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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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Mission Bay
11/23/2010, Mission Beach

I finally made it to Mission Bay...after listening to weather report after weather report with misleading (wrong) information, I finally decided to cast off and take my chances with the predicted 25 knot gusts tonight. Mission Bay is a great anchorage that takes about 10 minutes to get to from Sun Harbor Marina by car.....I made very good time today and it took me 3.5 hours of motor sailing (mostly motor). BUT REMEMBER "sailing is about the journey, not the destination". So far I haven't seen any 25 knot fact there was almost no wind on the way got me to thinking....I wonder if NOAA knows that there is a decimal point in 2.5 knots???
I'm looking forward to spending a few days here as most of the time I anchor here it's for a quick in/out on the way to Catalina. I may even take a ride on the world famous Big Dipper roller coaster.

Yankee sail
11/22/2010, Off Point Loma

I decided to stay put at Sun Harbor Marina due to the weather forecast (guess) from NOAA (we pronounce it as noah). Yes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (aren't you glad we mariners shortened it to NOAA), was originally calling for winds of 20-25 knots with 30 gusts for Sunday. My friend Rich came down on Saturday night to have dinner and a few brewskis at Jimmy's and spend the night, Sunday morning the guessers had changed their guess to 10-15 knots with 20 gusts. The new forecast sounded like it would be a great time for us to go out for a day sail and try out my new Yankee sail.
A yankee sail is a small headsail (jib) that enables me to be able to control Si Bon in heavy weather, my normal headsail is a 150% genoa on a roller furler, which is a great sail for up to about 10-12 knots....then things start becoming hard to control. Rich is a great sailor whom I love sailing with for a few reasons, one of which is because he is always ready to try new/different systems out, so he was the perfect candidate to use the yankee for the first time. Rich and I set up my solent stay and hanked the yankee onto it at the slip, we then headed out to sea in our foul weather gear in the rain with very little wind. As we were passing Point Loma my wind indicator started showing 5 knots, then 7, then 10....we hoisted the yankee, shut off the engine and watched the wind climb to 12-13 knots, we were slicing through the steep swells with waves coming over the bow, and the yankee and my reefed main were allowing us to easily control Si Bon...we both had ear to ear grins. The excitement lasted about 45 minutes, then we watched Mother Nature (God) start dropping the wind, and as fast as it had come was gone. All in all it was a great day, I learned a lot of things to do, and a lot of things not to do with the yankee, I know 13 knots is not a great test of how the sail will perform in real heavy weather, but it did give me a good idea of it's capabilities, and it's always nice to try something for the first time in manageable conditions.
It now looks like I'll be leaving for Mission Bay on Tuesday morning and unless someone wants to join me, I'll be single handing.

Decisions, decisions mmmm
Steve, wind and rain
11/20/2010, Sun Harbor Marina

I decided to pop into Sun Harbor for a couple of nights on my way north, this gave me an opportunity to give Si Bon a very nice bath, it also allows me to be able to provision a little easier as I don't have to ferry things in the dinghy and I'm also about 45 minutes closer to Mission Bay. The bad news is that the weather guessers have now issued a small craft advisory (not that Si Bon is a small craft), so I need to make a decision soon on when to leave. I now have Russ and Rich ready to go on Sunday (tomorrow) and if I put it off until Monday I may be single handing. I have a new "heavy weather" sail called a yankee sail that I haven't been able to use yet... 25 knot with 30 gusts would give me a good chance to hoist the yankee and find out how it works, I really don't want to use the yankee for the first time if I'm single handing.....decisions, decisions. Think I'll go have breakfast with Amber and decided later.
UPDATE; Just got a FB message from Rob who is on the hook in Glorietta Bay...35 knot gusts and BabaYaga is blowing towards the Coronado Yacht Club, ahhh it's nice to be at Sun Harbor.

11/18/2010, I'm not sure

Weather plays a huge part of a sailors life, as I am preparing to leave on my mini cruise I started following the weather forecasts about a week ago, as I get closer to leaving I get almost glued to the marine weather reports. Now lets make it real clear that these guys don't really know what the weather is going to be, my friend Russ Carlson was in the Coast Guard and they sent him to what he refers to as "weather guesser school", now I know that in the 60+ years since Russ was in the guard that the weather guessing has become much better....but yesterday I did not see anything about fog....and as you can see (pic) there is very dense fog here in Coronado right now. I do have to hand it to the guessers that the "forecasts" right at this moment do call for "dense fog this morning" Duh.
I am getting close to having to make a decision about when I leave for Mission Bay, I would like to be there for the Monday night Charger game.. the current weather guessing is calling for "showers" on Sunday....Russ was going to go with me, but knowing that Russ is a fair weather sailor I may have to single hand it on Sunday.....but that wouldn't be all that bad...more practice...or I could wait until Monday "partly cloudy" and leave early so I don't miss any of the Chargers action. Decisions, decisions....Did I mention what a GREAT life this is?
PS I know that Russ doesn't follow my blog....if he for some reason starts now I may be single handing anyway..LOL.

navy SEAL's
11/17/2010, Coronado

Coronado is home to the U.S. Navy's BUD/S (basic underwater demolition/SEAL) training facility. Sailing on San Diego bay you soon get use to seeing the SEAL (sea,air,land) boats coming and going, however now that I'm living just across a small cove from their training facility I am getting a whole new insight on what these brave warriors face in their quest to become a Navy SEAL. I have know many SEAL's over the years, both as clients and as friends, they seem to have a few traits in common, they are in unbelievable physical condition, they have a VERY high level of integrity and they are extremely intelligent. One of the SEAL mottos is "the only easy day was yesterday", I'm beginning to see that first hand. Last week while in Glorietta Bay I was relaxing down below when all of a sudden I started feeling a lot of boat wake, which is unusual for Glorietta Bay, I popped my head out and saw about 4-5 SEAL boats filled with divers and a couple of waverunners with guys wearing cammies and helmets, I'm thinking to myself WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? when suddenly one of the instructors starts yelling "GO GO GO!!" in go the divers and up pop little buoys with small lights and numbers on them, it seems the SEAL's use a breathing system that does not produce bubbles (great idea) the instructors monitor the divers by watching the buoys. The little buoys began to slowly float past Si Bon (within feet) as the guys headed to some sort of target. Several hours later I saw the same boats coming back towards the SEAL base...still monitoring the little buoys...I'm thinking "holy shit how long do those guys stay down??"
The other night I was returning from the grocery store, loading my groceries into my dinghy when I saw the same group of boats/waverunners going up the middle of San Diego Bay, slowly following the little lighted buoys, several hours later I'm sitting on Si Bon watching the fog envelope downtown, when the SEAL boats came into sight moving along at a good clip, heading towards their base, I'm thinking to myself, thank God the guys get to come in a little early tonight (10:00), the boats suddenly came to a near stop just outside the mooring area and the now familiar "GO GO GO!!" rings out, Guess they don't go in early after all.
God bless these brave young men, both those that make a SEAL team and those that don't. Our enemies are screwed.

11/17/2010 | Ramon
I like reading your posts, mainly because that are not long winded, they are interesting and you are consistent about posting. It's becoming a very nice Blog. My only suggestion would be pictures of things like the boat and your surrounding to make it even more interesting.

I had a sailblog for a while but opted to use Blogspot because I could add pics and there were a few more cool features that can be added at no cost as well, which is always nice.

Cheers and Favorable Winds to You,
California cruising
11/16/2010, So Cal

I'm getting ready for another So Cal cruise. I'll be leaving on or about Nov. 21 and sailing up to Mission Bay for Chargers Monday night football at Russ's beach house. From there I plan to harbor hop up the coast stopping at Oceanside, Dana Point, Newport Beach and hopefully over to Catalina. I will be trying to keep my legs short (5-7 hours max) and am happy to have any adventurous souls meet me along the way for however long you can pry yourselves away for. There is an Amtrac train that runs up the coast up to San Juan Capistrano (Dana Point), so it's pretty easy to get a one way sail and train back. There is also a ferry that runs over to Catalina, so also easy to get back and forth from there. I have no real firm dates other than MNF and Dinner with my kids in Dana Point on the 28th, so if you're interested let me know what dates you can go and I will try to accommodate you. I will probably be gone for 2 weeks total...but who knows.
This is a GREAT way to get a little adventure vacation for basically free (hey ya gotta eat wherever you are).
I will be single handing most of the trip but being the social butterfly that I am I always love having guests along to share the adventures.

11/16/2010 | Karen
NICE!!! We just had snow.. hmm you got me thinking!! Fair winds my friend!!

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