August 30, 2006:  Denali and I got under way from Alamitos Bay at about 10:00 a.m. on a warm, windless but overcast day.  We raised the main, but it was just to steady the boat as there was no wind.  The motor pushed along at a comfortable 5.5 knots and we kept a watch out for container ships, tankers, destroyers, ferries and other large beasts of the sea while the autopilot steered the boat and Denali got in a nap.  She seems to like the same spot as Jess and stretched out on the floor of the cockpit for the ride.

The sun came out after about 1:00 p.m. and we made it to the Cove about 3:15 p.m.  The wind picked up about 3 miles off Catalina as it wrapped the island, just in time to make the sail take down and anchoring difficult.  I dropped the main and was almost to Emerald Cove by the time I had it flaked over the boom and stowed.  There were already 11 boats in the Cove so we slipped in between them, dropped the stern anchor in about 15 foot of water off the beach and came up outside to drop the bow anchor.  Unfortunately, the wind blew us down a little from where I would have liked to drop it, so I was rubbing the stern line on Tim Weissenberger's boat.  He suggested that I let the wind die down and move to the other side of his boat (which I did about 7:00 p.m.).

I got the big dingy ready and Denali got to go to the doggy beach for a bathroom break, which she seemed to greatly appreciate.  We came back to the boat, grilled salmon and steamed broccoli and had that with potato salad.  Denali got her pills and ate dry dog food and a little salmon.

August 31, 2006:   We got up about 7:30 a.m. and it looked like Denali had an uncomfortable night, loosing a little of her dinner.  It looks like the new antibiotics are as hard on her stomach as the old ones were.  She has a skin infection and we are trying to clear it up.  I took her to shore for a bathroom break and she got back onto the boat without much trouble.  She may be getting the hang of it.  After the trip to shore, I shampooed her neck and ruff with the medicated shampoo and we got the flopper stopper deployed and the cockpit cleaned up.  I also moved the boat back 25 feet or so; letting out bow chain and tightening up on the stern line, so we are sitting a little further into the Cove.  Next jobs:  pumping up the little dingy and getting the engine on the big dingy for perhaps a trip to the Ismuths.

About 4:00 p.m., Denali and I went ashore and took a walk up and down the road, looking at the view and getting some exercise.  We walked out to the bench on a point overlooking the Cove and sat there for a while, looking at the view, listening to the sea birds fight over something or another, and resting from our walk.

Three or four more boats came in today, and I helped row out anchors because it is getting tough to drive the boat into the beach to drop the stern anchor, given the number of boats already here (almost 20 already).  While I was rowing around, the Paul Haven and Rita invited me over for dinner, which I gladly accepted, not really feeling like cooking.  Denali was not too pleased that she was not invited, but went back to the cockpit and laid down after a while.

Paul has a beautiful 1979 ketch that he had build in Taiwan and has had ever since.  A nephew who works at the Ismuths had come across some lobster tails and we had those for dinner.  It was a great evening of talking, eating and rum and Cokes.  Paul was on the BYU football team in the early 70's and we have a lot of Mormon history in common.

About 9:00 p.m., I came back to the boat found Denali asleep in the cockpit, and went to bed shortly thereafter myself.


September 1, 2006:  We got up late this morning at about 8:00 a.m.  My friend from Atlanta, Bill Gavlak, called with a trademark question, and I referred him to Patty.  I finished two books that I had going, "Whispers" by Dean Koontz, and George Soros' new book about the state of the world.  All together, the Soros book was probably the scarier of the two.  I took Denali to shore for a bathroom break and cleaned the cockpit, shampooed her ruff, and worked on this page.  We are heading into the Ismuths to see if we can upload this in a few minutes.

We made it to the Isthmus fine and the outboard ran well, even at idle, meaning that my work on it paid off.  It is surprisingly un-crowded for what is supposed to be the biggest week-end of the year.  When we were here a couple of weeks ago, there were ten or fifteen boats anchored between our Cove and the Isthmus and today there were none.  The dingy dock was crowded, but we were easily able to find a spot with out having to climb over other boats.  (It is only Friday: we will see how it is tomorrow.)

I found a patio chair and pulled it over to the edge of the deck near the electrical outlets, plugged in the laptop and opened the Wordes, Wilshin & Conner, LLP Catalina office.  I returned the call of a new client referral, updated a client on the status of a case and called another lawyer back on another case.  The web site uploaded without undue problems and everything worked so I could catch up on business.  There was room on the bar deck, but Denali is not welcome up there, so I sat down below the deck railing where I could still access the wireless internet connection and use their electricity.

Coming back to the boat was a slow slog into a 20 knot headwind and I kept the speed down to keep the bashing  and the spray down.  We got back to the boat and the Bolams had come in while we were gone and the Lonnes came in soon after.  Ralph and Shari come over for a drink and invited me to a dinner of tamales that they had brought back from their place in Mexico.  The Mike and Beth Lonnes went to the Bolam's boat as well and we ate in the cockpit and talked boats.  The Bolam's boat is in the picture taken at sunrise from our boat.  Denali could see me in Bolam's boat and stayed on the foredeck looking over just to make me feel guilty for leaving her alone on the boat and going out to dinner.

September 2, 2006:   I woke up early and took some pictures and worked on the web log.  I still am not sure what ferry Patty is on, but hopefully she will find the information and let me know.  We will be happy to get her.  The luau at the Cove will happen on Sunday and the cooks were busy digging out the pit yesterday.  The pit is sort of permanent and is covered over during the rest of the year and uncovered on Labor Day weekend.  About 24 or 25 boats are here now, not counting the three or four Whalers that came over early loaded with people, ice chests, kids and big plastic trash bags full of stuff that needs to stay dry.  All together, about 200 people are expected, with lots of boats full to the gills.  Some of the kids slept in the hut last night and all three camping spots are full.

I rowed the dingy outside the Cove and called Patty after I had taken Denali to "doggy beach" for her morning relief.  She is on the 12:30 p.m. ferry that gets in at 2:00.  The Hicks came in about 9:30 a.m., and are swinging on one anchor outside of the Cove.  Maybe they will pull in after the wind dies down in the evening.

Lots of boats have arrived along the coast early, having started at "0 dark hundred" to try to get over and find a spot.  Since the wind and seas have not been too bad, there should be lots of tenable anchorages along the coast here.

After I had taken Denali into Doggy Beach, we rowed out to the reef and there are more small and medium size fish than I have ever seen here.  The visibility is great and you can see the bottom clearly in 40 feet of water.  A guy snorkeling near the end of the reef stuck his head up and shouted to a guy fishing that he just saw of school of over a hundred yellow fin tuna.  The fishermen are all trying their luck, but no local success yet.

After charging the batteries with the diesel for the requisite 2 hours (per day), Denali and I took off for the Isthmus to meet the ferry.  We tied up the dingy at the dingy dock, which can be a challenge on busy weekends because the dock gets full and you have to climb over several dingies to  get to the dock.  We found a shady spot on a bench and uploaded the web site using the free wireless internet connection and then went and got ice cream.  After that we went out onto the main dock to wait for the ferry.  We found a shady spot and a 60 plus woman with long grey pigtails sat down near us and told us she was on a boat over in Cat harbor, just the other side of the Isthmus, and a guy was coming over to boat sit her boat while she went ashore for ten days.  She was quite upset over travel security arrangements and explained to me the people putting the wands between girls legs was just to molest them and that most women had stopped traveling because of it (maybe just a little too much time in the sun without a hat?).  Three high school girls then scuttled in to hide behind the building.  They were supposed to have taken an earlier ferry but had hung out with some guys and were now afraid their parents would seem them waiting for this ferry and be up-set.  They gave Denali lavish attention, so she was in heaven.

Finally, the ferry came in (about 20 minutes late) and Patty got off.  We took her bag and went over to the dingy dock and played musical dingies to get ours to the dock to Denali and Patty could board from the dock rather than climbing over several other dingies.  We had a slow ride back, keeping the speed down, bucking into the wind and chop.

We made it back to the boat and got settled in.  I put on my swim trunks and grabbed my mask and snorkel and jumped in the water, checking the anchors and looking at the fish.  There are an amazing number of fish.  Along with the regular Garibaldi and rock cod, there were a cloud of anchovies.  I also saw a sand shark laying on the bottom and one of our resident bat rays swimming along the sand.

Later we went over to the Hick's boat for cocktails.  Ralph and Shari came over and we decided that we would all go to Ralph and Shari's boat for dinner since he had the biggest grill and we could pool our dinner resources.  We took salad, rice and salmon, and we had a feast of ribs, pork chops and salmon, with garlic bread and desert of sorbet in fruit halves. 

Denali kept barking and we realized that we had not taken her to shore for her evening bathroom break.  I rowed over and took her to shore and she was much happier after that.

September 3, 2006:   We got up, made hot biscuits and coffee, took Denali into the shore for the morning bathroom break, and got ready for the day.  The luau uses a fire fit with hot lava rock to roast the meat and fish, and the lighting of the pit was set for 10:00 a.m.  Patty and I went ashore at 9:30 and hiked up to the point to take a picture of the boats in the Cove.  All together there were about 30 boats, not all of which can be seen from this picture.  Our boat is the one with the dark blue cover on the main, in about the 3rd row out. 

Holly Scott does a little sculpture of George Geiger each year out of clay to be fired in the fire pit and she had it ready.  Don Young did the honors in lighting the pit, announcing that this was the 54th annual luau at the Cove.

After the sculpture was put in place, the pit was lit to burn down.  The meat will go on this afternoon and dinner will be about 6:00 p.m.

About 4:00 p.m., the crowd started gathering and the lethal and deceptive punch was poured starting at 4:30 p.m. (more or less).  It is served in alcoholic and  non-alcoholic varieties and the wise drinker limits the intake because the beach is steep, a dingy ride is necessary to get back to one's boat, and the water is cold and sobering late in the evening. 

Mats are laid out on the beach and the luau is served after the pit is dug up by the expert cooks (following the years old formula). 

We ate ourselves sick and made it back to the boat alive to a dog that was mightily disappointed that she did not get to join the party on the beach. 

September 4, 2006:  The next morning the crowd gathers on the beach to clean up and eat a carnitas breakfast made from the leftovers.  After everyone is stuffed again, it was time to start putting the boat in shape for the channel crossing.  That includes, pulling the rowing dingy up on deck, drying it off, deflating it and stowing it; pulling in and stowing the flopper-stopper;  taking off the extra sun shades, putting things away down below so they do not fly around at sea; etc.

After successfully navigating every dingy to boat jump for the 5 days, Denali missed her last one and landed with a splash in the drink.  I was still in the rowing dingy, so she swam over to me and climbed up into it, onto the big dingy, and made her second attempt at the boat deck.  She was ready for a good bath anyway, so we rinsed her off, suds her up and rinsed her again.  Then after a good shake on the foredeck, she got toweled and brushed.  She seemed no worse for wear for her swim in the Cove.

Everyone sorting out their anchor lines took the rest of the morning and we got off about 11:45 a.m. to a strong breeze (20+ knots) on the stern quarter.  After running the engine for 45 minutes or so to charge the batteries a little, it went off, although we had been sailing from just outside the Cove.   With the stiff breeze on the stern quarter and 4-6 foot seas running from the same direction, we made a record crossing in just over 3 and a half hours for the 22 mile crossing to the Long Beach breakwater.  It was a sunny day and except for a ton of boats, and a few container ships, and a lack of dolphin or whale sightings, it was a great trip back.  We were tied up to the dock in less than 4 and a half hours after pulling up our anchor at the Cove.