Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Flags of Pura Vida

As we build our library of flags that tell our story on board, we'll be adding to this folder:

There are also more photos added to other albums - with more to come as time allows. Go to My Photos to see more...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Visitors in San Diego!

We had the extreme pleasure and honor to host Kelly and Jeff, our good friends from Portland (and Jeff traveling on business from Chicago), who came to ensure that we are on the straight and narrow as we venture south! We did non-standard, alternative things during their visit, because that’s what you do on a boat.

And what a thrill to get a call / email from my cousin Pete who lives in my old stomping grounds of Wisconsin, and was in San Diego for business with his lovely wife, Jane! We had a wonderful visit and breakfast at a French cafĂ© before they came and visited our vessel at Cabrillo Isle Marina. They saw firsthand what a 41 foot boat of living space really looks like, and I believe, went gleefully to their new place in AZ with 3,000 sq ft. Ha.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Havin' sum fun in San Diego!

We are happily ensconced in San Diego and will be here for another week. We leave next Mon 24th!! Mexico here we come. We have been meeting others who are doing the Baja Ha-Ha so that's been great to meet others who will be part of the "flotilla"! There are 11 other boats on our finger alone at this marina all flying their Baja burgee (flag). Very fun pot luck yesterday on the dock to meet fellow cruisers. (this is part of B dock where we are living for 10 days - that's Pura Vida on the L with the blue kayaks and sail covers at the bow. Note all the green flags that are up on the rigging of various boats)
Last night we dinghied across the San Diego Bay to a wonderful concert with our Portland  catamaran friends (Lisa and John on Orcinius). We saw Colbie Caillat through the palm trees :-) We attended for free from on the water (think waterfront blues fest). Lovely ride back under the waning moon over the water!

Tonight we are going to a seminar on marine electronics; Wed is one on pressure cooking and Fri will be dealing with rigging issues while underway. Great opps to learn important things that will help for safe and enjoyable passage.

Today Mike is installing our new alternator, and Judy is sanding hatch covers, doing computer projects to get our electronics working together and we are making our final provisioning lists. More stuff!

And we think we've found our 3rd person to share the helm responsibilities as we begin this next MAJOR journey south.

The Plan:

 First leg, 72 hours, non stop to Turtle Bay for a party.

Second leg, we head to  Bahia Santa Maria (hard to  even find  on a chart) for special Baja Ha-Ha boats' customs clearance and no amenities (fuel, food) but there's a restaurant that opens for 1 day to handle the Baja crowd. How crazy is that?

Third leg,  on to Cabo at the southern tip of Baja California peninsula by November 5th.

 Total miles: 750.

 Words we are currently living by:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the  trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  - Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just starting month 4 on board - so, here are "Key Learnings" to date

Judy's Top 10 "key learnings" in these first three months! They change daily, so here's today's compilation...
1. Complacency is never a good thing
2. One hand on the boat at all times
3. Panic S-L-O-W-L-Y (credit to Captain Chuck, our Canadian instructor)
4. Have a back up plan for everything you do. As our friend Steve says, "Schmitt happens" so be prepared (there are no AAA offices on the ocean)
5. Deploy the liferaft only after securing the painter (lifeline) to the boat first - go figure
6. The "3 second rule" of dropping food increases exponentially the longer you're on board
7. Laundromats are the great equalizer
8. Treat the 3 feet between your boat and the water as if it were 3,000 (credit to a young captain we met in Astoria)
9. It's good to have friends (on and off the water)!
10. The word "just" no longer applies when you live on a boat - nothing is fast

We've made it to San Diego!

We have happily made it to San Diego – via stops of various lengths at wonderful harbors of Monterey, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Newport Bay, Oceanside (great plywood signage) and today, gleefully entered the beautiful harbor of San Diego! What a long, strange trip it’s been, to quote Jerry Garcia, from San Francisco and passing under the Golden Gate Bridge at 9:39PM on September 29th.
And, we are blown away to stop and ponder that we left from Seattle on that sunny Sunday, September 4th from Shilshole Bay Marina. Wow! That’s been a long journey with many experiences – mostly good and certainly full of “key learnings” as we used to say during my days at Intel. Talk about a long time ago…
Breathe deep, take it all in and stay out of the restricted areas of the military operations of which there are many in SoCal. Plus, the many oil rigs of central coast that loom on the horizon as “tron” characters during the day and brightly light cities at night as you cruise south.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lintball of the Universe

Our experiences on the open sea at night are something I just can’t put my arms around to describe. During the overwhelming time on your shift, and subsequently during days and nights that followed keeping watch, and even when safely ensconced in a harbor in San Francisco Bay, Morro Bay or Ventura, you really get the vibe that the fabric of the universe late at night is so immense. All the interwoven sights, sounds, smells – the night sky meeting the water or the fog surrounding you in gray – it’s hard to take it all in. And then there’s you, that little “lint ball” floating on the waves. You’re just so small. It's a perspective that puts you in your place.
We watch the ocean and the minutes as they slowly tick by during 3-4 hours, wanting to share the experiences, unable to as the others sleep below preparing for their time at the helm. Eyes are peeled peering into the darkness for a light that might be a freighter or fishing vessel, watching the bioluminescence of the waves as they splash by – you can imagine so many crazy things in the water. Was that a ?? Then it’s gone. Was it real?