Dolce Vita

02 February 2008 | Brick Yard Cove Marina
04 December 2007 | Brickyard Cove, Point Richmond, CA
07 March 2007 | San Francisco

Six more weeks

02 February 2008 | Brick Yard Cove Marina
Those of you that have only seen photos of Dolce Vita on land, I have a photo as proof that the boat does float.

I am now retired and find myself busier than ever getting the boat and myself ready for the scheduled sail off on March 15th. So far I am on schedule.

My son Steve is going to join me when I reach Morro Bay. We are going to visit the Channel Islands off of Santa Barbara for a week and then will drop him off at Santa Barbara so he can return to his class. Steve teaches Science and Biology.

Bob Scott, a long time sailing partner will join me for the trip from San Francisco to La Paz, Mexico. Having another sailor along for the trip will make it more comfortable for me and the company will also be nice. Someone to share the beer with. We are taking our time so it will probably talk 3 to 4 weeks to get to La Paz.

Another friend, Kurt Petersen, will join us in Marina del Rey to sail with us to San Diego.

That's all for now. I will post an update just before I pull anchor.

The date is set

04 December 2007 | Brickyard Cove, Point Richmond, CA
Dennis Gade
Getting close
In less than three weeks i will have fully retired, reaching one more major milestone in my quest to sail off with the wind.

I looked at the calendar yesterday and my World Sailing book on best time to sail by area and have selected March 15, 2008 as the date when i turn left outside the gate.

Don't know as yet if I will have crew on the voyage to Morrow Bay but it looks like my son, Steve will join me there and my friend, Bob Scott that sailed with me from Hawaii to San Francisco, will join me in Santa Barbara for the trip down to Cabo.

That is it for know. I will add another log near my dep[arture date.

Siten on the top of the Bay

07 March 2007 | San Francisco
Dennis Gade
Shakedown Cruise on Steroids

Dolce Vita, not to be confused with La Dolce Vita set sail on July 31st for Santa Barbara. I have spent the last 16 months getting my girl ready to sail off on a voyage that I hope will take me around the globe. I take Dolce Vita out on a shakedown cruise on every opportunity after completing stages of work on the boat. This will have been my fifth trip. Each trip gets longer as repairs and upgrades are completed. I won't bore you with the details but 4 out of five trips have not been without problems. Many have been minor but still can't be ignored.

Marty Griffin, my long time sailing partner, and Marty's dog Cutels, pushed off the dock at 7:00am for Santa Cruz. We planned on arriving in Santa Cruz before dark so we had to go out the gate during max ebb. The good news is that we got a nice push out to the SF buoy. The bad news was that it was a rough ride. We agreed that we would motor out to Channel Buoy number 2 before we hoisted the sails. This would save us time from not having to tack back and forth as we moved up the bar channel. Neither of us got sea sick but both of our stomachs reminded us not to take it much further. We had a great sail to Santa Cruz from the point that we turned south to off of the pier in SC. Winds were on our beam and varied between 15 to 30 knots. We tied up to the dock in Santa Cruz around 9:00 pm and quickly cleaned ourselves up and went to the bar for a well deserved drink and warm food.

We slept-in the next morning, had a nice walk and cup of coffee and pushed of the dock around noon for Monterey. It was a sunny and warm day with winds around 15 knots that allowed us to take at straight course for the Marina at Monterey. It was a sailing experience that we all dream about that reminds us after a rough and cold ride why we took up sailing.

Our first duty after arriving in Monterey was to clean up the boat and ourselves so we were all presentable and ready to accept guests. We had met a couple of live a boards last year on our trip to Monterey and we went over to visit them. They knew we were coming down again and were very happy to see us. What do most sailors do after meeting each other again after a year? We had a couple of drinks and got caught up on what each of us has been doing the past year. Billy is a professional fisherman and his wife Kim does canvas work and other repairs around the dock. Both are wonderful people and are always fun to be around.

Marty and I spent the next three days walking around Monterey and played stealth tourists and re-supplying the boat. Have any of you walked two miles between the grocery store and your boat carrying what seems to be 150 pounds of food and water? If I wasn't so cheap, I would have paid for a cab.

Our next stop, after much encouragement from others, was Stillwater Cove. For those that may not be familiar with this spot, it is located off of the 18th tee at Pebble Beach. We set anchor and deployed the dingy. We arrived around 3 in the afternoon so we decided we would stay on the boat and relax. The next day we went ashore and took a cab into Carmel, had a wonderful lunch and again played stealth tourists. The people at the swim club and on the dock were very friendly and helpful. The next day we again relaxed and walked around the course. The area is beautiful and the days were sunny. I played a round of golf at Pebble Beach with my brother several years ago. Tiger Woods can sleep at night knowing I am not going to challenge his number one rating.

After two days of rest and fun at Stillwater cove, we again pulled anchor for a long ride to Morro Bay. We arrived around 5:00 in the morning the next day after about 22 hours of motoring. The only thing good about this leg was that it was sunny during the day and the seas were flat. I am sure you share my opinion about sucks!

My son and daughter in-law live in Los Osos and we had looked forward to our visit. Unfortunately, my son was stuck in San Jose del Cabo waiting for a part for his truck so he could return home. His wife, Jessie, is 10 months pregnant and flew home because she was tired of the heat. We had a nice visit for the next few days and took Jessie and one of their friends out for a two hour sail. The sailing was great but they both were a little intimidated with the wind and rough seas. We assured them both that we and the boat were quite capable of returning them safely to land. After three days of visiting and partying with other cruisers we had to make a decision if we were going to continue on to Santa Barbara or turn back north. We decided to turn north knowing that had we gone onto Santa Barbara we could only spend a couple of days there and would have to hurry back. Since we were both on vacation, neither on of us wanted to be stresses about meeting a tight schedule.

The next morning at 2:00am we pushed off of the dock and headed into the darkness. Dead into the waves and the wind we headed north along the coast and arrived in Monterey 27 hours later at 5: 30am. We were tired, wet, cold and ready for bed. We had a little excitement on the way up off of Point Sur. The engine decides to quit. Blocked fuel filter. We pulled out the jib and set a course that would take of further off shore while I went below with my butt in the air and my head a hole while I replace the filter and bled the fuel line. After about 30 minutes, the engine was ready to start and we again returned to our original course.

We rested and slicked our wounds in Monterey for a couple of days and then pushed off to Capitola. This was my first visit to this location. It is a good place to visit once but I am not sure there is enough there to get me back again.

The next day we headed for Pillar Point where we laid up for a couple of days waiting for the seas to be friendlier. 20 foot seas are not my way of having a relaxing sail. We bought a 8 pound fresh salmon from a fisherman retuning from Bodega Bay. I filleted the meat and held back enough to cook for that evening's meal. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. What better way to end our trip.

Finally we are again headed north for the GG Bridge. Motoring our way again until we passes under the bridge. Tthe wind that we all know well was there to greet us. We had a great familiar sail back to the Richmond channel where we readied the boat for the return to my slip. 450 miles logged and back home to familiar territory.

How did the shakedown cruise go? Is the boat ready? Mission accomplished. The boat is ready for prime time. There are a few boat bucks I need to spend yet on Dolce Vita, but she has shown that she is up to the challenge.

Let's go sailing.
Vessel Name: Dolce Vita
Vessel Make/Model: Islander 36 Freeport
Hailing Port: San Francisco
About: No Crew
Extra: Sailing Voyage, that hopefully takes me safely around the globe within the next five years
Dolce Vita's Photos - Dolce Vita (Main)
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Port: San Francisco