notes from the boat
<< prev
next >>
Leaving Los Angeles - 7th May 04
On May 7th, 2004 just in time to celebrate Carl's birthday the following day, we left our familiar slip in Marina del Rey, our friends and boat neighbours, "The Russians" as we affectionately call Viktor and Inna, waved goodbye to Rob and Stella and set off for ports unknown. Well, we knew we were heading to Ensenada but the point is, we were off on a big adventure.

The preparations had taken months. Planning to work from the boat, we had to consider all the available options. Having the convenience of a high speed internet connection was not a possibility and it was hard to imagine how this would change our communication options especially being in remote areas of Mexico and hopefully beyond. A satellite phone, three laptops, a scanner, two digital cameras to name just a few of the items accompanying us as we left civilization, in the hope of making life a little easier.

We had provisions to last us for at least six months including the much laughed about one hundred tins of chicken stored under the floorboards in the bilge, as much wine as we could carry (priorities, of course), cartons of Pringles, shortbread biscuits, an entire Parma ham and many other necessary items we felt we couldn't live without. As soon as we cleared the Marina del Rey breakwater, we opened the supplies and in the next twenty four hours managed to devour much of the chocolate in our stores with the exception of a box of After Eight mints!

The hardest decision to make was leaving Jess (the Pig) behind for an extended period of time. An active dog, Piglet had proven her love for sailing by trying to bite the waves (not a good thing) and given her intense dislike of hot weather, we agreed that she should go on holiday too, staying with our good friends Lia and Darren in Westchester. There's a lot of love, lots of friends who are foolish enough to throw the ball (or leaf, or stick) and Pig gets to sit on the couch in air conditioned luxury all day, so everyone's happy.

Winston, being slightly more laid back than the Pig, didn't have a choice so it was on with the life-jacket and harness, and off we went. While we do rotating shifts of three hour watches, sleeping below when possible, Winston remains in the cockpit keeping a twenty four hour vigil. His life jacket features a water-activated emergency strobe (ours are manually operated) and he wears red. Highly visible in water, red is a colour apparently not liked by sharks. Carl also sports red offshore foul weather gear whilst Gemma wears scientifically proven "yum yum" yellow, a well-known shark bait. Considering these outfits were chosen by Carl, this seems somewhat suspicious!

Our overnight passage to Ensenada went smoothly, we sailed much of the time and were able to raise the spinnaker. Arriving in Cruise Port Village the following day we were assigned a slip and greeted on the dock by John and Barbara Gayford from the boat, Songline. They'd recognized a familiar flag being British registered and rushed over to meet some fellow Brits. We enjoyed our customary arrival champagne, something we like to do when we complete a passage, and we settled in to Ensenada for a few weeks while we prepared to head south into the Sea of Cortez.

©2005. All rights reserved. Designed by It's a Gem (