Cruiser's Weekend, 2007

October 12, 2007  Two Harbors, Isthmus, Catalina   Latitudes and Attitudes magazine and a bunch of other vendors puts on a "Cruiser's Weekend" at the Isthmus every year.  I was planning on going over to the Island this weekend, just because the boat need exercise and fall is a nice time to go, but I found out that Bill & Suzette Lewis were going over for the weekend and then that the Wilshins and their friends Hank and Gail Salerno were all also going.  I decided to go to the Isthmus, especially since the Salernos are about to leave on a Mexico cruise and I have not seen them for a while.  They have a web site, Volare La Paz, and they are going to chronicle their trip on it.

I took Friday off and got down to the boat about 9:30 a.m., after a stop at Trader Joe's to pick up some fresh vegetables, meat and other necessities.  We have had Santa Ana winds for a few days, and the boat was covered with dirt, so I had to hose it off before I could take off, or risk mud everywhere.  I got underway about 10:15 a.m., and the boat worked marvelously; even the repaired autopilot, so I did not have to steer.  We are now having a weak cold front moving through, so the winds were light, the temperatures in the high 60's, and partly cloudy.  There is supposed to be a "slight chance of rain" this evening and tomorrow morning, so so far the weather is quite tolerable. 

About 13 miles off Catalina, I spotted at least two whales.  I first saw their spouts and one of their backs, but I could not identify them.  It is a little early for the Grey migration, so they might have been the Blue Whales that have been hanging around here. 

I was into the Isthmus by 3:00 p.m. and tied up to the mooring by 3:00 p.m. and able to catch up on my e-mail and have a drink before launching the kayak and paddling around the bay.  The Lewis's and the Wilshins will not be here until tomorrow, but I thought I might find the Salernos, but no luck.  There is a band playing, but since I am only two rows off the beach, I can enjoy it from the boat.  I think I will cook dinner on the boat and go to bed early.  The only people I know are a couple and their kids who used to have the slip next to ours in Alamitos Bay.  They came by and said "Hello." 

October 13, 2007  Two Harbors, Isthmus, Catalina   The rain came about midnight, along with strong wind.  However, being tied to a mooring, I got up, took a quick look at things and went back to bed and woke up again at 7:30 a.m. to mostly cloudy skies and wet decks.  Patty is taking the 1:00 p.m. ferry, so I need to get the dingy pumped up.

 Cruiser's weekend had lectures starting at 9:00 a.m., mostly by cruisers who had advice for people getting ready to head south.  I went to the first couple of lectures from a couple who had spent three years sailing down to Mexico, over to French Polynesia, up to Hawaii and then home to Southern California.  It was a good couple of lectures with very practical advise.  Hank and Gail Salerno were there, so after Blue Water Cruising Club's Eric Lovett gave a lecture on anchoring, Hank, Gail and I retired to the bar and caught up and I heard about their plans on leaving for Mexico next month with the Baha Ha Ha. 

Just before Eric started his talk, I was up talking with him and saw Bill and Suzette sail into the bay.  Hand said that he had talked with the Wilshins and that they were on their way.

Patty got in about 1:00 p.m., and after going up to the main plaza and seeing Bill & Suzette, we went back to the boat and got lunch.  After lunch we went to another lecture by Eric on fishing from a boat.  Somehow, 4:30 rolled around and we had to go back to the boat and get stuff together for dinner.  He sponsors of the cruising weekend hosted a BBQ where they provided appetizers, drinks and the big Isthmus grills to cook on.

We took steaks, vegetables, and potatoes, the latter two wrapped in foil, and went up about 5:00 p.m.  We all sat at picnic tables in front of the band stand and had appetizers and drank for an hour or two.  When we were ready to cook, the other hundred or so people who were there were too, so we drank and ate appetizers a little more.  About dark, room on the grills finally opened up, and we cooked our dinner and ate in the dark.  The bank, the "Eric Stone Band" cranked up about 7:00 p.m.  They were very good; kind of a Jimmy Buffett with a great guitar player and a little harder edge.  They played until 11:00 p.m.  We stayed and danced until the show was over.  Since our boat was only two rows off the beach, right in front of the bandstand, we were going to be listening anyway, so we stayed at the party.

The Salernos and the Wilshins went to the restaurant for dinner, and never showed up at the party.  Too bad.  We met a couple from Oroville who had sold the farm (literally-a vineyard) and were heading south on a Pearson 422, "Tenacity."  The boat is just like Ralph and Sherry Bolam's "Oriana."  Vicki is a nurse who has red-headed kids just about Patty's kids age, and Terry, a retired electrical contractor.  Vicki tried to teach Patty some belly dancing moves, but we got a lot of exercise anyway.  They have a blog at  

October 14, 2007   Isthmus to Long Beach   We got up and after making coffee, saw Vicki and Terry waiving, so we dinged over to their boat and got a tour and talked with them for most of the morning.  The Salernos dingyed by Bill and Suzette came over too and hung out for a while.  The Wilshins had dropped their mooring and were pointed to the mainland before we finished our first cup of coffee.  I think they stayed for all of about 20 hours.

After lunch on shore, we came back to the boat, put away the kayak and started cleaning up for the trip home.  I took Patty to the dock about 1:00 p.m., and put away the dingy and dropped the mooring.  At 1:10 p.m., I was on my way.  The wind was good and right on the port quarter, so the engine was off soon and the boat moving nicely under sail.  Patty came by in the ferry about 2:20 p.m., but they were too far away to wave.  She actually sat with Eric on the ride back and beat me home by a few hours.  I was in the slip by 5:30 p.m. and headed home by 6:30.