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S/V Si Bon
never a dull moment
Steve/warm air, cold water
11/05/2010, San Diego Bay

You would think that going 5 NM (nautical miles) from slip to mooring ball couldn't have to much excitement...HA, think again. As I motored across the bay towards North Island Naval Base (not really an island), I noticed a large aircraft carrier outbound coming up the bay...already knowing that the navy wants you to keep your distance, I cut a sharper angle and reduced my speed so as to give the carrier plenty of room. I turned around to see if anything was behind me and sure enough there was another large warship and some sort of landing craft inbound, the bay was also full of Naval Security boats buzzing around, lights flashing, sirens wailing, all I could think of was "I need to get a picture of this for my blog"...everything worked out and I was able to stay clear of the warships with no problem. I have noticed the security guys seem to pay MUCH more attention to Si Bon when my 20 something year old daughters and their friends are aboard...go figure.
BUT WAIT...there's more. So I get to the ball, remember I'm by myself, I slowly come up to the pick up pole, I run up the deck grab the pole and quickly discover the my mooring line is wrapped around the anchor chain of the mooring bouy (Fritz warned me about this), this means that my 15 foot mooring line is now effectively about two feet...which is not enough to be able to tie off the boat. After nearly being yanked off the boat, I said to myself *&%#, then I started tugging and pulling the mooring line and was finally able to get enough line to get it onto my bow cleat...but the line still had plenty of wraps around the chain that I knew I had to deal with soon. I quickly dropped my dinghy off the deck and went up to take a look....I could tell that the only way I was going to be able to untangle the mess was to dive it...so on went fins, mask, snorkel and into the 63 degree water I went...note to self, next time wear your wetsuit.

11/09/2010 | Vicki
YEP ... next time wear wet suit! BRRRRRR
Leaving Sun Harbor Marina
Steve
11/04/2010, Sun Harbor Marina (duh)

While I was in Catalina I left Si Bon in her slip at Sun Harbor Marina, today I'll be moving back over to the mooring ball in Coronado. The last three days have been busy, getting everything off Jennifer K and back onto Si Bon took most of Tuesday,(we got back from Catalina at 0430 so we slept until 1000), yesterday was spent organizing myself, paying bills, grocery store, filling propane tank, getting mail blah, blah, blah.
Sun Harbor has been a great place to call home for the past 11 months, in my opinion Sun Harbor is the nicest marina in San Diego, it was recently rebuilt and so everything is almost new. My marina managers Kathy and Allie are two of the most pleasant people I've ever met, a marina manager is kinda like a landlord so no matter how nice the marina is if the manager is a butt head it's not good. Kathy and Allie were always ready to help with any of my retarded problems as I became use to boat ownership, and they always helped with a smile on their faces. I'll miss you guys and all of the SHM tenants that have become friends....and when I need a break from the ball you know I'll be heading your way for a night or two in a guest slip :-)))))

Securite, securite, securite
Steve
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
Steve
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
Steve
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
Steve
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 started...so it looks like we'll be sailing back to San Diego as much as we can.....is 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....

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