While nature is a ‘scape’ hard to rival, the other scape that has become surprisingly dear to us has been the people – scales we’ve traversed. When we set off on our adventure, I imagined solitude on the ocean, swimming, wave-playing, hiking, being in nature, and having close-knitting experiences with Ted and Josh. So far, we’ve spent far more time in cities & towns than anticipated. I recall after arriving in the San Francisco Bay area that after about 3 days, I felt ready to head out again. It was just a bunch of buildings, touristas, shops, fast catamaran ferries, hustledy-bustledy. Then we met Bart on a dock in Sausalito. A concept designer who recently spent time in Vancouver, living temporarily on a sailboat, who filled in lots of interesting history and local stories. Bart was one of our first people connections that made the SF Bay go from a faceless anonymous place to one of greater depth and texture. You could read more stories and experiences into the place you were in allowing a sense of affection for the place. Unexpected, but wonderfully found in a cityscape. Several dear characters have shown up in our travels: Liddy and Bill in Tiburon: which we especially appreciate for telling Josh about the Five Year Plan (which involves leaving his parents blissfully ignorant of any errant questionable activities for 5 years) and for being super generous; Frank in San Diego who found us on the dock and saved us hours of time getting ready to head into Mexico, but best of all entertaining us with his funny stories and ‘casual’ driving style. Love you! What a great feeling to head off into Mexico with many happy memories of what open, generous, happy spirited neighbours we have!
Not that we planned it, but arrival in Ensenada was the day before the Baja 1000 was to start. This is considered a holiday in the town and it was a carnival of people, noise and partying. The great thing about Ensenada is that cruiser community is here, we have met may travellers all headed south, a great cross section of people that are all very helpful and generous. Josh and couldn’t resist taking in some of the Baja 1000 starts, which resulted in the following vid which does a better job than words explaining the whole scene.
Another day of getting a few food supplies then we are off south, winds look good for a few days so we will take advantage. We are still immersed in a constant flow of change , every day is new moving the mind closer to “Adesso” ( the now ). Now I know this is the true gift of cruising.
On arrival in Mission Bay where we anchored for a couple of days before heading to Southwest Yacht Club, I noticed a blot on the deck. Hum- where could that have come from, we the boom vang attachment to the boom right above was coming loose. In fact two bolts were missing (on the deck) and others were loose. This needed repair which involved new bolts and epoxy metal. As usual this caused me to inspect the area a little closer, the results were rebuilding the cheek blocks for my main reefing and the main traveller shackle was bending and stretched. A little help from Downwind Marine and the rigger across the street resulted in all the parts needed. I feel MUCH better about having these parts refreshed.
We enjoyed the nature, hiking and swimming offered by the Channel Islands (Santa Cruz & Catalina) with Yellow Banks anchorage on Santa Cruz being our favourite. It was an almost empty anchorage which offered a little surf for Josh to play in, a good hike over to the next bay where we explored an old out-station that had an olive grove, and we picked fresh limes and oranges.
Next to Catalina Islands, where we really enjoyed the snorkelling, hiking, and swimming in beautiful clear turquoise waters.
On to San Diego!
We so appreciated the reciprocal moorage offered to cruisers who hold memberships at yacht clubs near their own home ports. Southwestern Yacht club was simply wonderful to stay at! Frank, who found us at SWYC, was a fantastic host. He saved us hours and hours of time in San Diego helping us get ready to head into Mexico. He provided us with great information, entertaining stories, entertaining driving (lots of driving!), San Diego history, and he showed us where to get a great beer. He and his wife joined us on Adesso for dinner. Good memories!
As we head south from San Francisco we start to hear these critters scurrying, clicking and scratching on our hull. The further south we get, the louder they become. Maybe, as we head into warmer water, they get bigger. Or, perhaps they have infiltrated to the bilge. Checking the bilge, or retrieving stores from the bilge has been avoided lately…
My number one cruising phobia is a cockroach infestation. Those indestructible hard shelled-prehistorics give me a serious case of the heebie jeebies! Whatever is making that clickety-clack ruckus seems to be particularly active at 1am when my internal clock has decided to provide me with a wake-up call ….and when the mind likes to run amuck. The clacking seems deafening; definitely coming from the bilge now with numbers surely doubling since falling asleep. Multitudes are crunching our bilge veggies, pooping, breeding and spreading some kind of horrid prehistoric disease. Stomach curdling!
Righto! Action! Call up Yachtworld, we’re selling the boat!
Okay, that was a 1 am thought. Regaining some objectiveness after coffee, a few seriously tentative inquiries are made (hate to have phobias confirmed).
What? A very common little 9mm swimmy thing? Making all that noise? Called a Snap-shrimp? Yep… that’s what I thought all along!
We are in San Diego and yes we have had some amazing adventures in the Channel Islands and Catalina Island; more on that later. The locals were commenting on the heat wave we are experiencing, temps in the high 80’s near the water!! My long hair was HOT, very HOT not to mention the issue with salt water which resulted major hair loss every time i tried to comb it. Akkk this was crazy making, so we hit “Franks” favourite barber Lynn who did the trim job in about 7 minutes.
Short hair does have it’s advantages, no fuss no muss, coooooool, and a spash of H2O in the morning and I almost look presentable. Josh leapt into action as well. Sue still recognizes me but I can tell she is wondering if I am the same guy she married!
As most of you know we do like great food. For great food you need great ingredients, so when we started this trip we wondered how easy it would be to find them. As it turns out the great storage capacity of the fridge and freezer has helped greatly and with Trader Joe’s, the occasional Safeway, and the big surprise Costco, with many organic choices in every food category; we do extremely well! On occasion we have to be extra creative when the fridge gets a little empty, but necessity is the mother of invention. Now to the food.
My favourite dinner so far are our Albacore Tuna (caught by Josh) burgers. Here is a quick recipe incase you catch some back home.
Slice tuna loin into 3/4” thick steak.
- Lime juice
- Sesame Oil
- Soy sauce
- Chilli flakes
- Lime rind
Marinate the tuna for about an hour.
BBQ on a hot grill for MAX 2 minuets a side
Serve with wasabi mayo, avocado, tomato, lettuce
My favourite breakfast is only available when Sue is inspired to bake. She makes the best cinnamons buns on the pacific ocean, just add a little coffee and life is divine.
- Used Monterey?
- The Beach?
Hint: It involves renting a car and driving north to Santa Cruz…
After doing lots of research (including the recommendation of the local surf shop) & consulting our budget, we felt that the best option was 3 ! We rented a car, zipped to the next town (Santa Cruz) and whipped out the Costco card! There it was: an 8’ beauty, $99, trial run by the pro’s and met our Wannabe Surfer’s approval. Josh has been having lots of fun ever since!
Has our sailing adventure just got skewed towards surf beaches? No worries… I too have a goal to surf before 60!
Hurray!!! After a little struggle (mostly my learning curve and a few leaks to fix) the Spectra seems happy to make water. Sue can have as many showers as she wants and we might even make enough to wash the boat occasionally. Amazing technology and it is surprisingly efficient. We are using only 9 amps to make water at 13 gallons per hour which our solar will keep ahead of in the middle of the day. The install of the Spectra 380 is a little cramped on Adesso and is hard on the knuckles to work on but we are free from the need to find good water, this an amazingly freeing. I must say my old brain is constantly challenged with learning some new skill, and the Spectra manual was another of those things. All this “smart” technology takes smart people to run when problems occur, and sometimes I wonder if I’m up to the task.