Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We are now docked in Santa Cruz, California. This is a lovely place to be. I spent alot of time here when I was growing up. The "thing to do" in those days..sneak to Santa Cruz! Well...sometimes we didn't sneak, like during the day. But night time was the fun time to come over but the folks didn't see it that way.  The BoardWalk was where the action was. Probably still is. All the carnival rides are there and food and drinks and music. It all spells Fun!
Anyway, here we are. We came in on Friday evening and had  a very nice cruze from Half Moon Bay.
Low and Behold we saw the Molly O docked on the other side of the channel from where we were.
We are glad that Bob made it. But we soon found out, not without trouble.
Remember when Bob was using a pole to clean off the rudder on his boat? Well, when he left us in the FOG...and motored hard...he burned out his motor. He had to be towed in by the Harbor patrol. He was three hours out from the harbor. Coasted him some bucks! Now he's waiting to get things fixed. I feel for him as it's no fun to have trouble on the water.
We have seen two other boats come in with some damage. One nice BIG boat had dropped the anchor just enough to bang back & forth across the front of the boat and make a nice gash all across the front.
Looks bad.  Another fellow had his deck plate torn out for the main sheet. They were all layed up here for days.
I like all the people standing up on their surf boards, paddling. They call it paddle boarding. They boogy all over and hardly ever get wet. They come right up to our boat and start talking. A person needs good balance to do that.
We've met two very nice people from Chili. Ben and MaElena. Actually, they live in Berkley, Ca. But originally from Chili.  Ben is quite the character and MaElena is very pretty. We have exchanged phone numbers and promised to stay in touch. We got the tour of their boat. Very nice with about everything in the world on it.  
We have stayed here for ten days. I've enjoyed the stay, but time to head for the next destination. Santa Barbara!!

Monday, August 22, 2011


This is a beautiful harbor. It too, is fenced with locked gates. A safe harbor.  I love walking from dock to dock, looking at all the boats. There's a nice little sandy beach for R.J. to run around on. She doesn't seem to notice the waves crashing down. She's an "ole seadog'' already!

There's a very long fishing dock over by the beach. A person can actually go fishing over there with out a license. Matter-of-fact...people can fish without a fishing license on lots of docks in California.. I bought an out of state license as soon as we got to California.  That cost me over $100.00! That was stupid. Didn't do the research.
Lots of folks out on that dock. Bar-b-q's, ice chests, lines going every directions, kids screaming and running up and down the dock.  Maybe fishing off the boat is a better idea.

Back at the boat. Captain and Bob have made plans for us to travel together down to Santa Cruz. They call that "Buddy Boating". That's interesting.  Captain is worried about crossing the shipping lanes. It's like a freeway for ships and all travelers of the deep. There will be alot of fog and we don't have radar. Bob has radar so we will follow him. Captain is especially worried about the San Francisco area.
I love San Francisco. I would like to stop and visit. Bob would like to stop and visit.  After alot of discussion....we're not stopping. Oh well....maybe another time.  The plan is to leave on Thursday.

While sitting at the laundry mat, I spy a wonderful looking boat coming in to harbor. Every time a new boat sails in, everyone stares at it and wants to go see who has arrived and hear some new stories. It's like "Little house on the prairie" episodes. As the boat reaches the fueling station I see Captain and Bob heading over there. I assume I'd better get over there too. Don't want to miss anything. The boat's name is "Mischief". Bob and Sharon are on board. They are on their way to the Ba ha ha ha. That's a funny name! It's what my Grandma would call "a gathering". Grandma was a  Chickasaw citizen. I spent many summers with her in Oklahoma. She sure could throw a knife. Anyway...back to my story....we all introduced ourselves. Then we all went back to what we were doing.

I'd never heard of the Ba ha ha ha until these days I've been sailing. Just to explain a little about it, it seems to be a gathering of boats, no smaller boat than a 27 footer. Owners pay a set amount fee to travel together to certain destinations. They moore their boats and go to shore for food and intertainment along the way.  Their final destination is down at Baja, Mexico. Sounds like alot of fun. I think they begin in San Deigo, California. I could be wrong about that.


We are motoring out of the harbor this morning. Bob, on the Molly O, is leading the way. It's a little foggy. I wish I would have taken more pictures.  Bob asked me to take some of his boat as he doesn't have any while it's sailing. So, here are a couple so you can see what a nice boat the Molly O is.

I must practice on getting the whole boat in the picture. It's actually not an easy job to take pictures    on a 26 foot, moving boat. I'm learning so much! I watch Bob cleaning kelp off of his rudder with a pole. I should have gotten a picture of that.

This water is rocking my eyelids closed. It's peaceful. The fog gets thick in spots and Captain keeps telling me to watch for boats! Finally I must have given up the ghost cause I get awakened by the Captain and he is fit to be tied! Turns out it's been several hours and Bob has tacked up and left us out of sight. No call on the radio..not even a good bye wave. Just gone. Wonder what's up with that?

We are probably 50 miles out. Captain motors at full speed ahead. Sometimes that can be traveling about 7-8 knots.  Trying to catch up with Bob or find some sighting of him. Finally...we realize we've been abandoned. Captain gets out his chart and computer. We have a chart plotter in the computer. It's nothing fancy but it works to save our butts. "Whatever happened to Bob?"

So now my job is to watch for boats. No sleeping.  We are closer to shore and I actually see a tug boat pulling a ship! How awesome. I see another ship of some sort. I've been lisening to the radio too but nobody speaks English. Finally, we are past the shipping lanes and Captain calms down some.
Glad that's over with. Seems like he always has good excuses for being anal.

We are past San Francisco and we are both so tired. Captain says we will stop at Half Moon Bay.
This stop hasn't been planned so I get out one of our trusty books to find the harbor entrance. Good luck with that by flashlight. It's after dark now. We get past the jettys and turn into what looks like the entrance. It turns out to be the mooring balls with alot of boats with sleeping passengers on board.
We try to go through quietly.  I finally get harbor patrol on the radio and he tells us what dock to go to.
We have to do that by flashlight too. My advise is....get to where ever you're going..before dark!

Shortly before turning the radio off, we hear a voice come on saying, "Santa Cruz harbor master, harbor master...this is the Molly O.

We got ourselves settled and went to sleep. Good night.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Who would have thought I would ever..in my life..go sailing with whales?  That's what happened today!
I have a girlfriend that went swimming with sharks while she was visiting Hawaii. I'm pretty sure I have her beat! Only thing is...I couldn't get a picture of them. There were alot of them. Moma's with their babies. There was one...as long as our boat!! I think he was "Big Daddy". They are awesome! I can't get the sight out of my mind.
It's something  that most people on this earth will never get to experience. I feel special.

We are going around Pt. Arena right now. Everything is perfect. Time for a nap.

When I wake up...Captain has just started the boat engine. Seems he hove to during the night and got a little sleep. He woke up in the middle of a whale pod. He seems a little agitated. He told me if we get between a cow and her calf, we could be in alot of trouble. So..we got out of there fast. Well....as fast as the Ruby Jean will motor. Which is just a little better than 2 knots. And that's on glassy water. From what I saw earlier, there's not gonna be an escape if we get on the wrong side of one of those whales. We can hear them talk to each other.  NEAT!!!

There's not any wind so we will motor on in to Bodega Bay. I love the sight of these California hills.
They seem to roll along forever. No trees on them. They are strange looking.

So...we motored into the harbor at 7:00 AM.  Right away, we spot The Molly O. Our buddy Bob from Eureka is still here! We figured he would be gone already. We also have a dock buddy sitting on the dock next to ours. He's not sharing either!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


We left Eureka marina on Tuesday, August 16th at 7:00 a.m. The fog and wind waves were bad!
We sailed when we could and motored when we had to. All day and all night. We didn't get much sleep as the ride was terrible! Knocked around all night long. I took my turn at watch, a couple of hours before daylight. As the Captain layed down to get some rest, he said we better stop at Ft. Bragg. I was happy to hear that.
  I have started to sing while I'm on watch during the dark hours. It keeps the brain awake. Seems like the songs that come to my mind are hymms that we sing in church. It could be,I'm trying to make points with the Lord.  It gets spooky out on the ocean at night!!

So.....I'm singing away and notice that the waves have smoothed out and the ride is nicer. It's also getting real warm. I like it.  Captain wakes up, looks at the depth finder and says we are in 12 feet of water!!!  Boy! That's scarey. He says we're heading toward shore! Boy! That's really scarey! 
Of course, we head out to deep water real quick. The fog is so thick.  I got a big lecture about keeping a watch on the depth finder. Now I realize how important that peace equipment is.
Captain checked our location with the GPS and navigation equipment.  We were about to the Ft. Bragg entry, it was still so foggy. We both strained our eyes...looking for the bouys. We finally passed some fishing boats heading out for the day and we started feeling better. It's such a helpless feeling when you can't see where you're going. We finally saw the bouys and entrance. It's a very narrow entrance. We were looking around so much, we came to an abrupt stop. Stuck in the mud again!!
We were able to reverse out of it this time. The depth finder said 2 feet of water but I'm pretty sure that wasn't right.  Anyway...this is the coolest little harbor. We passed behind a restaurant that has a little skinny dock on the back of it, with a sign that says "Visitors Dock". So..we pulled over to it and tied up. This little restaurant is so cute! We find out that it belongs to the Corrine family for 65 years and has quite a history. There's a rickity walk that goes from the little dock up to the restaurant's side yard. I wasn't sure R.J. was gonna make it up that walk way. She doesn't see well any more and hates high places. After a time or two, she did fine.  I got some good pictures of "Corrine's".

They serve Italian seafood. Lots of pictures of movie stars hanging on the walls, that have visited and eaten here.  I like this place. The Coast Guard is across from us and they get us up early every day with the raising of the flags and they start the boat engine. They march around and yell orders. It's just liked being back in school.    There are divers going out in their boats every morning. It's a busy place.  Sea lions wake us up every morning too. They chase each other and blow water all over the place. Sometimes..they get under our dock and fight. Now... that...is scarey!  We will be here awhile cause the small craft warning flag is up every day.

This is the Noyo Fishing Center. They have fishing charter boats a person can go out on.

Captain Mike on Main Street

Today is Sunday. We've been here five days. We are rested and ready to get on down to Bodega Bay. The small craft warning flag has been taken down and the weather is calm. We are leaving at noon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


We left Brookings harbor at noon yesterday. We had a nice short trip. The waves were not bad at all. I never got sea sick. I have discovered that eating alot of potatoe chips, keeps my belly from getting woozy. I believe it's the salt. I've tried the ginger candy and cookies. I like the ginger snaps. I found some the were gluten free, as I have celiac disease. I was eating them left and right until the boat went one way and I went another. The bag flew out of my hand and landed right under the captain's foot as he stepped down! All the contents instantly turned into crumbs. So....those went over board. I've learned one thing on a small sailboat....you can't have nothing nice.

This is a pretty nice marina. It's the first one we've been to that is gated. Everything is locked and secured.  Now we have to keep track of a key.  It lets you in and out of the gate. It gets you into the bathrooms and showers. Also..the laundry mat. We had to put up a rather large deposit for the "key". So that means...don't drop it in the water or leave it unattended any where. And...don't forget it when you walk down a couple of docks to the gate. That way...you don't have to use your cell phone to call the Captain to bring you the key. Or you can walk back to the boat and get it.
I never dreamed I'd get so much walking done while traveling by boat. I love learning new things!

I have to tell you about the new people we've met. We are docked in front of  Bob and Margaret on the "Molly O". They are from Washington. Bob has retired and is heading to San Diego. Margaret has to go home soon. They were kind enough to bar-b-q some salmon and we had a feast! Bob has a wonderful Jack Russell puppy named " Bart".  He has a cast on one of his hind legs. All he needs is a patch over one eye and he could pass as a pirate. R.J. isn't real thrilled about that puppy bugging her. She growls at him but he doesn't notice.   She doesn't like him coming on her boat, drinking her water and eating her bones.  She goes to the cabin when he comes on board. HA!

There is another couple across the marina from us. They have a rather large boat, 60 foot, and are docked out where the action is. I hope they can sleep with all the boat traffic. They are Peter & Molly. They have seven children. You should see the kids playing on that boat! They swing around like little monkeys! It's amazing to watch. Wish my folks would have had a boat!
They are heading north to Washingon and onward.

We walked to town to get provisions. BOY HOWDY! We had to pass by a fish packing plant. You talk about stink! WHOOOOOOO!!! I put my hanky over my nose, but after two minutes or however long it takes to get use to a smell....it still stunk. That fact doesn't seem to be true with dead fish. Only thing that worked for me was to walk faster.

We will be leaving here on Monday, August 15th. There's alot of bad weather going on all around us. I'm not looking forward to this next cruise. Destination.....Bodega Bay.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


It only took us thirty hours to get here. It was a nice cruise. We got boarded by the Coast Guard as soon as we got to the guest dock. That is.... as soon as we got the Ruby Jean straightened up, next to the dock.
I'm sorry.. but I couldn't get off  the boat fast enough to grab the aft dock line! Captain Mike jumped off and held the bow line while the back of the boat floated on out away from the dock.Wouldn't have been so bad except I was standing on the dock with Captain watching this happen. So, while we are swinging our boat around, the Coast Guard is demanding to go aboard. Hey...go ahead if you want to get wet!
I was thinking, "what's wrong with these guys?"  Captain finally got things the way they were suppose to be and started talking about being in the Navy and Vietnam. Pretty soon, the CG fellas got real nice to us. We passed inspection and I felt good about that.

Brookings Harbor was in need of alot of repair. The Tsunami had done some damage. There was no water, no power and no showers. They had free wifi. Some of the docks were totally gone!
One neat thing I found here is, biologists inspect the fish brought in on the fishing boats. They collect data about the fish caught, to help determine what steps need to be taken to improve the fishing. They work hard all day long running around after fish. It's impressive.

We had to order a new, bigger battery charger. It's good to be here with no shore power. We found out that our battery charger isn't big enough. Glad we found this out before we got some where out on the water, in the dark, with no lights. God has His way of watching over us.
We had some family come over for lunch and spend the day with us. We really needed the company.
Also, needed their car to get provisions and gasoline.

I got to try out my new washing machine while we're here. It's one of those "Wonder Washers." Hand crank. Works good. I love clean clothes.   We've been here for eight days and will leave tomorrow. I'm ready!