S/V Adventure

Follow the O'Neil family, sailing in their Catalina 42, on their 2-year sabbatical to see the Pacific coast of the US, Mexico, and Central America, Galapagos, the South Pacific, and New Zealand.

08 June 2012 | Home
05 June 2012 | 100 miles to the Farallons!
02 June 2012 | 475 miles off the coast
31 May 2012 | 579 miles to go
30 May 2012 | 694 miles to go
30 May 2012 | 800 miles to go
29 May 2012 | 915 miles off California
28 May 2012 | Past halfway between Hawaii and SF
27 May 2012 | Past halfway between Hawaii and SF
26 May 2012 | Halfway between Hawaii and SF
24 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
23 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
22 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
21 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
20 May 2012 | Pacific Gyre
16 May 2012 | Pacific Gyre
16 May 2012 | Pacific
18 September 2011 | Home
07 September 2011 | Crossing the southern tip of the big island
05 September 2011 | Pacific

Seal Rock

10 November 2007 | Los Islotes
My sister, Dad, me and Sailir from Idefix went to Seal Rock (Los Isoltes) yesterday. I think that it should be called Bird Rock because there are definitely more birds than seals.

The rock looks like it has been bashed with giant bats and covered in fluffy snow. But it isn't snow, its bird poop. Anyway, we arrive there by dinghy after a long and very bumpy ride over the small tsunamis. The waves flatten out as we near the rock.

We get our wet suites (yes, the water is cold) and snorkel gear on and jump in. We swim around our own separate ways for a while and observe the colorful fish. All of a sudden our vision is obscured by thousands of small silver fish that have formed a humongous wall from the sea floor to the surface. I swim in between them and they form a small dome around me. I swim around in a circle and all I see are these little fish. I feel like I am one of those guys that scuba dive in the tanks at the aquariums, partly, because I am surrounded by thousands of awesome fish, and partly because my allowance is less than minimum wage.

Now, you are probably wondering "if this is a story about seal rock, where are all the seals?" Well, I'll tell you right now that there are no seals at all, there are sea lions. You are now wondering "OK, then where are the sea lions?"
We did see some of those. I was taking a picture with our underwater camera of a tiny Sergeant Major fish when I felt a frantic hand on my shoulder. I turned around as fast as I could and heard Casey going "maay weee wioon!!" through her snorkel. Having studied and listened to the art of snorkel talk I knew I had just three choices to what she might be saying: 1. "A Key lime!!" 2. "You're lookin' fine!!" or 3. "A sea lion!!" Having such little time I picked the most logical of the three.

I nodded my head in agreement figuring it was choice number 2; after all, I did look pretty good that day. But she kept flailing her arms and making blubbing noises through her snorkel. Then a giant sea lion came into view. We were all in awe just treading water and looking down at this sea lion that was blowing bubbles onto his stomach. He rolled over and swam away really fast. We saw a few others. One came about an arms length to Sailir and opened its mouth. "Oh my gosh! It's going to eat him!" I thought. But it just made a sea lion bark and swam away. It was awesome but we all got tired after about and hour and decided to go back.
When we reached the boat we hooked our camera up to the computer and watched all the videos that we took of the sea lions and fish. We turned off the sound because we figured that if it was under water then we wouldn't be able to hear anything. But after watching some of the videos Sailir wondered if we could actually hear anything. "No probably not." We said. But we played a random video with sound just to make sure. It was of my dad. He obviously didn't know that the camera was recording because the camera was pointed at his feet. He is treading water. All we hear is bubbles rising and the slow steady sound of my dad breathing. All of a sudden a brown figure approaches him. A sea lion. It comes closer and closer to him. The slow steady breathing becomes more rapid and his fins are flailing. The sea lion swims closer still. He is hyperventilating now. He is freaking out. The sea lion stops coming near him and swims away. The breathing goes down to rapid and then to normal. We all got a good laugh out of that and decided to play the rest of our videos with sound.
Vessel Name: Adventure
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 42
Hailing Port: Marina Bay, Richmond CA
Crew: The O'Neil Family
About: Sean (Captain and Line Man) Kathy (Helmswoman and Cook) Tara - 12 years old at trip start, Casey - 11 years old at trip start (Crew and Students)
Extra: We're on a three-year sabbatical from the daily grind to see the Pacific coast of the US, Mexico, Central America and the South Pacific and stopping at New Zealand.

S/V Adventure

Who: The O'Neil Family
Port: Marina Bay, Richmond CA