October 8, 2012 Departure

I’m down to eight days (right now, I’m at anchor in Prisoner’s Harbor, Santa Cruz Island) and am so dang excited I can barely stand it.  Just to cut the docklines and move along is a huge accomplishment.  Willow is ready, I’m more than ready, and the things I’ve done to her have all worked well, so far.  Some of the improvements are:

New Yanmar 3 cylinder engine                Haulout and bottom job

New navigation instruments                  GPS, AIS, all talking to the vhf

Upgraded canvas covers for the sun          160 watts of solar power

New wind generator                          Upgraded wiring of electrical systems

Replaced membrane in watermaker             New in-mast wiring (UGH!)

New anchor light-LED                        All nav lights LED

2 new anchors and rode                      150′ new chain

New varnish on brightwork                   Re-weld stanchions on starboard side

Properly install old SSB radio              Install Pactor modem for Sailmail

Cuss alot                                   Cuss even more

Rubout and wax topsides                     Install boomvang

New sheaves and blocks for reefing          Clean and tune rig

Repair shipstrike clock                     Change oil and all filters on the engine

Fall into the engine compartment            Get engine spares and watermaker spares

Clean out all lockers and purge crap        Do that at least 3 times

Get proper licenses for radios              Get, install and register EPIRB

Learn how to use SSB and sailmail           Install latches on all opening cupboards

Clean out and sell car                      Clean out and donate crap in storage locker

Clean out dockbox                           Renew passport

All interior lights LED                     Replace evaporator plate in refer

New ship’s compass                          Find storage for 200 lightly used nav charts

Provision                                   Don’t sink the boat

Cuss some more, for good measure            Say “See Ya!” to friends and family-the hardest part~!

It’s been a busy six months, and I can’t help but thank my family and friends for their support, patience and encouragement.  The very rough itinerary is leave Ventura on the 30th, or 1st of October, and sail to Santa Cruz Island.  This is to rest and just decompress, getting the silliness of city life out of my system.  The cats need to be in Avalon on the 16th to see the world’s greatest vet, and get their health certificate.  I’m gonna go to the world’s best chiropractor for a last adjustment, then say farewell to friends on the island.  After that, I’ll be off for Dana Point to visit with family and eat great sushi.  After a few days there, it’s time to head for San Diego for a free week in a slip, and to get as much paperwork and licenses for Mexico as possible.  Near the first of November, I’ll head to Ensenada for a day or two, and check in.  There’s a huge, 200 boat rally heading from San Diego to Cabo that I’m trying to avoid.  I have no desire to be exhausted in the middle of 200 boats.  That’s just looking for trouble.  My rough plan out of Ensenada is to spend 3-4 days getting to Bahia Santa Maria, a beautiful bay on the Pacific side of Magdalena Bay.  I’ll rest there for a few days, let the rally pass me by, and then sail another 1-2 days to Cabo San Lucas.  There, I’ll meet up with friends who participated in the rally, and we’ll head up to La Paz.  There’ll be a few stops on the way in some beautiful little coves, and then we’ll be in La Paz.  My plan is to base most of my winter sailing out of there, returning to provision as needed.

If anyone wants to visit, please feel free.  You can email me at sailmail, and we can hook up on a location and date.  You can stay on the boat, or not, whatever your pleasure.  After Thanksgiving, I hear the Sea of Cortez mimics our weather here in SoCal.  There are some high pressure, warm and beautiful days, but if a ‘screaming blue norther’ hits, it’ll be chilly. The nights are very similar to ours.  But if you want to see different places, i.e. Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan or Punta Mita, just lemme know.  It’ll take me a few days to get there, but the weather’s warmer, and they’re on the mainland, not the cape.

This trip has been about 25 years in the making, and I’m finally doing it!  Thank you so much for all your love and support!

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