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 (http://www.venicealehouse.com/) 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
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