So Cal Sailing

Avila Bay


I’m about 20 nm south of Dana Point, and feeling wonderful out on the water again. I’ve found a slip to sublet until October, and by then, hopefully my regular slip will come up in Dana West. I’ve heard of other folks doing the sublet to sublet dance for up to 3 years, but they finally get a slip. I hope this doesn’t go on for 3 years for me…

I left San Diego at 0000, and it’s amazing the number of vessels out at that hour. I’m not the only crazy one. I only had to dodge one other sailboat between Mission Bay and Pt. Loma, and I think they were sleeping at the switch. Hopefully they didn’t find themselves engulfed by the boat-eating kelp field off the point. I’ve had a couple of blue whales accompany me for a few miles, and their seemingly leisurely pace is calming to me. Then they let loose with a long, slow blow, and you’re surrounded by plankton breath. I just moved under the protection of the dodger as big fat raindrops began to rinse me off. Scattered thunderstorms are forecast for the day, and the sky is many different shades of gray, ranging from off white to black. Think I’ll stay away from the black areas…

There’s a light but steady north breeze, and I’m fortunate to be sailing up the coast pretty much on rhumbline. Yay, me! After a few hours of the lovely quiet, I decided it was time for some Eagles on the Jambox. Chores are done after breakfast, and I’m just standing watch until my arrival. The rain feels nice (ooh, lightning!), and I’ll take Mother Nature’s deck wash any day. I just hope it rains enough to rinse the rig clean instead of leaving mud streaks. Hate that.

Being away from Willow has caused me to let a few repairs go un-repaired. My steaming light went out just below Turtle Bay on the way home from Mexico, and yesterday was the first time I had a chance to go up the rig. Aside from the dove’s nest in my radar reflector, everything looked pretty good on the way up. When I got to the light, I quickly changed the bulb, keeping my fingers crossed. I could’ve crossed everything on my body and it wouldn’t have helped. After unscrewing the entire light from the mast, it came off in my hand. Um, I think it needs to be connected to those wire thingies, and there ain’t no wire thingies to be found. The motion of the Bash was the last straw and the wires sheared off right at the back of the light. I can run new wires to the light itself, and then I’ll need to re-run the wire that’s down at the base of the mast. I just want to figure out a chafe-free method of running those wires through the sharp hole in the mast… In the meantime, a flashlight gets duct-taped to the whisker pole in front of the mast, pointed forward, to show my good intentions. Worked on this trip just fine. My sump pump that drains my shower sump runs, but I think the diaphragm is history. So that’s a taker-aparter. I need to replace the electric bilge pump completely, and get my wind generator back up and spinning. I’m thinking of purchasing a special sewing machine so I can build Willow a new dodger, and repair sails and other boat covers. I’ve done some shopping, and the quotes for a dodger are pretty proud. I can buy the machine and canvas for less than half of what I’ve been quoted, and I have some other projects I can practice on leading up to the dodger. The dodger’s a complicated piece, but I feel if I take it apart piece by piece, do the measuring and make my pattern, and then sew it back up according to the fit of the old one, I should be okay. There no doubt will be many cuss words invented and re-invented throughout. After, I can decide to sell the machine, or keep on learning and perhaps use it for some sushi money.

Rolle and Niesen Just Gettin' Along...

Rolle and Niesen Just Gettin’ Along…

Speaking of sushi money, I’ve been helping out my sister and her husband by watching their two dogs. These two ain’t no lil’ chihuahuas, nope. They’re a 4 year old and a 3 month old Bernese Mountain Dogs. They are beautiful, fun, smart (too smart), lovable, oh, and big! During the week from 1100 to 1300, I stop by their house to let the little one out of his crate to play. Play usually means him jumping on his brother, generally annoying the crap out of him. The big boy takes it well and wrestles for awhile, and then just rolls over for a nap. After a lunchtime feed, the little one goes outside for a potty break, and then goes back in his pen. These two make me giggle and try to remember how long it’s been since I’ve had a puppy. I think it’s been just after high school…

All is well in my neck of the woods, and I hope the same goes for you all. Enjoy the summer, take care of each other, and keep doing good things! Best Fishes!

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