Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dana Point CA

Date: 11/8/2008
Location: Dana Point CA
Lat/Lon: 33 27.587 W 117 41.925 W
Weather: 75°, winds NW 5-10kts

We're in Dana Point now and it's time to catch up since our last entry.

After Half Moon Bay we went to the following locations -

Monterey - This is a center of tourist activity with large hotels, high end shops, and restaurants of all kinds. We got a slip among the commercial boats but we were close to the center of activity in the town. The downside is that it's a long walk to a full size grocery store, the nearest store is a Trader Joe's which is more of a high end speciality store. We left at 4 AM for the next passage.

San Simeon - We anchored here in mild swells and left the fish in the water to ease the movement of the boat. Not much here and we didn't go ashore arriving late in the day and leaving early the next morning.

Port San Luis - This is a protected bay on the south side of Point San Luis. We called the harbor patrol and got a mooring ball here for the night. Our next passage was around Point Arguello and Point Conception both of which have a reputation of being very nasty so we decided to leave Port San Luis late in the afternoon and round the points at night when we hoped they would be calmer and give us a better passage. The plan worked except when we rounded Point Conception where all of the guide books said the seas would lay down and life would be good. Wrong! When we came around the last point we ran into a strong SE wind, which was not forecasted, and we pounded into 6' steep sided waves for the last 6 hours into Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara - This marina requires transients to first tie up at at a dock next to the harbor office and register and then they assign you a slip. The wind was blowing 20+ kts when we entered into the marina so docking was fun and then they assigned us a very narrow slip with a port side tie in an area of the marina with a strong current. Our docking was not easy and after our tough 18 hour overnighter this was not fun. This is not one of our favorite marinas and we would not recommend it.

Channel Island Harbor, Oxnard CA - A nice marina that was recommend to us by a fellow Nordhavn owner that we met in Campbell River, BC and has been following our blog. There is a large shopping center near by and we were able to go to a full size grocery store to reprovision. We spent one night here and left the following morning with a good weather forecast. Wrong again! As we entered the channel heading out of the marina we could see the swells breaking over the breakwater but we foolishly proceeded on only to be met by 15' steep swells outside the breakwater. Imagine riding a motorcycle up and over your house, remember I said imagine, then up and over the house next to you and so on down the road. That's what it's like in that size of swell. Once we got into deeper water, over 100', the swells lowered a bit and strung out to a longer period but there was also a 20 kt wind and 4' chop on top of the swells. We should have turned around as soon as we saw the seas breaking over the breakwater and waited for better conditions. But we persevered and continued on.

Marina del Rey - This marina offers the best transient dockage of any marina we have been in. They have a whole section of the marina blocked off for transients that has slips and side tie docks and it's first come, first served so you just come in, find a spot and tie up. No docking at the marina office first and then going to an assigned slip. The shore side around the transient area is a beautiful park with lovely landscaped walking paths through the area. There is also a large shopping center with a huge grocery store less than a mile walk from the docks.

At this point we are tired and need to stop and rest for a few weeks before heading on to Mexico. We have a slip in Dana Point for a month to rest up and take care of some business. I've developed a pain in my left leg due to a bulged disk in my lower back so I'm going to get some physical therapy to try to fix that and we're going to rent a car and go to Costco and WalMart to reprovision. As Linda says "we need to rest up and renew our enthusiasm for this trip".

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