Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Beauty of Blogging

I know I've disappeared for a while, and I do have things I'd like to blog about but I guess blogging hasn't made its way to the top of my Things To Do list lately.  But I wanted to say that blogging is a beautiful thing.  It excites me to think that in 20 years, when I'm older and graying more, I can look back at this blog and see exactly what we were up to, complete with pictures and descriptions.  It's better than flipping through an old photo album.  Even when I'm dead and gone, my blog will live on. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Who You Callin' A Sucker?

Yesterday, I learned a new term from baybor Gary:
-a colloquial term referring to a short spate of good weather that "suckers" sailors into leaving port just in time for a storm to resume at full force.

As you might imagine, we're some pretty big suckers around here.  Ben and I stayed at the hotel from Tuesday through Friday morning.  We even brought Adam and Jasmine back with us on Thursday afternoon, after we stopped by to check out the status on the mooring field (and Mother Culture, in particular).  For more than three days, we enjoyed heat, electricity and cable television while our other baybors rode out the succession of storms inside the comfort (?) of their boats.  On Friday morning, we returned to the field, just in time to get soaked as we dinghied back to Mo-C. 

Rain poured down for a couple hours before the bright, beautiful sun made her glowing appearance.  I popped out of the boat to tend to the solar panels, which had been battened down for days.  I didn't want to waste a minute of that glorious, free electricity.  It felt like that scene in the Wizard of Oz, just after Dorothy's house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, when all the little munchkins appear one by one to assess the damage.  As I looked down the line of boats, I could see Adam on his deck, Justin on his deck, Paul rowing by, Ray motoring by with baby boxer Duke in the bow adorned in his life jacket.  There was once again life on the mooring field.  Was the storm finally over?

It appeared so.  I woke Ben from his hibernation and snatched up Lola and we headed for land to enjoy the good weather.  Enter Sucker hole #1 and at least two suckers. 

Just as we were finishing up at the grocery store, the sky opened up and rain spewed all over our sunny world.  Have you ever heard of a graupel?  Neither did I, until yesterday.  Apparently, this is a miniature version of that crap you call hail.  This is the stuff we live in San Diego to avoid.  We hurried back to the dock and rowed our soup bowl back to Mo-C, where we commenced to wait for Sucker hole #2. 

The rain stopped again and Ben decided it would be a good time to go over to the dock to repair a recently purchased Livingston dinghy he intends to use as a fishing boat.  Just as he hopped into his dinghy, the sky opened up again.  He hopped back into Mother Culture, where he patiently awaited Sucker hole #3. 

When Sucker hole #3 finally visited us, Ben rowed with Adam over to the dock and began to fiberglass his new (used) dinghy.  Maybe this wasn't a Sucker hole after all.  Perhaps the rain was finally over... for good.  We'd been waiting five days for this.  It must have been a good two hours or so that they were on the dock repairing the dinghy.  I even brought Lola over for a walk and a visit.  (That's when Gary came down the dock and turned me on to the term "Sucker hole".)  Just as Lola and I returned to Mother Culture so I could sit down for the evening and work, I heard the drops.  They started slowly at first... and then came down with a quickness.  A while later, I heard a commotion out in the cockpit and then a sopping Ben dropped through the companionway feet first like Santa sliding down a chimney. 

The remainder of the night was uneventful.  Ben went to work and I went to bed.  By the time I awoke and he went to sleep, the sun was shining again.  I'm not sure if this is another sucker hole, but I'm certain I'm not going to be a sucker again.  I think I'll stay inside 'til summer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blow, Blow, Blow Your Boat

We've been getting slammed with storm after storm here in San Diego, with more on the way.  While the meteorologists and land residents focus on the rainfall, those of us living on boats are more concerned with the wind.  Yesterday, we experienced wind gusts up to about 45 mph, which pale in comparison to the microburst we experienced on December 7, 2009.  However, stormy seas make it difficult for me to work from the boat, and with school starting again on Monday, Ben and I came to the hotel so I could keep up with my workload.  They are predicting even stronger winds tomorrow (I've heard reports of possible 60 to 70 mph gusts expected) and rain through Friday.  The wind may even stick around through the weekend.  Here is a quick video of yesterday's storm:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dance Party 2010

Some of us like to dance. We know who we are.
[Not intended for parents, children, or the faint of heart.]

Shakira - She Wolf (Video Premier) Full HD

Shakira | MySpace Music Videos

She Wolf Video

First Road Trip of 2010 (Videos)

Here are a couple videos we captured on our road trip....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dark & Stormy

This afternoon we flipped the boat around in preparation for some bad weather we're expecting this week.  We're doubting we'll see winds like we did during the last storm but better safe than sorry.  This is what wunderground is predicting:
Synopsis For Far Southern California Coast
A 1015 mb high was over eastern Utah...and a 976 mb low was 400 nm west of the central Oregon coast at 1 PM. A cold front will move in late tonight or early Monday morning with periods of heavy rain expected Monday afternoon through the evening hours. This will be the first of a series of strong fronts moving through the area for the rest of the week. Along with the storms will be very strong winds at times and an increasing west northwest long period swell. Gale force winds are possible late Wednesday through Thursday. There will also be the potential for thunderstorms and waterspouts. Hazardous seas developing on Monday will continue through the week.
          Small Craft Advisory in effect from Monday morning through late Wednesday night

First Road Trip of 2010 (Part Two: Central Coast)

After we left San Fran, we took Route 1 down the coast to San Luis Obispo and spent the night.  The next morning we cruised along the beaches and stopped at Avila to check out the anchorage and the sights.  Then we continued south to Santa Barbara to check out their anchorage and we had some lunch.  Next we ventured over to Ventura to check out the marinas.  And finally we cut through Oxnard and Camarillo before heading home to Mother Culture. 

Somewhere along Route 1

The anchorage at Avila

They don't have a dinghy dock here.
Instead they tie up to the pier and and have to
climb a ladder to get up and down. (eek!)

Cool sign at Avila

The Cave

The Slough in Santa Barbara

Friday, January 15, 2010

First Road Trip of 2010 (Part One: San Francisco)

The crew of Mother Culture took a sponta-
neous road trip on Monday.  We drove about 550 miles north to Novato, CA (north of San Francisco) and spent the night.  On Tuesday morning, we met with a man about a horse (actually, we met with a man about some hard-to-find exhaust pipes for my dad's Benelli, which should be arriving in Connecticut any day now).  Then we headed south to Sausalito to check out the marinas and moorings before heading down to San Francisco.  There we spent the day checking out the sights.  It was my first time in the city so I had to see all the usual attractions: Fisherman's Wharf, Crooked Street, China Town.  We even took a crazy ride on the public transportation.  The bus drivers in San Francisco are officially scarier than the ones in San Diego.  We spent the night downtown, on Van Ness & Lombard, where we fell victim to some Black Magic Voodoo at the bar across from our hotel.  On Wednesday morning, we headed over to Haight-Ashbury before cruising down the central coast on Route 1.  Here are some pics of the sights we saw:

Fort beneath Golden Gate Bridge

Ship near Fisherman's Wharf

Crooked Street

Sign on Garage Door on Crooked Street


China Town


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Got Gas?

We do.  Propane gas, anyway.  And a working oven and grill.  I'm baking some stuffed shells as I type this.  Last night we baked some cookies with Adam.  Only thing we need now is some cookie sheets and pans.  It's kinda tricky baking on tin foil all the time!  Here are some pics of the newest addition to our family:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

One Down

We're off to a good start on this year's goals.  Ben went diving this afternoon and found our lazarette cover in the silt a few boats down from ours.  (Along with the tail of the wind generator and a towel that we lost during the microburst.)  Looks like we can check one item off our To Do list!