VIVA MEXICO! We shall see you soon!

The days in San Diego just flew by. We first stayed in a Marina by Mission Bay for 2 days and enjoyed the Extreme Sailing Series and Foil Kite races. We were able to hang out with some of our friends from Sausalito who managed or participated in the race and it was really special to see them. It made me feel a little homesick.

We than found an awesome anchorage which was protected from all sides. The Captain and Kruiser got to surf quite a bit, I SUP’ed and Mats played at nearby playgrounds and snorkeled in the clear water. We all definitely had some time to kick back. Especially me on our wedding anniversary day, when I got treated to a spa day from the Captain, that was awesome! ❤️ 


My plan was to prepare a few youtube movies about the time from our sail so far, but my 7yr old Apple computer decided different. It had been pretty slow for quite a while, but it served me well and I just feel attached to things which don’t come around so easy. Our Kruiser on board has the same product and told me that upgrading the RAM would make a big difference. Especially when iMovie started to show flaws, the voice would cut out and it was just a pain, it was time to take action.

I found this computer geek store and unfortunately the hard drive needed to be replaced. I decided to put more $$$ in for a better version and than the whole backup must have shown problems, so it took 3 days to get my computer back.

So here we are, leaving San Diego towards Mexico tomorrow and I only have a little clip ready from our first 2 days sail. Until Cabo, we will probably not have Wifi.

BUT, we have also purchased an inreach. garmin, which tracks where we are, whenever the phone is turned on. Here is the link:

 

https://share.garmin.com/EvanStolze

 

And here our little video clip. VIVA MEXICO! HERE WE COME!

 

WISH US LUCK! 🙂

 

 

YES, FISH ON THE HOOK!

And an almost perfect Sail Day!

  • After we had a short break in Long Beach and waited out some strong winds and nasty water with short lived swells, we continued our journey towards San Diego. We could have even stayed a few more days to wait for a calmer weather window, but we all agreed that it would be nicer to be able to set sail, instead of motoring and there was still some good wind out there.
  • And we were lucky. It had been by far the best sailing day. Still waves, but way further apart and the wind was steady. Everyone got time to relax and we made some Mac & Cheese for lunch and had a beer. Lots more smiles this day and even jokes. When you have a day like this, it is hard to imagine how strenuous it had been the other days. I tried to do some Yoga, which did not work out so well. 😉
  • We made some really good progress and when the sun set, the Captain yelled “GO TIME”! We had a fish on the hook. He started wheeling it in and Kruiser grabbed the fishing net. It was a good size fish, a Bonito, meat is not that good, so we released him into the free and had some sandwiches instead for dinner. Good Karma for future fish?
  • We will find out soon!

Right now we have some lay days in San Diego. Stocking up and enjoying beautiful Mission Bay.

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Another intense sail -Santa Barbara to Long Beach

One week ago we have set sail out of Sausalito. It was an intense week and the sail ahead of us, wasn’t any easier. Short swell threw the boat back and force without any break. Mats was tucked into his car seat on board all day and he was a trooper. He seems to understand quite well, when we explain to him, that this is the safest spot for him in these conditions. Noah our dog must have lost quite a bit of weight, working hard to keep his balance and not feeling like eating, when we are under sail. It’s good that we had so many land days, where he was able to load up on energy again. Soon we will take a longer break in San Diego.

  • But now back to the sail. When things seemed to be somewhat non changing wind wise, first Kruiser and than also the Captain went for a little snooze. They had offered to split the night shift and I wanted to give them a break during the day in return. The Captain wasn’t able to take much of a break, as all of a sudden a big wave threw the boat around and offset the Autopilot, a loud Alarm made him jump out of bed and behind the wheel, where I had already started steering the boat back on track. We tried two more times if it was possible to have the Autopilot do it’s thing, but the swell was just too big. We now had to hand steer, which was a bit of a fight against the waves. The wind started picking up too and Captain and Kruiser put a reef into the main sail, while the boat was heavily moving with the waves and myself behind the steering wheel, trying to stay on course, afraid that the boom could swing over in one of those big swells, if I would for a split second get of course. Luckily all went well and the 2 million dollar valuable men are still on board! 😉
  • Around 8pm I went into the cabin to have a little rest and when I just tried to crawl into the sleeping bag, the second I was not holding on and had no leg to support, a big wave threw me right out of bed and I slammed my head against the side of an open door. Luckily it did not knock me out, as the guys in the cockpit had no idea it had happened, all the noise from the waves and wind were too loud. I got away with a bruise and a headache.
  • At about 3:30am we pulled into Long Beach, the weather forecast for the next day as announced wind into 30 mph and even shorter and bigger swells. We wanted to wait that one out.
  • Thank you for reading, we love to read your comments, or see when you like it!

Here a little clip from the craziness.

P.S. Thanks to our German friends for the Knödel, seen in pic!

Santa Barbara and a little break down

On Wednesday we had a Land Day in Santa Barbara, first to recover from the Sail passed Pt Conception, Second to enjoy Santa Barbara including the nice Marina. The Captain was able to find some spare parts at a West Marine close by and we spend the first half of the morning cleaning the boat and also ourselves. 😉

  • After we grabbed some Mexican food, Kruiser ran into some friends and went for a surf. My day wasn’t going so well, I continued processing the last 6 days. The Captain continued mentioning, how great I had been sailing, but to me it did not feel that way at all and I thought he just says it, so I wouldn’t give up. I felt helpless and confused. A bit angry at myself too for not preparing myself better, believing in the statement, you will have plenty of time to learn on the way. My brain was all over the place with different emotions. In between caring for our little man and trying to keep a straight face. But enough was enough and while Mats was running around having fun at a playground, the Captain and myself were sitting on a bench watching him and tears were running down my face. I didn’t want to be a wimp either, but the conditions we had experienced were just by far more than I had expected. Of course I had to be aware that the weather could change. But we did long long sails and got banged around non stop and that was insane, if you have never experienced it before. On top of all that, taking sails up and down, dealing with a torn rope or something else… I admire the Captain and also Kruiser for staying calm in challenging situations. For me it meant now, as we like to say in Germany: “Augen zu und durch”, literally, close your eyes and get through with it. Hopefully the reward will come. So, that’s the memory I have from Santa Barbara. I was able to grab my Computer in the evening, have a little alone time over a glass of wine in a restaurant with shitty Wifi. It took me abut 2 hours to upload a 2min Video clip on youtube, but being able to write about our experience here is somehow like a little therapy session. And maybe somebody along the way will have some similar experiences and find some comfort in these words, that would be cool.
  • The next morning Kruiser and the Captain went for a little surf and I went with Mats and Noah for a walk, grabbed some more ice and beer for the next passage. At noon we headed out with a day and a night sail ahead of us… hurray!

Getting hit going south passed Pt. Conception

CLIP AT END!

Just to start off the story, we entered Port San Luis by Pismo Beach in the early morning after my first overnight sail. I was in good spirits, basically, because I had “survived”. We took a water taxi to shore and it was just a beautiful scenery. After we had enjoyed the day, we took the water taxi back to our boat at around 4pm. There was a nice breeze, so the Captain said, this was a good time to set sail again. It totally took me off guard, as I knew that he had hardly slept the night and I was still recovering and processing the night sail. Just imagining us taking off short before sunset, made me feel very uneasy. I pretty much shut down and there was no way to convince me that this was a good idea. The wind forecast though showed, that it would have been a better choice to leave right than.

  • At 6am I woke everyone up, as I still felt guilty about the night before and thought, the earlier we start, the better chance we have to arrive at the Coho anchorage just around the corner of Point Conception, before things get gnarly. Point Conception is known to have very high and suddenly changing winds, especially in the afternoon. Sailors coming from the South usually stay at the Coho anchorage before heading north at midnight, when winds might have calmed.
  • So, we had to motor again for a few hours before setting sail. There were lots of whales around us and it was again a pretty morning. Everything went really smooth, at one point though, the motor didn’t start. (my head is thinking – NOOOOO) But the Captain calmly checked some ignition connections and found the problem, which he was able to fix temporarily before getting a better working spare part.
  • We got closer to Pt Arguello and the Captain decided to take the Main Sail down and just leave the jib out for conservative sailing, in case wind picks up all of a sudden.
  • We passed Pt Conception without any problems and started celebrating. We opened a beer, cheered and had a little photo session. All was smooth, we had the jib out plus Spinnaker pole (possible in downwind sailing), which we than had to bring in, as wind had shifted. In addition we pulled the main sail up again, as wind had gotten really light. Everyone except the Captain went inside the cabin. Kruiser offered to make dinner and I accompanied Mats. My brain went blank after that, so I just had to brainstorm with the Captain and Kruiser, what had happened from than on.
  • We heard the Captain shout, that he could use a little help up there, while the pots dangerously started shifting around on the stove. I waved to Kruiser that I would take over supper so he could assist upstairs. Of course, way more comfortable situation for me, right? (Kruiser told me later in return, he was glad as he sometimes doesn’t have a great success cooking rice 😉 )
  • I was able to tighten the pots to prevent them flying off when I also got called up to help. The Captain had tried to roll the jib further in, as out off the blue solid 35 knots of wind had hit us from the main land. We immediately dropped the main and started the motor. With a sliver of jib out, motor running and wind gusting between 5 – 35 knots, the boat was rolling around in heavy weather. Waves broke from the back and the side into the boat, something I had never experienced before. It was extreme for me, who had thought that crossing San Pablo Bay in SF Bay area had prepared me pretty good. At least the Captain said, that it would most likely not get worse than that….   (yeah, yeah, yeah, one way to teach me a lesson to go by the weather window, even when tired…
  • We decided to continue for the 20 miles which were left to Santa Barbara and not turn around to the Coho Anchorage and just suck it up. It went on for a while, I had one hot flash after the other inside the cabin from an Adrenaline rush, thousand thoughts in my head, while the men got pretty wet up there. During the whole time, Mats was peacefully sleeping safely belted into his car seat!
  • Here a little clip right afterwards

Day 4 – My first overnight experience

 

  • When I learned, that we had to do an overnight passage to get to the next possible anchorage, I wasn’t happy. In my imagination I would team up with someone who had already experience doing so the first time, but after a few instructions I realized, that it was just me for 3 hours! Crap. The further the day progressed, tensions were rising. Luckily the Captain decided to roll up in a sleeping bag in the cockpit during my watch , so I was a bit releaved.
  • My duties included watching for lights from possible ship traffic all around, checking the radar on the navigation station inside the boat every 20 min, watch the Temperature from the engine, as we had to motor due to non-windy conditions. Watch that the Autopilot and us on navigation Computer were on track. Using only red lights during the night, white ones are too bright, is the last one I remember.
  • What was I able to see? Some lights on shore on port side, some distant lights of boats, Alsager’s night lights on bow, stern and mast, tons of stars, the milky way and some shooting stars. 🙂
  • Other than that it was DARK and spooky. Luckily no fog, but some haze.
  • My thoughts during my watch were, why the hell am I doing this? Do people actually enjoy this? Will I get used to it?
  • To be honest, in that moment I just wanted to sit in my car and drive down the Highway…
  • But I guess, that’s how it goes when you leave your comfort zone.
  • And than there was this moment when dolphins came charging towards us and played with the boat, something so cool and magical, you can barely see, but you never want it to stop. 
  • Soon after the sun came up and it all didn’t look that bad anymore.

Day 2 – Half Moon Bay – Monterey

  • Day 2 Sailing towards Mexico
  • We started from Half Moon Bay at about 7:45am. The sun was just peeking over the hills when we pulled out of the Marina. It is really something else, when you experience the world just waking up. I love these moments. Like the morning before, there was no wind to sail, so we had to motor for a few hours, again in very rolly conditions. This time I did not feel that nauseous, at least for first half of the day. We saw lots of spouting whales around us, not super close, but still cool to know the Humpbacks were there. Finally some wind showed up and we pulled the main sheet out and the men attached the spinnaker pole onto the jib to go wing on wing. Best scenario going straight downwind.
  • And then this happened…IMG_2775 I heard a weird noise, somewhat like the line from the jib is slipping. I had a peak and saw, that part of the line was torn. The rope is twisted with 3 strands and one tore. The Captain ask me to quickly remove Noah’s leash, which is a rope. Than he tied one end above the tear and the other on the other end. To double assure the lines hold, he than attached a 2nd line above the tear and the other end he attached around the winch. Just a minute later, the line with the flaw tore completely! I was a bit in shock as it showed me, how quickly things can change on a boat and that just seconds and quick action can make a big difference. The setup had to go through quite a test, but it held up and we made it safely to Monterey after an 11 hour sail day. The longest one for me and it indeed felt that way.
  • I was very happy when the Captain announced, that he planned on a land day the next day, to sort things out on the boat, replace the faulty ropes etc and go to the Aquarium with our little man. 🙂