Cruising 2003

December 30, 2003

Another year in the history books. Wow seems like just yesterday it was only the 27th. (hum guess it was). Anyhow this year has really cruised by. Lots have happened to Pam and I through out the year. Meet a lot of really great people and renewed some friendships and cemented others. Well lets see where to start. Last time I did this we where at Mom's in VA. We returned to RDreamz to find that she was still waiting for us and ready to go south where the sun is warmer. Had a great visit with the family in VA. Flew home with no problems or complications. Other than the normal delays and such.

October found us working on the boat. boy bet that surprised ya! hu! The Wallas diesel cook top and heater is up and running and working fine. I designed and milled and installed a fuel manifold to handle all RDreamz fuel needs, including polishing fuel as it needs it. Still working out the leaks but thanks to George on Northern Dream I have a working and almost leak free unit. Pam has been busy making covers for every thing on deck to keep the sun off them and us. She has finished up the awning and putting the velcro around the bottom so we can attach the no seeum bug screen as needed. Looks great! The windlass has been rebuilt and now has a new cover. The head sail sheets have bags and all the halyards are in their own bags too. I broke the Y valve on the holding tank yesterday so as soon as we can get pumped I will change that and hopefully will not have to play in the poop too long.

I did fly to Everett a month ago to take care of the business or attempt to. Looks like that is a wash. Oh well great experience and one expensive lesson. That is don't start your own business and then try to have someone else run it. Any how as soon as I arrived in Everett I had a tooth ace and called Tony Hewlett. Those guys and gals are GREAT! Not only did they get me in to see Tony in 24 hours but they set me up with a root canal (yuk) but got a permanent Crown on one of my teeth all this in less than 10 days. I am impressed. THANKS AGAIN TONY AND THE GANG AT Tony Hewletts. DDS.

I had a great visit with Mickey and John and the gang while I was up there. Thanks to John I had a place to sleep while I was there and Mickey introduced me to single malt scotch good stuff. I spent some time with John Livingston. Who is now a Lawyer in Anacortes. Last time we where together we where in the Navy way back when. Thank you John for the advice and help and the couch for the night. Also spent a weekend with Dan and Krista over on Whidbey Island. They own and operate a computer business so we had lots to talk about. Thanks guys for the hospitality and the great time spent with you. Pam and I hope to see all of you on the boat so we can return the favor.

When I returned the inverter had gone south with-out us. West Marine Store in Chula Vista has Freedom 30 inverter/charger in stock. Well they had one. Speaking of West Marine. As most of you know I have worked for them in the Chula Vista store since we arrived here. I will miss the gang there. I have meet some super people there and will miss them. Rich the manager is great to work for as well as is Cat on Monday truck night. Thanks to the rest of the gang it has been very enjoyable. Patty, George, Robert, Bill, Don.

Found out today that our main sail has to be recut, Quantum sails did cut the sail on a moments notice and it fits like a glove and hopefully they will be able to put a couple of grommets in the luff to make the reefing work as it should, I forgot to ask and they forgot to suggest it, when I got the sail cut down to fit I didn't even think of that but Emil on Raven helps keep me going and oversees my sailing skills. Thank you Raven, and Quantum Sail of San Diego.

I finished the spinnaker pole lock down arrangement today as will as replaced the teak on the bow with Fibrform. It is plastic wood sold at Home Depot, time will tell how this works, sure looks nice up there now though. Thanks to the help from Larry on Rapture I finished it in one day.

Installed guides for the anchor rode to keep the chain on the rollers. It was my own design so time will tell if this works too. This is it for this year Thanks for tuning in. I will attempt to keep this up as we cruise but I find the Internet cafes are set up so you can not use FTP so I don't know how I will update the page. Oh well like most things in life it will work out or it won't......

September 19, 2003

On the road again. wow there could be a song there. Anyhow here we are on the road still. Heading East to see Royce's Mom and family. Had a good visit in Everett with Pam's family and all our friends. Lots of plans for future visits on the boat. Mickey (a.k.a winnie boy) says he is still planning on crewing for us on the way down the Baja, that should be a hoot, can't wait. Tanya says she wants to catch up with us in Cabo and sail around to La Paz with us that should be fun too.

We didn't take too many pictures in the Northwest, but are trying to be better at that. We departed Everett and drove to Butte Mt. and spent the night there and the next day on to Yellowstone to see Ole Faithful. That was neat but wish the interstate was closer long drive on two lane roads are no fun. We are spoiled driving on the Interstate. Then on to see Mount Rushmore. We drove up to Mount Rushmore in a snow storm, the road up is not the greatest road to be on with driving snow. We saw the Mount and the lighting ceremony in the snow. Drove back to Keystone and got a room and the next day drove back to the Mount to see what it looks like in the sun and it "is impressive!". On to Crazy Horse but after Mount Rushmore this was a let down so we didn't even stop just pulled in and turned around. And there you have it. Our life up to date.

September 10, 2003

Here we are in Everett, WA. and everything is working out OK. Well kinda. We went to the dentist and Tony had good and bad news I needed two teeth worked on and Pam had a cracked tooth. The really great thing was that they got us in the next day. I don't know how they do that but we do appreciate it. Thanks everyone at Tony Hewletts. DDS >and we will see Tony in Cabo next year......maybe the rest of the gang too.

Well we have seen all our friends here and caught up on all the latest news .(read gossip). It is almost time to head across country to see my mom and family. We plan to stop and see all the sights along the way so it should take us a week or so. Will post pictures as we get em.

September 2, 2003

Wow!!!! Here it is September already and our departure date is fast approaching. Can't believe how much work we have accomplished this summer. Good weather and great people sure makes for an environment to get stuff done. Oh yea and the idea of cruising without some of the things we have finished helps too.

Lets sea since my last rambling Pam and I have been hard at work getting things ready to head south. Pam has finished the deck, now we have treadmaster by Lewmar on the entire deck and wow does it look and feel good on your feet and butt, :). No more slipping and sliding around.

The Spinnaker pole now has a home along the foremast, and has been lenghtened by 6 feet, thank you Ghost Rider for the pole.

We have a davit amidships now thanks to Spitzlift.

Two more deck lights are up on the main mast and a PA speaker on the foremast. Saltwater deck wash down is hooked up and working. Cleats on the foremast tabernacle for all the halyards. Line holders for all the lines, no more lines laying around under foot.

Pam has finished the first third of our boat cover, (and the hardest due to all the stuff in the way on deck,) she has the aft section done and what a difference that is going to make. She has been slaving over a hot sewing machine Thompson Walking Foot for a couple of weeks and with a bit of sunbrella and some seat belt material from the local second hand store, tent poles from the Swap meet and a few buckles from West Marine, she has a Three thousand dollar awning for under a grand.

We Hauled out in August at Knight & Carver best haul out to date. We where only out for 4 days but the people there made it enjoyable, well as enjoyable as a being on the hard can be. We had them raise the water line and paint the bottom, do some welding and they came in under their own estimate, who da thunk it?:). George helped Pam with lots of knowledge about painting and such. thanks to you all.

We had a motor mount welded on inside the boomkin so now the dingy motor has a home that is easy to access and secure when not needed. I had that made up by Dan at Dan Fab. Good job at a fair price.

The Fourwinds wind Generator is up and running. 15 knots of wind and it produces 10 + amps with NO NOISE. thanks to Everfair Enterprises, Inc. in Punta Gorda Fl.

Our new CoolBlue from Technautics inc. refrigerator is keeping the cokes and beer cool also thanks to Rick and his patients with me and all my phone calls. I have a nice refer and a unit that should stand us in good stead for many years. You might remember I rebuilt the entire including the Freezer and Refrigerator section.

We bought a couple of Lewmar48 selftailing wenches (boy are they cranky :) )to replace the two 42s we have now. More power and self tailing should make the trimming more enjoyable and easier.

Our new main sail from Cruisers Direct should be here at the end of September. That will be installed with the cars from the new Strong System from Tides Marine. We ordered enough cars to do both sails. The new track system is the cats meow, the sails slid up and down with no hang ups too kewl.

The air conditioning is in and working that will make life just a bit more pleasant on those 100 plus days. Marine Air16,000 btu unit with the reverse cycle for heat. Hope we never have a need for the heat part but at least we have it for a cool night.....the dive compressor is installed and wired. 30 minutes to fill a standard 80 tank. This is a RIX we purchased in Everett before we left from a Man in Lumi Island. He has a business rebuilding compressors.

The hardware store is installed and pretty much filled up to help get us through those projects that are not done yet.

I would like to thank Mike and Janet from Skagit Valley Signs for all their help and support. The name on RDreamz and many t-shirts and hats.

Have been laying in stores for the trip over the past couple of weeks also. Most all the food stores are aboard and stowed. Only need fresh foods and perishables and we are ready to go. The fun stuff is mostly on board also. You know engine parts and all that. We have an extra starter/altenator/water pump/lots of wire and hoses and rebuild kits for all the pumps on board. Extra batteries and lots of hose clamps and duck tape.

We are planning a trip north to get some gas and a short shake down trip. November 1st is coming fast.

June 1, 2003

Well here it is the first of June and we are still in the California Yacht Marina enjoying the good life. The past month has seen us get a few projects done and just enjoying life.

We now have the new solar panels. Thanks to Chris at Downwind Marine. He traded my big ones for smaller ones, these I have mounted on the for deck next to the storage boxes. Had to reinvent the wheel as there was nothing I could find on the market that would let me mount them the way I wanted to. But they are on and hopefully wired soon. George came up with an idea to move the wind generator so that I can install a wind vane on the boomkin, so that is in work stay tuned and I'll let you know how that works. I now have six batteries in my system thanks to West Marine. This gives us over 1000 amp hours so we hopefully will not have to run the generator so often. This combined with the wind generator and the solar panels I am hoping to get by with only running it every four days. I will let you know about that later also.

Pam has been working on the deck putting down the treadmaster matting we bought. Wow does it look nice! The deck has been primer gray and rust for so long I was getting used to it. Will put up pictures on the photo page as soon as it is all done. She also painted a very nice picture for the aft part of our stateroom. I didn't know she was so talented, good looking and fun to be with but an artist too? Who would da thunk it? Kind of cool seeing the boat come together. I found the original to do list just after we bought the boat and boy we have come along way. Amazing what money and time will do for a boat?

We we are planning a trip to Las Vegas this coming week to see if we can win some more money to put in the boat....fat chance. But we do need to get a way for a couple of days, recharge the batteries so to speak.

Pam made chocolate chip cookies today so you know that I am eating well.


May 3 2003

Boy time flies when you are having fun. Well here it is May already and I have been lackadaisical in my writing on the web site. Have no excuses except I was lazy. hey I am retired and old so give me a brake.....

Great news the California Yacht Marina found us a home. Yup Norma and Jim and Berry must of liked us or thought we where trustworthy or that we had enough money to pay the rent here so they found us a slip on a permanent basis. We now have a home for the rest of the year. Amazing how the little things mean a lot to you. Like an address. A plate of warm chocolate chip cookies. We have a phone on the boat again and life is good. Also this way I can get on the Internet as much as we want.

We had a bit of excitement last month. Signed up for the Schooner Cup Race here in San Diego. Invited John from Frihet down to help crew along with George and Helen from Northern Dream and Eric and Lynn along with Lynn's cousin from Ghost Rider all came and helped. Every one had a great time and we placed just where we thought we would, yup you guessed it dead last. Thank you John your knowledge of the racing rules helped keep us out of the way and no one crashed or was really POed at us. Thanks to George for his work on the foredeck and Pam and Helen on the jib sheets and Eric for being the helmsman extrorniare and Lynn and her cousin for all the moral support I of course sat on deck and drank beer which is what a captain of my status is suppose to do. Right?

We decided that it was time to spend more money and we drove all the way to San Francisco to the Boat Show. Too many toys to even write about here. We did buy a Max Prop for RDreamz and some Battery caps that are suppose to keep the water in. Will have to see how they work out over the next few months. Pam bought some cleaning stuff to try and get the diesel exhaust off of the sails but it didn't work. (surprise surprise). Over all not a bad show it was out side in tents and when it rained (which it did both days we where there) the carpet inside was soaked and you stood around on water. Talked to lots of venders and so we got smart if that is possible on a bunch of different subjects.

We did meet Bob Bitchin and Jody from Lost Soul. For all you non boaters Bob is the owner and editor of the Latitude and Attitudes Magazine. We have enjoyed it for several years. Bob gave us a burgee and signed it for us along with Jody. We thought it was kewl. We also meet Margo from Charile's Charts, since Charley past away she has been writing all the Charlie's's Charts herself as well as single handing a sail boat. You go Margo.... We meet a couple of other authors not so widely read and they where every nice also.

Back in the world of RDreamz and Chula Vista we working on getting the wind generator hooked up and hopefully exchanging the solar panels I bought before we left Everett. I found that they are just too big I bought the 120 watt panels and they are 56" X 26" and I just could not find a home for them on the deck or off the rails anywhere, so I am trying to work a deal with Downwind Marine to swap them out for some smaller ones. Pam has been painting and varnishing every thing some times I am afraid to sit still too long I may end up with a coat of varnish or paint on me.

We that is about all I can think of for now I did want to thank every one for tuning in and for all the feed back.

Till next time ttfn.

February 26 2003

Wow it has been along time since I wrote anything for our home page. Where to start. It has been over a month since my last installment. So let see if I can put a few of you to sleep here.

First off we are still here in Chula Vista, which for you uninformed people out there is on the south end of San Diego Bay. So the weather is a bit nicer and the wind is a bit less than mainstream San Diego, or Everett WA. But it is 10 miles up the bay before you can sail or do anything except dodge marker buoys (who puts them out anyhow they are always in the way?) oh well. We left the Transit docks and cruised down here on a very nice sunny day. Eric from Ghost Rider crewed for me as my first mate jumped ship to go shopping with Lynn, Eric's first mate. (she needs to walk the plank or be keel hauled). The trip down to Chula Vista was very nice until we arrived at the south part of the channel. There the Coast Guard made it's presents know with flashing lights and all kinds of noise. We stopped to pay our respects to the machine gun on the bow and to politely listen to a very pumped up 2nd class petty officer try to tell us we had to leave the channel to maintain the separation from the US Navy vessel that was being loaded along the quay. Needless to say we had a very nice conversation and we proceeded "in" the channel and they cruised along side of RDreamz and admired the seamanship and boat handling skills of our crew. OK, now we are tied up in front of Ghost Rider on D dock at the California Yacht Marina. We paid our moorage fee and all is well for now. Don't forget we live on a boat so life is always coming up with something.

We received an email from George and Helen on Northern Dream. (54' cuter rigged sloop). They are in Z town down in Mexico and where wondering if we would like to fly down and help them bring the boat back to San Diego as George has an appointment in Phoenix AZ on the 24th of May. After checking the prices on airfare we decided this will not fit in our budget so we had to very sadly decline. Well the next week an email arrives and we get a phone call Northern Dream is in Puerta Valarta and George has found airfare that we can afford and so we split the cost of the airfare and Pam and I depart the Tiquana airport three days later.

Did you know there are no customs at the Otay Masea crossing into Mexico at 0600. We caught a cab to the airport for $10 and arrived before most people are up. The check-in was quick until we had to get our tourist visa. The visa dude was not even there yet so we waited and waited and then ran the gauntlet to get our visas, first to the airline ticket agent then the bank to pay $20 apiece and then back to the visa dude. then off to wait for the airplane. No problems just a bit of cha-cha-cha.

The flight down was quick and easy. Once in PV we wandered about for awhile. Unbeknownst to us George is riding the bus to the airport to meet us. The guy that was suppose to give him a ride to pick us up well his car is Mexican and didn't want to work (who da thunk it?). Anyhow No Problems, George did show up and we rode the bus (50cents apiece) to the Marina. Arrived on Northern Dream and settled in to our stateroom. Then changed to shorts and short sleeve shirts, this is the only way to live. We ended up staying in PV due to weather for one more day Oh hurt me.... Departed PV on a nice sunny day the wind was 10 knots off the bow, which we would come to call the ND wind, (Northern Dream wind). The swells where 2 to 4 at 15 sec. or so. nice day to cruise. We sat on deck and enjoyed the sun and assorted mammals that swam by. One more reason the Cruising Life is good.

Later that night George started hearing the auto pilot go thud in the night. So we decided to pull into Cabo San Lucas, something we had not wanted to do. But with the auto pilot (a.k.a. charley) not playing well, we opted to pull in an make repairs. We anchored out and started working on finding and fixing the problem. It was not long before we where approached by the harbor police, they took our boat name and then departed with out saying a word, sooooo we decided we best check in and out before they made life unbearable in Ensenada where we planed to debark the country. Any how moving right along here. We dingied ashore. Then Helen and Pam went off to do the paper work cha cha and George and I went off cha cha-ing to find a shim for the auto pilot control ram. Does anyone know how to say shim in Spanish? Well we didn't and still don't probably one of the many unsolved mysteries of the universe. Did meet some interesting people in a lot of out of the way places. We walked about five miles looking for shims and in the end George deiced to use a coke can. Did you know that coke cars are .080 thick, and the top off of a cat food can is .010 thick. You can retire for the day now as you have learned a useful bit of information. As we where walking down the road back to the dingy dock a couple of good looking women in a taxi stopped and picked us up. Come to find out the ladies where the same ones we left with had as long a walk as we did. The migracin (sp?) had moved way south of it's last known location and is now a mile south of town. So Pam and Helen took a cab back to town and saw us walking and felt sorry for us so they picked us up, will they never learn not to pick up strangers.

After lunch and a stop at the Internet cafe we returned to Northern Dream and went to work on the Auto Pilot. One Coke can and one cat food can gave their lives so Charley (you remember the auto pilot) could live. Later the ram is secured and life is good Charley lives. We stayed in Cabo for the next day due to weather and left the next morning. Now the seas are picking up 6 - 8 foot @10 sec. off port bow with 15 to 25 knots of ND wind. We did this for two days and ended up at Turtle Bay. Spent that night and most of the day here then off to San Quentin then off to Ascention (sp?) then off to Ensenada. We stayed two days one night here doing the check in and out as well as eating at Pizza Hut. The new Marina Village Port Marina is very nice and we all may end up down there before we leave this fall. If we can not find moorage in San Diego we may get a slip there sooner. The Place is brand new and has good power and water and the price is not to bad and the allow liveaboards!

We departed in the am but not early enough to arrive in San Diego in the light. Arriving at night is the pits as we ran aground out side the Police Docks around 1900 or so. Not bad but enough to cause the heart to increase it's dance. George backed us off the bottom back into deeper water and from there on in no problems.

Customs Guy came and asked a few questions, I guess we had the right answers cause he left and said welcome back to the good Ole US of A. We stayed on the other side of the customs dock for the night and walked down to Boil Weevil for a Hamburger, caught a cab back as the Ole people couldn't take the walk. I wasn't complaining about the ride back either.

Next day we set off to Chula Vista. The day was bright no wind and no seas. Seems weird not to have to think about them. Once again we arrived at the south end of the bay and the Coast Guard came along side and had us stop while he got clearance for us to pass inside the security zone of the US Navy ship being loaded. Different ship and different Coastie, this guy was real nice and pleasant. They got our clearance and we proceeded on with the Coast Guard escorting us and admiring our boat and seamen-ship once again (boy this keeps up and they will know how to sail a boat).

We tied Northern Dream up in the Chula Vista Marina then Pam and I returned to RDreamz. Since then we have relaxed and worked on the boat.

Stay tuned more to come.

January 23rd 2003

Well here it is the start of another year. WoW this cruising life is for me!! We have been cruising now for a couple of months and have met some really great people, and seen some fabulous places. Our families and friends have been very helpful and supportive, well mostly. My sister and Pam's mother want us to tie up some place and not go out to sea any more, I don't see that happening anytime soon, so hopefully they will come over to the dark side and enjoy this as much as we do.

We are in San Diego at last. Took us four months to get here. The past few voyages were very nice, we had great weather, King Neptune smiled on us or maybe just felt we needed a break. What ever it was we liked it. Left Monterey for Santa Barbara in the late afternoon knowing that Point Conception, some of the worse seas on the West Coast, was between Santa Barbara and us. We left to a great day at sea, sunny, flat seas and the knowledge that we had 40 hours to cruise before we could relax in port or even at good anchorage. Our Friends on Ghost Rider and Keeshond left, to travel this route, before we flew home to VA. so we had some idea what to expect, they had rough nasty seas and lots of wind and rain and waves stacked up on each other and all that yuk stuff. We however had 8-foot swells 20 seconds apart and little or no wind, oh well can't have every thing. All in all it was a very nice cruise to Santa Barbara. With the oil rigs lighting up the last half of the cruise and most of the night. After being in S.B. for a couple of days John (you remember John from Frihet!) drove our truck down and picked us up and we returned to help John bring Frihet down to Santa Barbara.

Oh let me digress here for a moment. John has not hit too many things with his boat or "his" truck but he hit a cow with our truck. That's right a cow, driving to S.B. to pick us up he topped a rise on the interstate and the local cows where out sight-seeing and testing out their car dodging skills, it's all we can figure. Anyhow John was not hurt the truck now has a cow face print in the left front fender but drivable. No animals were killed making the dent. So Royce and John returned to Santa Barbara on Frihet and Pam drove the truck back dodging cows and other assorted farm animals. We had another great sail around Point Conception, we are still in shock two trips around on of the most notorious Point on the entire west coast and the weather was almost perfect both times. Must be the good living, or good cruising. We spent a couple more nights in Santa Barbara and then decided it was time to head south. Still not warm enough for us although there was a couple of super days.

On to Oxnard. We ended up at the Channel Island Harbor, walked down the road apiece and had a great dinner and wandered around a bit ended up back on RDreamz and slept like babies. Up early the next day and underway at 0630 for Marina Del Ray. WoW another huge marina or I guess it is several Yacht clubs and only one small public marina. We tied up around 1600 or so checked in at the office then and walked forever to get to the West Marine and then on to "fisherman's wharf" to get something to eat, decided on a good Mexican dinner. While we where eating we realized that we where only about 200 feet from RDreamz but the walk back was at least a mile and half to 2 miles. Being the resourceful and some what lazy people we are, we offered a couple of kids working at a boat rental place located in front of the restaurant, five bucks to take us home. They of course jumped at the chance to make a quick buck. Who said today's kids is crazy. Another great night and a good nights sleep and we where under way again this time to Newport.

We where about 10 miles out of Newport and called in to see about moorage and they had none, so we changed directions south and headed to Dana Point Harbor. Took on 100 gallons of fuel here as we couldn't believe the price $1.43 a gal.. We anchored on the West end of the harbor. Had a heck of time getting the anchor to set , we where using our 66 pound CQR, and it just would not set. Finally we dropped it over next to shore and towed it till it dug in enough to hold us for the night. The next day found us up and underway by 7 am and heading to San Diego Bay. After looking at the tides and currents we figured that we would hold up in Mission Bay for the night before cruising into San Diego. Mission Bay is very nice, the anchorage is well protected and good holding of course I used the Bruce this time. It set first time and we couldn't pull it lose so I slept like a babe. We departed Mission Bay on our way to San Diego way to early and now we where domed to fight the currents coming into the bay. After much discussion we decided to putter around and wait for the currents to subside a bit before heading into San Diego.

We tied up in San Diego CA. on Jan 13, 2003. Only 4 months after leaving Everett, WA. We tied up to the Transient Docks or as they are know in the cruising world the Police Docks. The docks are new and the services are up to date overall one of the finest docks since Everett, very nice. The city is building a new head with showers at the top of the dock. Only problem here is that you can only stay for ten days. So we are scrambling looking for moorage, Wow and we thought it was rough in Everett, WA. Here there are no slips or moorage available not even a mooring ball to rent. Not sure what we are going to do at this point. We did luck out and find 30 days down in Chula Vista, thanks to our friends on Ghost Rider. After that who knows. More on that later.

Eric & LynnGhost Rider in San Diego

Eric and Lynn on RDreamz for the 2003 4th of July .....Ghost Rider watching the sun set in San Diego, CA.2003