Saturday, February 9, 2013

What's in a name?

Many people have said that one of the hardest parts of writing a blog is choosing the name. For us it was easy. As of today we are technically 8 weeks behind our original cruising schedule, and delayed yet again, this time by sea conditions out of Morro Bay, California. I say “technically behind” because in reality, we gave up on any kind of schedule several months ago. Sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstance, we truly are cruising at a snail’s pace and truly enjoying every minute of it.

We sailed down the Pacific coast from Seattle during the last week of August with my cousin Frances and her husband, also Mike, as crew. Frances and Mike flew to Seattle from Iowa and I from Cape Cod with just enough time to provision and get a good night’s sleep before we pulled away from our dock at Shilshole Marina at 9 am on Saturday, August 24th headed for San Francisco. Fortunately Frances and Mike are not only experienced sailors, but also filled with boundless energy, enthusiasm, and rock solid under stress. Just a few hours out of Port Angeles, on our second day, I was thoroughly and miserably seasick which continued for 5 of the 9 days we were at sea. I was of absolutely no value as crew until the last two days when the seas finally calmed and I was able to pull a couple of nighttime watches. It was a very eye-opening and humbling experience for me and a very real introduction to the realities of blue water cruising. It is not the same thing as gunk holing around Puget Sound!

In spite of encouraging weather forecasts, there were gale force winds on 4 days of the 9-day passage. But our Wauquiez Centurion 45 performed beautifully and 3 out of 4 crew members had the time of their lives. There was a lot of whooping and hollering and high-fiveing as each new challenge was faced and overcome. We made one unplanned over-night stop in Newport, Oregon when an alternator bolt broke. We were tied up at the dock, repairs made, and out again in under 24 hours but it was a nice break giving everyone a chance for a bit of rest and a good hot shower.

S/V La Volante was left in a marina in San Francisco Bay while we all returned to our “real” lives.  Mike and I rejoined the boat in December, spent a pleasant 6 weeks exploring the Bay Area and sailed out of San Francisco for points south on January 23rd.

Cruising friends have asked for details about the marinas we have stayed at on our way down the California Coast. With five marinas already behind us, it is too lengthy for a blog post, but I have made notes along the way which I will gladly email to anyone who is interested.


  1. Hey cool this works!

    First off, thank You thank You so much!!! for making the effort to allow us to tag along vicariously...You are an artistic writer, You have a gift, a way with words that paints a picture and puts us in excited to read more (and see some photos when You get that figured out?!) XOXOXO!!!

  2. I had forgotten how very, very sick You were - us landlubbers should be aware sailing not always so glamorous