Sunday, October 1, 2006

Dana Point - San Diego

We had a nice relaxing time at Dana Point - a great return to civilization after being anchored out at Catalina for most of 3 weeks. We really felt like we were now on our way South and to new waters.

Cool Sailing rig on a boat out of Dana Point

Statue in Honor of Richard Dana - author of Two Years Before the Mast and the person Dana Point was named for

Our original plan was to sail straight to San Diego from Dana Point, but on the evening we were to leave (planned time was 10pm), the wind just tempted us with a FABULOUS breeze. We were so itching to go, we could barely contain ourselves. But hey, that's what cruising is all about, going with the weather and changing plans (or not really having set ones anyway). But since San Diego had that little rule of checking in between 8-5, it put a kink in the free-spirit of cruising. Not to worry, we're resilient -- we had been in contact over the past couple of years with another Ericson 39B owner in Mission Bay (which happens to be on the way to San Diego). Greg contacted Lew (the owner) and found out there is a great anchorage just 5 min from his boat. PERFECT!!!! I'm all for not having to do an overnight, especially when the wind is great. So off we went.

Sailing Toast - this is to everyone back at home - we do think about you often!!!!

The first couple of hours of the trip was a dream. Beautiful sunset, great wind from just aft of beam., and warm. Ahh, gotta love this Southern California sailing. But, it didn't last and the last few hours were spent motoring. But we had wonderful stars and even a few dolphins came to visit - which Matey spotted for us.

The following day, Lew brought Serendipity (his Ericson 39B) over to the anchorage for a raft-up. We had a wonderful few hours talking to him and exploring each other's boats. It was such a treat to finally meet him.

Lew's boat "Serendipity" another gorgeous Ericson 39B

Bright and early Friday morning, we upped anchor and motored straight to San Diego. We didn't even take the main cover off since it was so early and the wind was so light.

We got lucky at the police dock in that they didn't have a slip for us, so we anchored in La Playa Cove which was a special treat. It's in walking distance of most of the marine stores and a great off leash (unofficial) play area and walking path for Matey. Not to mention is was flat calm - that's always nice.

They were also having Championship remote control boat racing right next to the anchorage (that's Pacifica in the background)

While puttering around in the dinghy, we came across this trawler with sails - is this a schizophrenic boat?

Found a little place to tie up the girl's chariot..

So she can have a little DOGGIE time...Romping and swimming (this wasn't our idea, she got wet all on her own)

I gave Greg his first haircut of the trip...

Unfortunately a good chunk of our time here was spend drilling out the soggy parts of our balsa core near the bolts on the plate and rebedding the plate since it was never properly installed. At least it gave us the incentive to check out the bolts that hold our steering cables - which weren't done correctly either. (so we are taking care of these at the SDYC...see below)

Greg with the newly pained deck plate

The anchorage is right next to the San Diego yacht club (which we were able to use as a dinghy dock) and I have a bit of apologizing to do. I had looked up their information on the web and saw they didn't allow dogs on the guest dock and somehow got it into my head that they were a bit snooty. But on coming here, this is a super nice club. Not only does it have wonderful amenities (hot tub, tennis courts, pool, sailing library), but everyone we've met here is super friendly. At the guard shack, they have cookies or tennis balls to give to dogs who visit. This works out great because Matey has her picky treat issue, but give her a ball, and she's totally stoked! Oh and about the security, they are constantly walking around. we were kinda loud one night when Allan was over and heard a knock on our hull. Of course we thought, "great, it's our first night here and we are already getting in trouble". But the guard just wanted to tell us our dinghy motor was rubbing on the bow of our boat. We were so impressed with the concern they showed for our boat and us.

Greg and Allan singing into the night - it was a total night of Greggie Jams...


Matey and Allan

So, you've probably figured out we are staying at the San Diego Yacht Club. They don't take reservations, but had lots of room for us when we stopped in to get a guest slip. we've been living the good life for 3 days now - did I mention they also have free wi-fi to the boats?

In addition to attending the Downwind Marine party and last night going to a pressure cooking demonstration which we met a few other Haha boats - the highlight of coming to San Diego has been to spend time with Allan - Greg's long time friend from 7th grade who now lives here. He's also been shuttling us around and will lend us his car later in the week. Greg and Allan have been able to bounce back to their fun antics, and I have been fortunate enough to have a glimpse into their past. Jackie and Len, you might want to ask just where that Genesis sign came from in Greg's old bedroom - I think you'd enjoy the story :-)

Catalina - Dana Point

Last time we left off we were heading back to Catalina after Newport. Whew it seems like ages ago....

This is Two Harbors on Buccaneer Days. Just so that you know, Little Fisherman's Cove is on the opposite side about Half way down the land.

Our main objective when returning to Catalina was to try out our lobster trap. After a night of setting it out and taking turns every hour checking the empty trap, I had opted for sleep while of course still REALLY wanting a lobster. Luckily Greg was up for taking over all the middle of the night checking and only waking me if/when we caught something. On our second night trying, around 3 am in the morning, I hear Greg banging his foot on the deck (which is right above my head). After springing up from a deep sleep to this loud racket (I'm sure glad Pacifica has a lot of head room up forward), I realize it must be a lobster. I fumbled my way on deck grabbing the measuring tool and gloves and stumbled to the bow where the Greg was with our catch. Sure enough we were indeed lobster fishermen!!!!

Our first lobster -- it was so dark that night.

This was a HUGE lobster someone else caught. This is also when we got to see a demonstration on how to clean them.

The next night we had a fabulous dinner of baked lobster (in garlic and butter), Lori's Pasta (Lori is in the Berkeley YC and introduced me to Pasta tossed with olive oil, garlic and cayenne which is now a Pacifica favorite) and salad. YUM YUM!!!!!

We followed this catch along with 2 more lobsters a couple of nights later while we were anchored at Hamilton Beach near Avalon. The night that we caught the 2 lobster was the finale of a fabulous fishing day. We still have fish in our freezer from our catch from just right at anchor. Greg is becoming quite the fisherman (though I do throw the hook in every once and a while). I usually do all the filleting (it's that Louisiana girl coming out in me, guess I learned something from all those warm nights watching my dad fillet our fish at home when I was a little girl - THANKS, DAD!)

So, we've been eating well. We've also been highly entertained over the past couple of weeks out at Catalina. In between all the fishing, we've spent the weekends at Two Harbors at their festivities. First there was Buccaneer Days. Which was an amazing sight. We picked up a mooring because we heard from our friend that it can get pretty crazy in the anchorage. It was a great idea because my favorite part was actually being on the boat and watching all the people dressed in costume ride around in their dinghy yelling 'ARRRGH!!!!!" at everyone. Matey HATED it - all of it. The boats had these fake cannon blasts that were going off throughout the anchorage all weekend. She spent most of the weekend in her Zen Den. We would bring her to shore to play in the mornings early so she would get a little romping time, but it did break our hearts to see her scared. She's over it now mostly, though the next weekend at Two Harbors still had her a little spooked.

Matey running pirate.

Greg and Melissa Pirate

I'm sorry (for us) to say that we were able to enter the bar, get a 'weekend pass bracelet' to drink all we want and we didn't have a single id on us to prove our age. HO HUM...

So Buccaneer days was basically LOTS of people dressed in costume drinking all day long. We are glad we got to see it but probably won't go back since it's not really our kinda thing.

The Patricia Belle - This boat will also be going on the Ha Ha.

Pirate Dinghy

Pirate ship - kinda

Pacifica Pirate

Pirate ship

Crazy Dinghy dock. Later in the evening boats were at least 3-4 deep to get to the dock.


Cell phone pirate

Pirate Band

Lusty Pirates

Smug Pirate

Wench with turkey leg and beer

Aging pirates

Dinghy Pirates

Sailboat with cannons on the side

Greg was the star, These girls asked to take their picture with the 'Pizza Pirate'

The following weekend at Two Harbors was Cruisers Weekend and that was a lot of fun. I'm sure the sponsors wish more people came - a lot I'm sure were discouraged by the chance of thundershowers over the weekend. Since we were already there, it didn't matter a bit to us. They had a day of great seminars and the evening was spent at a BBQ with Eric Stone Band playing for all of us. We met 2 other HaHa boats that we hung out with for the festivities.

Pacifica at Little Fisherman's Cove

The Monday after Cruisers Weekend we were so ready to get outta dodge and get on with our trip. So after a tip from Peggy and Enrique on the nice facilities at Dana Point YC, we made a reservation for our 3 free nights and headed here. This is where we are now. We've had dinner at the club the past 2 nights - Grill your own burgers on Monday (kinda like Friday nights at BYC, only less people) and Taco Tuesday.

Matey waiting for a fish to bite the line (we are waiting also, but a little less obvious)

Our wacky docking at Dana Point YC.

We plan to head out late tonight and go straight to San Diego planning to get in tomorrow morning. We'll probably anchor unless we get lucky and get a space at the police dock - we'll see...