San Diego

Capistrano California2004 We flew to Los Angeles on November 1st and spent our first night at Capistrano (didn’t see any swallows though). We visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776, which had beautiful gardens and bells cast in Holland. The bells had originally hung in the bell tower of the church that was destroyed in the earthquake of 1812.

Chula Vista boom servicing California2004Fiberglass work thru-hull-protector-6_0There were several projects to do to get the boat ready to sail to Mexico including servicing the boom, replacing worn sheets and halyards, and preparing a space for storing extra water. Richard had to work with fiberglass and needed special equipment to protect him from the dust and smell!

Inside Snowaway California2004When we work on the boat, everything is a mess. Things have to be moved from one part of the boat to another. Sometimes it is hard to find anything in the mess! Here is the main salon with mattresses from the aft berth as well as sails and dingy and towels and tools and rum (of course)…

Sunrise Chula Vista California2004The weather has been very nice; we have worn shorts every day. The sun rises and sun sets have been spectacular. This is a sun rise from the back of our boat at Chula Vista where we have moored our boat for the past year.

We are ready to head south; we have bought our Mexican fishing licenses and obtained our tourist visas. We plan on picking up our boat documents at the US Coast Guard on Monday November 22 and then head down to Ensenada, Mexico, about 65 miles south of San Diego, to clear our boat into Mexico. We are expecting light winds and clear sailing.

Over the next month we will sail down the coast of the Baja peninsula, hopping from one bay to another. The distance from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, at the southern end of the Baja peninsula, is about 800 miles. This is the same as the distance from Victoria to San Francisco which we sailed in 10 days in June 2003.

Sailing for San Francisco

Crowd.We departed Sydney June 15 and picked up our delivery skipper Captain Lew and his wife Wendy (also an experienced sailor) in Victoria. 

We motored most of the way out to the ocean at Cape Flattery. Harbor.

We spotted orcas in Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Once we hit Flattery the winds picked up a bit and we were into our first of several sails through the night.  We did four-hour shifts…Karen with Richard and Wendy with Lew.  

We were entertained by porpoises which swam under and alongside Sol Mate.  We spotted Humpback and gray whales.  One Humpback flipped its tail up and Karen got a great shot of it (digital picture that is!).  

Skipper Richard We sailed in conditions ranging from glassy calm (motoring) to gale force (sail and motor).  We stopped at three places during our ocean sail.  Once for more fuel, once for fatigue and once because of gale/storm conditions.  

We arrived under the Golden Gate bridge June 25 and Captain Lew cracked open a bottle of champagne.  We baked in 30+ heat for three days.  We were tourists, seeing Fisherman’s wharf, Coit tower, Chinatown, little Italy, sea lions at pier 39…

Stub Walking.Tomorrow we leave for San Diego…500 miles in 10-14 days.  Forecast is for winds 10- 20 knots from NW, perfect for sailing.

Check out dinner! Are those good traps or what!? They all came with little rubber bands wrapped around their claws. Very considerate out here…

Lobster Mania

The Gulf Islands May 2003

Stub In Style.As many of you know, Richard and I have taken some well deserved rest time and we’re heading out to explore the West Coast via sailboat.  We are traveling on a 36 foot Catalina sloop named “Sol Mate”.

The first leg of our journey was a few short haul sails around the Gulf Islands, just off the coast of Vancouver,  British Columbia.

Mid-June will see us leaving the calm of the Gulf Islands for the open ocean, and a short journey to San Francisco.

Sol Mate.We have a digital camera that will be kept fairly busy, and hopefully we will be able to post pictures here as we continue our journey.We drove to Sydney BC over a couple of days in mid May.  

Stubby In Jacket.It was fun seeing Stubby, our cat, react to this strange experience…he had never been out of Calgary!  We made sure he had his own “personal floatation device”.

The boat was in pretty good condition when we arrived in Deep Cove (north of Sydney) in mid May.  Often boats get full of mildew and stuff but she was quite clean.  We went to work getting Sol Mate ready to go offshore. View 2. 

The biggest projects involved safety and keeping things in place if the boat got knocked over.  We added all kind of hardware etc to hold tanks, seats, cushions in place.  

Karen Up High.We added safety lines on deck, to which the crew is attached with tethers while under way.  Solar panels were added to help top up the batteries.  We added a Voyager wind vane to steer the boat when we are under sail.

Our daily schedule was: work on Sol Mate from breakfast until 2 pm.  Have a late lunch with beers of course.  Buy stuff (hardware, ropes, epoxy, etc) for the projects we would be doing the next day.  You never buy enough of anything!!!

Stubs In The Sun Stubby died (of excitement?) two days before our planned departure, at the ripe old age of 19…150 in people years.  He did NOT receive a burial at sea.  

We visited several of our favorite places before we left: Ganges, Bedwell Harbour, Silva Bay and Thetis Island (Catalina owners rendezvous).

The traveling adventures of Karen and Richard