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NWS web site and click on the buoys to get their readings (you're not allowed to do this during races, so this is my first time doing this offshore - very slick!). Jimmy has gone on for his watch a couple of minutes ago (8-10pm), and I will be back on at midnight when John comes off watch.
I'm actually hoping to be up sooner as we will be making the next big course change to run down to pt. Venus on the VHF radio this time having learned my lesson in the 1996 SSS TransPac race - that does not work and Venus does not respond)".
All is well on board, plenty of food and fuel and water, the swell has dropped from perhaps 6-7 feet earlier to negligible now, though an occasional 4 footer passes by and we roll a bit.
It's been a super day of tooling on across the ocean, we had a swimming shark go by (most likely a 5-6' blue shark), sun fish, a most excellent view of Vandenberg AFB (and safety zone 4 was closed today, we stayed outside of it).
It's been interesting to see how communication equipment affects the way the trip has gone as regards news of the outside world, especially as we've been running down quite close to the coast and therefore are often within range of a cellular telephone tower.
So it's been interesting to be kept up to date with Kristen's activities, discuss with Dad a marina to meet at in San Diego, research the Santa Barbara harbor patrol phone number and slip rates, and send out significantly more detailed logs than I would normally do on the laptop (low power consumption is a good thing). We've eaten well, had a killer salad from John this evening, motor has run well, used the mini-bilge pump to suck up some water that accumulated (most likely will need to repack the stuffing box), the moon has been magnificent this evening, and we're all quite excited to have this leg under our belts. Beetle arrived in Avalon last night just after dark, met up with the small orange patrol boat with all the side lights, exchanged credit card information and now we have a mooring for the next three days. Yesterday was a pleasant trip over from Santa Barbara, we got underway at 2AM with Jimmy on board and motored out onto the Santa Barbara Channel in a darn near straight line to Avalon some 94 miles away. The stuffing box flax needs replacing, it still leaks more than it should, and I will do another round of mini-bilge pumping this morning.
After arrival last night we made up some mini-quiches and mini-pizza things in the stove, ate them, set up the dinghy and made a quick tour of the small town. Kristen is on the 8:30AM ferry coming over from Long Beach, so we are quite looking forward to her arrival. The Casino, now fixed up as a theater, movie house, and I believe there is still a museum in the ground floor. All the moorings that I am aware of (at least in Avalon) are privately owned, and the one we are on is no.
Went for a snorkel yesterday in front of the casino, lots of Garibaldi fish (the California State Marine Fish, no less) hanging out in the vertical kelp fronds. The three of us went ashore later in the evening in search of Luau Larry's (at the advie of friend Sylvia), and Kristen had a Wiki Wacker which comes complete with straw hat. The harbor master stopped by to organize Ben's check in, and we discovered that there is a Veteran's Day special for the mooring rates: pay for 2 days, get 5 (continuous) days - a nice surprise!

Yesterday Kristen and I ran the dinghy up the coast a bit and found a nice spot in shallow water with kelp and sunlight and went for a snorkel. In preparation I charged the battery in the Olympus camera that has a dive housing, and cleaned up the CF card the camera writes to.
On the way back from snorkeling we came across 5 or 6 Risso's Porpoise moving slowly back towards Avalon.
And last night Jimmy cooked up a bang-up dinner of all sorts of things made up into a curry, and then we headed in to town to the Marlin Club, apparently it's the good dive bar in town and sports a small pool table. And now it's Monday morning, we've changed plans to stay here in Avalon until Wednesday morning - at which time Beetle will head for San Diego. Now it's off to the ferry building to see about getting Kristen a ticket on this evening's boat, and Ben would like to use the dinghy to get Charlie ashore. The problem was the Coast Guard couldn't be more specific than that, so when we motored by on our way 20 miles south of Pt. There is a sailboat just ahead of us, likewise south-bound, I believe we are motoring along slightly faster than they are and will eventually cross paths with them. Arguello, and hope to be there by nightfall; this would put us into Santa Barbara some time early Thursday morning, which is a pretty quick hop down the coast. We should be in Santa Barbara around 2AM (6 hours from now), and will see about arranging a overnight transient berth, plus a visit to a laundromat, a shower, and the fuel dock.
For instance, Jimmy was able to telephone his mom and let her know he was safely around Conception and that it was flat, Kristen has been able to track the boat via it's AIS transmission (we're running a Class B AIS transponder), as well as position from an InReach Iridium transponder. This is a huge change from 20 years ago when you didn't have any of the technology in place, and as a result I think we've made reasonable decisions on where we went and when during the 250 mile hop down from Half Moon Bay to Santa Barbara. The iPad uses significantly less power than the laptop and is slightly more hardened from damage as it is in a rubber and lexan case. Actually finding the mooring in the dark was another story as the moorings are packed in here as fore-and-aft arrangements: you pick up the wand on the mooring ball at the bow, drop the hawser over the bow cleat, then quickly pull up and follow aft a weighted line that leads you to the stern hawser that you have to really pull on to get up to the stern cleat.
There is a north-bound current sweeping up the channel, as a result most of the day we were down one knot of speed over the ground.
It's actually rather nice, and the original Tuna Club is still standing - that's a bit of history for the place. She just drove down from San Francisco, so I wager she will be somewhat tired upon arrival.
The water was a bit chilly at 62 degrees F, but the fish were fun and Kristen to go get wet.
Ben Mewes (with Lucie and Charlie the Dog onboard Georgia) just telephoned to say they were around Point Conception and headed straight for San Diego.

Upshot is Beetle, Jimmy, and I are going to hang two more days and Kristen is going to hop the ferry back to Long Beach this evening. We moved the dinghy up in front of them and shut off the motor, leaving us drifting quietly as the Risso's approached, then swam directly beneat the dinghy. We met up a couple of other folks in from their boats and had a pleasant couple of games of doubles on the table. Ben and Lucie have just come in from off the ocean (they departed San Francisco Friday afternoon, arriving here in Avalon this morning around 7:30AM).
Piedras Blancas, tooling along at 7 knots or so, wind has dropped off to zero, Jimmy and John are both asleep and it's my watch for another 40 minutes.
Conception, headed for Santa Barbara - breeze is light, seas have gone flat, the oil platforms are out in abundance, and the shipping channel off to starboard is corralling the big boats and keeping them out of the way. Armed with this information one can then make an educated guess as to when the boat might be within range and know when to telephone - so we've had a fair bit of phone conversation on board.
The external keyboard makes it easy to type (the onscreen iPad keyboard is not suited for real typing). In the morning daylight you can see that what you're really doing is lifting a rather large chain the stern hawser is attached to, and the catenary of the chain keeps the boats in alignment - everyone here is bow out into the prevailing very light swell as it creeps around through the port and starboard breakwaters. In the mid-morning a southeasterly wind filled in and we sailed for an hour until we got headed 50 degrees and the wind dropped off, so away went the sails and back on went the motor.
Afterwards we washed off in fresh water (nice to have a watermaker on board to make more fresh water as necessary) and it was nice to sit in the sun and warm up like a lizard on his hot rock. And Jeanne on Nereida is around these parts as well, it looks like we may all arrange a get-together in San Diego later in the week - that would be fun! I made up a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and turkey bacon, Ben and Lucie and Charlie (their dog) brought coffee, and we sat around and swapped stories for a bit. Plus it is possible to include images with the cellular email, something not really feasible via sailmail (sailmail is the normal offshore email mechanism on board, and has a 10kb attachment limit - and given the low baud rate possible via HF radio you don't really want to send or receive an entire 10k attachment as it takes a long time to send over the radio and pactor modem. We do see them periodically out near the Farallone Islands, I did not know they are also down south in the Channel Islands.
At a daily rate of $39, we worked it out would take 37 years of being here every single day to break even on the mooring. It must mean that the owner both has an incredible amount of money, and a great desire to never be told that there is no mooring available for him in Avalon!

Hearing loss in acute otitis media 2013
Trinus gyre oculus rift espa?a

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