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When told of my cruising plans someone once said to me "the boat is your house, the dinghy is your car". The dinghy (dink for short) is now a vital part of my everyday life aboard Si Bon, I use it anytime I want/need to go ashore. The dink, as everything on a cruising boat, comes with it's own issues, it's not like you just blow up this rubber boat and all is well...where do you keep it while underway? what do you do with the powerful 8 horsepower outboard? What about at night when the dink thief's are looming about? For now I've decided to keep my dink on deck while underway, this means that I first have to use a mini crane, which I have installed on the stern (back) of Si Bon to hoist the 80 pound outboard off of the dink and onto a bracket, I then attach a halyard (used to raise and lower sails) to the dink and hoist it on deck, last but not least, I secure the dink and the fuel tank to the deck of Si Bon. This all sounds easy enough....until you try it by yourself with 10-15 knot winds and rolling seas. Don't want to jinx myself...but I've gotten pretty good at it. The other day I was dropping my engine off Si Bon and onto the dink, when a neighbor rowed by and stopped for a chat, as we talked I looked out and saw some pretty good sized wake headed my way...I wanted to try and finish before it hit us, so I kicked the outboard around with one foot to get it in the right position, at the same time I started dropping the engine until it was on the dink's transom and then quickly attached it to the dink. My neighbor commented "looks like you've done this before". This is one of the many jobs which seemed so difficult a year age...but is now just another part of life aboard Si Bon.
Even though I have lived in San Diego my entire life, I have not ever spent much time in Coronado, in fact if not for a few of the kids soccer games and some kind of top producers weekend with Home Funding...I would say I have spent no time here. Coronado has a kind of small town Mayberry feel, mixed in with a Beverly Hills at the beach feel, mixed in with a military town feel. Yesterday Amber came down and we went to breakfast at a place called Clayton's Coffee Shop (pic), a old time diner that was founded in 1941...and other that the prices being higher (Wed they have 5 cent coffee for the military), not much has changed there. As I continue to explore this "island paradise" (it's not really an island), I find it kinda funny that I am preparing to sail away to explore distant shores, and this cool little place was right under my nose. But it's NOT really an island.
Last few thingsSteve
01/08/2011, Coronado mooring anchorage
With a March departure date fast approaching....the heat is on (not weather wise) to get the last few things done before leaving. Many potential cruisers will put off leaving until those "last few things" are all done, then one thing leads to another and they never end up cruising, it seems that there are always going to be those "last few things" to do.
01/07/2011, Pacific coast
If you are a blog follower than you already know that we had a great trip to Ensenada. As is typical here we did less sailing than we would have liked to, but we were able to sail about half way back before motor sailing the rest of the way. It was cool to finally be in Mexican waters and realize that they are pretty much the same as the US waters. I was able to meet a great new potential crew member in Lee, who is a hard core, old school sailor guy who has been living on his boat...on a ball, for the past 10 years. Since Lee is an easy going (important) dude ready for adventure, it looks good for future sailing adventures together.
Return from MexicoSteve
01/05/2011, Pacific coast
We left the Marina Coral on Monday morning at about 1145 and as planned we started sailing soon after we got out of the narrow marina entrance. Si Bon is a fantastic light air boat, we had about 7-8 knots of wind, sailing between a reach and a broad reach doing about 5-6 knots, to a non sailor that means that the wind was coming towards us from an angle (using the clock) of about 8:00 -10:00. As is typical in this area the wind gradually decreased as the afternoon turned into evening, I had set a threshold of about 3 knots boat speed, meaning anything below that and we start motor sailing, we hung in there until about 1800,when we were down to 2 knots and Rich pointed out that someone could walk faster than what we were sailing, I knew it was time to suck it up and fire up the massive 42 horsepower Westerbeke. As you might know I love sailing at night, it's funny how small things can keep you occupied, as you are constantly on the lookout. As we approached the coast off of Rosarito Beach we came across a VERY large tanker which was about 10 NM ahead of us, we spent about 2-3 hours trying to figure out if he was underway and if so which way was he going, or was he just sitting off the coast waiting to load/unload at the Rosarito Premix facility? Turns out, after unsuccessfully trying to hail him on 16, that he was just sitting there going no where.
01/03/2011, Ensenada, Mexico
Our stay here at the Marina Coral has been amazing, Marina Coral is a new resort just north of downtown Ensenada, it has a 4 star hotel with full amenities which as a marina guest we are able to take advantage of....and we all have. The people here, both employees and the marina residents have been super friendly and very accommodating to us, I definitely plan to return here even if it is only for a brief stop on my way south.
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