's some kind of marketing ploy (and not a bad one) to get people to spend their hard earned money in Coronado's rather pricey shops....but come on now, do you really think people are piling into their cars in Santee and flocking over to Coronado so they can save a few quarters...I don't think so...I think it's just one small part of this "Island Paradise" of which I'm falling in love with (it's not really an island).

One year later
12/16/2010, Coronado

It was one year ago today that I drove up to San Pedro and closed the deal on Si Bon, I spent my first of many nights on her before driving back to San Diego the next day. I have learned sooo much in the past year, both about Si Bon and her systems and about myself, I couldn't even begin to put it all in a blog. My original goal of leaving for my cruise in late 2010 or early 2011 is right on track as I am now planning a March departure. My friend Ric told me while I was planning my cruising that "you don't need to leave California to have a good time" Ric was so right, I've done four Catalina trips (one on Jennifer K), I've spent almost two weeks harbor hopping up So Cal and I've done so many Mission Bay trips that I've lost count of them, throw in all of the day sails and it adds up to a lot of sea time. Every trip has been packed with fun and adventure and I always think back to Ric's words.
There has also been much help from God, both in keeping me and my crew safe and in teaching me somethings, there was the time I took out all of my anchor chain/rode at the dock to inspect it and see how the chain/rode was marked, I went to put the chain back into the anchor locker and my windless (that's the winch that raises and lowers the anchor) stopped working leaving me with 200 feet of 3/8 chain and 200 feet of rode (rope) laying on the dock, someone walked by and said "that sucks" I looked to the sky and said "thank you Lord". You see 400 feet of anchor rode laying on the dock is a hell of a lot better than 400 feet of anchor chain stretching down to the ocean floor and a 40 knot wind blowing. There are not very many times in a sailor's life that you would have your anchor chain out at a dock...thanks again Lord. There was also the time a thru-hull broke, effectively leaving a 1 inch hole below the water line with water pouring into Si Bon, luckily a well respected Marine repairman was onboard at the time and we went about plugging the hole, replacing the thru hole (in the water) and hooking everything back up...all in a very controlled non panicky manner....thanks again. There have been many other little "God things" that I find myself saying thanks a lot.
Over the past year I feel that I've accomplished pretty much everything I set out to, I now live on my boat in San Diego Bay (not at a slip), I feel comfortable single handing my boat, I understand most of the many systems on Si Bon, I've met so many new friends, I've learned to SCUBA dive and all the time i really do feel that I am "living the life".
This pic is of two of the three large hovercrafts inbound to Camp Pendleton taken on my way back from Dana Point.

12/16/2010 | Ashley Cook
12/16/2010 | Karen
You inspire me! and YOU ARE living the life! Keep those dreams growing Steve!! Hope to sail with you again soon!
12/15/2010, Coronado

Why did I become a blogger? Originally I started to blog so my family, friends and potential crew members could keep track of what I was up to once I leave for Mexico and Central America. As everything else on a cruising Sailboat, you need to practice and test systems and applications before you head off to some foreign country that you don't understand or speak their language very well (does dos mas cerveza count?). I have found with blogging that it you don't post blogs regularly people will not check your blog regularly either. As you may know, I now post blogs often and I feel that people are now following me. Yesterday I was accused on Facebook of posting "wimpy " posts, by a former childhood friend who now spends most of his life in a bar drinking (sad) seems that taking a 41 foot sailboat on a two week local trip is "wimpy", but sitting in a bar is manly, (whatever). As I am preparing to head south I hope my blog gives you an idea of what it is like for a regular dude to prepare himself and his boat for both living aboard and cruising, I hope that it may help some other person dreaming of cruising to prepare, I hope it will give someone an idea of a nice place to visit, whether that place is Catalina, Dana Point (pic) or somewhere in Mexico or Costa Rica (you don't need to sail to them), and I hope it will inspire you to follow your dreams...whatever they may be.
One nice thing about Facebook is that you can delete the comment....and the person.

12/16/2010 | Ramon
I totally agree with you on the amount of blogging and content is a definite result on the followers.

I also would like to thank you those last few words. I love sailing and given these tough times, and trying to keep the head above water, it is inspiring to dream, believe and work towards that goal. I can totally see myself sailing off and it is just a matter of dealing with the present conditions but keeping an eye on the goals just beyond the present.

Work work work
12/14/2010, Sun Harbor Marina

It's been a VERY busy weekend for me, I arrived at Sun Harbor on Saturday morning and finished up the varnish prep on my port (left) toe rail, since it was about 75 degrees I was anxious to get the first of three coats on so it could begin to dry, Sunday I was able to get coat two on and yesterday I finished up. within the next couple of weeks I'll start on the starboard toe rail.
Yesterday I also serviced my massive 42 horsepower Westerbeck diesel engine for the first time. When I first bought Si Bon nearly a year ago, my friend Mike Richmond went up to San Pedro with me to bring Si Bon home to San Diego, Mike did all the servicing before we left, in August I hired a guy to service the engine. My friend/electrician Mark Burrows, who owned a diesel repair business before starting his marine Electronics business, came over and gave me a diesel 101 class on servicing my engine yesterday. It was a great chance for me to learn from a VERY experienced diesel mechanic.
When people learn that I retired at 54 they often ask me "don't you get bored" I just smile and say "no I manage to stay pretty busy".

12/15/2010 | amber
sounds awesome... work for me is staying up all night writing papers... can we trade??? hahaha love you :)
Doing things right
12/11/2010, S/V Si Bon

If you want to know how to do something the right way on a sailboat.....ask Captain Robert Svoboda. I have known Robert (whom I call Rob) for about 8 years, Rob was the brother of one of my neighbors in Rancho San Diego, he use to come over to Petr's house to do little projects for his boat and I would go over and talk (bug) him while he worked, I always marveled it how detail oriented he was, Rob and his then girlfriend Katrina lived on their boat on a mooring ball in Coronado. I moved and didn't talk to Rob again until last year right after I bought Si Bon, Robert and Katrina are now married and have a 3 year old son, Katrina is about 7-8 months pregnant with their second son and they still live on their boat on the mooring ball. Robert and I have struck up a friendship over the past year and he has taught me so many thing about life on a sailboat, how to do things and how NOT to do things, sometimes Rob will tell me something I should or should not do and I'll think to myself...."ohhh forget about that, what does he know" then somewhere down the line I find myself saying " Damn that Robert was right again". You would think I would learn to just listen to him and do whatever he says...and I am starting to. The other day I took a poke at Rob for not securing his dinghy properly.....I knew it would be one of the few if any chances I would have. This is a pic of Captain Rob (who never uses the title of Captain when addressing himself) showing me the correct way to go up the mast in a bosun's chair.....I think I will follow ALL of his advice on this one.
Robert has a charter sailing business....if you ever want to charter a sailboat in San Diego I would highly recommend Captain Robert Svoboda.

12/13/2010 | Rich
Are you practicing with the bosun's chair to put up Xmas lights?
on the hook in Glorietta Bay
12/08/2010, Glorietta Bay

Came over to Glorietta Bay today, many reasons why. I wanted to start my varnish work...which is an ongoing project, and MUCH easier to do over here than on the rollie mooring ball..try varnishing a 3 inch piece of wood when the boat is rocking back and forth several feet in each direction. Before anchoring I stopped at the public dock and pumped my holding tanks, filled my fresh water tanks and squeaked in a quick wash down of Si Bon's deck and cockpit. Glorietta Bay is always a pleasure to visit...the beautiful views, the calm waters and the close proximity to my gym/shower is a well guarded secret which I promised my mooring friends I will downplay (oops). I'll be here till Saturday...and depending on my progress with the varnish...I may duck into Sun Harbor for a day or two to finish things up. This is the Hotel del at's a beach.
Update...good thing I took this picture when I did, because I just popped my head out to check on things and we are in some pea soup fog, can't see the Hotel del now or much of anything else.....good night!

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