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!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July

After spending most of Sunday, the 3rd of July, working on removing the balance of an old bulkhead and beginning to fit a new one in its place, I cleaned up a bit and went to town to catch some of the celebration going on at the Isthmus here on Catalina.  I struck up a conversation with a fellow sitting next to me on the deck and found much common ground to chat about as several hours passed quite pleasantly.  He had come here with a friend who didn’t have the patience to have a leisurely cruise out, but instead had to have the pedal to the metal in one of those big fast gas guzzlers.  Pat had sailed a couple of times previously in some beer can races, liked the quiet of sailing and envied the slow paced lifestyle I am presently enjoying.  He expressed a desire to try a relaxing cruise and since we seemed to enjoy each other’s company, I invited him to call me anytime he had a week or so of time from work and join me and Minerva for a week of sailing, diving, etc. out at one of the Channel Islands, which he eagerly accepted.  As dusk fell, a DJ set up and began playing some good ole rock & roll and several patriotic numbers in time with the exploding rockets that blossomed over the harbor.  After the finale, the crowd returned to the deck, dancing ensued and all had a great time.  The evening began getting late and the younger crowd took over the music, so I took the opportunity to head toward home and ran across three young marines, on leave and camping out here, fishing from the dock where my dink was patiently waiting for my return.  They shared their bottle of refreshment with me as we chatted and they fished.  They were very serious about getting some fish as they had come out with no provisions, depending upon the graciousness of the sea to give up some of her bounty, but they were still awaiting their dinner.  After a bit of time passed with no offers from fish interested in feeding them, I invited them aboard Minerva where they might have better luck getting something more than bait on their hooks.  Once aboard, they did indeed catch a couple of keepers as we kept the pace of the party moving on toward dawn.  Sometime in the wee hours before they left, they did me the honor of helping raise Old Glory upon Minerva’s flag halyard.  The morning of the 4th of July broke fine and clear, with a crisp new Stars and Stripes, raised by US Marines, snapping briskly overhead.
Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1st

I'm sitting on the deck of the Harbor Reef in Two Harbors, Catalina sipping on a Buffalo Milk, a tasty and refreshing drink, their specialty. The weather is mildly warm with the promise of getting nearly hot by the 4th. We arrived in Cat Harbor a couple of days ago after two days of quite pleasant sailing from San Pedro, the first leg of which light winds brought us, in one tack, to Long Point, just west of Avalon. A couple I met over Memorial Weekend had recommended the place and as it was getting late, I figured we would give it a try. Because of this decision, I saw my first flying fish. As we sailed to within a mile of shore, a fish jumped and just kept on flying for hundreds of feet! As we got closer to the anchorage, another leaped out just in front of a pelican who became very interested. The pelican tried and tried, following right on its tail, again over a long distance, but just wasn't fast enough. This first leg of the voyage also produced sightings of dolphins and seals, which have become common to us. Even though they have appeared during every voyage for the last couple of months now, I never tire of their company.
We spent the night but left early the next morning for the short trip around the West End to Cat Harbor. The wind was extremely light allowing me to scrape paint and varnish, merely to keep from falling asleep. After a few hours, I was bored with working and fired up Mr. Perkins to get me around the point and hopefully into some wind, which never materialized. We cut the point actually too close for comfort and just at the most opportune moment, opposite the outermost precipitous jagged rock, a fish decided to take the lure I was dragging.  In my nervous hurry to avoid the danger to port and get the fish in, I pulled the hook out, only getting a glimpse of shiny silver of what could have been dinner. Just minutes after tossing the lure back into trolling mode, and of course just opposite another rock too close to port, a petrel decided my lure was too tempting to pass up. I had to slow down and drift towards that outcropping to release the bird, but it didn't put up too much of a fight and relaxed enough for me to unhook the lure quickly and get back to powering around that rock.
After all of this excitement, we made Cat Harbor and dropped the hook in my favorite spot for the night. The next day the wind had blown me into the kelp and with a friend due to raft up later in the week, I wanted to get out from the prop tangling kelp into clear water, so moved to the eastern side of the harbor.
And now, here I sit looking for another of these fabulous Buffalo Milks!
Mas tarde