Friday, September 4, 2009

Some Questions

Jody sent me an email this week with a flurry of questions about our adventure. I thought others might be interested in this here they are:

J: Are you putting in long days?

On the way down, we put in 10-12 hour days as we harbour hopped to Neah
Bay. After that, we did two overnight sails - the first to Westport, Gray's Harbour, Washington; and the second to Newport, Oregon. Both overnight sails were pretty challenging, but very manageable. We set the sails at night, and were able to settle into the cockpit watching for crab pots and other boats, while Renova steered herself. The trip from Newport to Bodgega Bay was three days straight, and was pretty demanding. We had weird weather, so we often motored, and we had to hand-steer for hours on end. The motion of the boat was also uncomfortable, so it was difficult to sleep.

J: Do you have enough room?

We don't have a choice!! We've finally put away all the boxes that we stored in the front cabin for the first two weeks, and we can now sleep up front. We've got a few boxes that need to be returned home, but otherwise, we've stashed everything away. Mind you...if you need rice, you have to first dig out the cranberrys, cornstarch and nuts, before finding what you need. As we go...this system will no doubt be refined. Many people live on their boats for a couple years before taking off. I can see why.

J: Are you able to see land the whole time?

No. We were out about 30 miles on the first leg to Westport, and about the same to Newport. There were many time when we couldn't see land. But we were always within VHF range...which is one reason we chose the closer route. On our last leg to Bodega Bay, we were closer to land, and could see land, or fog, most of the way.

J: What ports did you pull into?
1. Schooner Cove, Nanoose, BC
2. Oak Bay, Victoria, BC
3. Port Angelel (Customs Only), unnamed harbour.
4. Neah Bay, WA
5. Westport, WA
6. Newport, Or
7. Bodega Bay, CA
8. Tiburon, San Francisco Bay, CA
9. Sausilito, San Francisco Bay, CA

J: Is anyone else travelling the same course??
Yes! Tons of boats are migrating south at this time of year. We're meeting lots of other cruisers as we go. And...some are travelling EXACTLY the same course...we pulled right up to the stern of another sailboat boat in the fog, who was using the same guidebook and following the same waypoints as us. Good thing we were keeping a close watch.

J: How was the wind and weather?
So far, it has been atypical for this time of year. But none has been terrible. We are now in crazy heat in Sausilito...but I'm just considering it aclimatizing for the Mexican climate that is to come!
J: Did you guys feel sick at all?
Well, during the long passages, I didn't feel really sick, but also didn't feel really well either! I spent a lot of time on deck, in the fresh air, and either steering or just watching the horizon. It was surprising how exhausted we were after being on watch for just a few hours. John...on the other hand...succumbed to 'the flu' on one of his night watches. The night watches were the hardest. It was pitch dark, so you couldn't see or anticipate where or when the swells and waves were going to reach us. Also, if you aren't steering, you are just sitting in the cockpit, bobbing along. We had a couple nights of confused seas, and they were coming at us from all angles. Not a comfortable motion.

J: Is there anything we need? Is there anything we should send you?
Not so far!! My Mum and Dad are arriving tomorrow with a few necessary items (sweetened iced tea)...but for the most part, we can get everything we need here.

J: Do you have enough books?
One of my book boxes didn't make it onto the boat, but until now, we haven't been reading as much as we thought. We may need to supplement the few fun books we brought with us, but it is pretty common for the cruising community to trade novels, and many of the marinas have a bookshelf for swapping.

J: Will John play scrabble with you?
Not yet. Nor yahtzee, or rummy, or battleship, or crib. But I'm working on him. This will have to be a mandatory requirement of all visitors.

3000 Steps

Well, yesterday I decided to get a bird's eye view of this lovely village by the sea. So...I hiked up some 3000 stairs into the hills to overlook the town. Wow. It was hot. I don't know how many steps are on the Grouse Grind (someone please post a comment, if you know), but it felt to me like a one hour lung-buster...just like the Grind. Luckily, thanks to my MOMAR-honed navigation skills, I only got lost twice. Of course, I took more photos...but you'll just have to keep checking back to see when I can upload them!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Photos

I've finally gone back and updated some of the older blog posts with photos that we've taken along the way. I've also added a few new blog entries, and inserted them so that this thing doesn't start to read like a Tarantino movie. Enjoy.

I'm finding my way around town - the library was a great discovery. I'm awaiting the real sightseeing until my parents arrive in a couple days. And my sister and Strahan will be here in a couple weeks, so lots of time for sightseeing. And this weekend is the Sausilito Art Festival - aparantly one of the greatest events in the land! For now...I'm working on the boat, small chores, and ordering the various parts that we need.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Found the Library

This is good progress....there is regular internet in my future....and without losing all my money to those folks at kinkos.... Stay tuned for more updates and photos!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Solar Panels and Spandex

Last night we went for a walk around Sausilito in search of ice cream. It has been a huge heat wave down here, and we've been struggling to stay cool. We've mandated daily siesta's about Renova, and one is required to rest in the heat of the day...often accompanied by a cool drink. The best part is...we can make ice!! Our solar panels are putting so many amps into our batteries that our fridge is working way better than expected, and we're able to keep all our gadgets charged up.

We found the main Sausilito strip to be lined with upscale boutiques and cafes. Super funky. Lots of floathomes and marinas line the waterfront, and tourists on rented bicycles are are roadies in spandex! The Benson clan would be drooling at all the fancy bikes here for sure.

Luckily, we found gelato, and made our way 'home' to watch 'the bank job' from the comfort of our cosy cabin.