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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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Wheels for the dink
02/11/2011, Sun Harbor Marina I know you're thinking, boy Steve is really getting carried away with this "the dink is you car" thing, now he's gone and put wheels on his dinghy. No I haven't gone completely crazy (mostly crazy, not completely) when you are beaching a dinghy (dink) with an outboard motor on it, it is very hard to get the motor in the up position and to drag it on and off the beach, the motor gets stuck in the sand, and the whole thing is heavy and awkward. Yesterday I installed the dinghy wheels that my friend Ric gave me (thanks again). The way the wheels work is that when you know you will be beaching the dink you get the wheels out of storage, you put them onto their brackets in the up position (pic), as you approach the beach you remove a couple of pins, rotate the wheels to the down position, and you motor right up on the beach, the wheels are taller than the motor shaft so the back of the dink is now high and dry and you can wheel it up and down the beach with very little effort (I hope).
Update on Max-prop; my prop was finished on Tuesday and is in route back now, I'm hoping I have it back on Si Bon on Monday or Tuesday and I can get back over to Coronado for a few days before the going away party on Saturday.

02/11/2011 | amber
i know i am sailing deficcient but how are you supposed use the dingy in the water with wheels????
02/11/2011 | Ashley Cook
thats actually one of the coolest things I've seen pops!
02/12/2011 | Steve Cook
The wheels just hang below the dink Ambi, I don't think you would want to go very fast or far with them in the down position, but on my test run I left them down from the beach back to Si Bon, going slow and had no problems, and I knew you would like them Ashley ;-)
02/14/2011 | ShayBo
looks like those flip flops could use a good washing :)
Going away party
Amber and Ashley
02/10/2011, Sun Harbor Marina

The day has finally come for our favorite "white collared" man to trade his suit in for a pair of boater shoes, his car in for a "dink," and his house for a 41 foot sail boat named Si Bon!!!

Steve "officially" (nothing is official in sailing) leaves on March 1, 2011 for La Paz, Mexico and beyond!

To celebrate, honor, and give him our best wishes and prayers on his journey we are throwing Steve a BON VOYAGE PARTY!!!

Join us....
When: Saturday February 19th at
Where: Sun Harbor Marina in Point Loma
RSVP: or 619.884.7627

*Hot dogs, burgers and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP with a side dish or dessert :)

Amber Gilbert and Ashley Cook

To blog or not to blog?
02/06/2011, Shelter Island

One of the first things to go through my mind when I found out I was going to be stuck in a marina for 2-3 weeks (now more like 3-4) waiting for my Max-Prop to be reconditioned was, damm, what am going to blog about from a comfortable slip?
Yes, thats right, I wasn't all that worried about the cost, or the fact that I wouldn't be able to go sailing for awhile....I was worried about my faithful blog followers and how disappointed they both would be when I could no longer post blogs about the exciting life on the ball and my local cruising. Let's face it telling you that "I woke up this morning in my warm, non-rollie yacht, turned off the heater, jumped off Si Bon onto a beautiful dock and strolled off to the Marina coffee room, then to the VERY high class (not kidding) marina restrooms (not heads) to take care of business", just doesn't make for that exciting reading. I suppose I could make up some exciting stuff, but that's not my style, so I'm going to try for the next week or so to provide some updates on my "last few things" list and try my hardest not to let my faithful down.
When long distance cruising, storage is a BIG issue, this picture shows what was once a cute little settee in my cabin, I removed the cushions, did a few modifications, and it now is storage for the following items; all my SCUBA gear (except tank), several spare water pumps, bosuns chair and pulleys, heavy duty water proof box with electric saw and drill, Yankee sail (blue and red bag), rigging spares, all required rigging for whisker pole, bag with misc. spare lines,(tie downs bungees also), waterproof bags and last but not least my dirty clothes bag. The settee was definitely nicer to look at, but if you think how much storage I've gained by my simple little conversion, it's pretty amazing.
And who knows...maybe something exciting will happen here at the slip to blog about.

02/09/2011 | catherine
I never asked, what inspired your dream to go sailing? And is there anything you still need? I know someone who got a glass sailboat sculpture for a going away present when they left to go cruising. The didn't even know what to say.
02/09/2011 | Steve Cook
Not sure what inspired this crazy idea of mine, travel, adventure, submersion into other cultures??? Don't really need anything, BUT I DEFINITELY DON'T WANT A GLASS SAILBOAT. LOL
Crew update
02/04/2011, Sun Harbor Marina

Going down the Pacific coast of Baja is an adventurous undertaking, it is a pretty desolate coastline with very few ports. There are plenty of people who single hand it....but I don't want to be one of them. One of the things I learned when I did my heavy weather course in Sausalito was that I really wanted a minimum of three crew members to do the San Diego to La Paz leg, this allows you to avoid the fatigue that would come with only two people. While doing some of my local cruising over the past year I decided to try to line up four people if at all possible, although the boat will be slightly more crowded, four people allows you lots of options for watches and cat naps between watches.
I currently have four people ready to leave March 1st, Catherine, whom I've sailed with several times, including a Catalina trip, Lee who did the Ensenada trip, and another dude named Peter, who I have not yet met, but he seems like he'll be a good fit. I also have a couple of people who have expressed an interest in joining us if someone is unable to make it at the last minute, anyone else who might be able to join at the last minute is encouraged to contact me and go on to the back up list.
The search for crew members for my journey will be an ongoing search, my plans, at this time, are to be cruising for an extended period of time (5-10 years), so if you're not onboard for this first leg.....don't despair....they'll be plenty of other adventure to come.

Staying focused
02/01/2011, Sun Harbor Marina

You quickly learn while preparing to go cruising that you must stay focused, this is true from the smallest job all the way up to the main goal...cruising. It is very easy to become side tracked on just about everything you do, both on the boat and in life, you're in the middle of some job and you go down below to get another type of tool, you see something that needs to be put away, you put it away and before you know it you've lost track of what you were doing in the first place. When people find out I'm retired at 55 and living on a yacht, they assume that I must have been born with money, I wasn't, however I did stay focused through life, on both my career and on raising my two daughters. As I finish up my "last few things list' I have become pretty good at remaining focused on my final preparations, as I go from one project to another I nearly always finish one thing before moving on to the next. I hope that you also will remain focused in you lives wether it be your school, your job, your family or your health, or maybe all of the above.

02/03/2011 | catherine
Hey Steve, Just caught up on your posts. Time is going by fast! You do seem to stay focused. See you soon.
Marina vs ball
01/30/2011, Marina

Ahhh life at the marina, most people would have trouble understanding the difference between living on a 41 foot sailboat at a marina slip or living on a 41 foot sailboat on a mooring ball, either way life on a boat is MUCH different than life on land. It's official now I have become use to life at the marina. On the ball I had very few visitors, seems that people feel that it is a hassle to get in the dinghy and go out to the main boat (it really isn't)' they seem to think that rolling around with the passing boat wake is uncomfortable (it isn't), I've had lots of visitors this week, Kim, Paul and Ginger brought down dinner one night, Ric came down and let me pick his brain about the Sea of Cortez (great stories), Ashley came by for lunch and my friend/electrician Mark came by and helped me hook up my new stereo (IPOD capable) and gave me an electrical 101 class.
In order to have heat or hot water while on the ball I would have to fire up my generator, which is noisy and a little bit of a hassle, here at the marina I simply flick a fact as we speak the heater is running and I'm getting a little warm (never said that at the ball). I don't really have to worry much about water or pump outs as both are only a few steps away, there is laundry available here at the marina, great showers, a small workout room and lots of friendly tenants. It doesn't hurt my opinion, Sun Harbor Marina is by far the nicest Marina in So Cal.
My original cruising plan was to be on the hook (anchor) about two thirds of the time and in a marina about one third of the time, this past week has shown me that that is a pretty good schedule. it is definitely nice to have a break from some of the issues that you have on the ball or at anchor.
If anyone else wants to bring down dinner and enjoy this little piece of paradise with me, let me know.....I'll turn on the heater.

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