Well people…it has finally happened! We are in So Cal baby!!!
I thought the day would never come! When we were almost to Santa Barbara we started picking up the LA Coast Guard on Channel 16. With this momentous event I knew we were almost there. So…close…must get…farther…..south!
Our Float Plan has gone completely out the window and washed away with this funky weather we have been experiencing. It took me some time to get over it. Must…have…precise…plan! For my sanity and the anxiety of the people that care about us. We told them we would be at these places on these days! (Insert Hesitant Half) But, as I sit her in my bathing suit at Two Harbors, Catalina, my anxiety for a distinct plan is melting away.
Jimmy Buffett wrote a song Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude and I have never felt that to be more true then I do now. My once pasty skin has given way to a tan almost teak color ;) and my shorts finally don’t smell like mildew or bilge after being hidden away all these years. To be honest with you, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I still had legs!!!
A normal downwind sail from the Channel Islands to Catalina would have been a nice smooth sail, but based on our track record for this trip so far…I wasn’t holding my breath. Good thing I didn’t! It took us about 8 hours longer then we thought it would. What winds we did have were in the exact wrong direction. Ha! Is that all you’ve got!?! Compared to the other items on the list of adversity this was nothing. I’m getting to So Cal and a little misplaced wind wasn’t going to stop me damn it!!!
Our next feat would be hooking up to a mooring ball. We are like mooring virgins, which was causing me some apprehension. (Again, insert Hesitant Half) This is something we had never done on our boat before. Over my years of taking sailing classes through Tradewinds and the wealth of knowledge and experience I have gained from my instructors gave me a little confidence because I had done it before on a club boat. However, mooring with SeaGlub and us as crew was a whole new beast. Luckily, picking up a mooring in Two Harbors was a breeze. They even have a Harbor Patrol to escort you to your mooring and help you stay out of trouble and away from other boats. Surprisingly enough we got all hooked up without any assistance and we felt like pros under the watchful eyes of the other boats already hooked up enjoying their cocktails.
I was elated when Chris grabbed the mooring stick and we were all hooked up and secure. Tears of joy streamed down my face. A little dramatic…YES!!! But hey, don’t judge! This has been a trying trip for me and pulling into this beautiful oasis felt like a miracle.
First, I called my mom to let her know that I hadn’t died! Next in line was a shower and a beer!!! Over our time here we would relax in the morning waiting for the sun to come out. We went on a few hikes, jumped off the boat into the crystal clear waters, took the dingy out, snorkeled, cleaned the bottom of the boat, ate ice cream, and discovered an excellent happy hour at the bar. Life is good!
Yes, we have been cruising for a few weeks now, so I suppose we are “cruisers.” Although the social aspect has been missing and I didn’t feel official yet. That finally came to an end yesterday when we met an awesome couple on No Worries, a Catalina 37 from Redondo Beach. After inquiring about what kind of boat we have and expressing their desire to own a Hylas themselves on day, Ed and Jill invited us aboard their boat for Margaritas and a tour. Next we all swam back over to our boat for another tour. Later in the day we joined them, along with their family and friends, ashore for a BBQ and to watch karaoke. Now it’s official! We are cruisers!!!
So Cal…..WE HAVE ARRIVED!!!