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Well, sorry, but no more Neil sightings, although we did see what we think is his bus, a huge “band bus” type thing with skylights formed from the tops of two beautifully restored old cars. It was parked in the lot above the gate to the dock, but moved off before I had a chance to get a photo of it. Bummer! Nor do we have any verifiable Daryl Hannah sightings.
In other news, we’re getting ready to set off for San Diego – our last US stop – on Friday morning, Halloween. We should be arriving in SD Saturday morning, after an overnighter in potentially vigorous winds. We’ll be sailing right past Catalina, but probably in the middle of the night. A few days in San Diego and we’re off to Mexico.
A couple new developments: Hannah arrived today, and is settling in to the boat for the long haul. It will be great fun having her (and her surfboard) on the boat, not to mention a lot of help on those long passages. Her friend Sean with be on the Oxnard/San Diego leg. We hope he is seaworthy…
The other new thing is that yesterday we got a new Globalstar satellite phone. The coverage is not as good as the Iridium system (with geostationary satellites orbiting some 22,000 miles above the earth), but the low-earth-orbit Globalstar satellites provide much better speed for data when you are in the service areas – which cover the places where we are most concerned about getting dependable weather information. Globalstar will also provide reliable internet in Cuba – and it’s much cheaper than an equivalent Iridium plan. Of course, we’ll have a much better perspective on the choice in a couple months. My old cell phone will be kaput once we cross the border with Mexico, so email will be the best way of reaching us.
We have a berth promised at the San Diego Yacht Club, which is a little above our station, but sounds convenient for our last-minute preparations. They were so disappointed that we don’t belong to the Seattle Yacht Club that they are charging us 60 bucks a night to stay at their place – but hey, we’ll be roughing it for the foreseeable future. I’m imagining a martini in a beautifully appointed bar. Hope springs eternal, etc.
Oxnard (oh, excuse me, the Channel Islands Marina), while not an architectural gem, has been good for supplies and tools, thanks to a car provided by Henry and Frances. I managed to lay in absolutely everything I’ll need to repair the mainsail outhaul if it breaks, as it may. Taps, drills, one of those gizmos that you smack with a hammer and turns out screws (or snaps off the heads), etc. Also plenty of oil and filters. All good! Almost more important, we found a little taco joint that does exquisite fish tacos. Spanish practice for the whole crew is next on the agenda.