The last several days have brought out large speed boats pulling water skiers at quite fast speeds all around the harbor here in Long Beach. They are practiciing for the Catalina Ski Race, a 62 mile water skiing race from Long Beach to Avalon and back averaging speeds of 50 mph and upwards to 70 & 80 mph! the official website includes videos & more at: http://www.catalinaskirace.net/index.html all quite amazing to watch. They will be racing the 63rd annual race on July 6th this year.
Welcome. This is the place where pictures and a narrative of the ongoing voyages of Minerva will show up, whenever I get internet access and of course, when I have something new and hopefully exciting to share. Hope you enjoy yourself here, and don't be shy, please comment if you have something to share or say!
Friday, June 24, 2011
I just finished the last of several stories in a book that I found at a swap meet for a mere two bucks; Tales of the Sea by Joseph Conrad. I have endeavored in the past to immerse myself in his some of his writings, and enjoyed them at the time, but I have now, finally, after several earlier attempts, read the entire story of Lord Jim as well as several of his other stories. While I cannot say that I fathom all of his intents, I am now a true fan and will likely reread these stories again and again. If only for the descriptive powers which entice the reader into the very heart of the adventures and paints each scene and emotion as if with oil on canvas, the author is truly a legend. Even his history is nearly fantastic. Born and raised as a Pole, he was unfamiliar with the English language until arriving in England at the age of 20 and from there went on to become “a master of the English language”*, along with other not so common accomplishments, which is obvious in the first sentence the reader lays his eyes upon. If you enjoy being consumed by language, provoked with human motivation, as well as a good tale, but have never read Joseph Conrad, or haven’t read him in a while, I whole heartedly recommend you do so at your earliest opportunity! He likely will offer some insight for you psych majors as well.J
*from the Introduction to Tales of the Sea (Joseph Conrad) by Robert O. Patterson
Sunday, June 19, 2011
The Orange County Sheriffs finally kicked me out of the anchorage at Corona Del Mar; apparently there is a three day limit at the outside anchorage, so sailed to Long Beach for provisioning before heading back to Catalina. Five miles from the breakwater of the harbor, I noticed my fishing pole doing a promising little bounce and reeled in a 2 foot barracuda! This is the first edible fish I’ve caught since leaving San Francisco! After making sure the anchor was set and I’d settled in, I cleaned, filleted, and barbecued ½ of one of the fairly large fillets. Apparently, I need to brush up on my fish preparation skills.J Many folks fish all around the harbor but with the looks of the water, I don’t think I would eat anything from it; it’s pretty murky and yucky looking to me.
During my stay anchored behind Island White in the Long Beach Harbor, my daughter Jennifer called to tell me to be sure and stay put until Sunday as she was planning to visit me for Father’s Day! With a few extra days available to me, I spent several days exploring downtown Long Beach which has changed quite a bit since the 70’s, the last time I spent any time there. I was also able to get to Kelly’s Marine Supply in San Pedro to get a couple of items needed to complete the aft deck projects I’d been working on. Jennifer wasn’t able to make it down here after all, but I’ve been using the added time for further exploration and getting online once again, hence this latest update. The anchorage is pretty calm and secure, so may stay on here for a bit longer but am anxious to get back out to the island and do some more fishing; need to get more practice cooking it!
I have also had the time to finally, after many years of beginning it, finish reading “Lord Jim” by Joseph Conrad. It is one of several stories in the book “Tales of the Sea” that I picked up at the annual parking lot sale at Minney’s in Newport Beach, one of the few deals I found there.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I was hanging out in Newport Beach some time ago when two airplanes buzzed the harbor. They were vintage fighter planes from WWII like the ones my dad flew while serving in Europe during that era. My first reaction was to say hi to him as the planes soared overhead. I hope he heard me over the screaming Rolls Royce 12 cylinder, supercharged, 1000 hp engines in both planes (the 38 having two of these monsters). Even though they made two passes, they were long gone before I had a chance to get my camera and some pictures, but recently, while on the hook in Corona Del Mar, I heard the distinctive sound of those engines again and immediately got my camera and a couple of good pictures:
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P-38 twin engined, twin boomed WWII fighter leading the P-51.
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Once again, Hi Dad!
Friday, June 10, 2011
I'm still anchored outside the Newport Beach breakwater in front of the Corona Del Mar public beach waiting for paint to dry. I picked up 300 ft of brand new 3/8" G4 galvanized chain to replace my rusting, short, and light weight anchor rode. After too many sleepless nights at anchor in deep water at the islands, I promised to get it done ASAP. After searching the internet and several local chandleries along the southern California coast, Minney's Surplus Yacht Supply gave me the best bargain by a long shot. Minney's, for those who somehow haven't heard of them, carries just about anything a boat could need and at a very reasonable price. Since I no longer have a vehicle to get 450 lbs of chain from Costa Mesa to the water's edge, Ernie Minney loaded into his Suburban and brought it to me at the local dock! I tried to buy him and the guy helping him lunch for their generous efforts, but he asked only that I "sing the praises of Minney's". I've been doing that ever since the first day of browsing the chandlery with the easy going and very helpful staff. Now I won't be able to do anything but rave further! Back to paint drying - once I got the chain on board, I wanted to mark the chain at incremental depths to know how much rode was out, so got that done yesterday and am now awaiting it to dry thoroughly before using it. With light winds forecast for the next couple of days, I just may apply a second coat as well.
I know that this may not sound very exciting to some, but sleeping comfortably knowing your home has a better chance of not ending up on the beach is quite exciting to me! I now have so much chain on board that Minerva is listing a bit to starboard, but one never knows when it will come in handy. One friend had so little chain for his anchor that I parted with one section to help, just a bit of repayment for all of the help and stuff others have given me in the past.
From here, we are headed north once again to LA and to Catalina - I know, Catalina again? What can I say, that island is truly a fabulous place to spend some time. I've been following a blog from some friends from Richmond who are now in Puerto Vallarta enjoying the heat and tropical paradise that Mexico is. I am of course quite jealous, but wish them all the best! (Gone Bambu)
That's all for now folks, Asta la luego.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Well, it's been quite a while since I've written anything, but we've been fairly busy these last couple of months. After leaving San Diego, we sailed to Santa Barbara to meet some Girl Scouts from my sister's troop when she was in high school. We did a lot of backpacking and overnight camping, as well as several trips to Lake Havasu in the summers. Back then, since my mom was the leader and didn't leave us boys at home during the camping, my brother and I became Girl Scouts too! Anyway, it was fun to meet up with some of the gals I hadn't seen in over 45 years!
After that weekend, I left for Santa Cruz Island to spend time working on Minerva, fishing, and generally lazing and sailing about. In the 8 days we spent there, we had two days of peaceful weather, the rest were days and nights of gales and small craft advisories, lots of wind and chasing after that calm anchorage! One day the wind was blowing so hard (48 knot winds with 67 knot gusts) that an 80 ft schooner was blown out of one of the supposedly protected anchorages! Fortunately, I had put down two anchors and stayed put. After not sleeping much for these 8 days, I got tired of the abundance of wind and ran for Catalina, where the winds are less boisterous and picked up a mooring in Two Harbors, just to get some well deserved rest. It ended up being over Memorial Day weedend and got quite a few boats over for the holiday. Winds again came up and blew 15 - 20 boats off of their moorings! The Harbor Patrol was busy that night! Again, we were fortunate having a low profile (less windage) and remained in one place. The boats that pulled their moorings were large power boats with lots of windage.
Since then, we have sailed to Newport Beach to buy a new anchor chain, which I promised to do after the several worrying nights spent anchored at Santa Cruz Island. In fact, I've got to cut this short in order to go pick it right now!