Showing posts from October, 2008

Johnny leaves us - Boo Hoo

So here we are in San Diego - actually we've been here 3 days - and after 2 months of Johnny's more or less constant companionship he's headed back home to resume his life. What a pleasure its been to have him with us. There's not many people could have successfully shared this tiny living space with us. Perhaps its his love of the Simpsons, Arthur and basic toilet humour which made that possible. We miss him already.

Bob's missing picture

Hi Everyone, This is Tony. I had a visit from and old friend Bob Chrustie who lives in L.A. It was a pleasure to see him again after so long. He drove 70 miles through L.A. traffic to come to Newport Beach, What a trooper. Nancy took a great picture of us both on the boat, but unfortunately when we were trying to download it to this site it was scooped up by some spyware porn site and disappeared into cyber space. So if anyone comes across a picture of me and Bob on such a site, don't be alarmed. Stay tuned, it's off to SanDiego next

Avalon, you can see Moondancer in center

Avalon to Newport - 21st October
Catalina Island definitely rates BIG with us – from Emerald Bay which helped us forget all of the cold wet miserable nights we spent getting there, Isthmus Bay, a tiny beach resort with outside bar/restaurant on the beach through the isthmus to Two Harbours where I discovered ripe prickly pears growing wild everywhere (got a few spikes in my lips and tongue as the price for peeling and eating on the spot).
Then on to Avalon.
What an incredible resort town it is – glad we were not there during the summer season when, so we are told, it is impossible to move around and lineups are everywhere for everything. Avalon, which was developed in the 20’s as an offshore playground for the rich and famous (only 25 miles from Los Angeles) is full of contradictions. On each of the two closest hills which overlook the town are 2 mansions, one very traditional American style and the other more of a sprawling Spanish villa. The first is still known as Wrigley Mansion (che…

Sailing from Port st Luis @ 7 kts

Sailing with dolphins

Catalina Island - alias Shangrilah

Friday – October 17th
And this is all beginning to make sense. The last couple of days have been incredible.
We arrived just after a spectacular sunrise yesterday in Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, so named because – yes the water is emerald and incredibly clear. The bay has about 50 mooring buoys, which we did actually attempt to tie to, but when we came up close noticed that all of the rings to tie to seemed to have been removed – we thought probably because this is the off-season. Fairly close to each buoy are rods sticking out of the water – we didn’t understand what these were for either so we came back out a little way and anchored beside Bird Rock –also aptly named. It took us about an hour to get out the diving equipment – tanks in aft lazarette, weight belts in bilge and dive bags in forward cabin under all of the ‘rubble’ that Johnny has to sleep beside.
Johnny couldn’t wait for us to gear up so he jumped in right away and announced it fantastic but a little cold. So we put on …

Finally out of Monterey and at Port San Luis

Not too much to report this blog - just that as I have access to the internet, thought I'd let everyone know where we are.
We left Monterey Sunday early and sailed through the day and night, arriving in Port San Luis Monday morning - yesterday. Again we had the big seas and strong winds for awhile - they are good of course in that we make good progress, but definitely not comfortable sailing. Suppose I'm just going to have to get used to this, must just be characteristic of the Pacific.
Once again I had cause to be very grateful for Johnny's cool head and strength, as he kept the boat's head up when we were overwhelmed by a big offshore gust.
The Santa Ana winds have been happening on this part of the coast for the past couple of days - the Coast Guard, who do an excellent job put out general warnings of weather conditions.
They lifted the warnings as of 5.00pm yesterday, so we'll leave today and head out past Point Conception. We are told by local people that once…

Almost native Montereyans

10th October and we're still in Monterey. Again waiting out weather - along with a few other boats all doing the same thing. We've spent some time with friends we met in Moss Landing, Scott and Michelle - Scott is the Food and Beverage Manager of the Portola Hotel and has built a very successful brew pub called Peter B's. Great beer and wine and a really great concept where regulars have a type of membership in the pub, buy their beer for $3.oo/pint. Great way to create regular clientele. We've met American sailors who have sailed to Mexico in the past and like it enough to be doing it again.
Yesterday we took a local bus to Carmel, looked at some fabulous art and even though we are not likely customers were well received in a couple of galeries. We walked down to the beach where the breaking waves that we could see all the way out to the horizon made us very happy to be on the beach and not on the horizon. Johnny, the golfer ran up the beach as far as Pebble …

October 7th - we're in Monterey

This is our third day in Monterey - and we already know our way around. We've not been able to get internet at the marina and have found it a little difficult to find cafes with open nets.
This is one of them.
Our trip from Moss Landing to Monterey was a brisk sail - about 4 hours, big swells on the beam again - I think we'll just have to get used to them, and look forward to the less big ones.
We anchored out the first night - the anchorage if you can call it that is pretty wide open, very rolly - we did not include flopper stoppers in our inventory of things we need - but we might make them before we spend all of our cruising budget on marinas.
We came into Monterey Harbour marina for the next night and last night. Our plan from here is to make a couple of longer harbour hops - the next being 75 miles to Morro Bay, then 100 or so to Catalina Island, then San Diego. We're keen now to get down to better weather and are told by sailors who have gone before us that conditio…

Elkhorn Slough - Moss Landing

Finally - we've found a coffee shop where we can plug in our computers.
We came into Moss Landing 1st October having enjoyed a great sail from Santa Cruz.
Moss Landing is recognizable by 2 huge chimneys - 528 feet high, which are part of a steam powered electrical generation plant - the 2nd largest facility of its kind in the world. So even though visibly its definitely incongruous to its surroundings, its actually not hurting the wildlife at all.
Speaking of wildlife, Elkhorn Slough which surrounds the yacht club at which we are moored is a beautiful ecological reserve, and there are 2 marine research ships working out of Moss Landing.
We took the dinghy into the slough yesterday and saw many beautiful creatures. The birdlife is getting much more interesting and we wish we had a book to help us identify the different species of birds we are seeing. I think we saw egrets yesterday, a beautiful slender heron like bird - smaller and pure white. Also some medium sized beige colored …

Santa Cruz to Elkhorn Slough near Monterey

Photos will follow - its been difficult to get on internet the last week.

October 1st 2008 – Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay

Its 07:44, the sun came up about 1/2hr ago in Santa Cruz - we’re anchored off the shore in 23 feet rolling about in the swells and listening to the California Sea Lion symphony - well I am, Tony and Johnny are still asleep. We have no internet and as I did not save my last few blogsite entries I don’t know where I left off.

Lets start at Half Moon Bay which we did actually see for a couple of hours before the fog socked in and then we didn’t see much from the boat. We launched the dinghy and went ashore and found that its quite a ‘funky fishing’ little town – small; a couple of hotels – lots of bars advertising live music and dancing, which we didn’t feel like doing at 11:00 hrs. The HMBYC – half moon bay yacht club has quite a presence behind the breakwater with Saturday afternoon racing and Sunday all day racing. We went for a long walk with Johnny trying to…