Over the next two days, we intended to go sailing for more sea legs training. We intended to start a passage northward, but there is always another reason to stay and fix or do something. Our morning Costco run took longer than planned, and we bought more than planned, and as a result we had to re-open the stowing process again to find a place for everything new we bought. Then we had visitors on the boat, and a marina neighbor pal invited us to dinner on his boat. So, sailing fell by the wayside on Sunday.
The next day, we again intended to go sailing, but first, we had to load up the dinghy and fill up the diesel tank. Somehow, folding the dinghy, putting it on deck and securing it turned into a all day project. We decided to stitch sail leather to the newly varnished handrails to protect them from the rough edges of the dinghy when it moves around in waves. The day got away from us again, and so no sailing. At this point, I started to become suspicious that we were putting off the northward sail because we are nervous. "I'm onto you, Leslie." We checked the weather and confirmed winds coming from the south for the next two days (very helpful when going Northward) so, we proclaimed prepare for a 3:00 a.m. departure toward Dana Point the next morning. We immediately set about going to the fuel dock, filling up, and prepping seaway meals so that we didn't have to go below decks to make food during our trip.
The alarm goes off at 3:00 a.m., and up we go. I boil water and pour it into the thermoses with my green tea bags and beef bouillon cube. We have seeds and lemon juice for breakfast. I deck myself out in fleece, my yellow rain gear (for wind breaking effect), a beanie, gloves. I take a dose of Sturgeon the sea sickness medicine that everyone raves about, but is not approved by the FDA so usually cannot be obtained in the US. A gift from a friend, I am giving it a shot.
At 4:10 a.m. we pull out of the slip, successfully. There isn’t a breath of wind, the stars are out, the sky is clear. We forget to turn on the navigation lights, so I slow down in the marina channel to put them on. My stomach is filled with anxiety. What if this goes poorly?
As I drive, I have a hard time seeing in the dark, and the navigation equipment tells me there is a large Dole pineapple ship coming into port. My depth perception is screwy, so it is impossible to tell how close the lights are. I move out of the channel but hug the channel markers to make sure I don't get too close to shallow water and let the giant city sized ship pass by. The dark is scary, I’m afraid of the dark. I get us out of the bay, set the autopilot, and then dive under a blanket to sleep some more. Andrew generously took the first watch.
I peeked my head out of my blanket just long enough to see a beautiful sunrise, uninterrupted by any cloud. Just orange, pink, yellow and light blue, with one bird flying by. Then, I fell back asleep. When I woke up later, the sun was up and warm. I was comfy in my beanbag, covered by a fleece blanket. I broke out some broth and macadamia nuts. Celery with cream cheese for Andrew. The ocean was pretty calm, almost like a lake, so neither of us were terribly seasick and we motored northward.
The wind stays away for quite a long time. Around noon, we set the sails. Poled out the genoa for the first time ever. I even read some of my book. Soon though, we looked to the horizon and saw fog literally "rolling" toward us. Andrew went below to turn on the radar, but the fog left as fast as it had arrived. We pulled into Dana Point and were pretty proud of ourselves for making it safely and enjoying the process. We secured ourselves a guest dock as it started raining.
My good pal Tyler, picked us up at the marina and chauffeured us to his home where his wife had prepared an amazing meal and a welcome sign that said "Bon Voyage!" She thinks of everything. We enjoyed rice cooked in coconut milk, stirred up with mint and cilantro, teriyaki chicken, zucchini, mushrooms and onions on the grill. We drank some wonderful wine and enjoyed good conversation about our trip, but mostly about life, dreams, and the like. We prayed together before we left for our safety and the fulfillment of all our dreams. As Andrew says: "there are no atheists on the ocean or in the trenches", so we were grateful. As we left, they gave us a pretty little boat plant as a gift; I hope we can keep it alive! We feel lucky to have them as friends, lucky to have this time and opportunity.