5,000 miles, a recap
11 October 2010 | San Diego, CA
In June of this year, the Reynolds family said goodbye to our friends at Swantown Marina and those at Fort Lewis and Olympia, WA and pushed away from the dock one last time. Gene had just finished out-processing from Fort Lewis after 11 wonderful years of serving as a helicopter pilot in the US Army. Tami and the kids had just finished their last day at Puget Sound Christian School and said goodbye to teachers and dear friends there. It was far from easy saying goodbye. But we knew we were doing the right thing...the right thing for our family. You see, since 9/11, Gene had spent almost four years away from home thanks to 14 tours to Afghanistan, 1 tour to Iraq and numerous training exercises and administrative trips. It was time to reclaim some of that lost family time. So, with an uncertain future, we shoved off the dock and headed north. Those of you who know the Puget Sound know that you have to go north for about 150 miles so you can go south to warmer waters.
June was a roller coaster of a month. We made good progress north, but then fouled our prop as we crossed the Straits of Juan De Fuca. This cost us a haul out in Anacortes, a new drive shaft, new cutlass bearing, new engine mounts, and hours of frustrating labor. In the end, we were better for it, as was our boat. After the repairs, we enjoyed a few weeks cruising the San Juan Islands and visiting with good friends.
Late July found us once again in Anacortes, but this time for a scheduled re-rig (replacement of all the wires that hold up the mast). We had a good experience with Northwest Rigging and their crew and completed the project ahead of schedule. We were happy with the outcome.
In early August, we drove all of our belongings back to the east coast - Olympia, WA to Raleigh, NC and then on to West Palm Beach, FL. We had a great road trip with stops in Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore. The visit with Gene's family in NC was great as were the visits in Atlanta and Florida. We left the kids with Tami's parents and then Tami and I flew back to Seattle to get Andiamo moving again, this time southbound!
Tami and I returned to the boat and made one last stop in Friday Harbor to say goodbye to our good friend Susan (the first owner of Andiamo). It was a great visit and a tough goodbye. We then headed over to Port Angeles where we picked up our good friend and third crewmember Marcy. From there, we headed to Neah Bay where we spent the night and waited for our long-awaited departure.
On the morning of August 18th, Andiamo III and crew of Gene, Tami, and Marcy headed out to sea. Our destination of San Francisco lay over 750 miles away. What a great trip we had! We spent a solid 5 nights at sea and had a wonderful experience including our sail through the gale that lives off Cape Mendocino. We made it to San Francisco in the early evening, but anchored in Drake's Bay so we could pass under the Golden Gate bridge in the daytime. We had made it! The boat took great care of us and we were all in good spirits when we arrived. We didn't hate each other and we weren't ready to sell the boat.
The following two weeks were spent at anchor in Sausalito. Tami and I enjoyed some quality time together as we waited on our kids to arrive with Tami's mom. After the children were back on board, we enjoyed the next couple of days with Tami's parents as we saw the sights and acted like tourists. We went to a Giants baseball game, visited Muir Woods, shopped at Pier 39 and had just a wonderful time.
From San Francisco we continued our journey south. We made our way to Half Moon Bay for a couple of nights and then departed in the fog for Monterey. The aquarium in Monterey was one of the best we've seen and worth the pricey tickets. The kids loved it! From there, we sailed overnight to Port San Luis where we took a short rest and then continued to Santa Barbara. In Santa Barbara, 'Fools Anchorage' lived up to its name and forced us to the dock the following day. We finally caught up with our good friends Rod, Jane and Tucker on Isabella and enjoyed a couple days enjoying the harbor and town. The kids loved the maritime museum there.
From Santa Barbara, we sailed to Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, where we enjoyed the hospitality of the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club. A few days of relaxing there and we were ready to continue south.
Next we sailed to Marina Del Rey. Again, the hospitality of Del Rey Yacht Club is worth mentioning. The people were so nice. Gene was able to link up with a good friend high school that he hadn't seen in about 15 years. It was a great stop. While we were there, we took a walk to Venice Beach and Santa Monica. We saw the world famous Santa Monica Pier and visited with some good family friends there as well.
Next was a stop in Long Beach and Alamitos Bay. We visited the aquarium and the Queen Mary.
We debated sailing out to Catalina Island, but were convinced by our friends Mike and Wavey on sv Emerald Star to head to Two Harbors for a night or so. We ended up staying 3 nights out there with them and enjoyed Isthmus Cove and all it had to offer. It was one of our favorite stops - we highly recommend it.
After Catalina, we sailed to Oceanside, where we spent the evening with our friends from Isabella again. From there we sailed to San Diego. We rounded Point Loma and entered San Diego Bay on Sunday the 3rd of October 2010. We were elated! We had made it all the way down the West Coast and as far south as we could go for the time being. We docked at the San Diego Yacht Club (again for free!).
Now, we are waiting for the start of the Baja Ha Ha, an annual cruising rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. About 200 boats are participating this year making it the biggest one on record. We plan to depart San Diego on the 25th. Until then, we are sightseeing and readying the boat for the next 2,000 miles. The kids started their first official day of 'home school' last week and did amazingly well. Tami is doing an awesome job with it. San Diego is an amazing town. It wouldn't bother us one bit if we broke down here and were forced to go back to work. We love it here and wouldn't mind settling down here...at least for a little while.
So, since June of this year, we have driven over 3,000 miles and sailed over 2,000. We've come a long way as a family and as a crew. We have learned a lot and had some unforgettable experiences. We miss our friends and family, but are having the adventure of a lifetime. Thanks for following along on our blog. We look forward to sharing the next 5,000 miles with each other and with you.