You remember that we were celebrating our TIP success by going zip lining while we were in Ensenada Mexico (see Blog #19) Below is a YouTube video that Ashley made of our adventures. I would highly recommend doing this adventure with Desert Nest , if you are in Ensenada. It was a blast!!!
We had 5 zip lines & suspension bridge! We all had a great time, the service was excellent and they went out of their way to get a special sunset trip for us without anyone else. We felt very lucky.
As we prepared to leave the Bahia Marina in Oxnard CA and head out to anchor at Santa Cruz Island which is part of the Channel Islands, we had a balancing act to perform.
“Our performance was one of skill, maneuvering, humor and sweat”
The audience was the folks on land and the “liveaboards” at the marina. The reason for our performance was because of the type of dock we were at. We had a slip rather than a side tie and we needed to use our crane to hoist up our dinghy to the top deck. If you don’t understand the difference; a slip has two dock arms one on each side of the boat and a side tie only has dock on one side of the boat. Being that we were in a slip we had to back out of our slip and hover in the middle of the canal to be able to lift the dinghy up. We had looked for a side tie spot to move our boat to for a few hours, without luck. To complicate matters we had our new dinghy and have never lifted it before. (blog #17)
There were so many unknowns with this balancing act… will the lifting bracket fit good in the new dinghy and be level as we lift her, will the dinghy fit into the cradle on the boat, will we be able to get it done with just 2 of us and not risk our big boat? Yes, we are crazy, but yes, we did it. Lots of adjusting to get it lifted correctly and a bit of juggling to get her down in the cradle, so we could secure her. Sorry no pics, our hands were a little busy, but I’m sure the audience got a few.
After our acrobatics, we headed just a short way to Santa Cruz Island and found a quiet anchorage and settled in for the night on the north side. We giggled a bit about our daily activities as we sat on the top deck and took in the view, we wondered what others thought, as they watched us.
Our plan was to explore the islands, but the winds kicked up a bit and we decided to wait another day. The next day the winds didn’t settle down as expected, they started to get stronger and we had no cell service or internet to be able to get a detailed weather forecast. We only had XM weather and VHF radio weather, which limited our view. Throughout the day things on the boat were starting to rattle and bang in the winds and one of our top canvas bimini covers was getting caught in the wind and we had to take it down because it was starting to rip. That was no easy tasks getting it down in the wind. We spent part of the day making sure everything was tied down good. I thought it was kinda fun watching and listening to the wind…. Dan probably wouldn’t have used the word “fun”. We had been told that the Santa Ana winds were something to watch out for. Which we now understand why. We had sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour and gusts that topped 50+ even with us tucked in behind the mountain top and in a cove. Glad we weren’t out in the open. We were actually doing pretty good for as strong as the winds were. We had two other boats with us in the cove.
One chose to leave in the heavy winds. The other waited until about 3 pm when the winds settled down a bit. He called us as he was leaving and said that he was moving because the winds were changing directions. We had also talked about moving to the other side of the island and quickly left just after the second boat did. When we arrived “Ocean Echo”, the boat that chatted with us was also in that cove on the other side of the island. We were lucky that the winds had settled down by the next morning and we were very thankful as I’m sure other boaters were too. This pic was taken as “Ocean Echo” was leaving and the sun was coming up that calm morning.
With the calm weather we decided we were getting out while we could and aimed for Avalon on Catalina Island. The sun was out, the weather was beautiful, and I was at the helm! Up top, of course!! We had a beautiful cruise down the coast and as we approached Catalina Island I kept thinking that it looked very similar to the Channel Islands we just left behind. Brown, bare and plain. It surely doesn’t compare to the San Juan Islands in WA! My expectation was that Avalon (coastal resort town) would be a bigger more expensive Roche Harbor, but it certainly isn’t as pretty from 1 mile away. I was hoping it would get better. As we got close to the marina a harbor patrol boat came and escorted us to our mooring ball. It was nothing like we have seen before. It had a front bow loop and a back stern loop to keep you facing in the correct direction. (to fit more boats in). This was our only choice for anchoring in Avalon. Most mooring balls will not hold the weight of our boat. But they actually have mooring balls that hold boats that are 100 feet and larger.
Avalon didn’t disappoint us. It was a much bigger and more built up town than Roche Harbor. There was so much to do. I highly recommend it if you haven’t been before.
You don’t even need a boat. You can take a ferry from LA location over to the island, they have many B & B’s, hotels etc. I would love to go back. Lots of good restaurants, tours of the island, rent golf carts and parasailing which was a lot of fun!
We took off early Friday morning, as soon as we had light of day and headed to San Diego. We had a full days run and didn’t want to arrive at Fiddler’s Cove Marina in the dark. This Marina is on Coronado Island and is a Naval base outstation for those that are active or retired military. The welcoming was over the top, they helped catch lines and were very happy we were on their guest dock for 10 days. Folks kept telling us, we were making the marina look nicer. We had a great stay.
We had the opportunity to go the Navy/Notre Dame football game while we were in San Diego. Navy lost, but it was tons of fun. We also went to the Annapolis alumni tailgate party before the game and had a great time talking to lots of people Dan went to school with and lots of new folks.
Our son Chase joined us again with some friends for a long weekend. It is always nice to have guests! They stayed busy while we were counting down our last days in the US. We were preparing for our departure to Mexico with the Baja Ha-Ha Sailing rally. Doing last minute provisioning and Dan was taking advantage of some of the classes that the rally was offering. The last day before departing, our good friends Ron and Ashley joined us. They are both captains and own the Zephyr which is a research vessel. Our trip south with Baja Ha-Ha’s was a 2 week vacation for them and we were very grateful for their help on our trip to Mexico. Before we left San Diego the Baja HaHa Rally had a costume Party with all the travelers. We picked Vikings as our theme…
I think we pulled it off well and looked pretty “viking like” The next photos were the last two we took in the United States before leaving San Diego Bay.
“Okay… are you asking, why did we join a sailing rally?”
Yes, we aren’t a sailboat, but a few motorboats join the rally. We had lots to learn from others that have done this before, lots of events, classes, beach parties, and learning along the way as we gained new connection. So yes, we joined a sailing rally.
Look for our next Blog “Baja Ha-Ha, A Mexican Adventure…#19”
Hope you are living Your Dream…. or at least planning for it!
Excitement is normal when we cruise in the ocean and change locations. Leaving San Francisco on a Thursday morning, a day or two later than we wanted because of the weather. Which reminded us who’s boss…Mother nature! We were excited to have Clark Nelson with us on our trip, just another set of hands is always good, but the best part is we enjoy being with Clark, he is just a joy to travel with and always jumps in to help on anything! Thanks Clark, YOU’RE THE BEST!!
Our plan was to have two stops along the way, North end of Monterey Bay and Morro Bay with our final location Oxnard, Bahia Marina in the Channel Islands. Our first stop was Santa Cruz on the north end of Monterey Bay. We arrived about 4pm with no issues and anchored in the bay. We had dinner and got ready for our early rise the next morning.
We headed out early the next morning for Morro Bay. As we headed down the coast across the miles of Monterey Bay south, the weather was a bit rougher than expected. A decision was made to anchor in the south end of Monterey bay and try again in the morning.
Next morning was much calmer and we headed down to Morro Bay Yacht Club. We had a nice side tie on the guest dock for 1 night. The boys, Dan and Clark, had fun visiting with the club members that helped us tie up.
We again headed out in the dark of the morning to give us enough time to arrive at Oxnard, Channel Islands Harbor with daylight. We arrived at Bahia Marina Sunday late afternoon with a great slip big enough for our boat.
As Dan and I looked forward to the upcoming weeks we both had different feelings and anticipation. Dan was going back to Portland to meet up with friends to go hunting, and I was going to have some alone time on the boat. This Girl was NOT spending two weeks alone…. THAT’s for sure. So thank goodness for girlfriends, I might have gone nuts with too much time alone. This was the first time that I was going to stay on the boat by myself and “in charge” of everything for 2 weeks. I’m sure Dan was a bit nervous, but so was I. I needed to paying attention to all the critical boat stuff to make sure my guests and I live comfortably, but also so I don’t ruin something and have a big mess for Dan to clean up when he returns. I needed to pay attention to things like; not running out of water, making sure that the power stays on and our holding tanks don’t overfill. Along with any unexpected items. Which there always is , when living on a boat.
Dan, Clark and I spent a few days visiting with the folks on the 3 live-a-boards that were next to us, learning about the marina, town and the daily dock visitors, the Sea lions. Then early one morning the guys headed to Portland and left me ALONE!
I had a few days before the first group of girls joined me for a long weekend. Molly, Emily & Kylie joined me on Friday night. We had a great day on Saturday in Santa Barbara at a couple wineries. We packed snacks and had a great time with each other and with the town and wineries.
We spent time on the beach and got some great sunset pictures, fun dinners on the boat, played cards, rode bicycles, kayaks, paddle board and lots of laughter! We even found the Sunday Farmers Market and got some fresh fruits and veggies. It was a long time since I had girl time, so it was really nice!
Girls had to leave on Mid-day Monday, I was then alone again, with a storm coming. I had to work on doing some more securing of our lines and closing everything down, all the hatches and portholes and tighten down the canvas so I didn’t have water where it doesn’t belong. When I got up the next morning I was surprised. That was no storm…. They really haven’t lived through a storm until they have lived through one one in the Pacific NW. Everything looked good except I did have one injury that that needed attention. One of the lines we had as a spring line was rubbing and wearing and it could have caused an issue, so I needed to change the line and direction and stop the wearing and possible breakage. Which I did with no issue. TaDa!
A few days later my sister Julie joined me. She really didn’t know what to expect about life on a boat or what we would be doing. I think I blew her mind with how beautiful it is, so much down time and fun activities.
We visited nearby cities; Malibu, Santa Barbara & Ventura, we had fun dinners out and on the boat, beach time with beautiful sunsets and I took her on her first the wave-runner ride in through the canals and out towards the ocean. We had a great time and we definitely ate way too much ice cream, but it was sure fun!
But the most important activity is Julie cut and colored my hair for me. It looks so much better! Nice of Julie to spend some of her vacation working… but on a special client, her Sis!
After Julie left I had some more alone time before Dan came back. I was really happy to have him back but sure enjoyed my girl time!!!! THANK YOU LADIES, I appreciated your time with me! Hope you had as much fun as I did.
Dan and I planned our next move. I had stayed in Oxnard for 2+ weeks and was really ready to see something new. Our plan was to anchor out at Santa Cruz Island for a couple days and then head to Catalina & San Diego, our final destination before Mexico. BUT first we had to take care of our dinghy.
If you’ve kept up on our blogs, you know we had issues with our dinghy getting a hole (Blog #6, 7 & 8). Dan did a great job fixing it…. BUT it didn’t hold. We finally had to call the insurance company and put in a claim. The adjuster came and assessed it and said we did a good job with our fix. When the claim was processed the dinghy was totaled. So our final resting place for our old dinghy was to recycle her as a trade-in and get a new one. We were able to get one that is a little bit smaller and lighter in weight. The other one was too heavy and actually putting some stress on the ceiling of our boat when we used the crane. So we made more lemonade with our lemons with our new dinghy! We are happy!
If you have noticed, I haven’t written a blog in a few weeks. I took time off while I was with the Girls. I also had some time with no service too. Will try and keep up on my weekly routine.
Next up….. “Channel Island – Santa Cruz, Catalina and San Diego Mexico prep”