Last passage to U.S.A.

“The Baja Bash” is what everyone calls this trip north, but it is anything but that this week.  Other than a few afternoons, the trip has been calm with flat seas and light winds.  This seal is laying on the surface warming his fins.

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One over night passage north from Magdelana Bay is Bahia San Juanico, surfers know it as Scorpion Bay.

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On one side of the bay the fishing pangas blast through the surf to go out and check their traps and nets and the other side is covered with gringo surfers camping along the bluffs and parking on the beach. We had the best camp spot, just out beyond the surf line.  I love traveling on Makai, the scenery changes but our home remains the same. We have the same comfy beds, nice warm shower, a refrigerator full of snacks, plenty of water, and movies in the evening.  I’m so glad I’m not camping in the dirt.

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The kids quickly got the hang of catching the little waves near the beach.  One day wasn’t enough, so we stayed a second and a third.

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The town consists of a grid of dirt roads, a few small tiendas, hotels for surfers, a restaurant and a campground.

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Eric, Marie and I went to town for a few supplies and found out no one remembered the pesos.  Marie had a U.S. $20 which we were able to use in a store and got enough pesos for change to buy a few drinks and chips and salsa.  Perros everywhere.  This little guy lives at there the restaurant.

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We look pretty far away from the bluff at the campground, but you can see the waves rolling in.

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Over the years we’ve had plenty of great days at the beach, today was another one.  Besides surfing, we drew pictures in the sand.

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And the kids played around.  I think everyone is trying to get as much ‘Cruising’ fun in as we can.

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Topaz has been having a great time.  We always tie her to an anchor so she doesn’t have the freedom to explore unsupervised. She tromps this way and then back that way looking for fish or other interesting things in the water.  The only problem is that she always turns to the right and drags her line over the anchor.  In just a few turns she can manage to ball up her line around the anchor and then run around dragging this glob of weight.

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I guess we’ve had enough fun, better get going.  Passages have their own routine.  I usually cook a bunch of food up every other day and then everyone fends for themselves.  Eric and I take turns during the night and spend lots of time taking naps and reading during the day.

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Topaz is enjoying her last raw hide bone.  She often leaves it on the floor in the cockpit.  A few months ago, Roy came out and accidentally kicked it right out the back and later that day Marie did the same with a new one.  Today Eric did it, but we turned around and went back for it.  Marie rinsed it really good and that must have made it more delicious because Topaz was happy to gnaw on it for awhile.

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We departed San Juanico on Monday afternoon and had great conditions until Thursday afternoon when we were a little south of Ensenada.  It was just the usual afternoon wind and waves but we weren’t making any progress, so we spent the next few hours tacking out to the west.  Even though we weren’t pointing towards San Diego, Makai was riding comfortably waiting for evening when the wind and waves usually settle down.

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Finally, Friday morning we arrived in San Diego.  On the way up I stared at my phone waiting for Sprint 3G so I could make phone calls and text my friends.  Yippee, Hello Krista, Karen, Tara, Mom, and Jim!  The Point Loma lighthouse greeted us.  This is my favorite lighthouse, I have a picture of it that hung in our old Makai and is now by our back door on land.

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The buoys are always a resting place for local seals.  Sometimes they bark, sometimes our dog barks.  Teak used to get all excited when we passed a buoy, barking at the seals.

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San Diego is a big military town.  The submarines tie up on the side of the channel, navy ships and aircraft carriers are further down the bay.

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After more than a week with out seeing other boats, San Diego harbor’s frenzy of activity really made everyone nervous.

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Krista asked me weeks ago if we would be here for the holiday, but we didn’t think we would be in so soon.  When we arrived her family was already here visiting other friends but was getting ready to head back home.  It didn’t take much to convince them to stay for the 4th of July fireworks.

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We traipsed around town.  Mexican food for lunch, I might be about taco-ed out for awhile, West Marine to see if they had anything we can’t live without.  Eric didn’t see any critical boat parts but the kids said special sunglasses with mustaches are a critical.  They are good for a picture but were vetoed at the cash register.

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Since leaving the Sea of Cortez we’ve been quite chilly.  Most days the sun only comes out for an hour or two and if it’s breezy we need to wear jackets.  Our walking adventure started out chilly, but all of a sudden the sun came out and everyone started to melt.

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We spent some time at the launch ramp on Shelter Island watching boats being dropped in and hauled out.  The highlight was this amphibious bus which putts around with an outboard engine and then roars up the ramp and drives down the road.

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There are several public grassy areas on Shelter Island.  These green spaces were covered with EZ ups and little parties. It looked like fun, but the thought of dragging all that stuff down to the shore, packing up and driving out after the fireworks doesn’t sound like fun to me.  Once again, Makai come through with the best venue for the day.

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After a wonderful dinner of Roy’s Dorado and tri-tip steak we went up on Makai’s hard top for fireworks.  We had six adults, five kids and two dogs up there.

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I’ve never seen a fireworks display that features four barges lighting off fireworks all synchronized to music broadcasted on the radio.

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After our guest left and the festivities were cleaned up our friend loaned us a car for a little sight seeing.

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The first stop was Point Loma and the Cabrillo monument.  This national park has a great view of the city and, our favorite, a movie.  In the movie they followed Cabrillo’s expedition from Barra de Navidad up the Baja and beyond San Diego.  The kids were excited that they mentioned many of the places we visited and the history that we learned about when we visited Mexico. Just beyond the monument is the lighthouse.  It operated in the late 1800s and was eventually decommissioned because it is too high up on the hill.  At this height the clouds and fog often impedes visibility and no one can see the light.

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Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery covers the ridge with plain white stones of the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.  Many of the graves date back to the early years of the California Republic, but by the late 1960s all the spaces for caskets were full.  They still accept cremated remains which reside in walls build throughout the cemetery.

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We stopped at the shops on Rosecrans by Midway and Sports Arena for a hair cut.  Marie’s hair has been a major issue.  First of all, our hair is pretty dry and damaged and secondly, she hates to brush it.  That combination results in huge matted messes.  Finally she decided a good cut would solve all of our problems.

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The last stop for the day is at Filipe’s Pizza Grotto.  Eric and I used to come here all the time when we lived on old Makai on Harbor Island in the early 1990s.  Ahh those were the days when we could gaze into each other’s eyes over a meatball and fall in love.  Now look at us!

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Oh, well, I like the kids too.  Yes the food is great, but the character of the restaurant makes it taste even better.  First you wait in a long straight line through the deli.  We had plenty of time to check out the salted cod, refrigerated meats and cheeses, interesting wine bottles, noodles, oils, sauces and sardines.  Mmmm.

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We only have a few days here with a dock and hose to make boat maintenance easier.  Eric got back to work on his computer, the kids quietly hid in their rooms enjoying the internet, and I set out to scrub, and wax the cabin, deck, and cockpit.

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Tomorrow is 979 days on the blog’s Adventure Days counter.  That’s the count from the day we drove away and said adios to our friends and the town house we’ve been living in.  Tomorrow morning Krista will come pick Eric up at the shore so he can go retrieve a borrowed car and a new adventure will begin.  We have to put together the house, get our cars on the road, get everyone registered for homeschool classes that will begin next month.  We have a few building projects, painting projects and yard projects.  Then we’ll have the impossible task of visiting and taking care of Makai, our cabin, and the town house without leaving any place neglected or left out.

If you all are still interested in our day to day adventures, stay tuned, I’ll try to post regularly.

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One Response to Last passage to U.S.A.

  1. ellen says:

    I am sorry that your adventure is over, (for now).I will miss reading your sailing adventures. But I will keep reading your new upcoming ones.