Monday, August 25, 2008

For Terrence

I'm just posting this pic for Terrence. I thought he'd enjoy a look at this one due to his comment a few posts back! This is one of the many ways we travel with Lola. (And by far the cutest!) ;) Thanks for reading, Terry! We hope to see you down our way again someday...

Tall Ships Come To Town

The Tall Ships are on the loose! They started out in Canada and their final port of call is here in San Diego, where they arrived last week (August 20th). I really don't know much about it, other than the fact that we forgot to watch them parade into the bay... but we did get a chance to cruise around in our dinghy and get some close-up pics (although you'd never know it because I had to zoom way out in order to get the huge boats into my viewfinder!) They've been intermittently cruising around the bay shooting mock cannons and causing quite a ruckus for the past few days. Fun for the whole family! Here are some pics (with some shoddy info I picked up off the internet!):

This shot (and the one above) are of the American Pride

The next two pics are the Spirit of Dana Point (181 feet)

These two are of the HMS Bounty... Not the original, but a replica built for the 1962 Mutiny on the Bounty movie

These are a couple of pics of boats that I have no info on (actually I believe the bottom pic is not tall ships at all but a couple of racing sloops! but if i never told you that you might never know it, huh!?)

This is San Diego's resident Tall Ship, Star of India (she still sails- once a year)

This is the Coast Guard's Tall Ship, Eagle

This last one I don't know about either, but it sure is purty!

Ben and I are still trying to figure out a sloop. Maybe in a few years we'll know what to do with all the extra sails! Hehe

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mega-Yachts Come to Town

Our mooring company is now leasing spots to mega-yachts. They will allow up to eight 100-400 foot yachts to be anchored and tied up Mediterranean-style along the Embarcadero in San Diego Bay. The first one arrived last week. It is 252 feet long with two "dinghies" that are bigger than some of the boats moored out here near us. Unbelievable! (And a little excessive, if you ask me.) This particular boat accidentally dumped 30 gallons of diesel fuel in our bay just the other day. Yippee! Here are some pics... and if you're interested in chartering this boat, YOU CAN! For just about $1.8 million a week with a two week minimum. Enjoy!

Sailing: Take One (and Two)

We've gone sailing a couple times now... so I'm posting some pics from our first two journeys. We tacked back and forth around the bay until the wind died down and then we headed back to the mooring ball. Thankfully, each time we were accompanied by a different experienced sailor, allowing us the opportunity to learn two different perspectives (and without too much worry!) Next time we will probably give it a go by ourselves.

Pictures from Voyage #1

Me at the helm

Me at the helm with Charlie

Ben adjusting the boom

Ben at the helm

The Stars & Stripes (America's Cup Winner 1987 & 1988)

Pictures of Voyage #2

Ben and Scott on the deck

Ben working the tiller

Ben working the tiller while Scott pulls the sheet

Friday, August 8, 2008

Beer Can Races

The Beer Can Races take place in San Diego Bay every Wednesday for ten weeks during the summer. Up to 125 sailboats are allowed to compete each week. Ben and I were invited to ride along with the crew of Pyxis (a CAL 39 - one of our neighboring sailboats in the mooring field) for the final race this past Wednesday. The crew consisted of John, Charlie, Dave & Ted. While they took care of the sailing, our job was to add extra weight to the wayward or leeward side, depending on where they needed us. It was really exciting (and at times nerve-racking) to watch these huge boats sail within inches of one another. Obviously, the participants have MUCH more sailing experience than Ben and I. Here are some pics of the boats in the race, including one picture of Charlie at the helm. Unfortunately, I didn't get more pics of the crew or of Pyxis. (Hey, I had a job to do and I wasn't sure if taking pictures during the race would be frowned upon!) Now that I know what to expect, if we're invited along again next year, I'll be sure to keep my camera with me at all times...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

One Giant Leap

Wednesday was a big day for us. We finished our 7-week Boating Safety course with an average score of 99.5%! Although the course is not required in California, we figured we should have some idea how to tie knots, read navigation aids and plot charts, etc. But this news is small news compared to what we accomplished earlier in the day.

After weeks of frustration with the Atomic 4 engine (broken starter, clogged carburetor, etc.), Ben adjusted the timing and got her purring like a kitten. And we finally left the mooring ball for the first time by ourselves! WHAT A RUSH!

Thankfully, the mooring ball to our starboard side is currently unoccupied... that made the task a little easier for us. Once we managed to untie her and back her out, we headed towards the dock with the pumpout station. We came up a little too quick on the first run so we decided to turn her around and motor around the outer edge of the moorings to get a feel for the boat and the engine. Once we figured out how fast and far we'd drift in neutral, Ben coasted us up to the dock and I jumped off the boat to tie her off. We took turns taking pictures (see below), pumped her out, washed the deck and headed back to the mooring ball. The pressure was on coming back into the mooring as we have an audience of homeless people watching from the land. (They were probably there when we left the mooring ball but we were too preoccupied to notice.) We got her in, tied her off and had a cocktail to celebrate our achievement! (But who really needs cocktails when you're running on pure adrenaline. There is nothing like it!)

Now that we feel confident the motor will start every time... and we have an idea of what is involved in getting into and out of our mooring, we will be taking her out much more (hopefully with some of the experienced sailors we've met who live out here on the water). We will post pictures of our experiences as they happen...

Ben @ the helm

An unobstructed view of San Diego from the bow of Mother Culture

Ben cheering for a job well done

Pirate Ben... Aargh!

Me on the bow giving a Thumbs Up

Me again...

Mother Culture and Me at the dock

Lola showing absolutely no interest