Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth!

Our main reason for stopping in Newport was its proximately to Disneyland! Surprisinly, once we arrived, we couldn't find bus service to Anaheim - not even the big hotels were running shuttle buses to the happiest place on earth! So we followed the advice of locals and rented a car for the day. We drove our cute, little VW Beetle to Anaheim to discover that the park was in holiday mode already. As we wandered through the gates, we set our sights high and decided to focus on rides that were marked as in appropriate for those with high blood pressure or pregnant women. Despite being a Saturday, the park wasn't too busy, and we only waited more than 10 minutes for a ride on two occasions (Space Mountain and the Matterhorn).

It had been 30+ years since John's last visit and 13 years for me. Somehow it wasn't nearly as humongous and fabulous as John remembered it. Perhaps we should have gone to California's Adventureland instead, and he would have been able to keep his grand 5-year-old memories intact. Growing up is hard to do.
John gets a soaker on the Log Ride:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Channel Islands to Newport

This is the life. After leaving Channel Island Harbour, our approach to L.A. was obvious by the low low haze on the horizon and the frequent passing of large jets overhead. This time we stopped in at the King Harbour Yacht Club in Redondo Beach - just south of LAX. Again fabulous.Redondo beach had a pier with an assortment of bars, cafes and trinket shops...all well placed to enjoy another spectacular sunset.
We then travelled to Newport Beach, where we're now tied up at the harbour entrance. We stretched our legs by wandering around some of the gloriuos waterfront homes, but there wasn't much within walking distance of our slip.

Our last three days of travelling have been very similar. Light winds, less than 10 knots, from all directions. We've tried to sail a few times, but within moments, the sails are flogging, and we're at a standstill. Thankfully, our trusty motor has been performing flawlessly.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Santa Barbara to Channel Islands Harbour (Oxnard)

Nov 18
Distance: 30 nm
Ave Spd: 6.3 knots

We left Santa Barbara today and made an uneventful passage to Channel Islands Harbour - Oxnard. Lots more oil rigs on the way, tons of crab traps, and a few more dolphins along the way. We're now tied up at the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club - with their beautiful clubhouse and pool. Membership really does have its privileges.
I've added a few pics to the last week or so. More to come.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Port San Luis to Port Conception...and Beyond!

Nov 16/09
Total distance: 91nm
Ave Spd: 6.3 knots
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

We had a long day from Port San Luis to Port Conception, but the weather was gorgeous - not a cloud in the sky. No wind for sailing, but that was hardly a concern for us. We had heard terrible things about the storms that rise around this point, the "Cape Horn of California". Yeah right...what a bunch of hooey. It was as smooth as a baby's bottom.
In fact, the day went so well, that we decided to push on towards Santa Barbara for the night. That would give us a whole day to rest and explore the city. We arrived in Santa Barbara at 9:30, and were directed to a slip for the next couple of nights, right near the middle of town, a fabulous beach, and close to all amenities.

The highlights of this trip were the dolphins which joined us in Santa Barbara Channel, and stayed with us for at least an hour, while I laid on the bow and watched them frolick below. It was glorious - it was after dark, the stars were glowing, and the waters was thick black, which made the contrasting trails of disturbed water that emerged behind their fins shine through the darkness. They played in the bow wake and really seemed to be enjoying themselves, as much as I enjoyed watching them. In fact...I think I may have witnessed dolphin sex!! Either that...or they were dancing a tango. If anyone is an expert in these matters - please let me know.

We also saw several oil rigs. This area is full of them. Oddly enough...all of the ones we've passed so far have names starting with an 'H'. Hidalgo. Hugo. Harmony. Heritage. Holly. Etc... Weird.

Our day in Santa Barbara was good - we fueled and watered the boat, did laundry and bought groceries, and explored town and the Sterns Wharf. The oldest working wooden wharf. Hmmm. Good chips. And I consider myself a bit of a french fry afficionado. These outshone even fries from Commercial Drive...or even from "Frites"on Robson Street. No cheese curds. No gravy. No basil garlic aioli. No nothing. Just pure, delightful, deep-fried, goodness. I expect that these will be the golden standard for some time. In fact, I don't know why I didn't take a picture.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

San Simeon to Port San Luis

We arrived at Port San Luis at 1:00 today, after a 6 hour trip from San Simeon. It was a glorious sunny day, with very little wind for most of the day. We did get some fabulous sailing in this morning, when the winds picked up from the east - pretty unusual, as we still had swell from the west, but wind waves from the east. But it was a great sail, and we managed to keep our speed up for a short while. Not long after we started our motor, the Coast Guard came alongside - they were warning us about the one mile security zone adjacent to the nuclear power plant. Oops.

We arrived at Port San Luis to find out they were out of diesel fuel! We were pretty keen to fuel up, as we are still hoping to get around Point Conception tomorrow - while this high pressure system holds out. So, we took our jerry cans to the beach in our dinghy and paid $50 for a cab to take us into town for $30 worth of diesel. Oh well. Now we can rest assured that we have plenty of fuel for tomorrow. But...we did decide to eat on the boat tonight, instead of trying out the restaurant on the pier.

Renova at anchor:

The view from Renova at Anchor: