s/v Solstice

John and Shirlee's incredible adventure

10 December 2009 | Cartagena, Spain
11 October 2007 | Long Beach, CA
10 October 2007 | Long Beach, CA
08 October 2007 | Lala land
07 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
06 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
04 October 2007
04 October 2007
03 October 2007 | Oxnard, CA
02 October 2007
30 September 2007
27 September 2007 | Morro Bay, CA
25 September 2007
23 September 2007
22 September 2007
20 September 2007 | Monterey, CA
18 September 2007 | Monterey, CA
15 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA
14 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA
12 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA

Cojo Anchorage

30 September 2007
The passage from Port San Luis was long, but it was exciting too. It turned out that we had to be more than 12 miles out to avoid the security area for Vandenberg. We were rewarded by an incredible display of marine mammals - seals, several kinds of dolphins, humpbacks, and some other whale - and a rocket launch that went right over the top of us. Awesome. The seals were porpoising just like the dolphins, so we had to look closely to identify them.

There were hundreds of dolphins between Point Arguello and Point Conception. Earlier we had identified bottlenose dolphins playing in our bow wake. Now there were also common dolphins and possibly another species as well. We first saw them as splashes in the water while we were watching a pair of whales in the distance. There was no wind, so we knew we weren't seeing wind waves. Soon it was clear that they were dolphins heading our way while behind us dozens more were approaching. We were cruising through their evening meal!

We heard an announcement on the radio that blue whales had been spotted in Santa Barbara Channel. (That's where we are now.) It's time for their annual migration down to Baja. I'm really looking forward to seeing them, although I'm not really sure how to identify them unless we get close. The whale guide says they're enormous, but humpbacks look gigantic to me too. Maybe we'll just know it when we see one.

We've spent an extra night at Cojo Anchorage, not because it's such a great or beautiful place, but because it was time to change the oil. In fact, this is one of the rollier anchorages we've been in, and it doesn't seem all that sheltered from the wind either. We're not in the ideal place here because the anchorage was pretty full by the time we came in. We thought about moving yesterday, but the boats that were in the sweet spot seemed to have as much swell and wind as we did. In fact, a couple of people have been surfing over there. Our anchor was firmly set, so we stayed put. It was kind of a rough night the second night.

M�rzen has been under the weather. Yesterday morning she refused food until mid-morning, and she has thrown up a couple of times over the last few days. We've thinking it could be motion sickness even though she's never had a problem with it before. The swell here is different. In the afternoon and evening, she was fine again. We're going to try half a Benadryl to see if it helps.
Vessel Name: Solstice
Vessel Make/Model: Sceptre 41
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA, USA
Crew: John Forbes and Shirlee Smith
About: Our crew is Märzen (our miniature dachshund) and whoever else is aboard at the moment, if anyone. We welcome friends and family to join us as crew for specific legs of our voyage or to visit at a destination.
Extra: We left San Francisco May 1, 2006, on our proposed 10-year voyage, now reduced to five years due to the economic crisis. Visit our home website for photos, more words, and links.
Home Page: https://www.svsolstice.com