Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We just left Santa Barbara for an overnight trip to AValon on Catalina Island (about 100 miles away). Our SPot locator is switched on so you can see our location. It should be a smooth journey with nice calm seas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday 22nd Dec

I went for a nice run along the beach today and it's beautiful. The bruises are starting to appear and Lee has a really bad back so we're off for a massage this evening.
Had dinner at the India Cafe - rubbish.
Where's Santa in Santa Barbara?

Solent in Santa Barbara

The Beach

Our local bus

Our next door neighbor

Our security guard

Wed 21st Dec

I woke up to the sound of the engine purring! Lee fixed it.
He downloaded the wiring schematics and traced the connection through to the starter relay. When reseated, the engine started. Now Lee is much more familiar with the electronics.

There's a chippy and an English pub here in Santa Barbara so we feel right at home!

Day Six (Dec 20th)

After an overnight tow to Santa Barbara we are securely tied up on S dock. The first phase of our journey is now complete and Sherry and Mike are heading home to San Francisco!

Walked amongst the elephant seals
Day Five

Took the dinghy to shore and went exploring. There were elephant seals just feet away, some were fighting and there were cute babies as well. Leaving the island wasn't so easy against the surf, in fact it was really really hard to leave! Lee had told us not to go but we were too keen to visit the seals and see the island. We should have listened to him. As we pushed the dinghy off shore, I ended up waist high in the water trying to push the dinghy out and get on board at the same time.

After exploring Cuyler Harbor we went to start the engine for the trip to Avalon, but were unable to start it. The problem seemed electrical and after a number of hours we requested a tow from vessel assist to Santa Barbara. Ironically a rescue vessel was out near us retrieving the vessel we assisted the coast guard with the previous day and we were both towed back together!

Day Four

We sailed through the night and had a bit of a situation along the way. We were all relaxing with a beer late in the evening when Mike looked up and said "Am I going crazy or is the Jib missing?" we looked at Mike and then looked for the foresail and to our horror, it was gone F$#%&***@#@#!!! Lee and Mike rushed forward. The jib was hanging in the water and was being dragged alongside the hull. They managed to get it aboard and re hoisted on the spinnaker halyard [it turned out the shackle had broke].

As the sun rose we were getting close to Point Conception with the oil platforms now clearly visible.

As we were rounding Point Conception we received a MayDay call for a ship stranded near the rocks without power and on their second anchor. We headed to their location to see if we could help, but they were too deep in the rocks for us to be able to pull them out. We acted as a relay to the coast guard of their position and situation until the rescue helicopter could arrive.

Our video footage

After the crew were safely rescued we headed into our anchorage in Cuyler Harbor for the night.
Day Three

Luckily one of Sherry's friends Robin was able to give us a push the last part of the journey into Monterey as the winds had died off during the morning. We picked up a mooring buoy and waited for the diver to arrive while Serena, Sherry, Mike and Robin headed into town for breakfast.

The diver turned up shortly after and was able to quickly free up the propeller.

We were soon back on our way down the coast and was lucky enough to have a pair of whales escort us on our way!

The weather was good as we cruised down the coast and we even had chance to fly our spinnaker to help speed us along!

Day Two

We left the next morning at 10am after Sherry and Mike joined us at South Beach Marina and was out the Golden Gate bridge by noon! This is the moment we had been dreaming of and it was great to finally be having our dream come true.
*Lee forgot to mention the reason why we didn't leave at 8.30am as planned... we had to cut off a piece of the engine with a hack saw!

We spent the rest of the afternoon motoring down the coast. We had done a great job of avoiding the crab pots all day and had gone 25 miles offshore to make sure we were clear during the night. We were now in         380 feet of water which should be too deep for crab pots when suddenly there was a load bang and the motor sounded loaded up. Just when we thought we were clear and 20 minutes before nightfall we had managed to hook a crab pot!

Sherry jumped into the freezing cold water wearing Mike's wetsuit which was way too big and tried valiantly to untangle the prop, but was not able to have much success because she needed more than one pair of hands. One hand to stop herself from hitting the boat, one for swimming and a third hand for sawing the ropes. The only option was to sail through the night back into Monterey which was 30 miles back toward the coast and then have a diver come and clear the prop. Luckily we had good wind and made good progress through the night and arrived in Monterey early in the morning.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Haven't been able to post in the last 6 days so wanted to update everyone on our travels so far.

Day One

On the 15th December we set sail from Westpoint harbor for South Beach where we were to meet up with Mike and Sherry. Traditionally you cut the dock line as you head off cruising, but we rather unconventionally cut our water hose as it was still connected to the dock when we were due to leave!

We arrived at South Beach Marina in San Francisco at 4pm which gave us plenty of time to get tied up before it got dark. We were lucky to get the large guest dock which made for an easy entry and exit.
We had a really good dinner at the Townsend restaurant just opposite the marina. http://www.townsendrb.com/

The weather looked good for the trip the next day, but one of the challenges we faced was that we were leaving in the middle of crab season and there would be many crab pots to avoid. We planned to be at least 15 miles off shore to avoid these.

After dinner and to avoid scurvy on the journey Serena prepared a couple of roast dinners for the trip.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

We're busy getting the boat ready and it's our last week of work. Davits are fitted, next job is the water maker.

Fitting & testing the davits

The finished job!