California Cruising: San Francisco to San Diego
Written by Cathy Siegismund
September - October 2000
The month or so we spent in California was full of deadlines and continued
projects; although, we managed to visit with friends and family and enjoy some
of the more enjoyable stops along the way.
We spent 18 days in Sausalito. I worked out the Onyx SF office and Ken spent
a week touring with his Mom and his brother. We did manage some rest in
Sausalito between work and entertaining friends and family.
Cath enjoying the hammock at the marina
We managed a couple of trips to Sonoma where we stocked Felicity with good
California wine for our trip.
Ledson Winery, where we enjoyed tasting and a band and
picnic on the grounds.
Ken spent a day out at Yosemite with his Mom and Pete.
We enjoyed the tricky sailing in SF bay. Every afternoon, at least in the early
fall, the wind kicks up to 20 or 30 knots at the bay entrance.
SF Bay afternoon sail
Rainsong left Sausalito after a week or so for San Diego as they had family
meeting them there. Layla was planning on staying in Sausalito through
mid-October. So the trio from Seattle was breaking up until we would meet up
again in San Diego. On Saturday, September 30 we left Sausalito for Monterey. It
was an 86 mile trip so we left at noon on Saturday for a Sunday morning entrance
to Monterey Bay.
Cath at the helm leaving San Francisco Bay
We sailed out of SF Bay fighting some of the flood tide, but about 2 hours
outside of the Bay, our wind died and we began to motor sail. In early evening,
we were passed by Kaien, a large steel Waterline from British Columbia. We had met
Campbell and Nicki and their three children ages 9 - 15 who are out for 3 years
of cruising. They are heading to Mexico and the South Pacific and possibly
beyond. They are a great couple who we hope we will be able to meet again on our
trip and get to know them better.
Kaien passing us on the way to Monterey
We arrived in Monterey Bay just after dawn on a foggy and cool morning. We
easily got a slip and Ken, who had again got little sleep, crashed. I cleaned
the boat up some, and went exploring. I found a gym/spa near the marina that I
took advantage of while we were in Monterey. Later that day we wondered the town
and had dinner.
Fisherman's Warf at Monterey
Moorings in Monterey Bay
Ken and I enjoyed relaxing Monterey. We window shopped down Cannery Row, went to
the outstanding Aquarium, where you can feed and pet bat rays and see the most
amazing jelly fish exhibit. We also attended the weekly street fair/farmers
market and saw a movie. We met up with Jason and Tam who after arriving in San
Diego had flown back to SF to get their car and had driven it back down the
coast. They picked us up in Monterey and we all went to dinner in Carmel.
We again saw Kaien, and Pretty Penny with Bob and Penny, a Passport 42 from
Seattle we would end up leap frogging the rest of the way to San Diego.
We had checked email and the weather at a local Internet Cafe. The weather
looked good to head for Point Conception - the infamous Cape Horn of the Pacific
-- and I had to get to LA to finish up my work with Onyx.
October 13, we fueled up and left Monterey, with the plan of going to Port San
Luis Obispo if we needed to wait for a weather window to round Conception or
continue on to Santa Barbara. We were going to have 2 nights at sea if we went
all the way to Santa Barbara, so we decided to try a religious 4 hours on, 4
hours off watch schedule.
We sailed a bit, but were soon motoring in very light air. By mid-day our second
day out we passed Port San Luis in very light air, and decided to press on to
Santa Barbara. We passed a small sailboat, Velella from Seattle, we'd seen in
Monterey. We'd later meet Wendy and Garth as they are Ha Ha participants.
We had a quiet and uneventful evening rounding of Conception and arrived in
Santa Barbara at 3am. It was clear and after navigating all the oil rigs we made
a safe night entrance to Santa Barbara.
We spent 2 nights in Santa Barbara --a great town. We had hazy but warm weather
most of the time, but enjoyed the Sunday Arts festival and wandered the upscale
We also had a very interesting conversation with Victor Shane, the author of the
Drag Device DataBase who came down to Felicity one morning to meet with us. We
left Santa Barbara early Monday, October 9 and did a long 70 mile motor through
fog and finally a partly clear day to Marina Del Rey. We arrived in the early
evening in the massive marina that is home to over 6,000 boats. The transient
moorage was nearly empty and we easily got a slip.
The next day I rented a car for a week and headed to work. We stayed in Marina
Del Rey from October 7 - 18. It was good to see Rudow and Cindy Bible,
co-workers at Onyx. Rudow had Ken and I out to his house for dinner, and another
afternoon we took Rudow and Sam out for an afternoon sail. We again met up with
Bob and Penny on Pretty Penny as they were moored next to us. I spent each day
in the LA office, and Ken took the car and ran errands. He picked up the spare
battens Frank had ordered for us, and found an Achilles dealer to trade in our
leaking dinghy floor. He also found a machine shop to have the key to our
autopilot re-machined. It was a busy week, but we were productive, and finally
on Monday, October 16, I concluded my last day at Onyx. And on Tuesday, I
shipped all of my equipment back to Onyx and returned our rental car.
Our last Sunday in Marina Del Rey, was Marina Del Rey Day. There was a little
fair in the park that surrounds the transient marina. The highlight of the fair
was a demonstration by the Coast Guard of a rescue diver jumping and them being
retrieved by a helicopter about one hundred yards off our stern.
October 18 we left Marina Del Rey for Catalina. As we had reviewed our growing
project list we had to finish prior to leaving on the Ha Ha, we decided to skip
Emerald Bay on Catalina and just go to Avalon for one night. We left in a
moderate fog, but soon got to sail in a nice 10 -12 knot breeze. As we angled
out to Catalina we had to again start the motor and motored to Avalon.
Dusk approach to Catalina Island
We pulled into Avalon right after dark and behind Pretty Penny. We were met by
the harbor master in a small launch who collected our money, escorted us to a
mooring, and then put the requisite dye tablet in our holding tank - to ensure
the continued clean water in Avalon Bay.
We successfully tied up to the double mooring (bow and stern) that allows the
town of Avalon to stack boats into the marina like a Costco parking lot on a
Pretty Penny moored in front of us at Avalon
Ken enjoying a warm relaxing morning in the cockpit
We got up the next morning after sleeping in and relaxing and reading. It was
warm and while relaxing in the cockpit we were impressed you could see the
bottom of the bay. We took a water taxi to Avalon where we signed up for two bus
tours. The first one was pretty good, we toured the town and had a very funny
driver. We got some good Kodak moments of the town and learned that Wrigley
(like the gum) owned pretty much the whole island until it was donated to the
We met up with Drew and Vernita who had arrived that afternoon, and went to
dinner at a Mexican restaurant. We turned in early as we had to leave at 0200 to
make it to San Diego the next day and arrive in the daylight.
We left Avalon at 0200 as planned and motored out in the fog. We motored in calm
seas with varying degrees of fog all day. It was a bit of a dull motor, so we
amused ourselves. Ken by hunting stowaway flies.
Great Fly Hunter
I was entertained for hours by a tiny bird who hitched a ride with us most of
the way to San Diego
Bird Hitch Hiker on our BBQ
Trying to keep his balance on our slippery wheel
We arrived in San Diego at about 4pm. As we motored into the long San Diego
Channel and passed a parade of Navy activity. We saw helicopters, what looked
like SEALS in two large high speed inflatables and a submarine.
Submarine at the entrance to San Diego Channel
We arrived at the Marriott Marina, where we were to stay for two days. Jason and
Tam met us at the dock, and we ended up being next to Kate and Jordan, also from
Seattle (on Queen Jane, a Shannon 50).
We caught up with Tam and Jason some, and then headed off for showers, laundry
and dinner watching the fireworks that were kicking off Fleet Week in San Diego.
The next day we checked out the hotel. It is really a nice set up. The marina
guests have all the same amenities as the hotel guests. You can even have them
deliver room service -- or I suppose cockpit service. We met a couple of other
boats going on the Ha Ha that were on our dock.
The next two days were full of errands. We picked up a rental car, went to the
marine stores, found a stainless welder to do our rails for our solar panels,
visited Sea Breeze where we picked up Mexican and South Pacific charts. We also
went to Kinkos and created boat business cards. We were working on our project
list our last night at the Marriott when Layla arrived from Catalina. We chatted
briefly after we helped them tie up, but were soon back to our projects and the
luxury of watching TV on board with the new monitor.
On Sunday, we had to move the boat to Kona Kai Marina. We had reservations there
for the remaining 9 days of our stay in San Diego. It is a nice marina that's
cheaper than the Marriott and on Shelter Island which is closer to the marine
stores. Ken took the boat, and I checked us out of the marina and drove over in
the rental car. When I arrived to check in, they pointed me to a very small and
narrow slip. I was worried about squeezing Felicity in as she would be a little
wide next to the cruiser in the slip. After some discussions I managed to get us
assigned to a 78' slip!
We spent the next week working on projects. I worked on our web site, did some
sewing, provisioned and did last minute shopping.
Ken flew home to see his Dad for 3 days. He also worked on installing our
cockpit shower, mounting our solar panels and other maintenance. We got our
Mexican paperwork arranged (tourist cards and fishing licenses), and packed up
Felicity for our first non-English speaking country.
We did manage some socializing. We attended a little dock party on Rainsong, had
dinner with John Holland and attended a Ha Ha party at Downwind Marine.
On Sunday night, we attended the Baja Ha Ha Halloween party and John, aka Sr.
Monkey Boy, Hawk a very good friend from Onyx arrived in San Diego.
John and Ken in their trade show days at Onyx
Monday, was full of last minute errands and we finished up having a great
Seattle boat dinner with Drew and Vernita (Layla), Jason and Tam (Rainsong) and
Dave and Linda (Crusader), Ken and John and me.
Tuesday morning we returned the rental car and Layla and Rainsong came to Kona
Kai to see us off.
Felicity packed up and ready for Mexico in her 78' slip at Kona Kai