Saturday, September 23, 2006

Long Beach - Catalina - Newport Beach - Catalina


Long Beach, Ca

It's Cocktail hour on Pacifica. Greg and I are sitting down to a nice cold beer and munchies. Yesterday after checking in at Shorline YC, we took a walk down Pine Street which is supposed to be the 'Bourbon St of the West'. Maybe....if you stretch your imagination (remember, I'm probably sensitive about it since I'm from New Orleans). But it was a nice walk about anyway. Matey even got to try her paw at modern escalators - but she has to say, she's an old fashioned girl and prefers the stairs (no drama, she was just a wee bit uncomfortable). In the evening we had dinner at the Yacht Club and met a number of other people who have traveled to Mexico with their boats.

This morning we went to the Aquarium which was fantastic, we had a great time - all the sharks and stingrays you would want to pet (well, the little ones). Saw a nice sea lion/seal feeding show - looks like doggie training, they do similar 'nothing in life is free' and targeting. Sometimes I put Matey on a training regime like theirs where I make her do tricks and commands for her food. Don't worry, she doesn't seem to mind, in fact she enjoys it and gets super excited to do stuff for me.

This afternoon, we came back to the boat to pick up the Matey girl, then went searching for a hardware store and grocery (made much easier after a quick yahoo yellow pages search). Oh, I forgot to mention the day started with cleaning out the veggie containers where a squash and cantaloupe were 'forgotten' about. Boy was that smelly, the joys of cruising, we have to be better at checking our stores.

We had a nice walk around town and Matey was on her best behavior. Making friends everywhere we went. She even got a personal invite into the hardware store after charming some of the associates. (I can't believe I was too afraid to ask to bring her in).

The EarthRace boat which is trying to set a speed record around the world using biodiesel fuel. We had a chance to see them in Long Beach.

A crab at the aquarium

Greg wanting t o try his hand at the controls of the Queen Mary.

Matey and the Queen - or is it the Queen and the princess Matey?


Still in Long Beach

OK, we leave tomorrow for Catalina. This morning we were able to meet with Bill and Bev of s/v Cat's Paw which is also an Ericson 39. They spent about 3 hours with us over brunch at the yacht club talking about tips to enjoy our cruising in Mexico. We are so happy to have spent the time with them - they even loaned us some of their cruising guides. This afternoon we had our first real shopping trip that involved something heavy of distance from the marina. We needed beer - and thought it would be cheaper for us to get here than on Catalina Island. Luckily Long Beach has these great free buses that wind throughout the downtown area. So we hopped on the bus just outside our gate, transferred to another and did our shopping. Three hours later we had our case of beer and some other food items to hopefully tide us up over the next month or so.

And Matey wants to let you all know that there are still monsters outside in LongBeach. To explain - around the 4th of July Matey became afraid to go outside after dark. We have been hoping this would go away once we got away from the dock and while we are at anchor, she doesn't seem to have a problem. But at the dock here in LongBeach, she is yet again afraid to go outside. Greg and I have to both go and make a HUGE deal about how it's "family fun time" for her to come with us. Once off the boat she's normal -- weird.....

9-25-06 through 10-4-06

Long Beach - Two Harbors, Catalina - Hen Rock Cove, Catalina - Newport Beach - Hen Rock, Catalina

Whew!!! Except for a weeks stay at Little Fishernam's Cove in Two Harbors we've been movin' around! To catch you up, we had a beautiful sail from Long Beach to Two Harbors, 10 kts the whole way and warm. Didn't catch any fish, but did see a pilot whale (I think - it was a mighty BIG dolphin if not) about a boat length away on a collision course with us. It about gave me a heart attack as I threw the wheel over. Though thinking about it now, he probably knew we were there all along and got a nice chuckle seeing me overreact.

So, Greg and I have been pondering what is going on in Matey's head - and if any of you amateur (or professional) dog trainers out there have any ideas, please give us a reply - we'd love to hear it. OK, this is the situation, matey quite often will stand all perked up with this happy puppy face on, but her tail tucked about half way under her. Usually she is on the bow of the dinghy with her front paws on the big roll up front and her back feet on the floor. Or she also does this standing with her back feet on the seat of the boat (in the cockpit) and her front paws up on the combing while her face is in the wind and she's scanning the horizon.

we wonder if she is using her tail for balance or if she feels emotions similar to people in that she feels excited but also a little scared at the same time. Hmmm.... makes us wonder...

Anyway, upon arriving at two Harbors, we found a nice little anchor spot in Little Fisherman's Cove in about 20 feet of water. It was nice until about 8pm when it became SUPER rolly till around 3 am when it flattened out again. This happened EVERY FRIGGEN night - you could almost set your watch to it. So after about 5 nights of this (yes, can you believe we even stayed that long), we decided to up anchor and find someplace new. We met a singlehander anchored next to us who had been around the island for about a month who told us about Hen Rock Cove. So Sat that was our new home. And it was beautiful. Lobster season had opened up the night before so it was full of fishermen at night making us jealous hearing about their catches of lobster. Fortunately one of the boats was using a hoop trap - which got us thinking (that's our kinda thing - we're not really into 'grabbing' bugs from behind).

We did a little fishing and the next morning while out fishing in our dinghy, a little fishy decided to get back at us and stabbed the hook into our dinghy. Now, after 4 years our nice inflatable dinghy has it's first hole. After finding out our glue in the repair kit had gone bad, we thought we needed to get somewhere to fix our dinghy right. So we headed into Newport Beach - we wanted to check it out anyway. On the sail over I had tried to call the Balboa YC and Newport Harbor YC asking about a guest slip, but was told that they don't have reciprocal privledges with Berkeley YC -- HUH?!? After a call to Phil to get our facts on how the clubs work (Greg and I haven't been part of the yacht club scene long), Greg gave it another shot and whohoo, Balboa Yacht Club would give us a night. (By the way, Greg didn't really have to convince anyone, he just spoke to a different person that I did).

We stayed in Newport an additional 2 nights on one of the $5/night moorings. We had a nice time exploring Newport. Matey made friends with the people at West Marine and the fishermen on the dinghy dock. Apparently they never saw a dog lean half her body off the side of the dock to get a look at the fish they are reeling in. Len and Carol (Greg's Dad) came to visit us for the afternoon and we gave them the pleasure of sitting in the car waiting for us while we meandered through Minney's Yacht Surplus, another West Marine and a grocery store. For those of you who have never seen Minney's, the place is amazing. Any boat owner on a budget could easily spend many hours getting lost in their rooms.

We left this morning for Hen Rock again armed this time with a Lobster hoop net. On the way we had the pleasure of seeing a pod of dolphins. Now, Greg has the fishing pole off one side of the boat and the hoop net off the other trying to get some crab.

Romping at Two Harbors

Catalina in route to Hen Rock Cove

Reeling in a fish - Matey HAS to be right beside you while you do this...

Sunset pic at Hen Rock

The woodwork detail on this boat was amazing!!!

Prop room at Minney's

Why oh why don't we have one of these in the Bay Area -- what a GREAT store.

Not all glam - back at Hen Rock and Greg had to jump into the water in his skivvies to free our fishing hook before the sun went down.

Back to romping at Two Harbors, waiting for Buccaneer days to start...

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