Before leaving the dock in Anacortes last March, we spent a few weeks saying bon voyage in person to as many of our family and friends as we could. These past few weeks have felt somewhat similar in that we’ve been visiting and bon voyaging again with lots of special people here in Southern California. This time the bon voyage feels a bit bigger and maybe a little scarier…we’re leaving the country for a very, very long time! But more about that in future posts – this one is about friends, family and maybe a little bit about the frenzy of the future!
Our first major stop this side of San Francisco was in Ventura, where we had the boat hauled out and some work done. While there we got to visit the Berlin Wall, go on board Air Force One, watch the Dodgers post a record 19-3 loss, cheer on big brother Ron as he was honored as the California Lutheran University 2013 Outstanding Alumni, and take the McJohnsons out for a sail to Anacapa!
From Ventura we headed down to Redondo Beach which is close to Torrance where Marty grew up. Since we had just missed his 40th high school reunion (we were in the middle of the ocean and couldn’t make it), the reunion crew decided to put together a mini reunion night with Marty as the guest of honor…ha! We had a fun get together at the King Harbor Yacht Club and it was a riot to see Marty with some of his friends from elementary and high school!!
As Marty described it; “How does one start when seeing old friends that haven’t been seen in 30 to 45 years? Maybe by saying how much they appreciate the effort made to stop by for an evening’s visit; but there is so much more! Not, that the appreciation isn’t “off the scale”, which it is; but “the more“ centers on how easily the memories expand in ever increasing circles. Fun memories of Stephanie Green (Komae) wearing the latest fashions to school… everything Beatles related! The British Invasion had started! Karole Powers running against me for Student Body President… and winning! Dave Carter and his baritone drawing the ire of our music teacher… enough to have a baton thrown like a dart between him and Jeff Burns! Barbara Wilson dragging her saxophone to school on a cart with wheels; I’m sure a portent of her career as a Flight Attendant! Names keep popping into my head; Mark Zbriski, Dave Hardman, Mike Finley, Johnny Gonzalez, Roberta Eidsath, Adele Green, Sheryl Moffet, JoAnna Bergen… on and on. I wonder what they are doing now. What travels and travails have they experienced in the last 44 years since we graduated? And that’s just Elementary School! Throw in a larger population of high school and now you may begin to understand the sleepless nights I have been experiencing as memories climb and claw upon memories fighting for attention over other memories!
But, back to this week and the efforts of Gigi Gonzalez and her off-handed comment about wanting to get a few people together as Sue and I came through the South Bay on our way to San Diego. I love that, although we had never personally met, she took the time to make this happen based only on a tenuous connection that we had gone to high school together. There are some outstanding people in this world and Gigi is on my list! Also huge, heartfelt thanks to Brenda Rasak, Linda Spengler, and Ronnie Meistrel for their parts in making our stay here in King Harbor a success. But wait! As the commercials say… there’s more! Ernie Martz, Dan Keenan, Shannon Reynolds, and Scott Suesoff… I can’t say thank you enough for taking the time out of your week to stop by! It does my heart good to know people like you! Let’s do it all again… in Panama or Martinique or Aruba!!”
The next day, Marty went out on Scott’s powerboat to fish for lobster, and I went on an early morning jaunt with Kyle to watch him surf! A fun morning for both of us, followed by more evening socials on Happy Dance, and dinners out with friends and family.
When we left King Harbor, we headed out to Catalina Island for a few days of quiet (or so we thought) in Catalina Harbor on the west side of the Island. We arrived in the thick of “Buccaneer Days” which is an annual event on the island and is a salute to all things pirate-y, with an emphasis on grog! All the mooring buoys were full when we arrived so we anchored out for one night and watched the exuberant (a.k.a. soused) pirates having water gun battles from their dinghies, and listened to canon fire every hour…what a riot! We enjoyed a scrumptious lobster dinner (thanks Scott!), and passed out on the deck watching the stars….Arrrrggh! 🙂
The next day we kayaked, swam and enjoyed a slice of paradise…until the weather changed! We spent a couple of sleepless nights getting hit by gusty winds that at one point lifted our bimini cover up a few feet so that the metal supports all disconnected! It made quite a crash, so we hopped out and got everything tied down before it decided to fly away! We even had a bit of rain, which was okay since the boat was covered in dust, but it made for a wild couple of nights. After Catalina Harbor we headed down to Avalon, around the south end of the island. It was a beautiful sail, and the mountains and beaches on the island are full of colors and striations…really gorgeous!
Our next stop was in Oceanside, for a quick visit with Jim and Rebeca, Teresa and Johnny….but alas we were too late to see the whole crowd since Jim and Rebeca left town before we arrived! We did however have a lovely visit with Teresa and Johnny, and we even convinced them to come to San Diego to teach me how to make tortillas!! Bueno!
Now that we’re in San Diego (hooray!) we’ve been walking the docks and stalking all the boats that are flying Baja HaHa flags, so we can meet some of our future sailing mates! The fleet is up to 163 boats now, and we are excited to be heading out in a couple of weeks. Already while in San Diego we’ve started planning a Sail Alaska mini-reunion and will get to see a bunch of our summer sailing friends including Mike, Kent, Cheryl, Deb and John! One of the boats from Sail Alaska, recently re-named Tramp, will also be doing the run to Baja with us, so it will be really fun to have Kent and his crew along as our buddy boat!
Our sail from Oceanside to San Diego was by far one of the best sailing days we’ve had since leaving Ketchikan to head south. We put up the Gennaker in a light 6 knots and as the breeze built we finally settled into a nice 9 knot breeze doing 6-7 knots. A gentle swell behind us, sunshine, rippled sea, dolphins, and the end of the journey in sight….what a feeling! We keep looking at each other and grinning – mostly with amazement that two wannabe sailors have over 3600 nm under the keel, and that we are still smiling and yearning for more!!!