Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ventura to San Diego

While we were at dockside in Ventura Isles Harbor our older son, Rodrigo, and his fiancée, Dianna, drove from nearby Camarillo to have dinner with us. We ate at the highly recommended Brophey Brothers in the Ventura Marina Village and it was all-around excellent; food, service, and atmosphere. Afterwards, the “kids” kindly drove us to a nearby Von’s so that we could buy a little fresh produce, bread, and a few other odds and ends.

It was sure good to see family! I'd love to have also seen my mom and dad, who live in Simi Valley, but my dad had recent surgery and I didn't want them to make the trip out. My mom has a hard enough time getting my dad to take it easy and allow his body to recuperate gradually without me tempting him to get out in the car for an evening! Hang in there, Dad, we'll see you soon! Love you both!!!
The next morning, Wednesday, October 24, we left Ventura headed for Santa Catalina Island. It was another day and night at sea, and yet another leg of our trip when the wind was practically non-existent. We hadn’t realized we’d be motoring most of the way to Mexico! During the night the wind came up nicely and we got a few hours of actual sailing in but then it died again so we were back to the “iron jib.” For me, it’s easier to be motoring when I have a night watch; I’m not the sailor Mike is, although I am learning, and I don’t have the confidence yet to be under sail when I’m on deck alone in the middle of the night. Perhaps by the time we are heading home it will be a different story; we can hope!

We approached Catalina from the northwest, as the sun was rising and casting a red glow on the sky and water, entering Catalina Island Harbor which is on the west side of the island, or its “back side” if you are looking at the island from the southern California mainland. This calm and sheltered harbor with few boats was the quietest and most peaceful anchorage we’ve had so far. Apparently the fishing there is excellent, too, because we were treated to scores of pelicans flying low over the water and diving after fish. At dusk the activity was at its peak with a pelican crashing into the water every couple of minutes. Seagulls chased and harassed the pelicans, trying to steal their catch, and creating a cacophony of screeches and shrieks. Quite entertaining!
Once we had anchored and made good with the harbor patrol Mike inflated our dinghy and we set off for shore. There was a tiny little town there called “Two Harbors,” so named for the two harbors, one of either side of it, that it serves. As the harbor patrol guy told us, there was “one of everything,” meaning one restaurant, one building for showers and rest rooms, one little grocery store, etc.

We found the Visitor’s Center and went in to see what information we could get. Not much, as it turned out. In fact, Mike and I were surprised at the cool reception we got when we went in. I asked if there was a bus to Avalon (about a 2.5 hour ride) and the woman said “yes, it leaves at noon.” I told Mike that sounded good, and then asked the woman what time it returned. “It doesn’t,” she said, “not until tomorrow.” I don’t know why that information wasn’t offered up front. What if we had taken that bus to Avalon, expecting to return the same day? Seems the bus only makes same-day round-trips during the summer peak season. In fact, we got a cool reception every place we went to the point that we wondered if the “locals” didn’t like tourists which would be strange since how else would their little island town survive? Get a clue you people in Two Harbors!

We took a long hike along the east side of the island, perhaps three or four miles in all, and the exercise felt great after so many sedentary days on the boat. Down in the water we could see several scuba diving and snorkeling classes going on and two groups of colorful kayaks. From our position up on the cliff we could see straight through the clear water to the coral and plants on the bottom.
On our way back to the boat we stopped for lunch at the only restaurant in town, where we met the ONLY nice person of the day, the young lady who took our order and waited on us, she was GREAT, and where we also enjoyed the company of two cats (one orange and white, the other grey and white) that came by begging for food. They got most of my chicken enchiladas! Later we saw a solid black cat who wasn’t at all interested in making our acquaintance but coolly allowed me to snap a quick photo. I do seem to find cats to make friends with just about everywhere I go; I really don't know why!
We also found a rope swing, which we had a wonderful time swinging on, and passed by the one-room schoolhouse where the kids and their teacher were enjoying their lunch outside. Ahhhh, a simpler life, eh?

Now, after another day and night at sea, we have finally arrived in San Diego. We’re now surrounded by boats that are flying the purple “Baja Ha-Ha” flag. There are nearly 180 in all, docked or anchored in several marinas. Tomorrow the rally activities begin with a skipper’s meeting then a barbecue and Halloween party. It’s overcast and rainy today but the paper says sunny tomorrow so I hope the forecast is correct. I’m exhausted today so we will go to bed early and try to catch up on sleep. But first, a walk into town to find internet access so I can post this update.

I'm not sure how soon I will be able to post again. We are due to enter Mexico on Monday, at which time all bets are off as far as where to get on-line. I hear that there are Starbucks there, though, so if I can find one of those I'm sure I'll be able to send off emails and or update my blog. So stay tuned, as always!


Susan said...

Hi, Deb!

Well, sounds like things are going great! Your pictures are so fun! I've really enjoyed reading your blog, too. Makes me feel like I'm onboard with you guys, only I get a shower every day--Ha! By the time you read this, you'll be under way on the Baja HaHa. Can you believe it's really happening? More like, can MIKE believe it's happening! His dream come true. I am so happy for you both.
Take care and Enjoy!

Jennifer Parker said...

Hi, Debbie!

I've only just caught up on your entire blog, so bits of information are swimming around in my head! One thing that pops into mind is the kitty friends you make wherever you go! Do try to be surprised when I say that I have yet another kitten making her home with us! "Foxy" is her name, and a more precocious little brat I've never met - one of her favorite pastimes is taunting David's sixty pound Doberman, Goliath. Another is attacking my ankles whenever she gets the chance!

Your trip sounds absolutely fantastic, and I'm almost jealous, but for the fact that I get so easily seasick! It's getting to the point where I'm going to have to start taking Dramamine if I have to sit in the backseat of a car.

Your pictures are beautiful - I love the two sunset photos and the scrapbook page with the water background. It all sounds like so much fun!

I've heard that you won't be down at Grandma and Grandpa Hansen's for Thanksgiving - I'll miss you a lot but I know your having a blast out at sea! As for myself, I'm finally able to relax at home after hours spent on a plane. I went from Sacramento to Phoenix, to Washinton D.C., where I stopped for a horseshow on a leased horse and did very well, then onto Dublin Ireland, and over to Amsterdam at the end of September, where we bought two horses that are being imported on Wednesday. Then I went back to Washington while Mom went home, and rode in another horse show with a trainer friend of my mom's, then back home, only to turn around and go to Pennsylvania for yet another horse show, where I also did very well. It was exhausting, but very fun, and here we are planning yet another trip to Holland in November!

Tell Mike 'hello' for me, and have fun on the rest of your trip! Love you both!