Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ensenada el Cardonal & San Evaristo

A couple of weeks after we went to Todos Santos, Arione and El Tiburon took off for the islands. Isla Espiritu Santu and Isla Partida are a short hop from La Paz. Isla San Francisco and Isla San Jose are a bit farther. All are part of a national park. We had gone to Isla Espiritu Santu, where we spent one very pleasant night in Bahia San Gabriel - the second night we had coromuel (land) winds blowing so strongly into the anchorage that it was rougher in there than many of the passages we made getting down here from Seattle - right after we got to La Paz. It was beautiful, but although these winds are supposed to be a summer phenomenon, someone apparently neglected to inform the coromuels of this.

El Cardonel looked to be a bit better protected than San Gabriel, so off we went. It was quite windy the first night, but as the wind was coming out of the west and into the anchorage over a low part of the island, it didn't have the fetch (open water) required to build up any big chop. A mite uncomfortable, but the holding in there is pretty good, so we weren't too worried. We did, however, forgo rowing over to El Tiburon for drinks. We stayed for two days, Darrell and Art went rockfishing in the dinghy but didn't catch anything that looked particularly edible, and we got our drinks in on the second night. I somehow managed not to take any pictures.

Sparky (El Tiburon's dog) was getting pretty antsy because he couldn't go ashore, so we decided to head up to San Evaristo, a fishing village about 30 miles north of Isla Partida. It is extremely well protected, and as the winds were forecast to be high for the next few days, looked like a good choice. Boy, was it ever.

On the way up, I once again failed, despite using three different lures over the course of the trip, to catch a single fish. I am beginning to feel like a bit of a poor excuse for a fisherperson. After we got our hook set, the boat to starboard of us left, so we pulled up our anchor, moved over about a football field's worth and got set in about 12 feet of water - perfect spot. Of course, a couple of later arriving boats decided that if we were in there, it must be a good spot for them too. I don't know why that happens so often, even in large anchorages - it's a big bay, people. Let's use the whole thing. Our boat, like many, can sail around at anchor quite a bit if the wind comes up, so if there's room best to use it, really.

We went over to the beach and walked around a bit. There's not much there, a bunch of pangas, some shacks where the fishermen sell their fish to buyers who drive up from markets in La Paz, a few houses on the hill (most of the town is on the other side of the peninsula that divides this bay from the one to its north) a small store that sells beer (good thing, that - we were running low) and a sort of restaurant (more on that later). Sparky practiced his egret stalking skills, and played with a local black lab puppy. We saw lots of these guys - I think they clean up from the fish cleaning.

The second afternoon, we went over to the beach and bought a snapper (pargo perro). It was incredibly good. I however, in addition to being completely unable to catch fish, need to bone up on my fish anatomy. It had been gutted, but filleting a fish should not take a person 45 minutes.

Snapper with Pecans

1 T. butter
4 snapper fillets
2/3 c chopped pecans
1/2 tsp paprika
1/3 c butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Saute the filets in the tablespoon of butter until done (a couple of minutes). Remove to a plate and keep warm. Wipe out the pan. Melt the 1/3 c of butter and saute the pecans until fragrant and slightly brown. Add the paprika and lemon juice. Put the fish on serving plates, spoon over the pecan butter.

San Evaristo is home to thousands of pelicans. They dive into the water in large groups, making for a sort of staccato effect. I tried to capture a diving pelican on film, but couldn't, so you'll have to settle for a bunch of them floating around.

The last night we were in San Evaristo, Darrell found out that if you went over to the little cafe and told them you wanted dinner in advance, they'd cook for you. Well, yes, of course we wanted dinner.

Macho here was there to greet us when we arrived.

Fish, handmade tortillas, beans, fresh salsa, all delicious, were cooked for us by Lupita. We played a bit with the kids - Sarah had brought bubbles and a wand over for them, but we weren't able to communicate exactly how the bubble blowing process worked, so I suspect most of the bubbles wound up on the ground. The kids appeared to enjoy them anyhow - I know we did. As it got dark, we piled back into El Tib's dinghy and went back to our respective boats - we had a long trip back the next day, and were planning to leave early. What a lovely place.

The trip back was fairly uneventful, but in further fishing follies, a fish stole not only my last cedar plug, but my entire line. Yes, apparently, cleating the black nylon part of the handline isn't sufficient, although it had been all the way down the coast. Of course something that could pull a locked and cleated line off the boat was probably big enough that we really didn't want to deal with getting it aboard, so there's that. When I put out my other line, I tied a bowline in it. Did I catch anything? No, I did not. The fish are definitely winning - score stands at fish: 3 (2 cedar plugs, one handline) Jaye: 0. Fishing fail.

Todos Santos

The day after Thanksgiving, we and Sarah and Darrell of El Tiburon rented a car and went to Todos Santos, which is on the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula, about 50 miles south of La Paz. The roads were quite good, but definitely not freeways, plus we got lost trying to get out of town (Turn left at the Walmart? Which left? Then what? Does that gas station have a map? Of course not.) so the trip down took about an hour and a half. It's also, of course, really helpful to have three people who are not the driver having ideas and suggestions and really no idea where we needed to go. But make it out of town we did, eventually. It was a beautiful drive through the desert, which quite abruptly got very lush as we dropped into Todos Sants on the coast. There's a river that's only intermittently visible on the surface here, but its underground stream supports quite a lot of vegetation. We spent some time wandering around town.

Hotel California Lobby:


We went to the church on the main town square:

Had an excellent lunch, then drove out to the beach. The roads (tracks, really) were beyond sketchy, and we were sort of worried our poor little rental car was going to get stuck in the sand. Darrell, as it turns out, is excellent at driving in sand. There are lots of houses out here, but it's very isolated, and a rather large number of them appeared to be for sale.

The beach was gorgeous. It's very steep, so there's quite an undertow - no swimming - but pretty!

The colors that afternoon were just amazing. There's something about the light on the Pacific coast of Mexico that is unlike anywhere else I've ever been.

Art, Sarah, Darrell and Sparky went for a walk on the beach. I stayed up on the hill taking pictures.

Sparky's always a lot of fun to have around. He's just a really happy guy. Actually, here, he's a happy, wet and tired guy, but whatever.

It was a fun day for all of us -- and muchas gracias to Darrell, who did all of the driving!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

La Paz

Our original plan was to spend through Christmas or so in La Paz, and then to head over to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta on the mainland. Planning, though, has never been our strong point, and we didn't anticipate how easy it would be to fall completely in love with La Paz. The mainland's not going anywhere. So at the moment, we think we're going to stay here until we head up into the Sea of Cortez in the spring.

We'd really like, at some point, to get into Marina de La Paz, which is a little funkier than the marina we are in now but right downtown. However, that's proving to be quite a difficult thing to do, and the folks and the facilities at Marina Palmira are so extremely nice, so we've just signed up for another month. We're only a couple of miles out of town, we have folding bicycles, and taxis are cheap.


When we left San Jose del Cabo, our first stop was an anchorage called Frailes, a day or so to the east. Actually, we left SJdC twice, having realized the first time (luckily, we hadn't even gotten all of the way out of the marina) that we'd forgotten to turn in our dock keys. At $50 (US) a pop, we didn't want to hang on to those. I had, uncharacteristically, been wicked efficient with putting away the dock lines (won't do that again, will I?) so it was a bit of a fire drill getting tied up again. Got to Frailes, dropped the anchor, put on our suits and flung ourselves over the side into the 80 degree water. We'd been waiting a long time for that.

There were several boats that we know in the anchorage, and one of them, Corvidae, invited us all for drinks and appetizers. The appetizers were so abundant (not to mention really good) that we wound up not even bothering with dinner.

We'd hoped to stay for a few days, but when we listened to the weather in the morning, it appeared that a norther was building up. We really wanted to avoid being in the channel between Isla Cerralvo and the peninsula during a norther - it is fairly narrow and has a deservedly nasty reputation. So we pulled up our anchor at first light and headed for our next anchorage, Muertos.

Los Muertos (or Los Sueños, if you're in the tourism industry - "the dreams" is understandably more appealing than "the dead") was another lovely anchorage that we spent all too little time at. We got in late after a long day, and had another long day ahead of us, so we ate, crashed and again left at first light. We hope to revisit both of these places next fall before we head over to the mainland.

We have not, in fact

dropped off the face of the earth. We've been really enjoying La Paz and doing some local exploring - by water, by car and on foot. More soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fixed (hopefully)

So, the genset was not, in fact, getting its fuel through the return. What we had there was a labeling problem, which Art figured out by taking off the inspection port on one of the diesel tanks and feeling around for which fitting led to a pickup tube (that would be the supply). However, the hoses were indeed quite elderly, and when Devon started taking them off of the fittings yesterday, it was pretty apparent that air was getting into the lines. There were more than a few untightenable hose clamps - when the hose gets old and brittle, there's just no way to cinch it down around the fittings on the tanks, filters or engine. All of that's replaced now (which involved the yard in Cabo tracking down the last roll of 5/8" fuel line in Baja, because we needed about 20' more than they had in stock), and both engines are running like tops. We'll keep our fingers crossed, but it looks like the lines were the problem.

The plan for tomorrow is to get up early and hose off the boat (it's dusty here, and at $2/foot/night, damn straight we're hosing off the boat before we leave), and get up to Frailes, ~30 miles from here. We'll spend a couple of days there, then a couple of days at Muertos (Sueños, if you're the tourist authority) and then on to Marina Palmira in La Paz. Our friends Doug and Carla recommended Marina La Paz, but they were unfortunately full. Or full, unfortunately. Either way, no room for us right now. We'll try and get in there at some point - it's right in town, and we're expecting to be in La Paz for probably a month, so presumably someone will leave between now and then. We'll check with them in person next week.

I am so ready to be in an anchorage where we can just fling ourselves off the back of the boat to cool off.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Phone Company, and Some Local Flora

Yesterday, we went into town with our friends Sarah and Darrell to get Banda Ancha cards. These nifty little things are basically USB modems. For ~$30/ month, we have 3 gb of internet usage. We're going to go back and sign up for a six month contract, as apparently that doubles your usage limit. I don't think even I could use up 6gb in a month. Better yet, they sold us a little router that the USB modem plugs into. Our computers can connect to that over wifi, which means no need to share the internet connection. It's similar to a mifi. Telcel itself was painless to deal with. Verizon could come down here and take some lessons, I think. Instead of the phone company sending you a bill, you go to an agent (gas stations, tiendas, banks - they're all over the place) and put money into your account. Then to renew your service for another month, you just send a text message via the usb card, and, assuming you've got cash in there, you're all set. One of the nice things about doing it that way is that when we're in an area without cell coverage, we don't have to pay for service we can't use. Very cool.

Over the past couple of days, I've spent some time wandering around the grounds of the marina, taking pictures:

These little round cacti are all over the place. Off to the side, next to the road into town, they have about an acre of land just packed with them (apparently they're not done landscaping yet):

Before we came to Mexico, I'd never seen multi colored bougainvillea:

This afternoon, our friend Crit got a couple of hunks of tuna from some fishermen. We have nori and sushi rice aboard, so tonight we'll take those over to Jasdip and have tuna sushi for dinner. Mmmmm.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Diesel Problems

We've been having intermittent problems with our diesel supply all the way down from Seattle. Since we left San Diego they've been more frequent. Basically, both engines (the main and the genset) have been behaving like they're starved for fuel. We hadn't been able to identify much of a pattern, and we were pretty much tearing our hair out trying to figure out what was going on. Earlier this week, we decided that we'd reached the end of our (admittedly short) diesel troubleshooting rope, and decided to call in a professional. This being Mexico, where marine diesel mechanics are sort of thin on the ground, it wasn't just a matter of picking up the phone. Art asked around found a guy from a big yard in Cabo who was doing work on another boat here a couple of days ago, and today he came down and took a look.

One of the things that completely confused us when we'd tried to figure out what was going on was that we couldn't figure out how the genset was getting fuel. It obviously was, since we've been running it fairly often for the ten years we've had Arione, but when we traced the lines by hand, they made no sense. They also bore no resemblance to the schematics we had from the builder, but that's not the first time that's happened - these boats were semi-custom, and the schematics are of the non-customized setup. Whatever.

Turns out the genset fuel supply is plumbed into the return from the main. How that could even work, I don't really understand, since the returns presumably go into the tops of the tanks, not the bottoms (i.e. where the fuel is) but work it did for ten years. Since we'd been babying the charging system a bit out of paranoia from the charging issues we had between Seattle and San Francisco, using the genset more and the inverter less, we started seeing problems. Turns out, that if we run the main and the genset simultaneously (which we had never, ever done before this trip), or even one right after the other, we set up all kinds of weird back pressure and suction in the fuel system. These don't necessarily manifest themselves at that exact moment - the suction from a running diesel is apparently enough to overcome a lot of resistance, but it causes problems to appear the next time we run one of the engines. Although if the next time was, say 24 hours later, sometimes it was OK, as that was long enough for the pressure to equalize itself. That's what made it so hard to see a pattern - there was one, but it was extremely subtle.

Unfortunately, today being Friday, and Monday being a holiday (Mexican Revolution Day), we're not going to make any progress on this until Tuesday at the earliest, but it's a relief to have an understanding of what's going on and a plan.

Worrying whether or not the genset was going to run on any given day was really stressing us out - I take some meds that have to be kept refrigerated, and the genset is our main way of cooling the box when we're not running the engine. It means a few more days than we'd intended in Puerto los Cabos, but I'd happily spend another week here if it meant solving this problem. As an extra bonus, we won't have to worry about what sorts of crud might be lurking in our elderly fuel lines, since we're going to have them all replaced as part of re-routing the genset supply.

The problem's not solved until it's solved, but it's a huge relief to have what looks like a reasonable hypothesis and a plan to address it. We're both going to be really glad to see Devon show up on Tuesday with his tools and a nice shiny roll of new fuel line.

Puerto los Cabos

We are still in Puerto los Cabos. What a lovely place. They have two kinds of slips - with power and water and without. The first couple of nights, we were in a without slip (the cheap seats). Then we started having some trouble with our diesels, and moved over to the other side. The cheap seats are more convenient to the surprisingly well stocked tienda and several restaurants. The full service side is a short walk to the beach. Today, we have a diesel mechanic coming from Cabo to help us with the fuel problem, so we're hoping to move back over to the cheap seats tonight.

A couple of nights ago we went to one of the restaurants, called Alis, for cous cous. When Sarah told me about this, I thought she said the owner was Nigerian, and I couldn't figure out what the Nigerian connection to cous cous was. When we got there, we realized that he was Algerian - mystery solved. There were 13 people off of various boats at that dinner, some of whom we'd not met before. Big fun, although a little spendy for a couple of hunks of meat and veggies.

Yesterday morning, I sewed a hatch screen for the 3'x3' main hatch and mended some holes in the one for the forepeak:

Unlike the commercial screen we have for the hatch in the forepeak, which is completely made of netting, I made this one with a solid top, so in addition to keeping bugs out, it serves as a sunshade. I sewed curtain weights into the binding on the hem to keep it held down against the deck. Now we can leave the hatches open at night without getting eaten alive.

Then we went to the beach. Aaaah, 80 degree water:

The marina here is quite beautifully landscaped

There's also a lot of artwork installed along the walkways on the shore - all by a woman named Leona Carrington, a British born Mexican surrealist. They're pretty cool.
This goat is my favorite:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


We're in Mexico. At last. It's lovely.

The Baja Haha was a blast right up until the end. Zach, Sarah and Max, our crew, were great. No one got sick. We had several lovely sails, including a long spinnaker run, to the first stop. Turtle Bay, featured a pot luck on the beach, which was great. We caught up with a lot of old and new friends.

Turtle Bay was spectacularly beautiful.

Ironically, the worst sea conditions we encountered between Seattle and Cabo San Lucas were between Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria. The seas weren't really all that large, but confused? These seas were positively bewildered. They were all over the place. The autopilot couldn't deal with it, so the on watch hand steered all night. We had the main up, but strapped in, hoping at some point we'd be able to sail enough to stabilize the boat a bit. All we accomplished was chafing through the cover on the main halyard, so for now the biggest main sail we can fly is the first reef. We'll fix that in La Paz.

Stop #2 was Bahia Santa Maria. (also spectacularly beautiful, but I didn't take many pictures, and no good ones) This is a very sparsely inhabited bay (basically a fishing camp), that gets invaded by the Haha fleet once a year. For one afternoon, they operate what's basically a pop up restaurant for about 600 people. It's quite an accomplishment. And delicious.

The sail from Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo was pleasant until the very end, when the wind started to pick up. From the east. Which is a very bad thing, as the anchorage is open to the east. Now, we weren't planning to anchor, but our slip assignment had gotten screwed up. Slips are supposed to be assigned in the order in which boats signed up for the Haha. Being entry #13 out of 190-odd boats, we figured we'd get a pretty good slip - a real slip, with fingers on both sides, no rafting or side tying or any of that hoo ha. So we're listening as they read off the slip assignments, and -- our name isn't coming up. It's OK, I try to reassure myself, they haven't called our friends on El Tiburon (#10) either. Except it isn't OK. They've apparently skipped our entire division. We and the El Tiburons get on the radio to point this out, and the committee boat tells us they'll be back to us in an hour.

About an hour and a half later, they get back to us with side ties on a dock that sticks out from the fuel dock, right at the entrance to the marina. No protection from the bay, no way to hold ourselves off the dock, nothing. Later, I'm talking to our friends and find we'd both been trying to reassure ourselves -- the marina in Cabo can be really hot, we should get some nice breeze out there, at least we're convenient to the marina store and town, etc., etc., etc. Actually, we both knew the situation sucked. We had a map of the marina. We all knew the weather was forecast to be out of the east, which meant that dock would have no protection at all from the prevailing winds. It was only forecast to be 12 - 15 knots, so not so bad, but still - we were feeling pretty shafted after having gone to some trouble to sign up early. For our trouble, we were going to be paying a lot of money (slips in Cabo are really expensive) for a marginal situation. Great.

As we round Cabo Falso, the wind really starts to pick up. This isn't 12 kts. It's more like twice that. And it's straight out of the east. We try to pull into our assigned spot. The first thing we see is that there's another boat in our friends' spot. There's a lot of yelling and crashing and we get tied up, but we're getting slammed into the dock and there's nothing we can do (since it's a side tie) to hold the boat off. There's panga traffic and boats going every which way in very gusty winds at the harbor entrance and waves are practically breaking over the dock. We've got to get off of here, and we can't power sideways to the wind, so we pay a panga to tow us off. During all of this, I've been on the radio with Profligate (committee boat), whose helpful response is basically "don't like where you are, that's your problem", and with El Tiburon, who've found a slip at the other, smaller, marina. To make a long story short, we go over there, get a slip (cheaper, natch) and that's it. It was a little farther out of town, but the staff was really nice, as were the facilities, and we enjoyed our stay there a great deal.

To anyone considering doing the haha in the future:

1. Don't count on getting a slip based on your sign up. If they make a mistake, don't count on it being corrected. We basically got moved to the end of the line. In retrospect, we should have been a lot more vocal about our spot and what our priority should have been. Don't know if it would have made any difference, but at least I'd feel like I'd tried.

2. Don't believe that you can't reserve a slip at Cabo. If you're an early sign up, and you get and pay for a slip assignment, they will let you keep it, despite the Haha's insistence that "we control all of the slips at Cabo for the two nights after the rally." They don't, or, to be fair, if they had the control, they didn't exercise it. We didn't hear of a single boat that had made a reservation being compelled to give it up. We tried to play by the rules. I'm honestly not sure I'd do that again.

3. The poobah seems to really want to make sure everyone stops in Cabo. In our opinion, this appeared to cause him to minimize the weather forecast and disparage possible alternatives to anchoring off the beach at Cabo for boats who didn't get slips. In the last couple of days of the rally, he continually emphasized that the wind forecast was "no big deal". I'm sorry, but a forecast that creates a lee shore in an already marginal anchorage is IMO, always a big deal. When boats concerned about the weather started asking about Puerto los Cabos, he suggested that it was 25-30 miles further on (it's 17), that he didn't know if they had any facilities (it's still under construction, but a very popular cruising guide published last year and cited in Latitude 38's Mexico First Timer's Guide details what was here then, including slips, and although some are without power, they are priced accordingly), and generally making it sound like an undesirable alternative. We're there now. It's quite nice. Was a slip in Cabo proper more convenient for the Haha festivities? Sure, but I'd certainly have preferred Puerto los Cabos to being anchored off the beach at Cabo in 25kts of wind if that had been my other choice.

All in all, we had a lot of fun up until the last morning. That sucked. We met tons of great people who I'm sure we'll see again as we travel around Mexico. Would we do the Haha again? Probably not. There are a lot of interesting looking places along the Baja coast, and it would be fun to check some of them out. The Haha forces you into a schedule regardless of the weather. Waiting an extra day or two would, in retrospect, have been the right thing to do before leaving Bahia Santa Maria for Cabo.

Note: I thought this maybe was too negative, but when Art read it, he said it was a good thing that I'd been so even handed, because if he'd written it up he'd probably have gotten sued for libel. So there's that.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

San Diego

We've been here a week. Our marina is in the middle of nowhere, out by the airport, but even with the need to rent a car, is much cheaper than staying at a more centrally located place. And we'd really have needed the car anyway, for at least some of the time, to (for example) go to Costco. Interestingly, it was a lot cheaper to rent from the Enterprise location at the airport (from which they won't come fetch you) than it was from the smaller off airport locations. Getting picked up and dropped off is convenient, but the price difference worked out to ~$50 each way, so a cab to the airport it was. We later learned that we could have caught the hotel shuttle over there for free. One very nice thing about this marina is that it comes with access to the pool and hot tub at the Sheraton next door. We've been making a lot of use of that.

We went to the potluck at Downwind Marine yesterday. I made brownies, but I think I must have put too many miniature peanut butter cups in them (it seemed like a good idea at the time), as they refused to set up. So the brownies stayed home and we showed up empty handed. There was plenty of food anyway.

We've been crossing a lot of items off of our list, but seem to be adding even more. I've finally realized that it doesn't all necessarily have to be done before we leave, but all of the necessary bits need at least to be purchased. Next week promises to involve even more running around. Our crew starts arriving Saturday.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On to San Diego

After we left Two Harbors, we went to Avalon, which was tons of fun. We finally caught up with our friend Crit, who is singlehanding her boat down to San Diego from Alameda for the Haha. We hadn't seen her in years, and it was a lot of fun catching up. The first night, we took a shore boat (how cool is that? you hail them on the radio and they come fetch you) in to town and went out for dinner. The second day, we and Crit went out for a late lunch. Crit has some great pictures from lunch up on her blog.

Golf carts outnumber cars in Avalon by at least 2:1. This was outside the grocery store:

There are golf cart "trucks":

We even saw one with a trailer hitch on it:

From Avalon, we went to Dana Point. We had planned to go to Newport, but it felt like we'd be going the wrong direction, so Dana Point it was. Dana Point is fine, but what no one mentioned is that it is located on a tiny strip of land at the bottom of a huge bluff. And that all of the services - grocery store, drug store, etc. - are at the top of the bluff, not down by the water where the marina is. You'd think this would be important enough for someone to have mentioned it, some guidebook or something, but no. Also we did not look at google earth in advance. Bad cruisers.

However, we were there and we needed to do laundry. Really, really needed to do laundry. As in we haven't done any laundry for nearly three weeks, and haven't any done sheets or towels in over a month. So we have huge bags of dirty sheets and towels and then two additional enormous bags of just regular laundry. We needed to do laundry.

Hills and my knees do not get along, and we didn't want to spend more than a full day here, so I did the six and a half* loads of laundry and Art schlepped up the hill twice for necessities. The washers and dryers at this marina are located in pairs at the top of each gate. So unless I wanted to be tending laundry in a couple of places at once, I had one dryer and one washer at my disposal. I did not, in fact, want to be tending multiple laundry locations, so I settled in with my Kindle by the laundry machines (quite nice, BTW, and there's a dedicated set with a separate key for the guest dock, which accommodates many fewer boats than the regular gates). I started the laundry around 10:00 in the morning, and I finished around 4:00. The next time I've got that much laundry to do, I'm holding out for a place with multiple machines. The marina here has 6 washers and 5 dryers, all in one room. Oh, well. I did finish The Big Short. Highly recommended.

We had a gorgeous sunrise leaving this morning:

*I stuffed one load too full, and so had to run it through the washer a second time to actually get it clean.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Twenty Six Miles Across the Sea...

Actually, from Marina Del Rey, it was more like 33 miles, but whatever. We're here in Catalina - on a mooring in Isthmus Harbor. It's been a little cloudy, and even drizzly, but it's really quite beautiful. Last night:

This afternoon, there was a yellow submarine moored behind us. Seriously. I think it's probably related to the USC facility on the island.

We had lunch in the little bar in Two Harbors, then went for a walk on the hill behind the anchorage.

This is the next harbor over - Cherry Cove. Pretty, but there's nothing there but a yacht club, and it didn't look like it was open.

The road we were walking along - this is looking toward the other side of Two Harbors toward Catalina Harbor on the s/w side of the island:

The island looks to be none too stable, geologically speaking. This is a large chunk of land that has separated from the ground behind it and slid.

Tomorrow, we're heading to Avalon, on the other end of the island.