October 8, 2009 Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island.
Almost 2 months since Dennis retired, and the adjustment continues for all. The craziness involved in preparing to leave was probably about normal, but felt unending in the midst of it. Dennis got the windvane steering, the dinghy davits , motor lift and the watermaker installed. My work threw a most excellent party for us, we had a bbq at gate 11, moved out of storage, packed the Explorer with things for next summer and crammed more than we need on the boat AND we left when we said we were going to...
New friends and old waved goodbye from the dock. We will definitely miss you all. Thank you for your friendship, help and support. The Gate 11 folks are the poster children for the comraderie of cruisers.
Motoring down the estuary for the last time was bittersweet. Can't say that we drank the champagne as we went out the gate, but did get a picture or two. After that it was rockin' and rollin' all the way to Half Moon Bay. So much for the 5-10kt South winds - We took 15-20 on the nose the whole way, and finished off with a little rain. Took a layover day on Monday to dry out, meet up with our friends Kim and Randy from Wisconsin, and do a little boat maintenance. Nothing major, but seems something always could be done.
Tuesday it was back into the washing machine with a little fog to keep it interesting. Made Monterrey before dark (just). Went to dinner at our favorite pub at the wharf and went for provisions. Wednesday - more fog, more washing machine. Big Sur was out there I'm sure, but we never saw land until late in the day - pulled into San Simeon at dark. Thursday hooray! more fog- nicer ride or I am just getting used to it? Anchored in San Luis - actually dinghied in and walked around - bought beer and ice (staples). Up and at 'em early on Friday to go around Pt Conception. Made Coho Anchorage by 3:30ish. Up at 3AM to let out more change as the wind had clocked around 180 degrees. Saturday - more fog, but less rock and roll. Passing the oil derricks made me feel like we were reentering civilization (not necessarily in a good way). Made Santa Barbara by 1630. Roger was off to meet his family and Dennis and I showered and retired to the back deck to recouperate. Before going totally comatose, we decided we needed to go get Josh from Dana Point with a car and not the boat so that we wouldn't be backtracking. Sunday - guess what? more fog. Cleared quickly though and the drive along the coast was beautiful.
Josh stayed with our friends the Wards while we brought the boat down. Tough life for him - surfing and beach time almost every day. Lucky boy got his daddy's coordination DNA - took to the long board like he was born to it. Met up with him and the Wards at the beach Sunday afternoon, and there he was catching waves like crazy. HHMMM - where to put a long board on the boat???... Great afternoon and evening with Kim, Jim, Jake and Jenna. We really appreciate their hospitality.
Looking towards Anacapa Island from Santa Cruz Island
Next two days at Marina Del Rey. Josh got an eyeful at Venice Beach. Who says all learning comes from a book? Bought a surf board! Now finding a wave -that's been a different story. Left Marina del Rey on Thursday for Two Harbors on Catalina Island. Just in time for Buccaneer Days. Lots of pirate types hanging out at the dock. A little wild, but all in good fun. Caught up with the Foley's. Everyone was happy to see some familiar faces. The boys wore themselves out whenever they got together. Monday we headed to Catalina Harbor same location as Two Harbors, only on the south side of the Island. Kind of a windy anchorage, but at least not rocking and rolling like it had been on the other side. Decided to head to Avalon Tuesday morning. Have had some fun fishing, snorkeling and hiking here. Had our 9th anniversary on Tuesday. My choice for dining out, and I chose pizza. Not something I have tried making on the boat yet. Small oven and no pan. So, pizza was a nice treat.
That catches up our travels....Thoughts to follow