Monday, November 1, 2010

Oxnard to Marina Del Rey and Onward to San Diego OR Bodybuilders, Sunsets and UFOs

There were no cruisers at Oxnard. In fact, there was only one other boat at the transient dock and we didn’t see anyone aboard. The whole place was very quiet. We left at first light without speaking to anyone. Yet there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of boats here and few people around them. Could the owners live somewhere else and just park their boats here? It’s a mystery.

We motored out of the breakwater into the sunshine, but no wind. As we followed the coastline to Point Dume, the fair skies began to deteriorate and the wind began to pick up.

Point Dume - an ominous name

We crossed the bay to Marina Del Rey at a beam reach at 5 to 6 knots. By the time we reached the breakwater the clouds were touching the water and there was a steady drizzle. The wet weather gear would not be put away yet!

Who is this gringo looking out at the entrance to Marina Del Rey?

Because we had been accepted as reciprocal guests at the Pacific Mariners Yacht Club we did not need to check in with the Harbour Master. We continued on to D lagoon and found ourselves tied to the dock directly in front of this club. As we turned into the finger, two men hurried down to the dock to grab our lines and welcome us to the club. They teased us about bringing the wet weather, which they said rarely happened, and invited us up to the club for a drink.

Ka'sala in front of the Pacific Mariners Club

What a wonderful experience we had as guests of this very friendly and welcoming club! From the first moment we stepped inside we were spoiled by their hospitality. Ellen and Bob, Mike and Candy, Don, Fred, and Pamela bought us drinks and showed us around their beautiful clubhouse, which included laundry, showers, huge bar area, large kitchen, a lounge with fireplace and two outdoor decks as well as a large games room. They told us about the area, recommended restaurants and places to provision. Candy volunteered her son, Dustin, to take us around by car so we could get supplies at the Costco and grocery store. As one would expect from LA, not much was within walking distance.

Ka'sala in front of the PMYC

We enjoyed Monday Night Football and got to meet a number of other members including Dennis and Rex and enjoyed hearing their stories and about their lives. Ellen made a huge batch of succulent ribs which we all feasted on. We took advantage of Candy’s offer and Dustin took us around the town. (Thank you Dustin and Candy!) We spent the rest of the time cleaning up Ka’sala inside and out, and took advantage of a well stocked and well priced chandlery close by.

We did spend a day on Venice Beach.  We had been there several times in the past and found it unchanged, except, perhaps, with fewer people.  We walked along the townhouses that line the beach, passed the famous outdoor gym at muscle beach, saw some of the interesting murals that line the buildings and found ourselves some lunch at an alehouse. 

Townhouse along the beach at Marina Del Rey

Outdoor gym at Venice Beach

Body building contest at Muscle Beach (this one's for you, Phil)

Jim Morrison mural

Aaaaah! Beer!  I haven't talked about that much!   We dined at the Venice Ale House (  and I enjoyed a Fat Tire Amber while Doug, appropriately, sipped a Green Flash "La Freak" Belgian Style IPA. Our "ale pairings" were Baja Shrimp Tacos and Wild Alaskan Halibut Ceviche.  Pretty nice.

Venice Ale House

Fat Tire Ale

"Le Freak"

The Beach is a parade.  It is lined with kiosks selling pipes, jewellry, tie-dye, tshirts, medicinal marijuana, hats, surfboards, henna tattoos, and peopled with fortune tellers and pychics, con artists, musicians, rowdies, eccentrics, you name it!  The funky 70's lives on in this neck of the woods!

Tamer side of Venice Beach - the paved bicycle path goes for miles

This roller blading Jimmi Hendricks look-a-like has been cruising the beach for decades

He really does play it!

Charles Atlas - no wait!!

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Now wait a minute!

Sigh! (This one's for you, Jan)

All good things have to come to an end, however, and after four nights in Marina Del Rey, we were anxious to catch up with Silas Crosby again. We had left them at Santa Cruz in the Channel Islands where they had endured some pretty high winds at anchor as a gale went through. They had continued on to Catalina Harbour on Catalina Island and were continuing on to San Diego. At first we thought we might go to the Catalina Island, but when we got the weather report and realized there was to be no wind for a few days, we decided to bite the bullet and just head directly for San Diego.

At 10 am, we left the breakwater at Marina Del Rey and motored all day and through the night. It was sunny and warm (summer at last!) and I was tempted to change into my bathing suit. The seas were flat, there was very little shipping and just enough wind to keep our mainsail engaged so Ka’sala was stable. We even opened up the table in the cockpit to have lunch – a far cry from some of our more northerly passages! I was able to make a hot dinner and we slept soundly when we were off watch that night.

Sunset over Catalina Island

I was entertained during my night watch by watching a very yellow moon rise over the mainland and countless stars filling the sky.  I also saw my first UFO - well, maybe my first several UFOs.  As I stood up in the cockpit to do my 360 degree boat check I noticed some stars very close to the water ahead of us.  Interesting, I thought.  Then, as I pivoted around again, the "star" was higher in the sky.  I thought I was imagining things -tired, the mist, didn't see it right the first time.....then I saw it again - now there were several "stars" moving up into the sky from the horizon and disappearing.  These fast moving "stars" continued on through my watch.  Can you guess what they really were?
Just after dawn, we arrived at Point Loma and entered San Diego in the growing light.  We moored at transient area at the Police dock at Shelter Island at 8am the next day. Silas Crosby was there, as well as a number of other cruisers getting ready to do the pilgrimage south.  There were even pirates!

Daybreak over San Diego
Point Loma

No comments:

Post a Comment