Looking for a Catamaran Cruising Blog?

If you found this blog via a link from a cruising site ~ we did cruise Mexico on our Ocean 49 cat for a season. See the first text box on the right for links to our preparations, trip down Baja, life in Mexico, cruising and trip back up to SoCal. Unfortunately we are back to the grind in the USA...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cherryl & Dave's Birthday Wine Tasting Trip to Paso Robles (Jim's Birthday too - sort of...)

Time for the annual birthday celebration of Cherryl and Dave (married with birthdays three days apart) and Jim (my guy) who's birthday follows a week later!

This year:

and such good wine too... not!
For some strange reason Dave bought this in the liquor store on Friday night.
I just liked the color.

We drove up late Friday afternoon and met Dave's sister, Nancy and her husband, who drove down from the Bay area. A little vino in our hotel rooms (not this crap though) then off to dinner in town!

We have never seen so many wine glasses at one table... Great food - this was my dinner (I ate it all)...

Then off to check out the local hot spots - found this one!

Jim had some nice scotch, Larry & Dave had something-or-others and the ladies had foo-foo martinis (all great!).

Then a walk around the downtown central park.
Where we found a local's truck...
And Jim & Larry couldn't resist posing as the locals... Back to the hotel where I pulled out all the birthday decorations!
My tradition is to decorate us.
Here is the birthday princess with her fabulous jewelery.

And a few of the many faces of Jim...

And all of us!


We took our decorations and set out on Highway 46 East.
Tried a couple of new ones and a few we had been to before.

Dave skipped the wine but wanted a bloody mary, so we hit the local golf course for that.

Cherryl, Heather & Nancy

Nancy, Cherryl & Dave

We went to our favorite winery, Penman Springs and between the Malcolm's & the Donnell's, we pretty much bought the place out...

Great wines, nice people and wonderful snacks! Spent a little time with George, the winery cat at Rio Seco.
He kept putting his paw on my wallet.
Hmmmmm... did they train him to do that?

Then it started raining!

Dave, Cherryl, Nancy & Larry went back to the hotel, and Jim & I made a last stop at a new winery, Vino Robles - what a beautiful huge tasting room!

Reasonable prices too (yikes, how are we going to fit this all in our car?)...

Then back to the hotel for a soak in the jacuzzi (in the rain!), snacks and to prepare for another dinner and night out on the town.

This must be how Jim prepares to go out...

Jim & Heather
Dave & Cherryl, the birthday kids at dinner

Dave's dinner - "Elk" and beans in a pumpkin...

Everything was beautilly presented and wonderful!

Our sense of humor and decorations were wonderful too.

Remember, this is a few days before Halloween...

Larry, Nancy & Heather Then off to a couple local watering spots.
Ended up back at The Crooked Kilt, where the happenings were happening with their Halloween party!

I loved this scary tree! Watched the crowd for awhile then walked back through town to the hotel.
Even the front desk manager liked our decorations!

Jim & I crashed - the rest stayed up for another hour or so.

Then the hugs & goodbyes the next morning and we headed for home...

The embarrasing part was emptying the car and unloading all of this:

Another wonderful annual birthday celebration for Cherryl, Dave and Jim!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

SoCal on Fire

Then the fires started...
What a horrible week for all of Southern California.
We had between 11 & 15 major wildfires burning at the same time, from Santa Barbara to the Mexican Border. I haven't checked the latest statistics, but somewhere around 1200 - 1600 homes were lost...
This is Harbor Blvd in Ventura around 3 pm on Sunday, October 21st. This is the sunrise a couple days later.

Congratulations to Pamela & Roger! Engagement Party Sunday 10-21-07

Congratulations to our friends Pamela and Roger on getting engaged! Pam is our yoga instructor. We've known her for about four years an love her yoga classes! Roger has been around the last couple of years and we decided we will keep him. He scored some major points with all of us with his wonderful toast to Pamela and carrying Pamela's mom down the stairs!

A friend of Pam's gave them a lovely party with great food, lots of friends and a wonderful view.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ventura's Highland Games - Sun 10-14-07

Time for Ventura's annual Highland Games! This year, John, Jenny, Don & Judy, all boaters, went with us.
John fits in as he is from England...
The people there don't know I was born in Scotland, but I still fit in...

We checked out the music, booths, bagpipers and people!
My favorite t-shirt I saw was "You can take the girl out of Scotland, but you can't take the Scotland out of the girl". Unfortunately, they only had kid's sizes...

We loved watching the little kids!

This kid was ready for battle...

We missed the pipe band competition, but had a blast watching "Tempest" and "The Wicked Tinkers"!
What I like about the Scottish Rock Bands (besides their music) is their dress.
The guys have their kilts on, a t-shirt and the biggest, baddest, black boots they can find!
This the The Wicked Tinkers.
Guess which one has a boat on C Dock?

Do they have Wet Wednesday races in Scotland? Love the Braveheart look!

It was a lot of fun, but you almost need to go both days to see all the bands and bagpipers - we never did see any of the Highland Games...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

"Thistle, Thistle, this is PNY"

So I pick up the phone the other night and hear a male voice say, "Thistle". Hmmmmm what the heck? So I said, "Hello" and the voice replies, "Thistle". Uh? So I said, "Well we used to own a boat named "Thistle" and then I heard, "PNY". Boaters and cruisers will understand this one. That is how you call another boat on VHF radio - you say the other boat's name a couple of times, than your own boat's name such as "Thistle, Thistle, this is PNY". This meant we were being called by "PNY" or "Princess New York"! Wonderful cruising friends from our first and second year in Mexico.

What a great surprise!!!

We had done a camping road trip with them outside of Puerto Vallarta, raced with them, had many dinners with them and had 100's of good times!

They were in Pismo Beach in their RV on their way back to Palm Springs. We had a great visit with them for an evening on our boat. They have been married 47 years! Of course, they got married when they were 10...

Carl (Curly as all the cruisers know him as), Carol, Jim & Heather Curly had broken a bone in his hand and had to have surgery a few weeks ago.

They brought this wine - not sure if they were making fun of themselves or us (or both!)...

Carol called "Alana Marie" on the phone - Ian (Rocket) and Anne (Alana, Amoeba) so we could all talk to each other. None of us own the same boats as we did, but we will always be the "Thistles" to them. "PNY" will always be "PNY" to us and "Alana Marie" will always be the "Alana Maries"...

We had a GREAT visit! It was like no time had passed. They had to look at my stick figure book - my log & journal from our travels on "Thistle". Carol was the one that named it my "Stick Figure Book".
This is for you Carol:
Just looking at their faces and hearing their voices made me happy and took me back to our cruising days. Thanks for coming to visit! And thanks to "Steppin Out" and "Capricorn Cat" who helped them hunt us down!

Bye to Nick and Paula!

Our long-time friends, Nick & Paula have sold their house and are moving to Bellingham, Washington. They came for a farewell dinner and John Howard joined us. Nick was one of the original "C-Dock" gang!
John, Paula, Nick, Jim & Heather Paula & Heather We will miss them both and wish them the best!

Dead Whales in the Channel

There have been three blue whales hit and killed by ships in the last few weeks in the Santa Barbara Channel. It has been in the newspapers and on the news. If you scroll down through my posts you will see a LOT of pictures of ships in the channel and will see that we have to alter course just about every single time we cross the channel to avoid being hit ourselves.

So here is an idea...


( My Mom reads this so can't use the choice language I really want to use... but she would agree 100% !)

Last Day of our 9 Day Trip ~ Sun 09-16-07

I had slept in the v-berth thinking that mattress would be good on my back and it was!
Jim had slept on the cushions in the cockpit (not sure why) and those were not good on his back!

Both of us were hungry after not having a real dinner the night before, so I made bacon, eggs and potatos for breakfast.
I cleaned up and Jim listened to weather.

We dinghied up to Pelicans to see the big blue sailboat we had seen screaming across the channel late yesterday afternoon. Jim thought it might have been a client, but not this time.

Checked out a dead pilot whale on the rock beach to the East of Pelicans, but didn't want to get too close in case it was going to blow!

Back to the boat as the wind was already picking up - had a bit of a wild dinghy ride back! YEHAW - surfed down a few waves (kind of scary when you are the one sitting in the bow and the water drops off underneath you - but the driver doesn't see this and it's not scary to him...)

Jim had a hard time getting the anchor up - turned out we had a small Danforth anchor and a few feet of chain stuck to our anchor!

Headed home with the headsail out (lazy) and ONCE AGAIN had to deal with the shipping traffic in the channel...
Tug, tow and ship all in one...We saw lots of dolphins in small pods all over the place and a few whale spouts in the distance. Nice trip in and called Jim & Jeannine to grab our docklines - turned out Stan was there too.
A great 9 days!!

Saturday 09-15-07 ~ Yellowbanks to Prisoners

Up to wet decks and a wet enclosure. I wiped the salt spray from the afternoon before off of the enclosure (wet decks are good for something!) and watched another beautiful sunrise! We've seen enough of the backside on this trip and don't want to go through the afternoon blow thing at Yellowbanks again, so now where to?
Well, the halibut fishing grounds of course!
So headed up to Prisoners!
We followed a couple of boats out around the point and up along the front.

It was calm!

We had a little bedraggled bird fly inside the enclosure and fly around trying to get out. He finally figured it out then went and sat on the headsail sheet for a few minutes. No pictures of him, but I did get a shot of a couple of dolphins that swam by.
Jim found a new spot to sit.

It was a nice motor up to Prisoners. We anchored along the cliff outside of all the other boats.

Time to fish! Supplied up and headed all along the fishing grounds towards Chinese. The new dinghy was great! Again, no luck... We cruised up to Pelican's to see what boats were there. Mainly a bunch of big power boats. We went a little further to look at the arch and coastline.

We saw a bunch (and I mean bunch) of kayakers headed towards us and they turned out to be led by Dawn of the living dead!
Ask Dawn about the Island Packers employee goof-off trip of a couple years ago...She always has a big smile on her face and we are always happy to see her!
This is how she takes the kayaks to and from the mother ship.

We put the dinghy at the dinghy dock (a little sloppy as the wind had changed direction) and went to the beach to watch the East wind - very strange! And watch this little bug with fur on his back - also very strange! Hung out for awhile and sat on "the log" to talk to other boaters.

Cruised by "Pelican" to say hi, as Jim had worked on their boat before. Also talked to "Honukai" since we had taken pictures of them the day before. Lesley and Dale from "Pelican" came over for a drink and visit.

We watched the jellyfish swim by (no swimming for us this afternoon!)... We listened to music, had a few drinks and watched a boat anchor on top of us - and I mean ON TOP of us, but I won't post the picture to protect the ignorant. Oops, I mean innocent. We had a candy bar for dinner, watched the stars and played a bunch of old music we sang along with. Luckily the boat that had anchored on top of us had moved, so they couldn't hear us... Enjoyed our last night of our 9 day trip!