28 December, 2005

Back to the south

Back home with family and alll that comes with it:
Ice cream, honey-baked hams, late-night movie watching, ducks, gin and tonics.
Christmas was grand as always.  Some things don't change so much.

21 December, 2005

Back from the South

Just got in from Mexico.  Sailed down on Lift with Dan and Sonia.  Great trip.
Now I am back in San Diego and getting my own ship ready to head out.   But after Christmas.

17 December, 2005


I'm using internet in the biggest West Marine in the world.   Just weird.
Ben and Moriah are leaving for the south.  I'm really bummed.  Very bummed indeed.  And they're heading for the Canal and the Caribbean--not my way.
But we've had such fun.  Such very, very good times.
Tilikum is here now and that is refreshing, talking about all that may lie before us.  So much is in the mix and making.

14 December, 2005

Mariner's Cove

Sailed from San Diego Harbor to Mission Bay.   Once again I sailed out with Hubris.  We had nice wind for a while and decidd the time was ripe for a race, to prove finally whose boat was the fastest under sail.
And in this there was a clear and decisive winner:  Me.
It was good fun.  When we made the anchorage we found our friends Sonya and Dan waiting and cheering for us.  Together we went into town and drank a few and ate a meal.  There boat, Lift, looked beautiful.  It was great to all be together again.
This was all two days ago.  Yesterday we went into Ocean Beach.  Today Dan and Sonya left for San Diego proper.  I stayed and did a bit of boat stuff, found a library and lurched around town a bit.
Tomorrow I head back to town and hope to leave or make further plans then.
The 24th I leave for home.

06 December, 2005

life's little synchronic moments

Who can judge good from bad?     Example:
Yesterday morning Hubris and I were both to leave the public / police dock for the A-9 / cruiser anchorage.  Well Ben left and I did not.  My engine finally died in earnest.  She wouldn't start.  Ben went on and I was left to take apart my fuel system to find the cause. 
After a big mess I found a faulty injection pump.
After a bit of networking I found a guy who could test it and repair it on the cheap.  Not so bad.  It would cost me a few nights more at the public dock; I'd have to pay a bit for the repairs--no choice there.  I'd simply try and make the most of the time and mess to change my oil, fuel filters, and fix a leak while I'm in the bilge.
However, a positive I could never have foreseen emerged as I sliced an orange for breakfast this morning.  Some guy at the other end of the dock was talking loud enough for me to ease-drop without really paying attention.  But I tuned in as he said, "yea, I've got a bunch of stuff to sell.  You know, doesn't hurt to get the word out."
I thought, damn right.  I need to get my hot chocolate and walk on over there and see.  I didn't have great hopes.  The things I need aren't really the sort of things most people sell--shackles, blocks......  Oh, but was I mistaken.
He was selling everything.  As it turned out, Jay,   was selling his boat.  For some reason, this meant he wanted to liquidate everything in it.  (I would leave all my equiptment with my boat should I ever sell it, seems fair.)  Cheap used good are hard to come by.
I've been stressing some things, filters mostly--one for fuel and one for water.  Both were gonna run me around a hundred bucks.
I got both, essentially, for a total of twenty bucks.
Not to mention a bunch of shackles, blocks, carabiners, a dinghy anchor, zincs.  It was a virtual windfall.  It was huge.  Spectacular.
So, the point here:  What seemed like a bummer, my engine pooping out, turned out to be a grand opportunity.  If I had left yesterday I wouldn't have met Jay and I would have had to spend much more (granted, for a higher quality product in some cases) for what I needed.  Plus, it was fun.  He didn't even bargain.  He just accepted my first offer.
A good day.

02 December, 2005

“Stealing Back to that Same-ole Used to Be”

"Stealing Back to that Same-ole Used to Be"

Must be brief.

A good trip: moments of great sailing, lots of calms, shining-clear weather, mirror seas, wildlife and pristine air all around.

The Channel Islands were the jewel of the trip. We came into our first harbor at San Miquel at night and we watched schools of fish glowing in orbs of light as they swam beneath the bow. Bio-luminescence was everywhere in the water—all through the Channel Islands. The propeller seemed to have a long green tail trailing behind the boat. Pods of dolphin were blurs of twirling green light. Hard to imagine, less describe.

We motored endlessly. We ate much. Lots of soups. Lots of Parm pasta. I feel fat.

The trip went smoothly. We laughed a lot. Sailed at night under the Milky Way. Dodged freighters on our way to San Diego.

Our only mishaps was in the very entrance to San Diego Harbor—the engine died. Luckily there was a fine northerly blowing as we sailed in. The engine revived itself just in time to dock.

I have feared the governor was going out, but it saw us through in the end. Now it will need a little attention.

It feels good to be in a safe port once again. Living on anchor will be more tenuous here than it was in Sausalito. Hopefully I won't stay long, but there is a deal to do before leaving. My crew for the next leg is not yet for certain. I am still trying to get home for the holidays, which now seems more possible (since I am not yet in Mexico).

For now I am with a friend I met in Antigua, years ago now. She taught me the difference between a ketch and a yawl. I knew nothing. It still feels like yesterday.

Enough until I get more situated. Hubris is here, too. Okay, thanks for the good wishes. All came off well enough.



Ben and I have been getting organized on "the police dock" a cheap temporary dock in the harbor. I was to leave today, but.........the engine wouldn't start. Yes, as cliche as it sounds.

So today I spent twittling around with it to find that the high-pressure fuel pump isn't working. I found a guy who hopefully will get it going for me on the cheap.

Ben and I both got approved to use the Cruiser Anchorage. It is the only anchorage in town that you can stay for more than 72 hours. It isn't so nice, but it is free and a bit more permanent than the rest.

So Ben left and I am left to my engine.

My finances aren't so good, but I am planning on leaving the boat and coming home for a couple of weeks and getting some work while I'm there. Ben and Tilikum can watch the boat for me while I'm gone.

This way I can see the family and stock the coffers at the same time. Hopefully.

San Diego has the greatest marine hardware stores I've ever seen. Spectacular! And my friend Kelly works at two of them. (That means I get great deals!) She's been great about driving me around and

advising me on this, that, and the other. It means so much to have such an open welcome to a new town.

I don't love it here, but I really haven't got out yet.

I am anxious to move on, but I need to be patient. There are still some strings that need to be sorted.

All is well. I've had some great conversations: My dear friend Jamie (Widgen's Mom) is engauged; I talked to my nephews (5 and 11 years old); I talked to a friend who is muching dogs north of Denali N. Park.

I hope everyone is feeling the good vibe in the air.

Happy holidays.