Friday, October 24, 2008

Finding Our Sea Legs

As Naomi posted, we successfully made it to San Diego! It's been something of a blur...the days prior to setting sail were frantic and frenetic, filled with packing all non-sailing vestiges of our life into a 5x7 storage unit, tearfully handing off the dog, freezing our credit, transferring funds, and about 2,342,321 other trivial but necessary tasks.

We had a brief moment to catch our breath on October 14th when many good friends came out to a little bon voyage sunset happy hour, most bearing either a mix CD or a bottle of s
ome sort (underscoring the well-established connection between sailing and drinking).


Finally, on Wed the 15th at the ripe early hour of 5 am we cast off the dock lines, motored past Tom Perkin's Maltese Falcon (roughly the length of 8 Hurulus) and cruised under the GG Bridge. With the sun just starting to rise over the City, we enjoyed a symbolic, serene, and picture-perfect moment (somehow sans pictures).

Anyway, a few random observations:

  • The central California coast is really empty: It’s amazing that in a state this crowded, the coast between SF and Pt. Conception is almost completely empty. We sailed for about 2 days without seeing another human. You get a sense of this when driving Highway 1, but the effect is magnified when 20 miles off the coast. If you ever want to truly ‘get away from it all’, get in a small boat and head west.
  • SoCal is much more beautiful from the sea: After tying up in Santa Barbara Harbor for a nice rest, Brian took a train home and Naomi and I sailed amongst the islands of SoCal for another 3 days. Despite the presence of roughly 10 million souls due east of us, passing through the islands we saw maybe 5 other boats. The islands themselves are rugged and beautiful, and we’re hoping to spend some time at each on the way back up.
  • Being captain is hard work: Since I have the most experience, I am defacto captain of the ship. Mainly, this means worrying about things…how the sails are set, what the oddball clanking noise means, whether the diesel fuel filters are doing their job. It’s exhausting work, and it makes it rather hard to fully relax, but “Captain” does have a nice ring to it…if only I had a proper Captain’s hat.
  • Bill was worth his weight in gold: we hired a guy named Bill to do lot of prep work on Hurulu before our departure, and his efforts became apparent as soon as we were out at sea. Any boat—but especially a 30 y/o boat—is a complex piece of equipment, but he literally went through it bow-to-stern. The only equipment issues we had were a failed winch and a broken lifeline, both of which were easily repaired.
  • Our Coast is Guarded by kids: Coming into San Diego at 3 am, a boat suddenly zoomed out of nowhere and within minutes we had 3 teens on board making sure our fire extinguishers were up to date and that no Mexican immigrants were hiding in our head (bathroom). We were exhausted and delirious and it was altogether a surreal moment, but we passed their exam with flying colors.
  • Dolphins are really cool: Several times on the trip, we were joined by pods of dolphins who would suddenly circle the boat and surface on all sides, then dive and zip underneath. They would do it day and night….why they do it I don’t know, but needless to say it’s very cool, and it breaks up some of the monotony of being on the ocean.

Ok, that’s it for now. We are presently in the process of provisioning the boat for our next leg of the journey, to Cabo and points beyond…stay tuned!

4 comments:

Dee Dee said...

The pictures from the boat are GREAT! Glad you guys made it to safe to San Diego and lookin' forward to the next adventure!

ali said...

I LOVE the photo of Naomi in all the gear. Looks like she just landed on your boat from the moon. P.S. The Fin-dog is doing mighty swell. I love him. Not sure I can give him back.

Andrea said...

So great seeing you both in San Diego (though sad we didn't get a "shout out" on the blog). Can't wait to follow your travels - SO excited for you both! Hope the weather gets better!

fractious said...

I love the posts! Keep them coming. I remember from our Belize trip that dolphins like clapping and whistles. It seems to get them excited and often times they'll surface and jump. Try it! Good luck on the race!