11/02/2010, San Diego
It's been a week since we arrived back at the boat and has it ever gone by fast. Between boat jobs, getting supplies, shopping for the things we needed to get before we head to Mexico and meeting new people it has really flown by. We have tried to fit in some time to just chill and relax, but there hasn't been a whole lot of that really.
Up until today, we have had a rental car which has made life really easy. If you needed something you hoped in the car and off you went to get it. Now that we have returned the car, getting things has become more of an all day event. First we have to walk about 2 miles to the trolly station. Then about 40 minutes to town, a bus to wherever and then more walking. Then we repeat all of that to get back to the boat. Whew! Who said this was going to be the life of Riely... But actually we are really enjoying it none the less. After all our hard work getting back to the boat today, we did treat ourselves to a dip in the pool before the sun disappeared, and then a nice glass of wine for me and a beer for Ian to finish off the day not too shabby.
Tomorrow our new batteries arrive. Ian figures that he has a couple of days work to install and secure them in the space we have for the batteries. They are a different shape then what we now have, and so he needs to build a cage around them to contain them so that if we are in rough water, they can't move or fly around the boat.
We have our watermaker coming in next week as well and we hope to get that installed before we leave for Mexico. Our friends Pat and Les, are joining us here in San Diego for the trip down the coast of the Baja and they arrive on the 12th. So with any luck by the 15th we should be on our way.
Internet access continues to be a source of frustration for me. It is very intermittent here at the marina and one minute I have a strong signal and as soon as I try to email or what ever, it drops down to almost nothing and so I patiently have to wait to see when it is strong again so I can hit send. It wouldn't be so bad if it was free wifi, but I'm paying for this so I want to be able to use it when I want to. Guess I have to re adapt my thinking and get used to things working at their own speed which is how things work in Mexico. In fact, I need to get over my internet and email addiction but that's hard when you've been 'plugged in' for the last 15+ years.
Anyhow, off to skype now... if I can.
10/27/2010, San Diego
We are back! That was without a doubt the longest month and a half in our lives. As much as we had good reasons to leave the boat and return to Vancouver for that time, we spent a lot of time wishing we were back here.
But we did accomplish everything we needed to do in BC and we got to spend lots of time visiting with good friends and co workers too. We left on the 23rd and went to Annacortes in Washington to our friends Dan and Elaine with who we travelled from their place to San Francisco driving down the coastal highway. It was a good trip and we enjoyed it very much. We decided to fly from San Francisco to San Diego because we didn't have the time to continue driving down the coast, and the thought of sitting in traffic on the i5 highway did not sound appealing.
We flew in this morning and arrived at the boat early afternoon. Everything seems to be in good working order and there are no problems that we have found so far. We have already made a long long list of 'to do' jobs before we leave for Mexico in the middle of November. So we will get busy first thing in the morning!
I think it's going to take a few weeks for the reality of all of this to hit us. That we don't have to head back to work in the next few days or weeks or months! Not to rub in to all our co workers we said good bye to, but this feels really awesome. I'm sure we will have days that will make going to work in an office seem appealing, but I hope not to many.
Tomorrow we are off to the marine shops to pick up some of the items we still need to get. Then of course we will have to install them which is where the work comes in. Good thing Ian is a handy guy.
So here we are in Vancouver, boatless (boat is in San Diego) and homeless (not the street kind of homeless). It's a very odd feeling to not have our boat to go to or even our own apartment to go to.
So now what? We just visit friends, work, go to movies, work, and wait... Till the 20th when we finally finish our jobs and get to go back to our chosen lifestyle. Yippee!!
Ian is on the mend and is seeing the physio twice weekly. We are going to have to make sure we are both doing lots of stretching especially when we are on longer passages where we don't get off the boat to walk around. I know for me that when I was doing yoga on a regular basis, I had far less aches and pains. Can't wait to be able to do yoga on the beach... soon.
In the meantime we are going to get in some good visits with good friends that we won't see for a long time. Thanksgiving is around the corner and we will give thanks to our friends and family and all of their support in our endeavor. And we will give thanks to the fact that we are able to achieve our goal of going 'Cruising'.
09/16/2010, Chula Vista/San Diego
Ian and I are about as far from sailboat racers as you can get. (I especially do not like the way race boats get so close together before the race begins it makes me very nervous.) Yet we won our first sailboat race. The race is called the Downwind Race and it is sponsored by our club Bluewater Cruising Association, and Downwind Marine store in San Diego. Here are the rules: you must be the first BCA boat to arrive in San Diego in your own boat.
When we got to San Diego and tied up at the Police Dock which is where most cruisers will come when they first arrive, we realized we were the only BCA boat at the dock. Well as soon as I could I high tailed it down to Downwind Marine store to pick up our prize. You could call it a trophy of sorts but its much more practical. It is a Caframo fan worth about 80 bucks! We are going to need all the fans we can get once we hit the Sea of Cortez next summer!
To my knowledge we are still the only boat here from BCA but now that we are in Chula Vista who knows as we are a bit out of touch here 5 miles from the Mexican boarder.
We leave on Sunday to go back to Vancouver and are now busy (sort of anyhow) getting the boat tidied up and ready to leave her for the next 6 weeks or so.
Ian is feeling a little better, he has cut back on the T3's and has managed to walk a little bit more today. He is doing dishes right now and has had to sit down about 5 times to "rest" whether from pain or pain of doing dishes who knows. But joking aside this is a serious concern for us that we will need to take care of the minute we get back to Vancouver.
09/15/2010, Chula Vista - San Diego
So here we finally are at the end of our trip on this phase of our journey. The goal for this summer was to get the boat down to San Diego and into a secure marina until we retire at the end of October and return to the boat. It feels really strange to leave as we are just getting into the swing of cruising and now we have to go home and work - it just feels wrong!
It's been quite a journey so far. It feels like we have been gone forever and have done and experienced so much in so little time. Being out on the ocean and relying on your own abilities to safely get you from point A to B really gives you a sense of accomplishment. Yes there were times I was scared and tired and worried, but I did it none the less and will continue the voyage when we return from Vancouver. There were also times that I was thrilled, amused and content. One of the things I remember the most and that has left the biggest impression on me is waking up in the v birth to the gentle rocking motion of the boat under sail and hearing the water gurgling by the hull of the boat. It was a soothing moment.
Ian is still somewhat incapacitated with his hip/leg muscle problem, but he is managing. He can't walk very far which is very frusterating for him as he loves to go walking. So hopefully a month of physio in Vancouver will set him right so we can leave in good health.
So far our impression of Chula Vista Marina is great. It's clean and very well run. There are showers, laundry, pool, restaurants, RV park and a gym. The staff are very friendly and helpful. It's a little bit out of the way but since we won't be here for most of the time, it really dosen't matter to us.
We leave to come back to Vancouver on Sunday and then back to WORK! That's almost a bad word. At least it's only for a month. Our biggest worry is packing up the apartment and moving out in the next week. It will be a challenge with Ian being out of sorts but that too we shall overcome.
See you all soon.
09/14/2010, San Diego
About the above photo, I'll explain as I go along.
I finally got to an internet cafe and can update our progress. I just saw that my last 2 entries never made it onto the blog I must have done something incorrect because when I posted it on the HAM, it went through okay. I guess the technology isn't perfect (much like the operator!).
But anyhow, here we are! It was an interesting 4 days but we motorsailed almost the entire way. We had very light winds most of the time. On the second day out it was forcast to blow 25 with gusts to 30. When we felt the wind picking up just before dark of course, Ian went forward to remove the pole off of the jib, put up the staysil and by the time he got all of that done, the winds subsided to about 4 knots! Go figure.
We saw lots of whales on day 2. At one point it didn't matter where you looked there were whales. Some close and some far. At one point, we passed 2 whales about 50 feet off the beam and one of them dove right towards the boat. I was convinced it was going under the boat and going to knock us over. About a minute later it surfaced about 20 feet behind the boat with a might blow. It scared the bejesus out of me and I screamed. Ian figures I scared the whales away because we hardly saw any after that.
We had pretty calm conditions most of the way and one quite foggy night. And our last night as we approached San Diego was busy traffic wise and those fish boats don't move an inch. You have to get out of their way.
We arrived on Sunday the 12 at around noon.
So why is Ian dressed in a paper gown in a clinic. Well we had somewhat of a medical emergency onboard. It seems that Ian did something to a muscle or nerve in his hip before we left Vancouver. Being a typical guy he just figured it would go away. As we made our way to San Francisco it was bothering him but he didn't complain too much. In San Fran, once he got on land and started walking he felt fine. The thing is he walked a lot that week and so when we left San Fran, it started to bother him again around day 2. By day 4 he was in agony and when ever he had to get up to walk from his bunk to the cockpit, he was breaking out in a sweat with the pain. I've been with Ian for 20 years and I know he has a high tolerance for pain so when I saw him wincing and laying on the floor I knew it was serious.
When we got in to San Diego, luckily our friends Vida Nova had arrived a few hours before us and they were able to help me tie up the boat as Ian was unable to get out of the cockpit.
On Monday, I found a clinic near where we are tied up a the Police Municpal dock, and off we went in a cab (by this time we had broken open our T3's and Ian was well medicated but still in lots of pain). Well despite everything bad we hear about the american medical system, we had a very positive experience.
We were there for 2 hours, the doctor saw him checked him out had xrays done right there in the clinic, was able to make a diagnosis, gave him a cortisone shot to hold him till we get back to Vancouver where he can see a physiotherapist, and gave us a bottle of prescribed muscle relaxants. All this in one place for $220 dollars. We thought it was a really good price considering the service and that we didn't have to go here and there to get xrays, pills etc. Everything was done there and I'm convinced that saves time and money.
Today, Tuesday, he is feeling a little better and is able to walk for short distances. Still in pain and on pain killers but hopefully improving a little. I have him on a stretch regime that I've done from my hip injury a few months ago. As soon as we get home it's off to the physio.
We will be flying home by the weekend. That's it for now.