Friday, November 22, 2013

Channel Islands and a celebrity in Marina del Rey

We thoroughly enjoyed Santa Barbara. It is a lovely town nestled between the coast and mountains.  We sailed (motored) to one of the North Channel Islands, Santa Cruz. We motored past the world’s largest sea cave, Painted Cave.  The photo doesn't show it, but it's big enough for us to sail into (we didn't!).


After passing several smaller sea caves and sea arches, we found a quiet anchorage in Pelican Bay for the night. It was sunny and warm so we opened the dodger.

The next morning we sailed (and some motoring) to Oxnard and then on to Marina del Rey. The wind was directly behind us so we tried a bit of wing-on-wing sailing.
Sailing "wing on wing"

When we checked in at the lovely California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, we were told ‘another Canadian’ was there, 'that woman who circumnavigated alone'. It was Jeanne Socrates the grandmother who completed a solo circumnavigation last year.  Jeanne is actually British, but she did begin and end her circumnavigation in Victoria, BC Canada, so we can see how the staff at the yacht club would be confused. We went straight to the club bar where we were told she had last been sighted, and we joined her for a Happy Hour G&T. 

Not only did Jeanne circumnavigate solo, but she did it non-stop (her foot did not touch land or a dock) AND she did it un-assisted which means no engine and no one could help her – no one could even pass her a bottle of wine! AND she is 70 years old! Jeanne is the oldest woman to circumnavigate solo, non-stop and un-assisted and the only woman to accomplish this from North America.  Jeanne's website is: www.svnereida.com
The next day we changed to the Del Rey Yacht Club just across the basin. It is a very friendly club. The Vice-Commodore shared lots of information and we even had the privilege of having dinner with him and his wife. Jeanne had changed yacht clubs as well and they asked her to speak at their yacht club association meeting that same evening. We were invited to attend and everyone enjoyed Jeanne’s story.

A third boat (Nomatia from Berkeley) also switched to the Del Rey Yacht club. This gave us a chance to get to know  James, Dominga and their dog, Mika . We all enjoyed Marina del Rey, especially the $5 breakfasts at Killer Café!
From Marina del Rey, we sailed to the famous Catalina Island, part of the Southern Channel Island group. We picked up a mooring buoy in Isthmus Cove in Two Harbors. Since it was the off season, the island was pretty quiet, although we were still charged the summer rate for the mooring ball! It's a nice place, but it must be extremely crowded during the busy season.