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Showing posts from September, 2016

It's How We Roll

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I am going to keep this post short, because in just a few short hours, we'll be heading back to sea. This time, we have our sites set on Santa Barbara. The weather looks good for our passage south, with somewhat light winds, and relatively calm seas. The trip should take us roughly 2 days, and if we time it right, we should be pulling into Santa Barbara shortly after sunrise on Friday morning.
I don't care how many times we head to sea, every time seems to be a big deal. We go through a pre-departure checklist to make sure the boat is in tip-top shape, we strap everything down so we have no flying through the air surprises, and we stock the fridge and cupboards with ready to eat meals.
The night before we leave, we never sleep well. Last night we weren't helped by the sea lions that moved onto the dock next door, barking and snorting all night long, but even without our noisy neighbors, anticipation usually keeps us up. I'm not sure if it's nervous ant…

Someplace New

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There aren't a whole lot of things that I really mind doing. I can squeeze into a tight compartment while upside down and fix some broken doo-dad, I can tear apart a toilet after a friend left his business in there and plugged it up, I can even walk 5 miles to the grocery store and back without too much of a fuss. But for some reason, getting out of bed at 4 AM so we can get to our next destination by sunset seems like a bit too much. No human should be awake at 4 AM. No one. Period.
From Half Moon Bay to Monterey, California is roughly 70 nautical miles of open ocean sailing. It's not all that far away but it's still far enough that if the wind wasn't blowing strong enough, we couldn't get from point A to point B before the sun went down. And we don't like trying to pull into a port at night. Especially an unfamiliar port with city lights as the backdrop. It's almost impossible to pick out a channel marker or beacon floating in the ocean from a c…

Keeping up With the Jones's

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As much as I love shiny new toys and gadgets, I've never been one who has needed to keep up with the Jones's. Being a full time cruiser and having to live on some sort of a budget prevents us from going buck wild and buying every little thing our hearts desire. Part of that is money based, we just don't have an endless supply floating around, and part of that is the fact that we don't have much space on our tiny floating home for more junk than is absolutely necessary. But sometimes, just sometimes, the Jones's have some pretty cool stuff that we obviously need.
We've been amazed at how many sailors from our home waters are heading down the coast to Mexico this year. I have counted more boats on our trip south from the Great Northwest than I have fingers and toes. We are currently anchored in Half Moon Bay with approximately 15 boats. Out of those 15 boats, 7 of them are from our back yard in the Seattle area. And of those 7 boats, we've only seen o…

Back on Track

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We've done it. We've finally left San Francisco after a 3 week unplanned pit stop. Brenda will tell you that we had some fun while we were there, but other than a short amount of time catching up with some friends, I don't really remember there being much in the way of fun. It was mostly work.
I take part of that back. It was definitely mostly work, but in our constant need to chase down boat parts, stock the boat with more groceries, and attempt to find wifi, we did have some fun. We took a whole bunch of Uber rides, and what do you know, each one of them was pretty fun. Mostly because I didn't have to walk 5 miles to the grocery store and back with 50 pounds of food strapped to my back, but also, because it was pretty fun to get a ride from a complete stranger and chat with someone new about the world.
Taking a ride with Uber was almost like visiting the United Nations. I had a ride with a guy from Afghanistan who escaped the Taliban after working as a tr…

A Simple Equation

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“What is your plan?” That is the most common question we get. It's also the most common question I ask of other cruisers and I should know better. Since we can't plan our way out of a paper bag anymore, I shouldn't be surprised that other sailors can't either. What does surprise me is when another cruiser tells me they are going to be at such and such place, on such and such date, and at such and such time.
Since we have been professional travelers, wanderers, and adventurers for almost 2 ½ years now, I can tell you that we have learned a few things. Not many, but a few. The first and foremost thing we've learned is that planning specifics is impossible for us.
I can give you generalities about our plans, like the fact that we are sailing to Mexico and that we aren't going to enter the country until after November 1st because that is the official end of hurricane season. Other than that, I can't tell you anything else about where we are going, …

A Day Off

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If you haven't heard yet, we are officially floating again after almost 2 weeks in the boat yard. Even though we really didn't enjoy our time in the yard, we are pretty happy we got some important things taken care of. Namely, our steering woes fixed. It's a great feeling knowing that our boat will now go where we tell it to go with no questions asked. No more clunks, no more freezing up, and no more wondering if we are going to make it to the next port before we have to make an emergency rudder with a door, some zip ties, and an oar (I had it all planned out just in case).
While we were living in the yard on dry land, we even took care of some other little things that have been on our list for as long as we've had the boat. That's over 10 years kids. For over a decade, our floor has been in a serious need of being refinished. It's been an eyesore and a source of dismay that has never magically just gone away. I would think that if we just stared at it…

The Waiting Game

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As of this morning we've been in the yard, with the boat on dry land, for exactly one week. Unfortunately, we've got a few more days to go. We'll actually be done with our steering repair this afternoon at around 4:15, but the yard we are at works on a tight schedule and at precisely 4 pm, the bell rings and the place clears out faster than the port-a-potty at a chili cook-off competition (as a former construction worker who's generally had only one option for his daily big business, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, you don't want to stay in a port-a-potty any longer than is absolutely necessary...get it done and get out). And since 4pm is the start of a 3 day weekend, we've got 3 more days to wait.
I've never had a job that ran by a bell. At 7:30 am the bell rings and workers scurry to start their day, at 9 am the bell rings and everything comes to a screeching halt for 10 minutes, at 11:30 the bell rings and lunch happens for exactly ½ an …