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Thursday, March 3, 2011

San Diego to Marina del Rey

It's the final chapter of Bella Marina's adventures.... Volume one.

I left San Diego three days ago. My mission: to bring Bella Marina to our new home in San Francisco.

After more than a year of cruising and having fun, Octavia and I are returning to normal life (aka the Rat Race). We wanted to switch it up a little, so we ended up settling on San Francisco. It's warmer than Seattle and quite frankly after 1 year south, we can no longer handle cold weather.

For the time being, we live in temporary housing courtesy of Microsoft. For a while, it was a nice change to live in a house, but it didn't take us long to miss life aboard. The plan was always to live on the boat, so while Octavia is on a business trip in chilly Seattle, I'm tasked with bringing Bella Marina to her new slip in Redwood City. Thank you Paul and Kathleen for helping us secure a spot :)

Coming to San Diego to pick up the boat was like going on vacation. Sunny, a pool and a jacuzzi, Octavia and I had a blast on our little mini vacation. Then Octavia left and I took Bella to the yard and work began. After a 7 day week of hard work and project after project, I was exhausted. However, I got a lot of work done, and the boat was ready to go just in time for the planned February 28th departure.

It had been such a long time since I last sailed that on my first leg to Newport Beach, I almost got a little seasick from the unruly seas. Luckily, as predicted, the seas calmed down a few hours after midnight, resulting in a smooth sail with arrival in Newport Beach at sunrise.

After one night in Newport Beach and some much needed sleep (Redbull really does give you wings, but you still can't fly), I left for Marina del Rey at dawn and had an even smoother sail, arriving well ahead of schedule. I was well received at California Yacht Club, and even more so at Pacific Mariners Yacht Club, that I moved to the following day.

With spare time I decided to walk to Venice Beach for a cup of coffee, which turned into a proper 3 mile walk along the Beach. On my way back, I stopped by the Chart House restaurant and had a beer, while chatting with the locals at the bar. Turns out everyone there had something to do with boats. Either they owned one, or they worked on one. Good times!

A weather front is coming down and it looks like I might be stuck here for a while. Weather permitting, I will try to make it to Ventura on Saturday morning and hold out there until the gale passes by, hopefully before end of next week.

Here are some pictures of the trip up here.




The windlass had rusted really badly due to water making it into the ball bearing in the middle. The old ball bearings were gone and I had to have a machine shop in Shelter Island drill out the rusted shell. Now it has a new ball bearing, which should hopefully give it another 5 years of life. Btw, even though our boat is only 5 years old, this windlass and the maker has long been discontinued. :(



Bella Marina on the hard after a fresh layer of ablative paint. She looks good, no?




Our 4k prop looks rather dull after 2 years of use, but she still does the job of both powering and gliding through the water. That's right, she feathers and you can see the blades are lined up to give as little resistance as possible. It doesn't really make her faster as her limiting factor is the hull speed of about 8.6 knots (according to on-the-water tests), but it does allow her to come to speed faster, and since the shaft isn't spinning, it makes for a smoother and quieter sail.



Back to the water again. It's a little strange seeing your boat fly instead of float.




Home sweet home. Our niece made this plaque for us. Indeed, the boat is our home.




Our marina in San Diego is right next to the naval yards.




Bye, bye San Diego



Bye bye, convention center.



This one turned out quite nice for a one-handed shot, while steering with the other hand. Did I mention I took it from a moving boat? :) Whatever, I'm not planning on quitting my day job. I already did that long time ago...



Bye, bye Midway museum (which by the way was an awesome tour). If I reincarnate (after a magnificent death in either an epic sail or motorcycle accident), I think I'll become the Captain on an aircraft carrier.



Two-foot-itus. There's always someone with a bigger boat, but really c'mon!!! I think their dinghy might bee longer than Bella Marina.



There's always action in San Diego. It's almost as if you're living on the set of Top Gun, sans Tom Cruise (or at least I didn't spot him at my 6 ft + level...)



Point Loma. Last piece of land, before leaving the San Diego channel.




Arriving in Newport Beach. This is possibly the cutest place on the US Pacific coast.



Yes, there's definitively something charming about Newport.



Safely on a mooing ball after a while night of sailing. The lines to the mooring ball had 2 inches of nasty muddy growth on them and made for quite a mess. I should have anchored. Incidentally I had the same conclusion coming down here more than a year ago, but forgot to blog about it, and history repeats itself....



When leaving Newport Beach, I was followed by several Crew team practicing rowing in the morning. Of course, I wasn't awake enough to remember to take a photo, so instead I'm showing you this boring picture of a dolphin, who was among many escorting me towards Marina del Rey in the morning.



LA has smog because everyone drives an SUV... Also, it was slightly overcast.



Arriving in Marina del Rey, the stench from the bird droppings was almost unbearable. That says a lot, since years of allergy medicine has made my nose less sensitive to smells. Comes in handy, when doing certain type of boat maintenance tasks.



I wanted to top off the tank to be ready for the next leg, and was reminded why I have a sailboat. The next few legs better have a lot more actual sailing in them.



Unless this one passed me in the dark of night, Californians seems to have a liking to very expensive boats fro Italian designer Perrini Navi. Again, just a few feet longer than my boat.... :)



Safely in a slip in Marina del Rey. So far, so good.


Location:Panay Way,Marina del Rey,United States