09/30/2010, San Diego
Paul Moran, Captain of s/v Copper Top, a Baja Ha Ha Rally member who arrived here at the Cabrillo Isle Marina last week from Brookings Oregon, turned 64 yesterday. He is a very nice fellow who has been the joy of every one around him. (Paul is sitting between Lynne and I in the picture with Ted on her left)
We are all great fans of his and so Lynne and Anne of s/v Sea Sounds decided to join forces and prepared dinner in his honor. Because our boat is still a mess with the engine maintenance/repairs, Anne offered to host the dinner on their boat.
We had a blast and Paul Moran was center stage as usual with his terrific sense of humour and a million jokes. It is unfortunate that our friends the Roberts were not in the picture.
A very Happy Birthday Paul with good winds and fair sailing on your way to the South Pacific.
09/26/2010, San Diego
Martin, our diesel mecanic, showed up yesterday at 8:30 as promised. He had been referred to us by a neighbour at Cabrillo Isle Marina, who spoke very highly of him as well as the fact he was a certified Yanmar mecanic.
We had been trying for two years now to find the source of an antifreeze leak that would occur everytime we would motor for a while. Before leaving Vancouver at the end of August, our diesel mecanic recommended we change our fresh water pump, which we did, but still the leak persisted.
After running the engine at 1500 RPM for 20 minutes, Martin found the leaky cock on the heat exchanger of the fresh water cooling system.
Given the 1500 hours we currently have on our engine, the remoteness of many of the places we will be visiting in the future and Martin's obvious competence, we decided to do an engine overall. First he flushed our system several times until the water came out clean, because we had the wrong antifreeze in and it had the potential to have caused damage to the engine.
He removed the two heat exchangers, the turbo components, mixing elbow and the four injectors, all to be tested, cleaned and repainted where needed. All valves will be adjusted on his next visit and he will show me how to do it in the future.
Before leaving, he cleaned the entire engine room, the motor, primed the few rust spots he found and spay painted. The motor looks brand new.
Monday I will get a bunch of gaskets, O rings, a few hoses, coolant, cap etc.
We were very pleased with the quality of the work Martin did and how hard he worked. He never waisted a minute and never took a break.
We had him for lunch, a fact he much appreciated and Lynne gave him a spare set of cutlery she had along with a recipy book for his wife.
A by product of this big project is the fact we had to completely empty the aft stateroom of all the stuff we carry, to give Martin full access to the engine room. The salon and cockpit are a complete mess.
It will be a week or so before the engine is put back together and that we can get the next specialist to investigate and fix our intermitent overcharging problem.
09/24/2010, Cabrillo Isle Marina
After waiting two weeks to get the necessary material from West Marine to install netting in the lifelines, I was able to complete the project yesterday.
This netting which covers the distance between the pullpit and the second stanchion will prevent crew members, the gennaker and anything else stored on the forward deck from falling in the water.
I got this idea from our friend Wyn Folsome of Sausalito. Same thing with the movable lazyjacks installed a few weeks ago. His system allows for the lazyjacks to be moved forward to the mast when sailing offshore and yet can be repositioned quickly to lower the mainsail. This prevents chafe from occuring on the main sail.
09/23/2010, San Diego
We visited Cabrillo National Monument, located on the Western tip of Point and 15 minutes by car from our marina.
On September 28, 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo with his flotilla of three galleons entered a arbor that he described as "a closed and very good port". Coastal sage scrub covered the hills and valleys. Cabrillo stepped ashore on a silvery strand of beach and named the area San Miguel, the site of modern San Diego.
He stayed in San Miguel six days to wait out a storm, then resumed his voyage up the coast. They sighted the islands of Santa Catalina and San Clemente which Cabrillo named San Salvador and La Victoria, after his vessels. A day later the expedition turned toward the mainland, into what is now San Pedro Bay. The summary log recounts that the horizon was smokey. Cabrillo named it Bahia de Los Fumos - Bay of Smokes- which is today's Los Angeles.
09/22/2010, San Diego
Our friends Anne and Paul Roberts came over for a raclette last evening. Paul is newly retired from the University of Utah where he and Anne were teaching mathematics. They plan on living on their 36' Catalina named Sea Sounds for 6 months here in San Diego and the other 6 months at their home in Utah.
Like us they are relatively new at sailing and for the moment do not contemplate offshore passages.
Lynne and Anne get along super well and Anne is like a big sister to us, always calling to see if we need a ride somewhere or help with anything.
Both of them went to McGill University in Montreal many years ago and when they found out we were from Montreal, Anne came over to invite us to their boat for a drink. This was the beginning of a new friendship. They have very found memories of their few years in Montreal and they enjoy talking about it.
We have been spending quite a bit of time with them and enjoying every moment of it. Paul has travelled the world and is a very interesting individual. He is also an accomplished cook. We had the pleasure of enjoying it recently aboard their boat.
09/21/2010, Old Town, San Diego
This past Sunday we went sailing with Ted, Juan (a friend of Ted) Lynne and I. We had good sailing conditions and we had a lot of fun. Our general direction was south into Mexico towards the Coronado Island Group. We flew Ted's gennaker, a beautiful white and red chute with a white maple leaf to remind them of their Canadian roots.
Juan, a Mexican by birth, had recommended and spoken very highly of a good Mexican Restaurant located in Old Town in San Diego. We had been mouth watering ever since. So last evening Ted, Lynne and I decided to have dinner there. It provided Ted with some solace, Sue being away in Alaska for two weeks.
It was a unique experience in a very unusual setting. The place had a lot of atmosphere and a fine menu. They have taken Mexican food to a new level...and I will simply call it "Fine Mexican Cuisine At Its Best".
In fact we ate the best Mexican food we have ever had. This coupled with several tastings of good tequila made for a most memorable evening in great company.
09/18/2010, San Diego
We returned to Old Town for another visit. We had visited the place with Linda and Doug in February this year and loved it.
Old Town San Diego is considered the "birthplace" of California. San Diego is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. It was here in 1769, that Father Junipero Serra came to establish the very first mission in a chain of 21 missions that were to be the cornerstone of California's colonization. Father Serra's mission and Presidio were built on a hillside overlooking what is currently known as Old Town San Diego. At the base of the hill in 1820's, a small Mexican community of adobe buildings was formed and by 1835 had attained the status of El Pueblo de San Diego. In 1846, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and a Marine Lieutenant, raised the American flag in the Old Town San Diego Plaza.
In 1968, the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation established Old Town State Historic Park to preserve the rich heritage that characterized San Diego during the 1821 to 1872 period. The park includes a main plaza, exhibits, museums and living history demonstrations.
09/12/2010, Cabrillo Isle Marina
This is the Canadian couple we have written about in one of our recent blog posts. We had Sue and Ted over for dinner last evening. Sue was flying to Alaska for two weeks today and we did not want to wait that long to enjoy their company and to get to learn a little more about them.
We also wanted to show our appreciation to them for being so generous with their time for driving us to Von's for our groceries or for other errants in town.
These fine people have been exceptionally generous, have loaned us their car for the next few weeks, but more importantly, they have opened their hearts to us and offered their friendship. How fortunate we are.
Ted will be joining the crew of Taya on October 25th for the passage to Cabo San Lucas. A fine racer, we are looking forward to learn the fine art of sail adjustments and good sailing from him during that passage.
Ron, our most experienced crew member joined us July 31st 2010 for our maiden passage offshore. Ron is a true adventurer who dedicated his life to travelling the world. There are not many places he did not visit nor been to.
His great personality and humility coupled with his sailing experience made Ron an invaluable crew on our passage to San Francisco and ultimately to San Diego. We have learned much from him.
He is easy going, nice to be with and very adaptable. Ron's material needs are little and he makes the best of any situation. Over the past 6 weeks, Ron has become family and we, along with Pacha and Napoleon, already miss him. He has a standing invitation to join us at any time and at any place in the future, because he holds a special place in our hearts.
Fair well good friend... until we meet again.
We took a guided tour of Tijuana today. This US/Mexican border town of 3 million people is located 18 miles south of San Diego on the Pacific Ocean. The setting is beautiful and the town is still growing.
Because of their drug problem, Tijuana has a poor reputation. Fortunately the problem is located in the Eastern part of the city where most of the bars/night life takes place. The Gray Bus Tour Company told our group of 20 that they have been doing this tour 3 times per week for 12 years without any incident.
We spent most of our day in the area of Calle de la Revolucion which is a commercial district located in the west side of town. Both the police and the military are present for everyone's safety.
70,000 people cross this US/Mexican border everyday, many of them studying, working or running their business in the USA but living in Tijuana. Why! An apartment in Tijuana cost $300 per month versus $2000 in San Diego.
We had a great lunch and we enjoyed our time in Tijuana. The tour guide Tino Diego was just a blast and we would recommend this tour to anyone.