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Sailing with Celestial's Tripp
We are a Tripp 47 racing boat turned cruiser that we bought in Maine in 2009. We sailed it through the Panama Canal and up to Seattle then back to Mexico and over to Hawaii in 2012. In 2013 Celeste, our daughter offered to sail with us to see her
The cold front is acoming!
Donna / Sunny but only for today
02/23/2011, La Playa, Glorietta bay and A-9, San Diego

We're back in A-9 which is the closest anchorage to the airport. Our kids come in for a week's visit tonight. Last weekend we put down two anchors to keep up with 40 knots of wind in La Playa. We actually had 96 hours there due to the long weekend. San Diego is very touchy about where and for how long you can anchor in the bay. The week before we used our 72 hours up at Glorietta Bay which is close to the famous Hotel del Coronado. The Coronado Yacht Club let us use their facilities so we had hot showers and laundry done!

The 'Del' is so beautiful, look up to see more about it. The island has a cute museum that was within walking distance as well. Then we pulled out the bikes and rode over 20 miles on the nice flat bike path provided. My one picture doesn't do the 'Del" justice.

With being in California, some of our new cruising friends knew the couple on Quest who were killed and others even knew the Seattle couple. This is such a tragedy and we hope it will be stopped. We watched the four military ships take off yesterday and even Somalia officials want the US to 'step in' and I hope we do.

We sailed the same waters in 1993 and we did try to stay with a small flotilla to ward off pirates. We heard of some incidents then but it's only gotten worse. We're glad to stay out of that troubled area. We have at least four yachts reporting out of Mexico and nothing violent is happening around the yachties so our plan is still to head down maybe the end of March if Allstate comes through soon. We are STILL waiting on them to finalize the structure allowance so we can start the reconstruction!

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Has it really been over a month?
Donna/Fantastic 80 degrees today
02/07/2011, San Diego but also Indio, Lake Havasu and Phoenix

So as Chicago freezes and Seattleites grow webs between their toes, we have enjoyed San Diego and Arizona in the last month and 1/2. Again, enjoying our bike trips and soaking up the sun.

We so appreciated our time back in Seattle. We had a wonderful Christian memorial for Scott's mom, and got to see lots of family. We also were able to talk with adjusters about our house fire. The details are still being worked out so that's why we're still in San D. instead of heading into Mexico.

We flew back to San D. on Jan 8th. The boat held firm on 2 anchors out the bow and one off the stern. It wasn't hassled and hadn't moved. The best part was looking on the Webcams set up in downtown San D to see our boat still floating in the bay while we were in AZ. We even played with it before we left watching Scott being photographed on the bow as I updated the webcam each minute.

I cannot complain about being 'stuck', we're making great friends, we get free reciprocal privileges at yacht club guest docks, (Southwestern, Silvergate, San Diego YC, Chula Vista, etc), we can anchor out so it's not a hardship and that's why Scott retired and moved onto the boat, 'to be on the boat!!' We still have plenty of projects to do. He just got a daylight viewable monitor for outside so that's being installed now.

As I said, we returned from Seattle Jan 8th and wanted to plan a road trip to see two girlfriends in AZ and allow more time in the US. Scott's brothers were vacationing in Indio, CA, so in two hours, we were with them and enjoyed a night at the family condo.

Then we drove to Lake Havasu City, AZ where they were holding their first balloon fest. We had gone to one in 2008 so since I knew my high school girlfriend Julie and hubby Ray lived there, I asked them to come with us. Go to one if you ever get the chance. They then took us to Oatman, an old mining town and and other AZ sights including the Desert Bar out of Parker, AZ and the infamous London Bridge. It cost millions to dismantle, ship and reassemble in AZ but it's their second biggest tourist attraction so it worked! Again, most my pics are on facebook but hopefully you'll get to see more.

We went deeper into the desert stopping right out of Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear) and enjoyed another two days with another girlfriend. We brought back tons of fresh grapefruit, oranges and lemons and even some dates. Thank you, Teresa.

PLEASE, come visit us, we want to 'pay it forward'. This morning, I served breakfast for six people. A couple we had met in Marina Del Rey came and enjoyed the Super Bowl game with us and spent the night. Frank, our wonderful friend in Southwestern YC and his wife also joined us. They were the ones who invited us to the Super Bowl party at the YC and are always happy to help our a visiting cruiser, so a breakfast was a small payback.

We were promised feedback from Allstate today from two adjusters and NEITHER ONE CAME THROUGH, so remember this when you choose companies. It'll be three months on the 19th! Both Nathan and Celeste worked on the demolition of the house to get it ready for rebuilding so we're happy we could employ our kids for a few months!

SOOOOO, maybe we'll move onto Mexico in March (M in M), that's the goal. Until then, I'll listen to the snoring Sea Bass below my boat, and the popping shrimp adding their pops to my evening 'music'.


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Flying back to Seattle
Stormy and Rainy
12/19/2010, San Diego A-9

Well, our plans have changed once more. Scott's mom Millie passed away this morning so we are flying back on the 25th for two weeks. Scott's making arrangements for the boat now so we can be there for the memorial.

Harold served in the Coast Guard while Millie was first married to him so this statue made me think of them.

Mexico can wait, family is more important.

Merry Christmas and smooth sailing to all of you.

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Free Anchoring and super close to downtown S.D.
Donna & Scott / days are sunny and pleasant
12/02/2010, A-9 anchoring spot off Harbor Island, S.D.

The last blog was entered the day before we found out we had a fire in our home back in Seattle. So if we've been a little remiss on our sailing blog, you can forgive us.

Nathan, our son, is there and is handling details although Donna will fly home on Pearl Harbor Day for 10 days. Scott will stay anchored in A-9 anchorage and we wanted to let you know how nice S.D. has been.

We have 3 different docks to land our dinghy at; we're as close as you can get to downtown S.D. Seattle doesn't have any decent anchorage as close as we are to downtown. Transient yachties can get a permit to anchor here for as long as three months in one year.

If you have bikes, you can get almost anywhere in S.D., there are hardly any hills and the weather is very mild even now in December. Even without bikes, you can walk the Embarcadero and the 25 foot tall Sailor's kiss is a must see.

The coast guard station is located just beyond the yellow can in our picture, maybe 100 yards away. Right off our stern, we've had dolphins being trained to "find divers". They've been jumping and squealing and its been fun to watch. The city skyline at sundown is spectacular.

Having reciprocal yacht club benefits has been great in So Cal!! We logged 26 free days at yacht clubs down here. The Chula Vista YC is a little out of the way but were VERY friendly. Frank who has his beautiful Outbound 46, Oceandancer, at Southwestern YC greeted us on the first day we arrived and has been a huge help to ALL yachties coming through. He's retired and just loves to meet with/help/transport/ be around yachties heading for Mexico.

We truly expected to be leaving for Mexico by now but life sends little twists and we're waiting it out here in USA so we can be available for phone calls and fly home as needed. Scott's mom is in hospice so we're dealing with this as well as the fire.

We said goodbye to Odessa and Ponderosa, our PSCC friends and a few new friends who have continued on to Mexico and we hope to still see them in the months to come.

One of the great blessings of cruising is the flexibility to change your plans and make them up as you go. The worst thing you can do is have an iron-clad itinerary that leaves no latitude for either the weather or life's many setbacks. And if you have to wait it out in San Diego, you can't go too far wrong.

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Family at Sea 1988-1996
Donna / Al Ripskis
11/18/2010, Circumnavigation-Seattle to Seattle

This is our 'claim to fame'.
We're in a book called Cutting Loose; From Rat Race to Dream Lifestyles
1996 Impact Journal Press
By Al Louis Ripskis
Chapter 5: Family at Sea

Intro: Romance, adventure and a thirst for challenges led Scott and Donna, with their 2 yr old son, Nathan, to set off to circumnavigate the world in their 36 ft yacht. While visiting forty countries they covered 50,000 nautical miles. Their daughter, Celeste, was born on the way.

Have you ever thought or said something to the effect, "Man, wouldn't it be great to sail the South Seas?" Well, this was the exact, offhand remark that slipped out of Scott's mouth one day that set the stage for their voyage.

"But," as Scott and his wife Donna told me on their boat, Bluejay, anchored in the Tobago Cays (1994), "we were practical enough to quickly get past the romanticism and look at the real logistics for doing something like that."

The Hansens developed their love for sailing and traveling on the West Coast. Scott had been racing yachts around Seattle for ten years. One summer he worked as a yacht rigger. Even Donna had done some racing. Before they had Nathan, they had sailed up and down the West Coast - from Mexico to Canada. In 1983, they took the summer off and logged in 7,000 miles sailing to Hawaii and back.

For 4 yrs. Scott ran his own auto repair shop, which gave him plenty of experience with repairing engines and electronic equipment. That came in handy when his yacht motor blew up in the Red Sea.

The most common question people ask Scott when they learn that he is sailing around the world with his family is 'How can you afford it?' His answer: "Let's face it, most people live from paycheck to paycheck and they don't even make that stretch, so they have heavy credit card debt. You have to develop, not so much willpower as 'won't power' and say, 'No, I won't use charge cards; no, I won't buy a brand new car every few years. I'm going to be careful and save money so we can have our dream cruise.'

Once they set sail, their monthly income was $800, $500 from their house rental and $300 from a previous boat they sold on an installment contract.

"This boat is paid for. But it's not insured. Very few of the world cruising yachts are. Hardly anyone can afford it. It just costs too much. Most of the guys just figure 'Well, if I put it on the reef, that's my fault. If somebody else hits me, well, hopefully, we can work something out with them.' Life is a little bit of a gamble."

"You have to understand that there is a lot involved with uprooting everything and going sailing around the world. It's more than a romantic decision."

So in 1988, when Scott was 33, Donna a few years younger, and their son Nathan was 2, they set off for their around-the-world voyage.

Wanting to see the West Coast and get acclimated to their new lifestyle, they headed north along the Canadian Pacific coast almost all the way to Alaska. Then they doubled back and went as far south as Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, stopping at various ports and interesting places along the way.

With their shakedown cruise successfully completed, their next destination was Hawaii. They enjoyed the Hawaiian Islands so much that they wound up exploring Hawaii for half a year. Scott even got a job for awhile in a marine store while a relative considered sailing with them.

The Hawaiian stopover set the tone for the remainder of their trip. They explored at leisure the places they found interesting and really got to know the local people. That was one of the reasons their journey stretched into 7 years from the 3 they had originally planned.

Their favorite place and where they stayed for four months, was the Kingdom of Tonga. The people are extremely friendly and speak English. The place is beautiful and relatively unspoiled by tourism. The anchorages were nice and secure and there were plenty of parts and supplies on hand. The only downside to the stay in Tonga was that Scott picked up dengue fever that had him flat on his back and weak as a kitten for two weeks. Everything hurts and that's why they call it the 'Break-bone fever'.

Fiji was another island they thoroughly enjoyed for a month, particularly its profuse and extraordinarily beautiful coral.

They stayed a year in the Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand area because they enjoyed the people, the rich culture and the scenery. They also flew home to show off the new member of the family!

The Red Sea was another highlight of their trip - both positively and negatively. "The Red Sea is gorgeous, with some of the best coral reefs, fish and water anywhere. It's also very difficult to sail, since the prevailing winds are most from the north, the direction you're headed."

But the reason that the Red Sea will be forever etched in Scott's mind is that 200 miles south of the Suez, their yacht engine blew up. It was under sail for all two hundred miles into headwinds. In the Port of Suez, Scott had to mount the dinghy motor and was just barely able to crawl through the Canal. The yacht had to sail all the way to Cyprus to get the appropriate parts, where Scott fixed the engine himself. Other than that they enjoyed their two and half month layover in Cyprus.

"We had just come from countries where everything is dirty and covered with flies in open markets. We got to Cyprus where they have these beautiful air conditioned central markets and Wow, the lettuce is green!"

Early in our interview Scott told me that an extended period of "sailing changes everybody. They don't come back the same person that they left."

"How did it change you?" of course was my next question.

"Our reason for being out there shifted. We became more interested in what we could do for others; not so much in what we could see and do for ourselves." A cyclone was the catalyst.

"In February 1990, while in Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa, we got hit by a very bad cyclone. Cyclone Ofa came through with 125 mile an hour winds, doing severe damage. The island was completely without power and water. We made it through the cyclone with no damage to ourselves or the boat."

But Swains Island, 200 miles north was hit even worse. Wally Jennings, whose family owns it, came to the Hansens with this plea:

"My people are in a very bad way. They don't have food, power or water, and they desperately need medical supplies. The rusty old power boat that used to bring the staples of life, like flour, rice, canned foods, was sunk in the cyclone. They are stranded. Would you be willing to take a load of supplies up there?"

"We would be happy to," was Scott's immediate response. The next day a big van loaded to the top with boxes - everything from sewing machines to shovels to food and medicine - appeared at the dock, near Bluejay.

On the way over to Swains Island, Scott hooked a 72-pound Yellow Fin tuna, which they brought along with the rest of the supplies for the islanders. As with all fish stories, this one got elaborated with the re-telling as it went around the radio. When they returned to Samoa, they were repeatedly asked about the "300-pound fish" that they were supposed to have caught.

The Swains islanders showed their gratitude by giving the Hansens an expensive Tokelou woven mat, bananas, lobsters, coconuts and more.

"That is a real common problem, when you get off the beaten track and visit the old Pacific islands - they just shut down everything. It becomes an event. Since they get so few visitors and island life is the same every day, when a yacht comes in, oh man, they throw you a big feast, and load you up with lobster, coconuts and whatever else they have. So what we do is stock our boat with fishing hooks, diving face masks, T-shirts and other practical things that we can try to give back to them. In the giving wars you can't win. They are really great people."

Another way that extended sailing changes people is that it slows down the pace of their lives and changes their priorities.

"When you go to the South Seas and get to know the islanders, you find out that what is really important to them is their families. Work is far down the list of priorities. They have very little motivation for work. We tend to sometimes look down our noses at the and say 'Oh, they are doing absolutely nothing but sitting under a coconut tree talking.' But what they are doing is spending a lot of time with their friends and families, being helpful to each other and the community. It's a very communal system. And they don't worry about anything. They don't have the worries we have. Nobody is starving. They are a low-density society that is warm and plentiful. It doesn't take a lot of effort to meet one's daily need of having a place to sleep and something to eat."

Scott called my attention to some common misconceptions about what the sailing life is all about. He says that vacationers come out to the islands and see people on boats having a good time wind surfing, skiing, snorkeling or scuba diving among the magnificent coral and think that is all we basically do and say, 'Wow, what a great lifestyle!" Well, that's not the complete picture, according to Scott.

"We are really more like European gypsies. We are almost a traveling community. We have to work, teach our kids, do our laundry, go barter in the market. This lifestyle isn't for everyone. I call it deprivation and reward. We have a video onboard; we can control the movies our kids see. We have a microwave. It is a strange combination of modern conveniences and old ways."

"You can't just throw your soiled laundry into a washer and drier. All your laundry has to be done by hand in a bucket on a river bank, because you can't wash your clothes in salty, sea water. There are no huge supermarkets. You don't have a great big walk-in refrigerator or freezer. We have to go to markets where we buy many more fresh things and do more real cooking, not just heating up prepared foods. We don't take long showers."

"There are things that you give up and things that you get. But the rewards aren't what some people think they are. For instance, we have the privilege of teaching our kids exactly what we want. We have total control over the kind of input they receive. We don't have a sewer like television backing up into our lives."

"We have a very good friend at home who is the vice principal of a grade school and a high school. He gave us the textbooks for each level. We don't use correspondence schools, not only because they are expensive but it is very, very difficult - especially if you like the-out-of-the-way places, as we do - to get anything sent back to you."

"In traveling with kids we have a hidden benefit that people don't realize. I get to be a full-time dad, and Donna gets to be a full-time mom. Now sometimes that can be a hassle; sometimes we want to get away from the kids. We are normal people. But we really appreciate that our kids are a part of a traditional, old-time family.

"Everyone seems to think that it's so important for kids to interact with their peers. But if you look at what kids teach kids, you realize that it's often what we don't want them to learn, like delinquency and drugs. We don't really want children teaching children. We want them to learn to interact, how to get along and know how to make friends. Going to school certainly helps those social skills. Nathan went to school in Australia and the States for a while.

"But most importantly Nathan has been participating in the school of life. On this trip he has been exposed to a wealth of different people, cultures and countries. His noon latitude shot with a sextant the other day was less than a mile off. He has learned how to handle a boat. He is also becoming an excellent swimmer and diver all at age 9.

"We are always on the look-out for yachts with kids. In most cases we find that these kids are doing better academically on boats than the kids back home. Educating their kids is a fairly major commitment by the parents of sailing families."

The Hansens stayed in Bundaberg, Australia, six months, where their 'bub'(Aussie for baby), Celeste was born. In all they spent almost a year in Australia. The entire delivery, including hospital and doctor fees, cost under $400. "If we had had the baby in the States, the cost would have been in the thousands." Which explains why the Hansens carry only a catastrophic, high deductible family health plan. Even so they think "it's pretty useless and it costs a lot of money. In most countries you don't need a health policy; there are public health plans. Or you cover your own out-of-pocket expenses." They found the out-of-pocket medical costs to be quite reasonable wherever they went and much less than what they are in the States.

The Hansens just loved Bundaberg. "The people there are so down home. If you go there as a stranger to a church on Sunday, you are guaranteed to be invited home for Sunday dinner. It's a great place. It's what it used to be like in the States, 50 or 60 years ago. A lot of people we got to know cried when we left.

"There is a big misconception in the United States that poverty breeds crime. It doesn't. The notion is totally absurd. We have been to some of the poorest countries on the face of the earth. They will give you their last morsel of food that they have. Integrity is the moral fiber that you have been taught; it's your deep convictions.

Given how much the Hansens enjoyed sailing the seven seas, I asked them the unavoidable question: Why were they, after exploring the Caribbean, planning to sell their boat and explore the East Coast by car before returning to Seattle?

At this point Donna wanted to chime in with a mea culpa. But Scott came to her defense by explaining that ocean travel tends to be harder on a woman than a man. And after almost seven years they both are a bit tired and want to go home. Another reason is that Scott comes from a very close, extended family and doesn't like the idea of missing out on seeing the nieces and nephews grow up. Their small boat has also become quite crowded now that the family has grown to four.

But they are not ruling out the possibility of eventually buying a bigger boat and doing an encore.


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Lobster in San Diego
Donna / sunny but chilly
11/18/2010, Southwestern YC, SD

Just a quick blurb that we're in San Diego, moving today to the San Diego YC then anchor over the weekend, the only time you can anchor in SD.

Had a great Lobster dinner at the Boathouse with Bob & Sherry on Ponderosa, Mike & Nita on Odessa, new friends, Frank & Nora on Ocean Dancer. Couldn't resist a $10 offer!

Scott tried to sink the ship yesterday with can goods and supplies for Mexico. I tried to resist it, but our new friend Frank drove us to the places so we HAD to stock up! The chance to use a car are few and far apart.

We're picking up replacement parts for other boats down in Mexico so we're glad we can help them.

Randi Jacobs provided the picture from Judy & Pauls bon voyage party in Sept.

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Quotes collected by Captain Richard Schaefer
Donna / I had to share these
11/13/2010, The Mariner Magazine Nov 2010

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --Mark Twain

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." --Bertha Calloway.

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for" -William Shedd

"If you can't repair it, maybe it shouldn't be on board" -Lin and Larry Pardee

A quote from Sterling Hayden's book, "Wanderer":

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you will be doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea....'cruising' it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of 'security'. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

"What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

"At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much" -Robin Lee Graham

I knew my sailing friends could relate to at least some of these. Enjoy!

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Motoring up the Duck Pond
Donna / Sunshine now but a cool night
11/13/2010, Oceanside, CA

Our 40 mile jaunt from Newport Beach to Oceanside was pretty quiet yesterday. We weren't expecting much wind but there seemed to be some as we were leaving the jetty so the main went up, the jib went out. The only problem was we ripped the main as it went up due to a wrong setting on our preventer. So Scott and I fixed that today. Out of the 40 miles we sailed only about 5 miles as we crossed the 'duck pond'. Could hardly tell it was the ocean vs. a lake. I set out my cruising seat on the side deck to watch for 'fish and chips (ships) as Scott did some projects down below.

Later, I brought out the sewing machine since there were a few tears in the main sail cover that needed attention. We had bought some material to cover our fenders so I made 5 covers for them 'while the machine was out'. A very productive day.

We had also bought some solar screen material and tested ways to attach it to block out the sun down in Mexico. I think it will be a nice improvement.

We found out where the closest market was and went riding 3x as far to find it. Oceanside has a huge ocean front hat we could ride along and went out on their major pier and watched some surfers. One park even had a couple with their 8-10 macaws and cockatoos just enjoying the day. Scott enjoyed having a 'bird fix'. I held a blue and gold macaw and thought of our blue and gold macaw 'Tarzan' we had for almost 20 years. At one time we had 4 macaws, but that's another story.

The Oceanside Yacht Club gave us 3 nights free so Monday we'll head for Mission Bay. Again, taking a very slow and easy pace.

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Lifestyles of the rich and famous
Donna & Scott / Sunny with some rain
11/09/2010, Newport Beach, CA

Sounds awesome, doesn't it? Especially when our goal is to not spend any money at all. Well, thanks to the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, and now the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, we are doing just that. This is a beautiful area, very upscale and the yacht clubs are very ritzy although all the employees have been very welcoming, even giving us a few extra free days here and there. This harbor has lots of memories for us. Back in '88, when Nathan was just three, we took the ferry to Balboa and let him ride the Carousel that is still there. We had met some boaters up in Canada and they offered us to stay on their private pier in front of their wonderful house which was a first for us.

Then years later in '96, Scott and Nathan motored into the bay with no mast on our J-36. We lost the mast sailing up the Mexican coast being chased by hurricane Alma 1700 miles earlier.

Dave, the manager at Minneys Yacht Surplus was more than just helpful. He found us moorage for 10 days at different spots and assisted Scott in getting all the gear together so Scott could build a new jerry-rig mast. It was great to go back to Minneys and retell them the story.

This time we are riding our bikes, enjoying the sights, getting boat projects done, going to church, making new friends, and enjoying great weather. We will be leaving in three days for San Diego, a 65 mile trip and we could stop at Dana Point, or Oceanside if we need to break it up.

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Biking around Sunny Southern California
Donna / Beautiful Sunshine
11/03/2010, Redondo Beach, CA

This was our first time in Channel Island Harbor but we hooked up with our PSCC friends Judy and Paul on s/v Grace so that was nice! We loved seeing homes on the canals with their boats tied just outside.

Our run from Channel Island Harbor to Marina Del Rey was 50 miles, a nice day run. Finally got some dolphins playing in our bow wave. I love standing and watching them from the bow.

The Del Rey yacht club allows us three days reciprocal so we enjoyed being back. We stopped here on the way up from Maine when I flew back home from LAX. This time is was Nathan who would fly home so we knew just where to go to catch the bus to the terminal. We met a great couple (from Poulsbo and knew mutual friends) while visiting a local church. They offered to take us sight seeing on Monday so we went to see the Getty Villa in Palisades. Check out - great collection of antiquities set in a villa setting reproduction.

We had the bikes out at Channel Island Harbor and enjoyed two days of biking and we knew we'd use them again so we just left them upright secured in the stern and it wasn't a problem. We used them another two days in LAX and this time we only MOTORED another 13 miles to Redondo Beach but used our bikes for another 12 mile trip around the town here. Their waterfront is gorgeous and I chose it for our one picture this time. We could tell it was going to be a super hot day and no wind so we took advantage of the yacht club's fresh water to clean up the boat, pull out the sun shades and see the city. Last time we were here, we only walked up to the grocery so we didn't see much.

Last night we watched the Election Coverage (Go, Republicans!) and beautiful sunset. We're off today for Newport Beach, 40 miles, hopefully under sail.

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A fast passage is a safe passage
Donna / over 20 knots of wind so far
10/27/2010, Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, CA

We always quoted the phrase above as we took our J-36 around the world and it proved true again on our last passage down from Monterey.

The Channel Islands Harbor was pretty easy to enter as we finished up 35 hours of sailing last night. It was just getting dark at 6:30pm, but our entry into a slip was flawless with no wind to speak of. That changed during the night and there's banging and clanging out there now as the Santa Ana winds (which can blow for up to three days) blast into the harbor.

We sailed 246 miles, all downwind, but the seas were sloppy with up to 15 ft swells on the quarter most of the time. Nathan actually volunteered to turn off the auto pilot and sail the boat during his night watches. We only had the jib flying this trip but we still hit 15-17 knots surfing. Our average speed was 7.1 knots.

The main disaster was having my hard plastic container of eggs hit the floor during the night. I had just gone to bed, and although I heard the clunk, I just rolled over and went to sleep. We had omelets in the morning, so Nathan was happy.

The So. California sun came out yesterday and it was warm in the protected areas of the cockpit. Our two tortoises, Victoria, an African Sulcata and Sputnik, a Russian Hawkbill were soaking up the sun! During most of the sailing, they are content to sleep in their plastic tub. I included a picture of Victoria.

Our goal is still to get Nathan to LAX by Friday so he can fly out by Saturday. I will miss his help!!

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Out to Sea again
Donna / Still a little chilly
10/22/2010, Half Moon Bay (fr. San Fran)

37.4832744 Lat 122.4719216 Long is our next destination. It will take a while just to clear San Fran so we wanted our next harbor to be a better place to observe the weather from and we hope to meet up with a Navy friend of Nathans. We had family come visit here in Alameda, did some provisioning; a nice Lucky grocery was within walking distance. Wonderful path along the marinas and a park. Tons of ducks, and geese. A boat heading south heard we'd been through Mexico and had us over to give them details. We hope to see them down the way. They also heard we 'blew past' another boater as we came into the bay with just our double-reefed main. Scott loves to hear that!

Back in 1988, we took the time to go up the Delta all the way to Stockton. It was a great trip as well but we need to head south this time. We'd encourage anyone else to do it earlier in the year.

The Oakland Yacht Club was just $20 a night and super clean (not like Tillamook Bay with their one scary shower room). Taking the ferry to San Fran ($12.50 round trip) is a great way to see the city also. There is a neat Ship Chandler right past the Fisherman's Grotto that Scott wanted to show me but they were closed. Oh well, next time.

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