Friday, November 29, 2013

Final part of US West Coast

As we left Two Harbors on Catalina, a pod of pilot whales were feeding just outside the bay. It was a nice start to our sail to Newport Beach. We tied up in the very nice and very friendly Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club.  We had just missed the ‘make your own bloody mary’ special but we did have an excellent margarita at the club bar.

Dina's Godmother and her son came to visit us and we enjoyed the club's special Sunday breakfast buffet. After a wonderful visit, they drove us to Minney’s Yacht Surplus in nearby Costa Mesa. We spent a couple of hours looking through bins, boxes and shelves full of sailboat parts. Among other things, we bought an old wooden whisker pole. Rather than have us walk back to the marina carrying the pole, the owner of Minney’s, Ernie, drove us back. You meet very kind and generous people while sailing.

The next day we left for Oceanside, and about one hour into the trip the bilge alarm went off. I suspected the fresh water system as Richard Parker (the fresh water pump) had not been sounding happy.  We closed off the fresh water tanks and enjoyed a lovely sail to Oceanside with only the gennaker and coasted along at 5 knots in 10 knots of wind. We passed through a long line of dolphins feeding.  Jeanne Socrates had left Marina del Rey about an hour before us, but we didn't catch her until we docked at Oceanside Yacht Club.

At the dock we discovered the problem was a leak under the sink in the aft head. Of course it is in a place completely impossible to reach! After Malcolm broke through the floor panel that had been glued down, we tried tightening the fittings, wrapping it in rescue tape, using 5200, but it continues to drip. We will now just take out the 25 year old pipes and fittings and replace the entire section rather than try to repair these connections and the other 25 year old connections that will surely start to leak next.
We kept the boat at Oceanside for a week as we visited with Nancy and Jim (Dina's step mother and her husband) in Fallbrook, about 15 miles east of Oceanside.  Then it was on to San Diego.
After a very nice sail, with wind on the beam, we tied up at the San Diego Yacht Club in Shelter Island.  There are many marine stores within walking distance in Point Loma and we have been to all of them a couple of times. We have stocked up on all sorts of spare parts. Admiralty Marine was very helpful with the engine servicing and parts. Shelter Island Marine Exchange is by far the best marine store ever! Downwind Marine hosted their weekly Wednesday coffee and donuts morning for cruisers. There were 4 Canadian boats and Jeanne Socrates, an honourary Canadian.
In San Diego we spent about 5 hours touring the aircraft carrier USS Midway, with Rob and Debra from the sailboat, Avant. The USS Midway was very interesting.

The modern, active, aircraft carriers, USS Vincent and the USS Ronald Reagan, were tied up just across the bay at the Navy base. You are not allowed to get too close to them.  In addition to floating buoy line, there is a Coast Guard ship on guard.

The San Diego Yacht club is very nice and is a pretty serious racing club.  In addition to having Denis Connor as a member (we didn't see him), they've got about 100 Optimists, 25 Flying Juniors, 15 420's, and more!! All just for their Junior racers.  After a few days there, we changed over to the Southwestern Yacht Club just east of the San Diego Yacht Club where Rob and Debra on Avant are staying. We had a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with them at the club.

Now we are just waiting for wind to leave San Diego, the USA, and enter into Mexican waters!