Cruising with Playpen
10/27/02 Marina del Rey to Avalon, Santa Catalina, CA (33 30.77N 118 19.48W) 45.6nm 6 ¼ hr.
We had a beautiful cruise to the north end of Catalina. We cruised down the rugged east side of the island enjoying the hills, rocks, and beaches. In Avalon we picked up a fore & aft mooring buoy and still rocked a little in the Pacific surge. With daylight savings time gone it got darker and colder earlier, and we shivered our way from town back to the boat.
10/28/02 Lay Day
Breakfast on the fantail was so pretty in the sunshine that we decided to stay and walk Avalon. We walked through neighborhoods, up and down hills, on beaches, and past shops. We then joined 18 other cruisers (16 of them sail boaters) for dinner at a local pub. The clouds and surge moved in with the sunset, and we made plans to leave.
10/29/02 Avalon to Newport Beach (33 36.35N 117 54.58W) 29.2nm 4 hrs
It was calm enough crossing that we ran a modified speed curve and came up with 8.7kn @1950rpm as our average speed. Before the addition it was 8.4. Newport Beach was a wonderful, cute, quaint, expensive community. The beach houses had a bike/jog trail between the cottages and the beach, and I couldn’t decide whether to look at the ocean or the gardens. The harbor was full of moorings, and we managed to tie up at Newport Harbor YC for one night. Ross (QA3) met us to look over our addition, and he took us to dinner—quite a treat!
10/30/02 Lay Day
The YC was having a luncheon and needed their dock space; so we moved to a mooring and whaler-toured the harbor. We came upon another 48, "Gold Digger, with the bridge seat raised and moved back like we thought about doing—more pictures!
10/31/02 Halloween Newport Beach to Dana Point( 33 27.55N 117 41.61W) 14.4nm 2 ¾ hrs.
We fueled in Newport Beach ($1.25+tx) and had a delightful short ride to Dana Point where we secured at one of the few available slips in the harbor. Joe, from Nordhavn met us and showed us around his new Nordhavn line. They sure are selling a lot of trawlers, and offer a lot of variety, but we’re counting on good ole Playpen to take us home.
11/1/02 Lay Day
We stayed one more day in Dana Point to have one of our air conditioners fixed, but the tech couldn’t find the problem—something else on the San Diego list…
11/2/02 Dana Point to Mission Bay (32 45.78N 117 14.8 5W) 51.5nm 6 ¼ hr
We actually had warm sunshine for about an hour. The TV weatherman (and we) lamented the fact that temps were below normal, and would remain that way. We anchored in Mission Bay and whalered through the full marinas. The anchorage was very good—calm, roomy, and great holding. We even managed to hear the Bluewater Net at 1900. The net is composed mostly of Canadian sailors who check-in nightly with reports from the area. Most of them plan on wintering in Mexico.
11-3/02-11/18/02 Mission Bay to Coronado, CA (32 37.84N 117.0811W) 30nm 7 ½ hr
We took our time cruising to our last CA destination (and our last U.S. destination for awhile). We cruised through the San Diego inlet with a warship. They’re everywhere (and practicing intensely in the ocean). We sight-saw all the marinas and 6000+ boats and settled 2 slips down from Lou’s 48, ‘"Traveler" at Loew’s Resort in Coronado. Lou & Phyl were vacationing in New England, but they had arranged a slip for us in this wonderful marina. The slip was secure and right in front of the hotel with free laundry, fabulous showers, saunas, spas, swimming pools, tennis courts, a help-yourself herb garden, and even room service! All this was a 5 minute walk from gorgeous sunsets. A shuttle, driven by super-accommodating Debbie, took us into town for groceries and to the old Del Coronado Hotel. Not much time for sightseeing though, as Craig, the electronics guy from Sea Tech, was aboard everyday trying to install a new Icom 802 SSB (with missing manual pages), fix our Furuno Radar, and work on the auto pilot. The air conditioning tech fixed the salon AC, and oh yes, the Capt. threw his back out and was contemplating a trip home for surgery. After lots of meds, tons of moans and groans, eating while stretched out on the floor, and several days, he started feeling better; and we ordered new prescriptions and planned to continue. We decided to use Walt Hack’s weather service, and he gave us the go-ahead for a Nov. 18th departure. The weather turned sunny with temps above normal, and the highlight of my workdays was a sunset walk on the beach. Our "Admiral", Lou, arrived, and we shared a dinner. Boy, is he a busy man! He left Phyllis in Arizona arranging her new kitchen, and he worked on errands and "chores" in Coronado. Southern California is full of really nice, friendly people; we can see why Traveler is home-based there. Fred worked on learning to use the SSB, we finished provisioning (can’t afford any more), "stuff" is stowed for going to sea, we topped off the fuel tanks, and the alarm is set for 0500 to begin Leg 2 of this odyssey.
Sum log for Leg 1, Anacortes, WA to San Diego, CA is 1849 ¼ nm in 240 ¾ hrs.
11/18/02 0745 Playpen entered Mexico! 32 31.49N 117 11.48W
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