Thursday, October 30, 2008

Leg 1: San Diego to Turtle Bay

Day 1: We departed a cold and foggy San Diego for hopefully warmer places. There are about 150 boats participating in this Ha Ha so it was pretty intense seeing all those boats on the starting line. It did stay foggy for most of the day with occasional sunshine, but we didn't care...we were on our way!

Day 2: We had pretty calm winds and seas. We did manage to sail all the previous night, but we had to motor to preserve our sanity once the sails started slapping. We did catch 2 fish one Black Skipjack and one Yellowfin Tuna...yum. It was a day with more sunshine than fog so we knew we were headed in the right direction.

Day 3: Again the winds were fluky and shifty, but we sailed when possible and motored the rest of the time. As we passed Isla Cedros we entered the stormy area. Lightning and thinder rumbled and flashed as the rains poured down for ten minutes or so. The storm passed followed by another one, but no worries. We survived unscathed. We crossed the finish line and headed towards Turtle Bay. By 4am we were anchored and in bed for the night. Hooray we finished leg one!

Baja Ha Ha begins!!!

Alright much has happened since I last wrote...I think. We had a bad ass party at West Marine for the kick off of the Ha Ha. David dressed as Richard and I dressed as Dona, but I changed into the more racy pirate vixen outfit later. It was a great time to meet people and socialize. We started the rally the following morning.

Friday, October 24, 2008

San Diego

We are here in San Diego at last. We got here yesterday late at night. We tied up at the customs/police dock and slept after the all day journey from Catalina.

The following morning we found our friends from Sea Siren and another friend we met in Mexico, Scott from "Vinmar." We enjoyed chatting but after all of our excuses vamoosed we actually had to tend to some business...provisioning and boat projects. We called up the West Marine Shuttle and did some grocery shopping. We are set for the time, but we will have to shop for the trip before we leave Monday.

We decided to leave the Customs dock before we got kicked out and headed to our new destination of Glorietta Bay. We anchored and had a nice dinner before crashing out at 9pm aka cruiser midnight.

Part 2:

We got up reasonably early and got moving to Shelter Island in the dinghy. We secured the dink and wandered ashore to the many marine stores and purchased our fair share of marine toys and whatnot. Our last stop was West Marine where we ran into a few friends from Mexico.

David and I decided it was well past beer thirty and our stomachs were growling so we moved on to the SDYC (San Diego Yacht Club). We dined and drank happily. We are supposed to call some friends for a possible dinner gathering tonight, but as for now all is well in the Eupsychia world.

Catalina Island

The sun is out and its over 70 degrees! Yesssss! It has been a day of projects so far, well for David at least. I started cleaning, but then I remembered that I had to entertain the folks at home reading the blog. I do hope this stuff isn't too long winded or anything. Anyhow David is cleaning the soon to be doomed auto pilot, the Fuzz Nugget (Maui) is sleeping and I am doing this. We will be headed to San Diego tomorrow to tend to yet more chores and boat projects. I would say life is tough and it is, but not for us right now. We know people are working hard while we bob happily in our own kelp forest. Good times.

Smuggler's Cove

We slept in and lazed around Cojo until breakfast was made and the boat was tidied up and things stowed once more. I am glad we had things properly stowed since the best way to find out if you did good is high wind and rough seas. That unstows half-assed stowed things. Well we try to do nothing half-assed on this boat only full-assed.

With anchors aweigh and the sails hoisted we headed across the Santa Barbara Channel which is also a big shipping lane for freighters. We saw a few coming our way and "put the pedal to the mable" as my sweet love once said (I never let him live down his Daveisims). We hauled ass (full-ass) and found the weather. It was blowing between 16-20 knots and the waves were 4 feet with wind waves. It was choppy, but handled rather easily since it was at out backs most of the time. It stayed like that from noon till 7pm moving us along just fine. When the time came we started the motor and dropped the sails (in that order) and motored to Smuggler's Cove. We made it a little after 9pm and dropped the hook for the night.

Surprise, surprise it was cold and foggy when we woke up. Mind you we are pretty smelly at this point living in our foulies and whatnot. We picked up anchor and moved on hopefully towards warmer weather and a possibility for a shower. Unlike some fancy boats our shower is freezing and outdoors so it needs to be warm to motivate us to shower early on.

I had my nose buried in my third book of the trip peering around frequently for hazards and I spotted some dolphins. A few large (maybe 8 feet or bigger) Bottlenose dolphins came over and entertained us and themselves for a short time. We kept on and found some sweet sunshine! After much needed showers we were ready for anything. Well it was on of the most calm and traffic free days yet. We made it to Catalina Island and anchored in the kelp at Howland's Landing. Sleep.

Somebody call Animal Planet!

David woke me up in the morning saying dolphins were out and about so I sleepily woke up and made my way up on deck. David thought they were "Those ones without dorsal fins, Northern Right Whale Dolphins right?" I am going to backtrack and show my true nerdiness here. Not only do I read any field guide about Cetaceans that I can get my hands on, I even made a chart of possible species to be seen and marked the ones we saw last season with a column for this year as well. I was practically dying to see these strange dolphins with no dorsal fin (the only type of dolphin with no dorsal fin in the northern hemisphere). So I grab my camera and wobble (sea legs? what are those?) to the bow while the boat bounces underfoot. I was amazed to see maybe 100 of the finless dolphins porpoising a few hundred yards to starboard. David is a good man to put up with all my giddy excitement with wildlife. They left us in a froth or water and we resumed our watches.

So far it has been a good trip for dolphins and whales, though scary at times already. We came across a few playful Humpback whales and watched as they moved their bulk around so gracefully. As usual I was on the bow trying to snap some pictures and I almost pooped my pants when a whale surfaced 6 feet away from our bow and immediately went back under. We were soon surrounded by two flanking us on starboard and one on port. We kept moving away but they kept getting closer. We decided to take our leave before they decided to make a boat sammich out of us. That got our hearts racing for a while.

Anytime I hear splashes,squeals and squeaks my ears perk up and my eyes scan the horizon. I know some playful dolphins want to come show off and play with the boat. We had a group of 200 or more common dolphins coming towards us. Groups of them split off to come and do under water acrobatics and big leaps out of the water and reentering with hardly a splash. High divers would be jealous of their grace. They left after a while and sailing resumed as usual.

Later that night we rounded Point Conception and anchored in Cojo bay for the night. A full belly and a full nights sleep it a much appreciated thing after doing 2 to 3 hour watches for a night.


We turned left at PiƱos buoy and enjoyed our first pop of the celebratory champagne bottle. Neptune got the first sips and as we quickly followed I pondered out loud, "Maybe since we had a bash down and up the coast last year Neptune will take it easier on us this year." David looked at me and smiled, "I don't think it works that way with Neptune." Well hey it was a thought. Finally we were Mexico bound.

Passing the Point Sur lighthouse from asea was a much appreciated sight. It meant we were making further progress to warmer weather. It was a fairly sunny day until we came across all the smoky haze from the fires nearing Big Sur. The sun went down quickly as did the temperature and we watched in a strange trance as the flames licked at the hillsides leaving an orange trail of destruction in the night. We pressed on leaving the fires in our wake as we continued south.

Now not having spent an overnighter on a motoring boat in some time, I figured that I would have a hard time falling asleep. Ha, right...I'd forgotten that I am pretty much out before my head hits the pillow. We did sail for a good portion of the night through fog, rain and it felt like it would even snow at any given second. Was it just me or was there ice on deck? The night cleared up a little later on with occasional drizzle, but it was a calm night...thank Neptune. I guess he liked the champagne.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Deaprture is getting closer

As most of you know David and I are getting ready to sail south to warmer and less expensive Mexico. We are going to do the famous Baja Ha-Ha rally this year and it should be pretty damn fun. There is something like 182 boats already registered for this popular rally that departs from San Diego and ends at Cabo. It will be crazy fun.

Anyhow this will be our main base for updating via internet. We have an SSB (Single Side Band) radio that does send and recieve emails, but it cannot send or accept attachments i.e. photos. The SSB email we can get anywhere and anytime with no internet connection so if you are interested in staying updated with that as well just drop me a line with your email address and you will be put on the VIP email list and get the word first.

I am not the best writer, I don't have the best grammar or punctuation, but get used to it and don't bother to correct me. So there you have it. Keep checking back for updates and all that stuff.