Sail Gemini

(Updated March 1, 2001)

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Log 1:  California

July 29-Nov. 20, 1999

July 29, 1999
Santa Cruz
We're on our way!  It has been a lot of work, but this is really just the beginning, and we're out the Golden Gate Bridge!  Our first stop is Santa Cruz.  Side-tied in the marina, enjoyed the harbor and our first night away.  Weather was warm and clear with a light breeze, but not enough to sail much.  Sea lions leaping alongside us near Ano Nuevo had us fooled--we tought they were dolphins.  Very thrilling to discover sea lions can be that frisky.  Les saw a whale jump, and I caught the end of the show--a huge splash with the tail. 
July 30-Aug 2
Capitola (a stone's throw from Santa Cruz).  Anchored off the wharf & enjoyed taking the dink back & forth to town.  Got hooked into fishing (see Les' 26-pound Halibut in photos)  We enjoyed listening to other fishermen's chatter on the VHF as much as we enjoyed fishing.  You don't hear expressions like "big ass kelp fish" every day, do you?  Also, finally got to meet Jack, Shirley & the kids (see photos).
Aug 3-Aug 5
Sailed the main & jib--finally got some good wind!  The seabirds surround you when they flock after fish.  (see photos).  The aquarium was beautiful, but other visitors gave Les the evil eye when he asked "I wonder how many jars of tuna are in this tank?  All the good anchorages have been converted to moorings, so after 2 days at the yacht club, we're in the marina.  Weather has been drizzly & overcast, so we're departing soon.
Aug 6-Aug 10
San Simeon
This is uncharted territory for us, so we feel like our cruising journey is really beginning.  We did our (actually Diane's) first overnight passage, and it was actually fun.  With no moon and clear skies, the sea was a crystal clear, perfect reflection of all the stars above.  Phospherescense was hypnotising and the watches went well--especially with Cami keeping the off-watch crew warm in the salon berth.  At daybreak, saw whales spouting in the distance and arrived at San Simeon at 0900--a peaceful bay, and we're happy to anchor instead of being tied to a slip at a Marina.  Halibut for dinner--yum!
Aug 11-Aug 15
Morro Bay
A slight breeze out of San Simeon got our hopes up, but wind didn't last, so motored most of the way.  About 1/2 mile visibility gave us the chance to practice our radar skills and use the Chartview software...excellent stuff.  Arriving in Morro Bay in dense fog was a real challenge...the Morro-Bay-famous rock at the entrance wasn't even visible until we could just about spit at it.  Once inside, however, the bay was sunny, although the wind really kicked up.  We temporarily tied to the floating dock, then moved over to the yacht club when the wind god at little milder.  Very nice club, sweet town, and we met our first cruising friends, Carlos & Marijke on Felicia, who always seems to be up & away at the crack of dawn.  (see photos).  They're on a 30-foot Bristol, and are great cruising friends with Barbara & Allen, who rented us a slip at the SF Marina 5 years ago.  Felicia is a well-founded vessel, and I admire Marijke immensely--she always seems to have everything she wants on the boat and never has to go exploring for it!  I need to take lessons, that's for sure.  She has lots of projects going, and even talked me into starting a quilt...can you believe it?  Of course, she's half-way through, and I've just threaded my first needle.  Oh, well.  We bought & canned a tuna, too, which was a real accomplishment and a lot of fun (see photos). 
Aug 16-Aug 21
Santa Barbara
Briefly stopped in San Luis Bay, but windy conditions made our exposed mooring uncomfortable, so we left for Santa Barbara.  Buddy-boated with Felicia, which was fun.  SB is a perfect town, very clean, lots of restaurants, 25-cent trolley from the harbor.  Found a new store called "Boaters' World"--wow!  Weather is warm downtown, but very foggy at the coast.  Hoping it clears for our next leg.
Aug 22-Aug 23
Fog is lifting, feeling like southern California for sure.  Met with ex-Emeryvillans Judith & Michael Thompson on  Mayu, and caught up on their past year's property development challenges.  We were grateful to use their phone line to download the software for our handheld GPS -- "Vasco de Garmin" did not survive the rollover week, but the update seems to have brought him back to life.
Aug 24-Aug 25
Channel Islands
Santa Cruz Island
This is another "first" for us--our first offshore island.  Enjoyed having Patti Paul as crew and sailed most of the 20-mile journey to Smuggler's Cove, where we anchored the first night.  A bit rolly, so we peeked around the west side of the island only to meet with head-on winds, and returned to Yellowbanks on the south.  Very close to Smuggler's, but a little smoother anchorage (Patti and I thought).  A sea bass fell for our bait, so we had fresh fish & home-baked bread for just keeps getting better!  Les awoke at midnight at the first sign of 30-knot winds, but the anchor held; Yellowbanks did not put us on a lee shore like Smuggler's would have done, so we stayed put during the 2-hour blast and slept like babies the rest of the night. 

Patti & Les celebrate our arrival at the Channel Islands...but are we really getting away from it all?



The Rest of California

Aug 26-Sept 6

Santa Cruz Island & Catalina

After sending Patti back to civilization, we returned to Santa Cruz Island, visiting Pelican Bay and using our dinghy to fly up island and explore the painted caves where we met Drambouy, an early contingent of the Passport club's journey to the Channel Islands.  Continuing to Catalina Island, we had a beautiful sail, and were delighted to see Donal Botkin in Cat Harbor, finishing off his adventure with the  Passport group.  (see photos).  
Oct. 1 - Oct. 26
San Diego
We passed our "Captain's License" course!  This license will be personally valuable to us, and may prove useful for working with other people's boats.  Although people recommended mosquito screens, bimini covers, hatch shades, etc. before going to Mexico, the course was so demanding, we had no time for projects.  We rebuilt our ice box and headed for San Francisco for the wedding.
Oct. 27-Nov. 20
San Francisco--Depart for Mexico
We took a plane to San Francisco, where Rebecca and Aram got married Nov. 13.  What an event!  We are so proud of them, and wish we could post all the wedding pictures, but have only included a couple hightlights.  We have wonderful memories of that day and were a little sad flying back to San Diego, realizing this is the last segment of our United States journey...on to Baja, MX!

Catalina Island...always a pleasure.


Rebecca & Aram wed at Grace Cathedral with reception at the Flood Mansion.

November 13 was a magical day for everyone.


Then, back to San Diego...our last chance for "civilization".


(See photos1 for more pictures on leg 1--California)

Go to Log 2:  Baja, Mexico

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