Friday, October 29, 2010

Checking in from Ventura

Grace and Odessa in Ventura Isle Marina

White knuckle driving
Gender bending in Ventura, CA

Beach at Ventura Harbor

Patti and Fr osty

Paul and Judy

Red sky in the morning sailor take warning
After two days of white knuckle driving we arrived safely Sunday evening around 7:00 p.m.  When we arrived on the boat waiting for us were warm brownies and a bottle of wine provided by Judy and Paul Meaney on SV Grace from Seattle (who were moored in the slip next to ours).  I was happy to board Odessa and discover that the crew had left her immaculate  - thank you Jim, Sandy and Kirk (and Mike)!  A short walk around the harbor took us to a Greek restaurant where we had dinner with Paul and Judy and enjoyed delicious, tall margaritas.  Returning our rental car on Monday took a big chunk of the day since it is 60 miles to Burbank where we had to return the car.  Fortunately, we made our way through the crazy California drivers.

Ventura is a beautiful town - the area surrounding the marina is a mix of hotels, shopping and residential and then just across the street is a strawberry farm.  The old downtown Main Street is remininscent of the 50's complete with the cute little bunglaow motels like the one's my family stopped at along the way on our drive from Texas to California when I was just a kid.

Our friends, Paul and Judy had planned to leave on Tuesday, but didn't, so the four of us took the opportunity to do some provisioning and run some other errands.  Paul and Judy left on Wednesday morning, but due to the Santa Ana winds, only made it to Oxnard which is five miles away.

I hope this doesn't get too confusing.  In the meantime, other friends, Patti and Frosty, who have been  housesitting in Santa Monica, called and said they would be at our boat around noon (Wednesday) to visit for the afternoon.  They have been cruising in Mexico and passed along some helpful information.  Later, the four of us drove to Oxnard and joined Paul and Judy for happy hour.

Thursday (yesterday) was our first solid day to work on some projects.  Michael went up the mast in his new bosun's chair and said it was actually comfortable.  I managed to get a handle on what kind of provisions we had left over on the boat from the trip down from Seattle.  We enjoyed our first dinner on our boat last night (alone) since arriving.  We we still have a few projects and stowing to do, but then it's a boat.

Weather permitting, we plan to leave the dock on Sunday to head down the coast a short ways, then to Newport.  From Newport we plan to visit Catalina Island and work our way to San Diego on November 17th.

I asked Paul, who has been out cruising for a couple of months if they feel like they are on vacation.  He said "No, it's just a way of life."  That being said, I think I'm going to like "this way of life."

Friday, October 15, 2010

My car is gone – Michael sold it the night I arrived back from Florida from visiting my mother.  I never met the new owner or had to watch my car drive off without me, it is probably for the best.  You realize how expensive it is to own and maintain a car when you start cancelling your auto insurance.  The two cars combined cost over $100 a month in insurance alone - I knew that, but somehow you don’t think about it when you have your “freedom” to move about.  Now that I don’t have a car, I have a new kind of freedom - I won’t have to worry about finding a parking place or pay for parking or take my car in for an oil change or pay for the inevitable repairs – and – I get more exercise. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

They talk about the American’s love affair with her car - Sunday afternoon I posted my car on Craig's list.  I love my car.    My Texas friends will understand.  It's not quite so bad in Seattle where we have a wonderful transportation system.  This time of year, with the agreeable weather, riding the bus is not all that bad, but wait until it starts raining.  Fortunately, I will be gone by then.  Those of you familiar with Craig's list will understand when I say I was disappointed that I didn't get any calls within a couple of hours of posting - then the phone rang, half an hour before our dinner guests were scheduled to arrive.  Just as they drove up, there I was - driving away with a long haired, bearded young man (did I mention how cute he was?).  Later, at dinner, I found out our friends thought I was driving away to my new life - if only it was that easy.