Wednesday, November 23, 2005

We're on our way!

Yippee! We've left Channel Islands Harbor and are now sitting on a mooring in Avalon, Catalina Island. Chad Butler, a great friend and our rigger, came over to the boat Monday night for dinner (Michael made a wonderful taco salad) and we decided we'd take a short snooze, wake up at midnight, and take off. We headed to bed around 8pm and slept until midnight. After doing some of the last minute tasks: taking Casey for his walk, removing the sail covers, preparing the sail sheets, we headed out of the harbor at approx 12:30am. It was a beautiful night - calm seas, less than 10 knot wind, popcorn clouds & a ½ moon to light the way. We headed out of the harbor and turned into the wind (coming from shore) & started putting up the main sail. It kept getting stuck on the lazy-jack system we had in place and we ended up with Michael & Chad at the main mast monkeying with the sail & bungees until the lazy jacks finally lost. The sail finally went up with we turned around again heading for the shipping lanes. Then it was time for the mizzen sail - it went up with no problem….but somehow one of the flag clips managed to attach itself to the backstay. Since the flag halyard was attached to the boom, it prevented the boom from moving…..hahaha!! Well, the flag halyard was removed from the boom and everything was fine. We motor-sailed across the shipping lanes and made a turn for Catalina Island. We hadn't performed the sea-trial portion of our autopilot yet so we took a quick 15 minutes, let the system figure the rudder out, and set it. We let the autopilot steer the rest of the way to Avalon until we get about a mile in. The 3 of us were up from midnight to 3am and we let Michael have the 1st round of sleep as he wasn't feeling too good. He slept, or rested, until approx 6am. The sunrise was spectacular and seas were still nice and calm. Chad & I went below to snooze around then & I managed to sleep until around 9am. I went above to find both Michael & Chad on watch & HUNGRY! I made bagels & cream cheese, with some OJ….yummy! The rest of the sail in was uneventful and we pulled into the harbor around 12:30. Harbor Patrol gave us slip # 219 and we moored without incident.

As soon as we arrived, Michael took Casey to shore and let him relieve himself. He didn't want to go potty on deck and his eyes were floating!! Chad & I put the sail covers on and when Michael returned, we had a toast to a successful trip.

Chad was preparing to go ashore as his girlfriend, Renee, lives in Avalon and not 5 minutes before leaving, he went down the companion steps and Casey just happened to be laying down there - he stepped on him, then did whatever he could to avoid stepping on him again, which unfortunately, included breaking a toe or two. Ouch!! He shook it off and got off the boat as quickly as he could. Hahaha…..

Michael was utterly exhausted as he wore himself out in the last week stressing, working on the boat, worrying about everything with the shop, making the arrangements, etc. We think he may have had a touch of a cold. We ate a big sandwich lunch at 3pm and fiddled around on the boat. We went ashore with Casey and walked around a bit just before sunset. After coming back to the boat, we loaded Michael up with vitamin C, took showers, and pulled out the movie Club Paradise to watch. All fresh-n-clean, with fresh shorts on, Michael noticed the dinghy was a little too far away the boat and went up to inspect. Somehow, we're still dumbfounded to how it happened, the carabineer clip came un-done and the dinghy was floating away. Luckily, it was just at our stern, but he had to jump into the nice cold water and retrieve it. We re-tied it up, this time with a safety line, and he took another shower to rinse all of the salt off. I'm pretty sure he lasted a whole 5 minutes into the movie before crashing asleep for 12 hours.

Today we've been doing a lot….Michael washed down the boat this morning with salt water, ran the generator, ran the water maker, took Casey ashore, & made notes on what items we noted during our sail last night: separate the deck lights from the 3-way light above the mast, remove the flag clip from the backstay (which he did today), re-do the lazy-jack system, cut & re-tie the main sheet traveler, a screw is missing on the mizzen track, fix the light on the engine panel that dead-shorts the RPM meter when it's on, figure out why the compass light didn't come on, label the rope clutches, add another red light by the radios and possibly one in the V Berth. This afternoon he rested & relaxed. Rene made breakfast, made Michael take her & Casey for a dinghy ride through the harbor, read a book, did dishes, straightened up a bit, worked on the update & completed the log book, made lunch, & fiddled around. Sounds like fun, huh? J This evening Chad, Renee & her family is coming on board for a BBQ dinner. We're looking forward to chilling out the next few days. Today has been a little overcast, but still 72° and beautiful.

Dolphin, our buddy boat is still working to get out of Channel Islands Harbor. They were still working hard to get out by Thursday and over here by Friday.

We'll write more later. Thanks for checking in! Rene & Michael


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