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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Catalina Island!

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Slappey is on a (dearly acquired) mooring in Avalon Bay, and at a special off-season rate, no less. As (cheap and fast) internet has been scarce in these parts, no extensive blogging with pictures is to be had just now; later to be filled in when we get to San Diego. Our itinerary has been: a week in Santa Barbara, two or so days in Oxnard, followed by another week in Los Angeles at Marina Del Rey. The usual touristy things were accomplished, such as museums, movies, other sites of note, like a tour of Sony Pictures, formerly the old MGM lot in Culver City. We could have busied ourselves for quite a while longer in LA; maybe some other time. Next should be short stays in Dana Pt and Oceanside before holing up in San Diego for our preparations to head to Mexico. This cruising business is getting easier, but I still feel I’m mostly masquerading as a sailor; those many day (and night) passages down the outside of Baja will once again be accomplished through the fog of anxiety and Bonine, I am afraid. More to come, with pictures, as we obtain online access.

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Slappey has made it to Southern California at last….

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……and none too soon. The water seems calmer, the sky is blue (almost always) and the palm trees have multiplied. The crew left Santa Cruz for an overnighter to Morro Bay, and found it rough going after several weeks of dock-monkeydom. The trip was uneventful (though we did have to stop in the middle of Monterey Bay for John to dive on the prop again, to clear a clump of kelp from around it.)  We lucked out and entered Morro Bay in calm seas and no fog, and had a really relaxing time on the dock of the Morro Bay Yacht Club. Slappey is not a yacht club member, which is usually required to earn a spot at a yacht club dock (and they can be some of the nicest ones,) but this club welcomes all long-distance cruisers for a nominal fee. The town is charming, and that mighty rock sticking up out of the bay is quite majestic. The bay is also full of wildlife….it is the first place we have seen wild sea otters, and plenty of them. We also met several other cruisers, all Southbound (except you, Dakota!) for about the first time on this journey, which made it a real treat. It’s good to hear other stories, see others who worry about the same things, obsess over weather, and know about anchorages further down the line. Several of us left for Santa Barbara on the same day, and kept in radio contact as we left.  I hope we’ll see them again as we head on down the line. We had one more overnighter, to Santa Barbara, which was a particular worry as it included the trip around the dreaded Point Conception. That is an area of the Coast which is known for unpredictable and sometimes severe weather, so we were thrilled that it was really anticlimactic for us. We had little wind, and almost no swell. Rounding the point, you come upon the first of the offshore oil rigs that surround Santa Barbara.   There are several out there, with ridiculous names such as, “Harmony,” “Irene,” and “Harvest.” They were all lit up like Christmas trees, thank goodness, so there was no missing them. They were somehow a comfort….anything to look at but pitch black is a comfort on a night watch. We’ve since been catching up on sleep, and noticing that pretty much anywhere you look here is another beautiful vista. We’re in no hurry to leave just yet, as is usually the case with Slappey’s crew. Next up may be Santa Cruz in the Channel Islands, or perhaps Oxnard. We’ll decide when we decide.

the beach at Santa Cruz

the beach at Santa Cruz

under a canopy of Eucalyptus in Santa Cruz

under a canopy of Eucalyptus in Santa Cruz

sea lions under the Wharf at Santa Cruz, barking like hounds at the base of a tree

sea lions under the Wharf at Santa Cruz, barking like hounds at the base of a tree

always a treat when dolphins surround the Slappey

always a treat when dolphins surround the Slappey

coming into Morro Bay by the famous rock

coming into Morro Bay by the famous rock

another view of the rock

another view of the rock

along the Embarcadero, Morro Bay

along the Embarcadero, Morro Bay

plenty of sea lions in Morro Bay, too

plenty of sea lions in Morro Bay, too

a Morro bay fisherman unloads his catch

a Morro bay fisherman unloads his catch

looks like Texas here

looks like Texas here

looking out over the entrance to Morro Bay

looking out over the entrance to Morro Bay

Sea Otter!

Sea Otter!

two sea otters!

Two Sea Otters!

Slappey waits to leave Morro Bay for Santa Barbara

Slappey waits to leave Morro Bay for Santa Barbara

"Holly," the jolly oil rig looms as we approach Santa Barbara

“Holly,” the jolly oil rig
looms as we approach Santa Barbara