Week 48 27 November – 3 December 2017 Santa Cruz Island – San Diego 167 nm
27 November Monday Santa Cruz Island – Balboa Village, Newport Beach 93 nm
Our sail from Santa Cruz Island started with a fresh breeze that shortly after sunset decreased. But we continued sailing in just above four knots. Our problem this time was to not have to great speed that would give us an arrival before sunrise, so as long as we had comfortable sea state and speed we continued not using the engine. After a few hours the sail started to “flop”, due to little wind and rolling, and the engine had to be engaged. In spite the favourable forecast we motored until just before sunrise. Outside LA in darkness and fog we sailed on the offshore side of the south to north traffic zone and the east to west we had to cross.
AIS is a heaven sent instrument in this situations. Lot of ships coming from offshore and some coming out of LA harbour. Our visual was less than a mile, but with AIS we could see the cargo ship coming close to us alter it’scourse to pass a mile behind our stern. Very relaxing in an otherwise tense situation to say the least.
We have heard so many rumours that cargo ships don’t alter their course for pleasure boats even when they are obliged to do so. Our experiences are quite the opposite after having been using AIS since 2008. Numerous cargo ships has voluntarily changed their course, whatever size they where. One big tanker once in Japan asked us if we could pass behind him because he had problems with another of the big ones, and of course we honoured his request. AIS makes it easy for us and them to define courses and speed, making it possible to very exact pin point the closest point of approach, and if to close, alter course if you are the one to give way. We have a routine to call all ships that have a closer CPA than one mile (when we are far offshore) to make sure they have seen us and know that we are a sailing boat under sails. The latter because an AIS type B doesn’t transmit information about “under engine”, “under sail” or “at anchor” and of course this is vital information when you determine who is obliged to give way!
It doesn’t make it any better that some navigation program has a default setting “under engine” when they receive message from an AIS B transponder!! And that is another reason for us to make sure the ones within our proximity know that we are a sailing yacht.
Then the 20 knot wind came six hours postponed and we got a nice four hours fast sailing to the piers outside Newport Beach where we arrived shortly before eleven am. A fresh breeze in the harbour made it easy to lower the main and fold it in the sail pack.
Lot of boats on moorings that almost blocked our possibility to see the shore line and find “our” dock. But finally we decided that we saw the White’s terracotta coloured house and their dock. Called Tod on the phone and sure enough he saw us right outside his dock and behind the three lines of moored boats.
Ten minutes later we were safe at the dock and Tod wished us welcome to Balboa. Really nice to have a privet dock with all convenient facilities! Linda was out for the moment but an hour later we all four had lunch in their lovely kitchen.
Tod drove us to the supermarket for some shopping as we had been out on the Channel Islands for almost a week so our fresh products were all gone.
We stopped briefly at “Minnies”, a famous second hand dealer of boat stuff, and we really mean “stuff”!
It turned out that Tod new Minni since college and that Minni is going to sell the business but keep the property.
Coming back we tried to fulfill our duties versus the Customs. They couldn’t find our cruising permit in their computer system. We faxed a copy, using Tod’s fax and they came back telling us that they found it. Obviously there was one digit difference in the number. We are a little bit puzzled of how officials in Astoria and Oakland managed to be ok with our “old” number!! Anyhow, now we were fine with them and everything was back in order. Probably good not to have noticed this as late as in San Diego where they are known to be very ridged because of the close border to Mexico.
We slept an hour before dinner which was served up in the house. Had a very pleasant evening with lot’s of talking about boats and boat people.
Tod and Linda has an Island Seacraft parked next to Moon and have sailed to Hawaii and several times to Mexico. Nowadays it’s mostly the Channel Islands that gets visits. A lot of sailing has been done on chartered boats all over the world, so of course there were many things to chat about.
About tennish we soon fell asleep in a quiet boat.
28 November Tuesday Balboa Village, Newport Beach
Woke up to a cold but sunny morning. Condensation on hatches! Obviously more moisture in the air compared with Richmond. We have to use the dehumidifier. It’s really a treat to have electricity on the dock.
After breakfast we did some boat maintenance, mostly meaning cleaning the boat from salt and dust. The islands had been so dry and dusty so our deck and cockpit was very dirty. All stainless got some TLC and soon Moon looked nice and shiny again.
Annika was working on our web and e-mail system the whole morning.
Tod and Linda had both lunch and dinner arrangements so we had to take care of ourselves. We had full access to the house and connection to the street through the house, so shower and a walk was on the menu.
We arrive back to the house from our walk just after sunset shortly after our hosts left for an evening event.
We had dinner down in Moon and then an early evening.
29 November Wednesday Balboa Village.
Woke up to a clear but cold morning.
Breakfast and more work with the newsletter distributor. We have also a problem with our e-mail client. When we have poor connection it sometimes happens that a sent e-mail disappears without us knowing that. We will go back to the old client!
More boat care, now when we have water on the dock.
We had Tod and Linda on tour Moon after noon. We think they were not only politely fond of the boat.
In the evening we were invited our hosts to join them at the CCA’s yearly meeting and dinner. More than 80 participants had gathered and before dinner, Tod introduced the crew of Moon as “long time cruisers who done Antarctica and much more?” and even mention our award last year from the Swedish Cruising Association.
Björn came to sit beside a fellow that had dismasted in all oceans without having to call for help! He had also written some books and we got one with a dedication to the crew of Moon. Thank you very much John Jourdane.
Quite tired after talking with many people, we went to bed already short after ten after a very pleasant and interesting evening.
30 November Thursday Balboa Village
No wind and a pale sunshine when we woke up.
On internet we booked an anchorage in San Diego for this weekend.
Laundry was done very convenient in the house while Annika helped Linda to get her Kindle to work with her Iphone as a hotspot.
Björn worked in Moon with writing the blog and preparing for installation of the new voltage stabilisator we had got delivered to Newport. It became a success! The circulation pump for the water heating system is quite noisy when voltage is above 25 volt, and now keeping the voltage down to 24 the pump is almost quiet. Might look in to this even for some fans that are noisy.
After lunch we took a walk around Balboa Island which included a trip on the little ferry across the harbour. Nice walk but we couldn’t understand the amount of Christmas”decorations”. You could almost not get in to some houses!
Back in Moon we started preparations for the evening dinner together with Tod and Linda up in the house.
We started with an appetizer in front of the big TV where we looked at the first half of our slideshow of Moons journey from Thailand to San Francisco.
Then we had a nice dinner, big block of grouper cooked in the oven with a lots of vegetables..
The evening was finalised with the second part of Moons route from Japan via the Aleutians, Alaska and BC back to US.
1 December Friday Balboa Village
Cold and humid morning, but no condensation on the hatches thanks to our dehumidifier. Sunshine made the temperature rise rapidly, and soon we had our normal “summer weather”.
Annika did another turn with the washing machine to get everything clean before we leave.
Andrew, who was one of the participants on Wednesday’s dinner, paid us a visit in Moon. Andrew is 91 years old and an “old salt” who has sailed a lot. Very inspiring to here his appreciation of our boat.
Then Tod drove us to the grocery shop so we could fill up all our empty lockers. Back in Moon we spent some time to find a place for everything we had bought! Lunch and then a last cleanup on deck before we filled our tanks and stowed the dinghy on deck to be prepared for departure tomorrow.
Just in time for sunset Tod and Linda came for a sun downer which turned out to be wine testing. Tod had bought two Cabernet Blanc to choose between for an upcoming dinner event and we could now help him to decided which one was the best.
We also now could show our hosts the internal illumination of Moon, something we of course can’t show in daytime.
Then we walked up to the house to barbecue the chicken Annika had prepared. We had a long and nice dinner talking among others about Tod’s ancestor being a newsman in Alaska during the gold rush. Interesting stories.
2 December Saturday Newport – Mariners Basin, Mission Bay 61 nm
We were up before sunrise to have time for breakfast before departure. Perfect timing with high water and following current out to the sea. Tod and Linda came down to the dock to see that we safely came off the dock and for a final farewell. We will long remember our days here in Balboa and our nice and friendly hosts.
As long as we could see them they were on the dock to see that we came safe out to the fairway between all moored boats.
The fairway, being Saturday, was full of canoes and rowing boats, making it tricky to manoeuvre against the rising sun.
The forecast promised westerly wind, but it became soon north westerly and week. Motor the whole way to Mission Bay where we arrived just as the sun set. Absolutely calm conditions and no swell in the anchorage. Crowded but because only less than five meters depth we could anchor safely using only 25 m chain and had plenty of room.
We had a salmon dinner and a film before we went to bed.
3 December Sunday Mission Bay – San Diego Harbor 13 nm
Woke up to a cloudy morning after an absolutely quiet night
Breakfast in no hurry doing some e-mailing and phone calls. Called Tod and Linda to tell them that we safely made it to Mission bay before dusk and thanked them again for a wonderful week in Balboa. We know they spent Saturday evening at the theatre, thus we couldn’t call them yesterday when we arrived at the anchorage. We weigh anchor at nine and motored out at sea around the cape.
At eleven we moored at the police dock to announce our arrival to San Diego as the roles requires. Soon we were off again and rafted on to Liv that was anchored behind Shelter Island, waiting for Moon. We hadn’t met them since they left Richmond’s Yacht Club two months ago.
Dinner together and lots of talking finalized this first day in our last US harbour.-
Annika & Björn