Fun Bachelorette!

It was a pleasure to host my undergrad buddy Sarah Christensen and her friend getting married and fellow ladies on a day in the water. Their favorite part was just hanging out at the East Beach anchorage. Which means, it can’t be all that bad!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New water tank level indicator!

It’s like a miracle.. So simple and gratifying. Now we can see how much water is left in the tank, right next to the stairs, in this little tube.

Just added a T fitting on the hose leading to the forward sink, with this clear hose leading straight up, which by gravity tendency to equalize water level, gives us the level in the tank.

Not so critical here in the Santa Barbara channel, as we (almost!) never run out of water, but it will be essential in arid places.. Say, Baja?

New oil gauge

Was vexed during the last few weeks by the oil pressure gauge, reading 75-80psi, which is quite high. That was after installing a new oil pressure sending unit and gauge!

Finally installed a good old fashioned manual gauge from Carquest. It reads 65psi, which is more reasonable. My izuzu parts dealer recommended it; but several others dismissed this as “outdated” thinking. But it is great to see a second “opinion” on what is happening inside the engine.

The importance of keeping good oil pressure is paramount. So this is a happy new addition to Mr. Izuzu PowerPlant.

Pelican’s Trip with Mark and Alana

On the first week of February, we did an overnight trip to Pelican’s in Santa Cruz island with our friends Mark and Alana.
Crossing the channel was rougher than expected from the forecast, which jumped up to 15-25knot gusts with choppy seas. The boat handled well and we anchored with stern anchor near the cliffs for a calm night.
Hiked at Prisoner’s the next day and then had a beautiful smooth sail back to Santa Barbara.

LOG: Islands August 17th-18th

Friday August 17th.
Hike Ford in AM. Delapitaded ranch house at top of jeep road. Over grazed look to the land. Who ran this?

Motor to Santa Cruz. 3.5hrs. Lots of
boats, including pendragon the fellow trimaran with friends onboard.

Spend the night calm seas. We entertain ourselves watching Robby try to surf at night with a waterproof headlamp.

Saturday 18th
12:30pm depart the bluffs.

Test engine to 2500rpm speed 8.5-9 knots; back down to 1800 for 7 knots and 1700 for 6.5; cruising speed.

Pass San Pedro point at 1:45, channel is very smooth, wind 10 knots out of NW, poor heading of 350 for a desired bearing of 315.

To make it in time for David’s work in ventura tonight we need to motor sail. At 4:30 pm with 13 miles to go crank engine and make 310 heading for desired bearing of 300 with genoa and main, 5.8 knots 1600 rpm.

Arrive SB harbor 6:50pm. 105 nm total in 3 days. Max speed 10.6 knots. Anchor east beach by 8:10pm.

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LOG: Islands, Thursday August 16

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under sail enroute to Santa Rosa Island

7:45am load fuel after three hour sleep, and motor from SB to Santa Rosa Island under clear skies, no wind, slight wind chop in ocean.

Wind forecast unfavorable with 15-25 and 30 knot gusts in the outer water forecast that includes Rosa. But we endeavor to try in case the backside has protection.

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peaking around East Point

Wave forecast intriguing– SSE Easter island head high swell and SE hurricane waist high swell, merging Friday.

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Cruise motor power up channel ~5.5 knots until 11am — and then wind fills in, under small jib and stay sail flying at 6.5 then up to a blasting 8-9 in some of the best sailing ever, smooth water speed, as we near the island on a broad reach course of 180.

On the way see a huge finback whale surfacing right next to the boat. Wikipedia summary

20120827-090149.jpgwhale image courtesy Wikipedia commons

Jibing round Skunk at 1:30pm (5.5 hr from SB). Gorgeous sand dunes and purple flowers on hillsides.

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Past East Pt wind dies and we are in Lee Heaven, hot and light breeze.

Motor to little Malibu and the boys gets some rides. Waist high.

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Anchor at Ford point in 30ft of water high tide, E wind 5 knots

Seabird and the Star.2

the cosmic battle

the cosmic battle between Orion and Taurus

The Story continues… to start at the beginning, click here

Tara was momentarily dazed by her dilemma. Eventually, she persuaded herself against settling in that dreamy island she’d found. Her seabird family must be terribly worried! With a hearty sigh she flapped her wings north toward what she thought was the flock’s correct direction.

After many weary days of flying, Tara’s heart grew heavy with doubt. At least the grey sky had parted and the sun was now warming her feathers. At night the stars shone with ferocity. While chomping on shrimp attracted to moon’s glow, she gazed at the stars. While resting in the lolling swells of an atoll, she gazed. Everything was quiet and she was lonely, but the lack of distraction let her gaze with great contentment.

Then a strange thing started to happen. At first it was imperceptible, but over time she felt she could hear something…  It couldn’t be.  Yet– if the waves and wind and trees spoke, as Tara knew they did, why couldn’t the stars? Now she was intrigued and gazed with deep earnest. That vast solitude and silence allowed the softer voices to appear. And she heard:

“…tiring to follow and watch you constantly. Why don’t we take a break?”  said the archer to the bull. It was Orion, of course, with his gleaming belt of three stars, speaking to Taurus. In his gruff way, the bull countered, “You don’t have to keep after me like a bloodhound. Go battle with Scorpio, or better yet, arrange a date with the Twins.”

Editor’s Note: the actual gender of the Twins has been a subject of dispute, as it appears to switch as erratically as the Earth’s magnetic poles, so it’s hard to say if Taurus was making a playful stab or being quite impish; that is, if Orion is a lady’s man, which is a fair assumption.

“Don’t start,” said Orion. “You’ll stomp the Pleides as soon as I turn my back.” All that Taurus could do was sigh, and mumble, “You’ve still got it backwards, after these millions of years. No wonder you’re upside down in the sky.” Exasperation was futile – they’d had this argument since time immemorial – so they had to resort to some occasional humor.

Around this point, Tara noticed that time was standing still. It is a well-observed phenomenon that time does appear to slow down when we gaze deeply at the stars. Tara was finding this process remarkable when she felt a jolt: it was the cosmic shudder when the universe snapped back into motion. “Wow!” Tara thought.

Every night Tara heard different variations on their arguments, and also the discussions of other mega-constellations (she could not discern the inaudible whisper of minor constellations, yet) but she kept coming back to Orion and Taurus, above all others. Though their drama was serious, they had accepted their condition and employed enough amusing creativity to keep her entertained. “Perhaps it’s comic relief for their infinite stalemate,” Tara thought.

That inter-galactic stalemate was about to be broken, unwittingly, by a lonely seabird who had lost its flock…

Seabird and the Star.1

Blue Sky's the Limit

STORYTIME…. about how the Aldebaran got its name and its distinctive blue feet… er, I mean blue hull. 

In a sea long ago, in an ocean far far away, there was a lonely seabird. Her name was Tara. She was a lonely because she had lost her tribe during one their trans-oceanic migrations. It was no fault of the tribe. Tara was bored during their 10.000 mile flight, the sky had been grey and dull for days, and had decided to take a little detour.

Tara was, after all, an easily distracted young bird. She saw a fantastic green island way down below: amidst the endless blue sea, it looked like a garden of bliss! an Eden with waterfalls and ponds, countless fruit trees blossoming! she had to take a peak.  “It will be no problem to catch up with those slow-pokes,” she thought naughtily, eyeing the flock of birds, thousands thick, before swooping down for a quick lookie-look.

Tara went gliding through the island trees and down into the lakes, which shimmered with mineral green. She bathed and flapped her wings wildly; then ate a bunch of Breadfruit (more than momma-bird would care to know). In that moment, the troubles of bird migration seemed so far away…

Range of the Blue Footed Booby (approximate range of Tara's flock)

“Oh-Oh! My flock! It’s Time To Go!” Tara suddenly yelped, realizing much time had gone by.

Luckily, she was full of gust, and flew like the wind in the direction of the flock, just a speck of black in the distance, the horizon itself an undefined grey plaster of clouds. Quite shockingly, upon arrival she found it was not them!  This was a different flock; they were mean and ugly sea-gulls, and not entirely hospitable. She retreated rapidly a short ways. Sobered by the crisis, she got her bearings and reckoned, with a sinking feeling, that she’d gone south instead of north!  Oh the Breadfruit had played tricks upon her instincts of direction. Plus, the grey-dull sky was terribly similar for all 360 degrees.

Her conundrum: whether to blindly head north in the correct direction of her flock, hoping that she’d be more astute in navigation, or whether she should retreat to that garden island and live bountifully. It was tempting but not altogether without risk. She was scared. What would Tara do?

The Story continues in part 2… click here