Sunday, September 30, 2007

San Simeon and Beyond!

It's interesting you home we would all be watching the clock waiting for our favorite show to start all the while missing the awesome shows of nature created just for us.

We did an overnight trip from beautiful Monterey to San Simeon, home of the extraordinary Hearst Castle, and once the anchor was set we sat back and watch our favorite show! A large group of dolphins danced and played around the five boats in the anchorage while the sea otters swam lazily by munching on whatever shellfish they had brought up from the bottom. What a surreal experience! At one point, three dolphins swam right towards the side of the boat then swooped beneath the keel and leapt up on the other side! No TV show can beat this kind of entertainment!

For all of you fellow cruisers contemplating a stop in San Simeon, we would just like to let you know that, while there is a large pier in San Simeon (20 feet tall)the only way ashore is to beach your dinghy in the surf. Thus said, we would go again as we all enjoyed the tour of the Hearst Castle.

Today we travelled from San Simeon to Morro Bay and are presently at the Morro Bay Yacht Club. Diesel loves it here, he gets to spend his days harassing the Pelicans and Sea Lions that dare to come anywhere near the boat!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


We had a great sail across the bay to Monterey and the light West winds offered the perfect opportunity to fly our gennaker a sail which we are very glad we have. We were treated to yet another private dolphin show, this time a pod of 6 or so Risso's Dolphins - we thought they were baby grey whales as they look quite different from common dolphins.

The girls took in the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Tuesday as a Science field trip and had a great time. Favorite exhibits included the sea otters and the jellies but the young white shark was cool too!

Monterey has an excellent farmers market on Tuesday nights and we took the opportunity to pick up some fresh fruits an veggies, the best we've had yet!

Marg & Jay took a tour of the Chateau Julien winery and vinyard while the girls and Diesel played at the beach and visited fishermans wharf. Diesel loves the water and is becoming quite the surfer dog!

More of Santa Cruz

Well, we had a first rainy day on Saturday - the day Jay and the girls had planned to go to the amusement park. Everyone was all dressed in rain gear and ready to go when we learned that Sunday's forcast was for sun, so we decided to stay another day so that the fair could be enjoyed in fair weather! Everyone had so much fun, they didn't want to come back! Averaging 8 rides per hour was a major accomplishment! Among the favorite rides were the antique carousel and the roller coaster and after dining on garlic fries and corn dogs and riding for over six hours the clan decided to call it a day.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Santa Cruz

We are now in Santa Cruz after a rolly sail down from Halfmoon Bay. It's really nice nere with a great beach and great surf. On the way, we were visited by about thirty sea lions who jumped and played in the water right beside us, click on the link to the left to watch a video clip they are really funny!

Yesterday was Jenny's 14th birthday and we celebrated with decorations, crepes for breakfast and an night in at the movies. We had hoped to visit the amusement park at the Santa Cruz pier but it's not open until the weekend so Jay and the girls will go at that time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Heading South

Well we're getting ready to leave Sausalito after another few days in paradise. Our time here these past few days were marked by some excellent events: Us gals took the bus about an hour North of here to visit the Guide Dogs for the Blind and enjoyed a great tour, what a remarkable organization! Both Jocelyn and Jenny are thinking that they would like to work there in the future. We also met up with our some of our Vancouver friends, Steve & Linda and Peter & Dianna and we even briefly met a fellow from another Canadian boat that is cruising with two kids, 14 & 12. I hope we connect more with them along the way.

We had the great pleasure to meet up with our HAM Radio pal, Peter who lives here in Berkely,and together with Steve and Linda, we enjoyed a tour of the Bay model which is a huge (warehouse sized) model of the San Francisco Bay area, and a had a really nice time getting to know one another a little better. We always look forward to talking to Peter on the radio. Ron and Peter are there for us every night to make contact and relay any information necessary.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More of San Francisco

Well we've really been enjoying the past week here in San Francisco. We walked up and down Lombard St. which is know as the "crookedest" street, we rode the bus and the F which is an old restored trolly, and we visited the Martin Luther King memorial and we walked through China Town.

China town was so much fun! There were buildings with paper lanterns on the side and there was a street with lanterns strung across it and I guess we hit the main street at the most popular time (after work and before dinner). Delivery trucks stopped in the middle of the street to unload fresh produce were swarmed by patrons wishing to buy the first pick! People were buying fresh fish (really fresh - still swimming fresh!) from a rubbermaid bucket. We even saw a rubbermaid filled with live frogs! Bins of dried fish and herbs were everywhere and fruits and vegetables like we've never seen before.

We had our dinner while we were walking around, we had BBQ Pork (a family favorite) from one shop then stopped in at another for some Dim Sum and another for some Sweet and Sour Pork yet another for some egg tarts and lastly we picked up some egg rolls for later. Some of the vendors were really funny, we couldn't understand one another but we were all laughing, it was really fun. When we stopped for egg rolls, Jocelyn said we wanted four but she kept putting more into the bag, when Jocelyn reminded her that we only wanted four she stated "No! you save money! $2 for four, $2.50 for seven!" who could argue! We went home with seven!

As if that was not enough fun for one day, we decided to top it all off with an ice cream from Ben & Jerry's at Pier 39. I tell you, when you're on a tight budget you sure think twice about dropping $5 on an ice cream cone when you can buy a whole bucket for $3 at the grocery store - but we had travelled so far to get it we had it anyway - it was really good!

Last Thursday was the best of all! After renting a car in the morning and stocking up at Costco, we headed to the airport to pick up Diesel. We were so excited! Marg couldn't hold back the tears and was pacing while we waited.

I think the airline people were great but I don't think Diesel could get out of the crate fast enough! We really missed him, our family feels complete again. Life is too simple and fur free without him. He just curled up by my feet in likely, the smallest little floor space on the boat - under the chart table, he just wants to be touching, it's very nice.

We spent a few nights in Alameda at the Oakland Yacht Club where the people were most welcoming and friendly but decided to go explore Angel Island. Unfortunately, upon our arrival at Angel Island, we learned that dogs are not permitted, so we continued on and back to the Sausalito Yacht Club where they have been very accommodating. It's funny, the weather here always seems to be better than the weather just across the bay. The fog rolls in and stays on the city side but doesn't seem to round the corner into Sausalito. Hmmmmm?

We will likely leave here on Saturday to head South to Half Moon Bay and then on to Monterey where we hope to visit the Aquarium.

Oh yes, when we were at Pier 39 Jocelyn used a public restroom on the street - Here's a picture. You press a button to go in and out and after you come out, it automatically cleans the toilet and the floor! Jenny thinks this is an awesome port-a-potty upgrade!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

San Francisco - Adventure

We are now moored in the Marina District of San Francisco, quite an exclusive neighborhood. There is a beautiful beach right next to us and we walked out yesterday to watch the windsurfers and kite surfers. The wind was really blowing and they were sure fast! We got to enjoy an absolutely gorgeous sunset after taking a stroll across the street to the Palace of the Arts and the Exploratorium. The Dome and pillars are almost 100 years old and are undergoing extensive restoration.

Today we spent another beautiful day at Alcatraz after riding the bus and the F trolley through downtown SF. The tour was excellent, and highly recommended if you visit. We saw the carousel on pier 39 and the fishermen at Fishermans Wharf. All along the streets you can find souvenirs and clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. (I had that for lunch, it was really yummy!)