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S/V Si Bon
Navigation
Steve/Sunny
01/19/2011, Coronado

Navigation is a VERY important skill for a cruising sailor to have, we have no road signs to look at or service stations to pull into and ask, "where the &*#% are we?" In this day of high tech electronics many mariners rely on their GPS's for ALL of their navigation needs, this is not a good idea. Si Bon has two onboard GPS's, one at the helm (steering wheel) and one down below at the nav station (a desk area), in addition to these I have also recently purchased a handheld, battery operated GPS. Even with three GPS's onboard I still feel it is very important to keep track of where you are by using pencil and paper navigation, meaning that once an hour you go down below, you get you latitude (lat) and longitude (long) from one of the GPS's and you mark a "fix" at the correct position on the paper chart (pic). Over the course (no pun intended) of the past year I have become very good at pencil and paper navigation, I now am anxious to go below and see what progress we've made since the last fix, I even test myself by using landmarks and a compass to take bearing and mark my estimated position (EP) on the chart and then compare it to the GPS fix.
If you look closely at the pic you will see where I've written my Lat/Long on the left side of the chart and you will see little triangles along the coast on the right where I've marked our position.
Anyone who thinks that you don't need pencil and paper navigation in todays world, should ask themselves, once I lose the ships electronics, how long will those two AA batteries in the handheld last?

01/20/2011 | Phil Anderson
Hi Steve.....I'm afraid I might fit in the "wanna go sailing sometime" people...but seriously......after Super Bowl weekend..... is there a chance we could connect and go for a sail ? I really want to do the Cabo to PV leg and I guess it isn't gonna happen unless you get to sail with me and determine whether i'm crew worthy or not. by the way ,skiied Squaw Valley Wednesday..maybe you ought to go out one more time before you cast away..Phil Anderson
Paradise
Steve/Sunny
01/17/2011, Glorietta Bay

I've been over in Glorietta Bay (pic at sunrise) since Friday morning, I'm not sure if I've mentioned before how much I love Glorietta Bay...but this weekend reinforced any doubts I may have had. The air temps have been in the mid to high 70's, Saturday I went for a great sail with a new potential crew member and Sunday I got to take in some football. They only let you anchor here three days a week, so in a few minutes I'll be weighing (hoisting) my anchor and heading back to my mooring ball (poor me).
I know that there are probably a lot of side bets going around about how long Steve would last living on a mooring ball...it may be time to pay up as I have slid into mooring life pretty well. I originally thought that I would return to a marina sometime around the first of February so as to have a little break from this difficult life before leaving on my cruise. Although I am going to have to have a slip for a few days to get some small projects done, I am now thinking that I will stay on my ball until I leave, I am now feeling that it is actually going to be easier to do final preparations for my trip from the ball...especially once I sell my truck, which will be the first time in almost 40 years that I won't own a car.

Invitation to go sailing
Steve/Sunny
01/13/2011, Sunny San Diego

Things on my "last few things" list are coming together nicely and March 1 is just around the corner. People always say to me "oh I would love to go sailing sometime" and I tell them "great let me know when you want to go" and then I never hear anymore from them, this seems to be a common issue with all boat owners. Soooo if you want to go out for a sail in United States waters better get ahold of me quick...and don't say "let me know when you are going" I LIVE ON MY BOAT IN THE WATER...I can and will go anytime. I will probably have one more mini cruise in late February with another potential crew member and I may take some little cruises around here before then, but day sails on San Diego Bay are also an awesome way to spend an afternoon.
When a boat is in foreign waters you fly the host country's flag on your starboard spreader (pic) and after 1700 (5:00 PM) you fly the Happy hour flag on your port spreader....cheers.

01/13/2011 | Jeff Butlerq
Hi Steve, funny you write this blog, I remember talking about wanting to sail or boating in general and people always flaking! Glad you bloged about it! I'd love to come out anytime in the next few weeks. Thanks again for the ride and tour of SiBon. A very beautiful boat and well kept!

Not a flake. :)
01/13/2011 | Karen
You know if I lived there I would be bugging you to sail weekly!! LOL!!! I havent put you or sailing out of my mind whatsoever.. !! really enjoying your blog Steve.. Im living vicariously through you at the moment especially when it is -27 here and wishing I was in the sunshine sailing!!!
01/16/2011 | mark
We raced Sat. Went right by you as you were headed into Glorita bay. I tried to hail you on the radio.
Did not do all that well in the race. Lack of good wind. Boat looked good steve.
01/17/2011 | Tera
looks great
The dinghy
Steve
01/11/2011, Coronado

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.

01/13/2011 | Ambi Bambi
Nice pic...Dont dink around too much...haha
"The Island"
Steve
01/10/2011, Coronado

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.

01/10/2011 | amber
This was a much better coronado experience than the previous one involving all the firetrucks and ambulances..haha enjoy your last few months on the "island"
Last few things
Steve
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.
From the beginning I wanted to get my main systems figured out and make any kind of adjustments that I felt were needed...and I wanted to get the improved systems in place early so I knew what I had. My biggest improvement has been Si Bon's electrical system including the addition of the solar panels. As I sit here pondering my "last few things" list I am thinking that there is nothing on the list which would prevent me from leaving tomorrow if I wanted to.
So I will move ahead with the "last few things" list...I'll buy some spare parts, go to the dentist, get my taxes done (uuggg), sell my truck, think about upgrading a couple more things and dream about warm weather, but I won't let the list get in my way.
It's funny how no one ever loses the excitement of dolphins playing in your wake. This pic is looking south across Bahia De Todos Santos (Ensenada) the background is the Pacific coast of Baja and it's many points and islands.

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