Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Tonight will likely be our last night in Santa Barbara - we want to spend some time at the Channel Islands and Catalina before we go to San Diego. It has been incredibly hot the past couple of days - triple digits - I guess it's good practice for Mexico. The grocery store is about a mile and a half from the marina, which is where our folding bikes come in really handy.

I tried to go to the grocery store yesterday - unfortunately google maps on my phone directed me to a now-closed Von's. The second place it suggested was a glorified liquor store, at which point I gave up, bought a six pack of Pacifico, went back to the boat and pulled some steaks out of the freezer for dinner. Today we found the actual grocery store (two blocks from the defunct Von's - I have no idea why google on the computer showed it and google on the phone didn't) and got all stocked up for a few days out in the islands.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Of course we went to the aquarium.

A bit spendy at $30 a head, but extremely cool.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who knew?

Yesterday, we had a very large sea lion (not the one I posted a picture of) on our dock finger, close enough to our dock steps that we were a little worried about being able to get off the boat and make it to our dinner reservation. A guy a couple of boats down yelled over, "want me to make him go away?", which we most certainly did. He said he'd be over in a minute with a tape measure. A tape measure? What, sea lions don't like to be measured? They're self conscious about their girth? Huh? A couple of minutes later, he comes down our dock finger snapping about six feet worth of metal tape measure around. The sea lion went right into the water. Apparently they don't like the sound. So now when we leave the boat, we make sure we have a tape measure with us.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We got to Monterey yesterday afternoon. When we first called for a slip assignment, they put us in H28, which sounded fine until we came around the corner and realized that it was a 25' slip. We called the office back to remind them that we are 44 feet long, and they gave us another slip, this time the correct size. Now we just had to get the boat turned around, which involved a lot of backing and filling in the very narrow channel (25' boats don't need a ton of room to turn around, but we do) with the wind on the beam. Luckily, Art's gotten quite good at turning Arione around in tight spaces over the years, and we made it out of there and over to our new slip without hitting anything. Big fun.

Today we broke out the foldy bikes and went in search of a grocery store. Not that we needed groceries, but we were getting perilously low on chateau de cardboard (don't want to drink up all of the good stuff from Sonoma too fast...), and since we plan on being here for a couple of days, it seemed like a good idea to find the store. On the way back, I stopped to take a few pictures. It really is beautiful here - this is looking northeast across Monterey Bay:

There are sea lions all over the place. When there are a lot of sea lions in one place, it can smell really bad (as we discovered passing the sea lion covered breakwater on our way into the harbor - blech). Luckily, we were upwind of these guys:

These three didn't even bother with finding a rock to lie on - they were just lolling around on the bottom in the shallows, having a slap fight:

Then we got back to the marina to find that we had a new neighbor:

We're planning to leave here Tuesday evening for either San Simeon or Morro Bay.

Monday, September 13, 2010


This little guy was pointed out to us this evening by Bubba, who was oh so stealthy stalking him from the boat as he stood oblivious on the dock. I believe he's a juvenile night heron - he was certainly ballsy, naive or both. I love the color of his legs and feet - I didn't capture it well in the photo, but they were quite a bright yellow-y green.

Ford Point

When we went out yesterday to pump out and fuel up, I noticed the old Ford plant building up by Marina Bay. That, I thought, is a really cool looking building. Because I love old industrial buildings when we got back to the boat, I drove over there and took some pictures:

A lot of old assembly line buildings are mostly glass - it was expensive to light a line, so why not use natural light when it was available?

I'd think that might make them difficult to light at night, though.

Maybe they had curtains.

I'm fairly sure that most of the interior partitions are later add ons - it must have been really impressive as a huge open space.

It's apparently part event space and part offices for companies - most outdoors-y or green - e.g. Title IX and a solar energy company (which had several Priuses parked in front).

Some other shots in the same general vicinity:

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Baja Haha Crew Party Tonight

We're hoping to pick up a couple of extra crew for the Haha. Max will be making the trip from San Diego to Cabo with us, but we need some extra hands. We've gotten a lot of responses to our Latitude 38 crew listing, and are hoping to meet a few of those folks tonight.

Details at the top of the right sidebar if you're interested.

Got crew. Thanks for your interest.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Wine Tasting in Sonoma with Bob

Yesterday, we went up to Sonoma with our friend Bob to do some wine tasting. It was a beautiful day. To fortify ourselves for the tasks ahead, we stopped at Andee's cafe in Napa, where we had some really good (and huge) burgers. From there, we proceeded to to the BR Cohn winery. This is a longstanding favorite of mine and Art's - they make a fabulous cab and pinot noir. We used to go up every fall and get our Thanksgiving wine there when we lived in the Bay Area. From there, we stopped at Benzinger, Kunde and Kenwood. Copious quantities of wine were procured.

To be fair, about 1/3 of that is Bob's. We don't drink that much.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Fixing one's boat in (not so) exotic places

We are out of the boatyard and back in Alameda, at least for a while. We got our radar adjusted and our autopilot configured and our echo charger replaced, so that was all good. Then, as if they'd just been waiting for us to address everything we thought was a must do, our wind instruments completely shut down. Dead, deceased, not of this earth, no longer living. The yard guys came out in their little fast boat (God, I love KKMI), but once it was apparent it was not just some easily solved wiring problem, we turned around and headed back to Richmond. Ron was able to get the instruments going by resetting the controller (one of those special "only if you're a marine electrician because it's not in the manual" menu items, I guess), but now we're worried.

See, the wind instruments aren't essential (though they're certainly nice), but the same controller thing that Ron reset also runs our knotmeter and our depth sounder. Now, the knot meter I could almost really not care less about, as it's largely been supplanted by the more useful speed over the ground (as opposed to speed through the water, which is often, especially in the San Juans, quite a different number) from the GPS, but about the depth sounder, we both care a great deal. Because a boat is supposed to, y'know float, which it can only do in sufficient water. How do you know how much water you're in? Ding, ding, ding: the depth sounder. So that's a fairly critical thing to have working, and, well, that controller is old enough to drink and it's apparently getting flaky.

We installed a new wind sensor (of course, compatible only with B&G gear) when we were in the yard in Bellingham. But replacing all of our current gear with new B&G stuff would run probably twice what replacing it with Furuno instruments (everything else on the boat is Furuno now, save the VHF radio), although the labor would be more for the Furuno approach, because we'd need to haul the boat to put new transducers in the hull and go up the mast (OK, we would not personally be going up the mast, but someone would) to replace the windstrument. We could also sell the very expensive and almost brand new wind sensor if we got new gear it wasn't compatible with - apparently likely for quite close to what we paid for it. Assuming Ron can get us onto his schedule, I think we're going back in the yard. Again. What we'd be installing, we're not quite sure, but the wind/speed/depth instruments are fairly surely on their way out.

It's like they know, the instruments do, somehow. I hate them.

Other than that, it's been a nice few days. We've seen lots of family and old friends, and are, in fact, going wine tasting in Sonoma with one of those friends tomorrow. We've had several really nice sails - we haven't seen wind like this since we moved to Washington, and while the Bay is definitely deficient in cruising destinations, it is one hell of a nice place to just sail. It's been lovely, really. Just more expensive than we'd hoped. But, as I keep reminding myself, we'll have a far better boat for all this work stuff we're putting into it.

I am so ready to do something that doesn't involve moving the boat around tomorrow.

And we're having fun, dammit.