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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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Fun in the sun
11/27/2010, Dana Point

I LOVE DANA POINT. OK I know I've only been here one day....but this place is sooo cool. Yesterday I started exploring Dana Point, I putted around the beautiful marina in the dinghy, figuring out where the public dinghy docks are, where the restaurants/bars were and checking out all of the mega yachts. The weather yesterday was almost perfect and in the afternoon there were people of all ages gliding past me on paddle boards, kayaks and of course all sorts of boats. Not being one to miss out on any kind of fun, I inflated my own kayak and joined the crowd paddling around this wonderful little cove. I ended the day guess where.....of course happy hour silly, I met two very nice ladies and we talked (and drank) into the night.
I'm not quite ready to forgive "the establishment" for screwing (not the word I wanted to use) up what was once a great surf spot....but let's be real for a moment and realize that unless you were a Dana Point local, your chances of actually catching any waves here would have been slim.

11/29/2010 | ric
Read "Two Years Before The Mast" by Richard Dana and imagine sailors throwing cow hides off the cliff down to the waiting boats to be loaded on the cargo ship "alert" headed for Boston.
11/30/2010 | Vicki
Hey Steve ... I lived in Dana Point back in 1973 ... before the Marina! A very rocky shore kept most people away, but when the tides were out, there were great tide pools ... it's where I saw my first octopus ... a tiny baby one. Talk about a cool place to explore.
Point break
Steve/cold but sunny
11/26/2010, Dana Point

I decided to blow off (no pun intended) Oceanside and come directly to Dana Point yesterday. I left Mission Bay at 0630 and was on the hook (anchor) in Dana Point at 1530, I did not see one other boat on the way here...not one, which is VERY unusual for So Cal. Dana Point was built in the early 1970's by taking one of So Cal's few point breaks and building a one mile long breakwater out from the end of the point, thereby destroying this fine right point break. You must know that in the 70's I was a DIE HARD surfer...and I mean DIE HARD, so the fact that " The Establishment" ruined this perfect wave did not sit well with me, I am currently anchored where perfect rights peeled off of the point.
That said (whew), DP is a great marina with parks, small beaches, tall ships and of course all of the tourist type things, which I will begin to explore today. This pic is taken from the stern of Si Bon.

11/24/2010, Mission Bay

Congratulations to NOAA, after two days of wrong forecasts they finally got it right, the wind started coming up right after I posted yesterdays blog, it continued to build as the sun went down. My friend Bill Hughes had a surprise 50th birthday party last night, which conveniently was at a rented party house here in Mission Beach, as we stood around the keg and tasted the great food the wind continued to build and I made the decision to cut out early and head back to Si Bon. Throughout the night the wind howled through the rigging and I could feel the boat being blown around....but the anchor held fast and even though I was like a jack-in-the-box, popping my head out every hour or so...we didn't move an inch.
I plan to spend tonight here in Mission Bay then head up to Oceanside Harbor tomorrow, the weather guess is calling for a "mild offshore flow" which means a mild Santa it should be a great Thanksgiving Day sail up the coast....if they guessed right. Stay tuned.

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.

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