Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Channel Islands-Will It Be Better This Time?

You might recall that the last time we were in the Channel Island (Becher’s Bay), we got our butts spanked a bit. This time however, the weather was balmy, clear and warm. We spent one night each in Prisoner’s Cove and Little Scorpion, both on Santa Cruz Island. It was nice to be on the hook again! Then we ventured over to Catalina Island where our first anchorage was at Two Harbors, or more specifically, Isthmus. It’s this way-laid-back sandy, dusty small little place that has a 50’s kind of feel to it. We had a bit of a hard time picking up a mooring buoy because they have this special system where you go to the bow and grab this long flexible pole that’s on on a float attached to the buoy, you pull it aboard and keep pulling till you come to a loop in the line, attach to a cleat on the bow, then keep pulling the line till you come to another loop and attach to a cleat on the stern. Of course, we have to try this is a strong headwind. I’m at the bow wrestling the dang thing, but the wind kept blowing us back. Finally Terry and I traded places, I took the helm, and he did the wrestling, a much better arrangement. It’s such a pleasant spot to be in—not very touristy, no shops, just a little store, a restaurant, and a nice beach. I loved it because it’s so quiet! Or maybe I loved Isthmus because of the Buffalo Milk!
On to Avalon, the gem of Santa Catalina Island. Well, it is really very pretty, but it’s a busy busy place. Glass Bottom Boat tours, diving and snorkeling tours, kayaking tours-- lots and lots of tours, and noise and commotion. There were two fishing derbies, a outrigger event and an art festival going on. We walked a lot, we shopped some, we read some. All was fine until Saturday afternoon. Rick needed to dinghy to shore to retrieve his ATM card left in the machine, so Terry went with him. At the dinghy dock things went awry and Terry ended up with one foot on the dock and one foot on the dinghy. Are you getting a good visual here? After he did the splits and fell into the water and drowned my cell phone,  he realized he had a badly pulled muscle in the back of his thigh—is that a hamstring? Anyway, he was in lots of pain by the time he got back to the boat, so alternating  ice-massaging and warm compresses, and liberal doses of various pain killers were called for. Then Rick was putting our dinghy back up the davit for us, when a splice failed and the dinghy dumped back into the water. It was not one of our better days.
We decided to spend another day in Avalon while Terry recuperated. Endeavor left very early headed directly to San Diego. Their calendar is filled with some fun and family things and they needed to get moving. I played nurse for Terry, and then took the water taxi ashore to get a few supplies. We leave tomorrow morning for Newport, CA. The Channel Islands have not been boring! Was it better this time? Yes, because Buffalo Milk and The Channel Islands make a great combo! (And add some whipped cream and nutmeg on top of mine please).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tap Tap, Is This Thing On?

I've had some questions and confusion regarding how to post comments on this blog. I think I've figured out where the confusion is. When you check the blog by using the url:, you are directed to a page that shows the most recent blog post at the top, followed by several previous blog posts, with the oldest being at the bottom of the page. There is no comment feature available on this page. If you click on one of the titles of the listed blog posts, you will be directed to a page that displays only that one blog post. For instance here is the post entitled Santa Barbara. If you scroll down, you can see a comment dialogue box, and you can type your comment, preview and post it. I hope this helps. Let us know if you are still having problems and I will try to figure out what's happening. Thanks to all who are following the blog, we really enjoy your comments and hope you will give us lots of feedback!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Santa Barbara

August 28—September 5, 2011:  Forget San Francisco, Santa Barbara is where we left our hearts. Sunny days, uncrowded beaches, the old mission, and the general ambiance were just what we needed. Who could blame us for dawdling here? The decision to skip down the coast at a pretty good clip was the right one for us because it got us out of the fog and cold and into sunshine, where we reveled in the chance to catch our breath. We relaxed a lot-- reading, watching movies onboard, exploring State Street, hanging out on the beach, and seeing a few of the sights. There were the regular boat chores like grocery shopping and laundry, and a few minor things to fix (stuffed full sea strainer, plugged fuel line) as well. We had a great evening at the The James Joyce, an Irish bar on State St., listening to Ulysses S Jasz, a group that plays classic New Orleans Jazz. I would love to go there again!
We left Santa Barbara on Labor Day and headed back to the Channel Islands to spend a couple of days in some small anchorages before heading down to Catalina. Here and here are pics after leaving San Francisco.