Welcome All,
Follow us as we sail Bullwinkle, our Westsail 32, south to California, Mexico, out to Hawaii and back home to Seattle.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Avalon, Santa Catalina Island

Thursday, 9/27
Mornings usually start with a good work out for Mao; seen here playing hide and seek with me via the portholes.  Gotta give her a workout somehow.

It is required to have a permit to hike on any trails and you must decide on which trail to hike before they'll give you a permit ($3.00 donation!) We decided to just walk to one of the trail heads to take a look, which was a bit of a hike in itself. Once inland out of the way of the sea breeze, it gets extremely hot (I should be down several pounds already from perspiration alone.) Signs posted noted that no pedestrians, bicycles, or golf carts were allowed on the road we were taking due to falling rocks (they don't make it easy getting around this island.) Ed says they likely don't enforce it, using it to cover themselves if someone actually gets hit with a sliding rock. We missed the trailhead, instead ending up at the city waste water treatment at the end of the island. Spectacular view but a bit of a stink.

The trail back lead to Buffalo Nickel. A little oasis for a brew and chips which sat directly behind a helipad. Another cruise ship has come in off-shore. It is amazing the difference a day makes. So few people yesterday and now its packed. Its only a day stop for the cruise ship, but the weekend mainlanders are starting to come in as well, so its going to remain busy through Sunday. Big airshow and golf tournament this weekend. Supposed to be very hot also, so we'll be snorkeling (before or after the airshow.)

get it?

we brought this for 'me' to use...

P.S. Ed saw the big ray today under the boat as he was getting into the dingy! No pic yet, but we're hoping.  The have an orange fish here called 'garibaldi'.  Shows up beautiful in the water.  The following are just random pics for your viewing pleasure.


Adios Long Beach, Hello Avalon

Tuesday and Wednesday, 9/25&26

Left Long Beach this morning after a nice long walk along the beach. Cloud cover and cool at first but the sun burned that off quickly. A beautiful cruise & sail over to Santa Catalina Island after the haze burned off. Initially worried that I was going to get sick again, but munched on some crackers and all was good.
I've got to tell you that the waters out here are so blue. Seriously blue. We're so used to gray or dirty green. But you look over the side and see such blue. And very clear. About 8 miles out we saw a LARGE school of dolphins going crazy in the water. They must have been 'herding' prey...? About 12 to 15 miles out a pod of whales. Not sure what kind of whale yet – similar in size to a mink whale but very white over most of the body with some gray/black and a fin like Orca. They were like turquoise just under the water, their white showing up so clearly. Didn't get close enough for pictures and must do some internet investigating to find out what exactly we were seeing. If anyone out there knows what we were seeing, let us know! About 2 to 3 miles from the entrance to Avalon another bit school of dolphin crossing our path as we sailed. Ed started up the engine and low and behold immediately at the bow were 4 big dolphin (I believe Ed started the engine knowing this would happen; discovering that when he cruised along quickly with the engine they always headed toward him to play on the bow-what a guy, right?.) I hung over the bow watching as long as they were there! It was so spectacular I couldn't move to go get the camera! Total wow factor. So our first day out on the water together again held many good things for us.

Avalon has over 300 buoys for boats to tie up to in a small harbor and they pack 'em in here like sardines. Glad it isn't 'high' season. As we were getting the boat settled in I saw a huge ray below! Only for a quick couple of seconds and then it was gone. We can see clearly to the bottom here.
We were given a buoy in the second row from the beach and were initially thinking that would be a sweet set-up. We thought one of the bars blasted their music so loud it would be unbearable for us to be here for any length of time. As it turns out it was the boat in front and to the left of us!! I must be getting to be an old fart – I find that sort of thing very intrusive anymore...
Hard to find free internet here so blogs will be sporadic.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Ahhhhh....I'm back! Being with Ed on Bullwinkle again just feels right. Returned three days ago and we've been catching up. Ed has some really incredible pictures-so much more than he's been putting on the blog! He looks great, although a bit on the thin side-all muscle though.  Amazingly after such a trip alone, he is incredibly relaxed.  He HAS always enjoyed his own company, so we'll see if he stays that way with me back on the journey!
Still at the Shoreline Marina in Long Beach through tonight. The marina is huge, but really nice and within walking distance to some cool vistas (the beach) and free bus rides to necessities.  There are oil rig facilities that dot this coast line made up to look like what Ed and I discribe as "The Island of Dr. No" from 007; straight out of 1969.  No one is allowed to land on or too close to them.  They're lit up at night like Vegas and have waterfalls all around them to distract from the work they do....hummmm....

I went from fall to full-on summer in coming to Long Beach. I've been sweating everyday since. We walked through the village last night and they actually are setting up their Santa picture venue already. Its very odd to have to look at a calendar to figure out the holidays versus feeling it in the air. Seeing everyone watching football as we cruised by the eateries and my first thought was 'why are they playing football in the middle of summer?!' Then remembering that just a few days ago I was cooking up leek soup and sitting in front of the tv myself watching the Seahawks.

Yes, Mao is with us and because its her second visit to the boat, shes fallen back in routine with ease. Feeling so comfortable she's jumping on to the dock at night and checking out the surroundings.  Much to my dismay.  Many visitors to the boat - such as this bird during dinner last night. 
Today was a full day of bus rides and walking (and feeling like nothing was accomplished.)  At least for most of the day we had a breeze.  You'd think being in a seaside city we'd be able to find a wet suit for me, but noooo...its not easy being on the heavy side of life. I tried on one rubber thing and worked up such a sweat trying to get it on I felt a full on claustrophobic attack coming!  Ed had to intervene, peeling me out of the thing -- which I never even got up to my hips!  So in the mean time we'll rent one and continue looking for one when we come back to this area to meet up with the kids at Disneyland.
Next stop Santa Catalina Island!

Friday, September 21, 2012

For a little fun, find the Queen Mary, berthed less than a mile from me.  Hint,  use the map to the left, change to Satellite or Hybrid view, zoom way in and pan down and to the left a bit.........

Long Beach

Homes between Redondo Beach and LA
Arrived Long Beach at 1:00pm yesterday(9-20-2012). The Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor area is huge. Started seeing all the harbor cranes for container ships first an there must be 5 miles of them. Lots of ships anchored in the harbor but not much moving traffic as I arrived. Was buzzed by one those old Navy flying boats about 4 miles out. Was all painted like new, so don't know if theres an air show going or what.

Checked in to the Long Beach Shoreline Marina. Big marina right down town and across the water from the Queen Mary and in front of the aquarium. Very nice biking and walking path on the shore with lots of people taking advantage of the nice weather. Yesterday evening I walked up the path to the Shoreline village an bunch of shops set next to the water and looked around.


Woke to a sunny morning, some broken clouds. Jogged down the beach, in the sand(marvelous) to the Long Beach pier and walked back, taking a swim off the beach to cool off. Yeah baby !! waters 70 degrees and feels darn good.

Long Beach right next to the marina
Walked up to do some laundry and found bunches of people gathering along the walking path. "what's up?" The space shuttle on its 747 carrier is scheduled to make a fly over Queen Mary as part of a US tour. I quess prior to going to the museum(forgot what city).
Shuttle Endeavour
45 minutes later there it was. Flying at about 1500 ft, so could get a pretty good look. Very cool. Got some video and couple of picts from the back. It was about a 30 second fly by.

Pretty warm this afternoon, but cooling down now. The evening here are awesome right now. Warm enough to continue to wear shorts and t-shirt but with nice breeze.

Tracey comes in tomorrow morning and sent me the bus plan, so hopefully I won't get lost and will meet up with her and the cat at the airport.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

King Harbor--Redondo Beach

Arrived King Harbor at Redondo beach at 6:30Pm yesterday. This is one of the few harbors where you can anchor inside the breakwater, so I anchored up with bow and stern anchors as required by the harbor patrol. It was 7:00pm by the time that was done and I stored the sails away. It's pretty dark by 7:00pm now. Wow, fall is coming.

Tracey sent me her flight info for arriving Saturday, Yeah !. Really be good to have her back and I know she'll enjoy the weather now.

And she'll be writing in the blog, so it'll be much more interesting and funny.

Nice sun rise this am, partly cloudy but very comfortable outside.

It's 7:00 am now, so need to get going. Should be in Long Beach by noon or 1:00.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Santa Barbara to Oxnard

Didn't get to input a post yesterday, so this info is for 9-18.

Not to far to go today, about 27 miles to Oxnard and the Channel Islands Harbor that is there. So since I didn't have to leave to early, got a nice shower at the marina, which has great facilities. Ended up leaving the slip at 9:10am and motored to the fuel dock. After leaving the marina, the morning winds were pretty light, so motored until 12:30pm when the winds filled in nicely to 10 knots. Later the wind built to aroun 15 knots. Great downwind sailing at 4-5 knots. Sunny and warm, very small wind waves and light swell. Arrived Channel islands harbor and checked in with the harbor patrol and they assigned me a county slip up the channel.

About half an hour later, Mike and Brad docked next to me on "Wingsong" I think. Their from the Redondo area and doing a sail to Santa Cruz island, one of the Channel islands. Loaned them my hose to do some washing and in return they invited me over for fish tacos, with some halibut they had. Fun talking with them. Brad is an organic vegetable grower and just sold a $7000 crop of the old fashion tomatoes(thats not the right name, can't think of it now). He knows his tomatoes !
Good dinner.

Tomorrow 9-19, is a 47 mile run to Redondo Beach and King Harbor


Beautiful sunny day. Left the harbor at 7:15am. Light west wind.
Motored a bit and then the wind filled in. Raise the main and jib and moving along a 3.5 -4.0 knots. Winds increased more at around 10:30 and I winged out the jib and staysail and lowered the main. Can track nicely directly downwind with that arrangement. Moving at 4-5knots. It's 4:17pm now and should arrive in King Harbor around 6:30.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cojo Anchorage to Santa Barbara

Wasn't able to get this post out yesterday due to radio interferance so this info is for 9-17-2012.

Left Cojo Anchorage about 7:30 this morning. Winds had shifted to the southeast. Of course that's the way I'm going now. Very light though. Santa Barbara Channel is known as "windy alley" for it's strong NW winds that sweep between the Channel Islands and the mainland. But they're not here this morning. It's about 40 miles to Santa Barbara and it's a motoring trip. Didn't realize how many oil platforms were here. I think theres one every 4-5 miles.

The dolphins were everywhere today. It seems like they would hear the boat and I'd see a pod of 5 or 6 turn toward the boat and come in where they would ride the bow pressure wave for 5 to 10 minutes. Got some good video this time with the better light. Those guys are awesome swimmers. They came so often, I finally gave up going to the bow to watch, but it's such a blast to lay on the deck right above them.

Arrived Santa Barbara marina at 4:30pm. Big place with nice docks.
I'd gotten use the bargain that Oregon and Northern California marinas were. They were all $20-27 per night. Santa Barbara is back to the Seattle, San Juan Island price of $.90 foot or about $35 per nights. No free internet here, so may have to wait to the next marina in Oxnard to upload picts. Sorry.

Walked around town looking for a grocery store. Lots of folks on the street and lots of restarauts. Definetely warmer here, probably upper 60's this evening and shorts and a light shirt are in order. I'm liking it, although I know Seattle area is haveing a great run of weather.

First of many oil platforms in Santa Barbara Channel

Santa Barbara Marina
Santa Barbara-beach side

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Around Pt Arguello and into Cojo anchorage

The winds did increase as we came into the lee of PT Arguello, but nor an uncomfortable amount. I raise the main and jib and we were able to move along at 4 knots. Winds continued to increase and I'd guesstimate they did get to 20-25knots but with wind wave around 5 feet and spaces out, it turned into a great downwind sail for the next 15 miles. Did have to reef down the main to keep the helm balance but we made great time passing Pt Conception and arriving at Cojo Anchorage at 5:45pm.

Pt. Conception Lighthouse
This is a wild looking place. Windy but well protected from the waves. I think I see an orchard on the hillside and maybe a building but not much else. Must be something, though because have enough cell phone bars to get text messages in and out.

Theres a train track up the hill from the shore and a moment ago with a train horn going, the coyotes started to yip and howl. Pretty cool.

Cojo Anchorage
Sunset at Cojo Anchorage
Oh, I forgot on the previous post. While paddling the kayak to the pier from the boat, late yesterday afternoon, a large dolphin surfaced 10 ft in front of me. A couple more were 25 yards away, feeding, I guess. These guys appeared all black and were 7-8 feet long, big guys. If anyone can make an ID, post a comment.


Pt San Luis and on to Cojo anchorage

Yesterday the seas were up at Pt Arguello with a forcast of moderation today. So I decided to wait another day in Port San Luis.
I took advantage of the tourist trolley that runs from the port to Avila beach and Pismo beach. Avila is more recently built up with condo's and hotel. Lots of eateries and shops line the front street.
Nice, big sandy beach protected from the swell. Cal Poly Tech has a(the) campus nearby, so lots of college kids hanging around on a Saturday.

Pismo Beach is older with more of that 1960's california beach town feel. Also a big, big sandy beach and more swell since it faces a bit more west that Avila. Some surfers and boogie boarders out.

This morning the forecast still called for slightly smaller seas, but still with winds 15-25 gust to 30 at Pt Arguello. Now five miles from the point and those winds haven't appeared but I suspect I haven't entered the venturi effect between the point and the northern channel islands. Just in case, I hanked the small storm jib on the staysail stay, so I can go with very little sail if necessary.
Ok, just passing the first oil platform named Irene. Gotta go look.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Arrived Port San Luis Obispo

Lighthouse at Pt San Luis
Arrived Port San Luis Obispo about 4:00pm yesterday. A light wind, light seas trip. Mostly foggy throughout the leg although there were periods of good visibility. This is a good harbor with a big breakwater and some nice beaches but not many facilities near by.

At mooring Port San Luis
The highlight of the trip were a visit by a group of dolphins at dawn yesterday. I saw one come up to the side of the boat and then move to the bow. When I stood up and moved toward the bow, there were 6 to 7 playing in the bow pressure wave. They would swim along tight to the bow and as the boat moved downward off a swell, they would shoot forward and then fall back and do it again. They were there for a good 10 minutes. I got some grainy video and will try to post when I get a good internet connection.

Plan to stay here today, as there's somewhat milder weather predicted for tomorrows rounding of Pt Conception and Santa Barbara channel.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On the way to Morrow bay or San Luis Obispo

Left Monterey about 8:30am. Fun city and I'll post some additional pictures tomorrow. Yesterday, I walked around on the marked sidewalks they call the "path of history". Many old Adobe's from the late 1820's to 1850's are still here and give the Mexican flavor to the city.

On Tuesday's they also block off several blocks of downtown and have a farmers market, food vendor market. They had some great fruit at great prices, guess thats central california. Definitely a great stop down the coast.

Met Ken and Julie aboard Kai Ohe(don't think I got the boat name right, sorry). They're from Seattle and sold their house and are now on an open ended cruise south the Mexico and beyond. Hope to see them again in Southern Cal. somewhere.

Right now, I'm over Carmel Canyon. Fog with maybe .75 to 1 mile visibility. Seas, glassy and no to very light sw wind. Could be a mostly motoring trip although forecast calls for 10 knot west winds later.

Should arrive off Morrow Bay in the morning and decide whether to pull in there or go another 20 miles to Port San Luis Obispo.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monterey 9-9-2012

Left Aquatics park at 6:30 am(9-8-2012). Was going to leave early anyway, but last night I found out that the annual Alcatraz swim was today 9-8. They, about 1000 swimmers leave from Alcatraz at about 8:00am and swim into Aquatic park. Nobody had said anything, but I had to believe they would close the entrance to boats shortly before the first swimmers would arrive and that swimmers would be arriving most of the morning. Luckily, leaving this early was timed right with the tides and put the end of a flood across the gate and so help smooth out the waves. It was a just a bit lumpy going out and I motored until I could turn the corner. Sunrise was on the bridge as I left but cloudy to the south.

Bye-Bye San Fransisco
Sails up and 10 knot winds from the north made for nice sailing in the morning. Later I lowered the main and winged out the staysail and jib and cruised along at 5 knots. Late afternoon the winds and seas started to build. With just the jib up now, we were doing 5-6 knots. Wind waves at about 5-6 feet with some bigger. At 6 or 7 pm the winds hand increased to 20-25 knots and with just the staysail up, were slowed to 4-6 knots. Wind wave were about 6-7 feet, one of which managed to break into the cockpit a little.

Continued through the night and arrived 10 miles from Monterey at 11:30 pm. Didn't know how hard or easy it would be to enter the harbor at night, so I decided to put out the sea anchor. Winds were still about 15-20. Turned into a bit of an ordeal. Deployed the sea anchor ok, but then after about 20 minutes the line wrapped. It took the next 2.5 hours to get it clear. After clearing it, I went below to sleep until light.

It did work ok, it that we only drifted about 2 miles in the 7 hours it was out. But had trouble getting the boat at a good angle to the wind and waves and so got rolled about quite a bit or the line was rubbing on the bobstay and I worried about it chafing through. I think I may need to rig some kind of bridle and/or put up a anchor riding sail to keep the stern positioned downwind.

Anyway, after it got light, I retrieved the sea anchor, winds now low and motored into Monterey. As it turned out, while I could not have gotten into the harbor in the dark, there was a good place to anchor just outside the breakwater and I should have done that. Next time.

They asigned me a nice slip(A-47) and fixed me up with card key. Nice marina with a lot of boats.
Monterey Marine--Bullwinkle's in there, somewhere
More later,
Lots of boats moored in the harbor
This rock is just right

Backside of Fishermans Wharf
Customs house 1827-Oldest government building in

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

San Fransisco

PT Bonita- just before entering SF Bay

Whooyah ! Made it to the Gate!
Left Drakes Bay at about 7:15am and crossed under the Golden Gate Bridge at 12:15pm. Had to motor so that I would be sure of hitting the flood tide and thus smoothing out the bar conditions. As it was, there was no swell or chop on the bar and it was easy going. I did raise the staysail west of the bridge just to be able to say I (motor)sailed in San Fransisco Bay. I got a great day, mostly clear and should be able to upload pics tomorrow. I can sometimes get the Ghirardelli Square internet at anchor but it's spotty.

Aquatic Park is a part of the National Parks Service Historic Hyde Pier facility. No power vessels are allowed in and sailboats must be under 40 ft. Sailboats are allowed to use their motors so assist in maneuvering to anchor. Apparently I was suppose to apply for an anchoring permit ahead of time, but oh well.....they let me stay and said to have a good time.

A lot of swimmers us this park and do circuit around the breakwater.
View from the anchorage
Rainbow over the city-but no rain
Most don't have wetsuits on...........the water temp is 60F ...Hmmmm...maybe I should try it..........Not

Looked around the waterfront area a bit and got one of those great crab salad sandwiches you can get next to Fisherman's Wharf.

Planning to get to some of the other sights around the city tomorrow.

Some great houses here

stairs up to telegraph hill
walkway to houses

More stairs up

Houses on the hillside

Lombard St

Aquatics Park and Bullwinkle about mid frame