Monday, September 11, 2006

Santa Barbara

OH, I am a happy girl!! We got in last night - now, let me explain what our arrivals in port have been like. Usually we are ghosting into the anchorage under full sail nursing whatever wind we have left - Sometimes even under full main and spinnaker. When we get close we get all our anchor gear ready, lazyjacks (to catch the main when we lower it), and have all lines cleared. Then after arriving in the anchorage and having our spot picked out, we lower the sails and start the engine (and the stopwatch). It then becomes this choreographed dance Greg and I do to get our anchor set in the quickest/easiest time before our 'engine timer' stops. So far it has been so smooth, I think we should be charging tickets - but ohhh the drama this little dance flirts with if we don't get everything complete in time...

This morning, we coordinated with a mechanic (who was at the boat an hour and a half after we called) and the harbor patrol for an escort (we figured the embarrassment of having an escort was lower than the embarrassment of hitting a docked boat or running on the shoal). Quickly we were tied up at the dock (with our engine dying, I might add).

By this afternoon, it was all fixed - less than an hour and the mechanic (Steve Vukas - highly recommended) diagnosed the problem, bought parts (new fuel hose), and fixed our leak. Greg ran the engine at 2300 rpm for 40 minutes - that's twice as long as the longest we were able to get the engine to run over the last 4 days.

Even though I vowed to Greg I wanted to relax at the next spot we got to - I am now ready to head for more exploring. So tomorrow morning we are off to Santa Cruz Island for 3 days before we need to be in LA. Then it's off to Catalina Island.

As an update on Matey - she is quite the little crew member, we are thinking of putting her on the watch list. As we were sailing along into Santa Barbara, it's sunny, warm and a beautiful spinnaker run. Greg and I are sitting back having a beer and reading - Matey comes flying up from below and dashes to the bow staring straight ahead. As Greg and I look ahead to see what has her interest, we notice a buoy just off our bow. Scary how she knew, it wasn't one with a bell or whistle - just a floating plastic ball. She's one great sea dog.

Who needs agility class when everyday is an obstacle course!

We didn't get a picture of our first try leaving Santa Barbara - but this is take 2...

take 3...

take 4... And this one worked :-)

And we're off for Ventura, happy to be on our way again.

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