S/V Hello World's Travel Log

turtle bay

[11/7/2009: updated with photos]

The weather report for this first leg from San Diego to Turtle Bay was for wind. Finally! After motoring this entire Pacific coast, we chose to sail in the forecasted 20 to 25 knots rather than duck into an anchorage like most of the rest of the Baja Ha Ha fleet. Turns out that 20 to 25 knots with an unlimited fetch makes for some spiky seas. We saw pretty consistently 8 to 10 foot swell with a very tight period. Hello World would be just coming down one wave when the next would pick us up. Amongst the 8 to 10 foot swells were a few 12 to 14 foot waves. We saw quite a few that broke behind us. Pucker. Also? Barf.

But we had a great downwind sail - minus all the barfing. In Newport Beach, we finally setup our autopilot to be able to steer to a wind angle instead of just a magnetic heading. This turned out to be a huge boon during this run. We set the sails and autopilot for broad reach and hauled ass down the Baja coast under a reefed main and reefed jib. We made just under hull speed for about 36 hours straight. So this is what sailing is like? Who knew. Over 300 miles on this leg and only 17 hours of motoring.

We are now anchored in Bahia Tortuga surrounded by a crapload of other boats. We haven't gone to shore yet because our dinghy is on deck and we need a halyard to pull it off the deck and drop it in the water. Since our spin halyard is piled at the bottom of the mast, we have to drop a sail to get a halyard down. And right now, we just can't be bothered.

This sailing thing is hard.

Sitting in Turtle Bay replacing the spinnaker halyard.

The beach party at Turtle Bay.

Christy hanging out with Kristin from s/v Allymar.

27 41.068N 114 53.374W

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baja harhar

[11/7/2009: updated with photos]

We're on our way! Christy, Kim (a good friend of ours who decided to crew the Baja coast with us) and I crossed the start line of the 16th annual Baja Ha Ha Rally/Race yesterday at 11:00AM. Almost 200 boats charged across the start line heading south. We hit Mexican waters an hour or two later. We had a brilliant afternoon sail under 8 knots of wind. We hoisted our Swedish flag spinnaker (one of the previous owners was Swedish) and had an incredible sail. Our drifter/spinnaker does fantastic in light wind sailing and had us going 5.5 to 6 knots and pulling ahead of some boats we shouldn't have been beating.

That is, of course, until the spinnaker came fluttering down from the masthead into the water. Turns out we didn't entirely address the chafing issues on the spinnaker halyard up at the masthead so the spinnaker halyard parted and is now lying in a heap at the bottom of our mast. The worst part is that we don't get to fly the spinnaker until we get someone to the top of the mast and reave another halyard.

We're also looking for an anchorage to duck into tonight. Looks like a front is coming through and rather than take a beating, we'll tuck in somewhere out of the worst of it.

The kooky kids of s/v Lovely Lady at the start line.

The Baja Ha Ha start line.

Flying the spinnaker.

The spinnaker piled up into a sopping mess on the side deck after the halyard parted.

Note where the halyard chafed through, approximately 8 molecules above the chafe gear.

31 01.608N 116 38.591W

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update from san diego

[11/7/2009: updated with photos]

At some point, we're going to run out of money. This is the inevitable conclusion I've arrived at after staring at our bank account which seems to shrink, never grow. With that in mind, we've been keeping an eye out for where to live once our poverty forces us to become employed once again.

San Diego is now on the list. It's 75 degrees here all the time. Every afternoon the wind picks up to about 8 knots out of the west. It's sunny, warm, and covered in palm trees. I haven't worn anything other than shorts, t-shirts and flip flops since we got here. We've been here just shy of a week and are really enjoying it. The people have been really friendly. The attitude towards live-aboard boaters seems to be at least incrementally more inviting than the open hostility we've come across in previous places. Perhaps it's the $500/month liveaboard fees the marinas extract from the local liveaboards.

On Monday, we are taking off as part of the Baja Ha Ha cruisers' rally to Mexico. Kim has decided to temporarily jump ship from s/v White Cloud over to s/v Hello World and crew with us down the baja coast. Now it's a party, baby!

Christy is off doing shopping at the moment while I sit in the library using the wifi. Since she has the camera, I can't really offload pictures to show how cool it is here so you'll have to take my word for it. More blog posts to come when I can upload some photos. I've got some great shots of us sitting in the dugout at Petco Field, home of the San Diego Padres. Ray, a blog reader from San Diego who works for the Padres extended to us an incredibly gracious offer to tour the park and even took us out for beers. How cool is that?? Thanks Ray!

Staring down the business end of an aircraft carrier as it comes into San Diego harbor.

The (THE) Stars and Stripes boat from the America's Cup race. Pretty disappointed that they blew by us as fast as they did. I think they cheated.

Christy sitting at a locker in the visitor's locker room at Petco Park.

Ray showing us the field at Petco Park.

Sitting in the visitor's dugout. Some pretty famous baseball butts have been parked in this exact spot.

Fisher in a dashing new snorkel outfit.

32°40'50.07"N 117°09'53.95"W

catalina island

Our good friend Casey, from the great state of Ohio - motto: We have more syllables per letter than any other state! (shut up, Iowa) - took a transportation smorgasbord to meet up with us on Catalina Island. A two plus hour drive led to a four hour flight then a forty-five minute walk to get on a bus to catch a train to catch another train to catch a ferry to walk to the dinghy dock where we dinghied back to Hello World. The only transportation option we figured she didn't avail herself of was a burro.

We stayed the evening in Avalon Harbor, home to the world's most expensive mooring balls. $38/night to tie up to a mooring ball! We didn't even get a continental breakfast for that price.

After hanging out in Avalon for a day, we cast off from our golden mooring ball and headed north for Two Harbors. In order to check sailing off Casey's adventure list, we hoisted the sails. And per usual, the wind died and we crept north at 0.6 knots. So we fired up the engine, looking forward to anchoring in Isthmus Cove and getting into the water.

Looking at the chart for Isthmus Cove, there's a few great little anchorages with reasonable protection and room for boats. Except. They are all carpet bombed with frickin' mooring balls. These mooring balls were only slightly less offensive at $28/night. Go to Catalina - it's great. But don't bring an anchor, bring an AmEx.

After getting tied up to another mooring ball, we shut the engine off and flung ourselves into the water. The three of us spent a heavenly afternoon skinny-dipping in the sunshine, floating on life jackets and passing around a Nalgene bottle of rum and juice. I've had better days in my life but I'm hard-pressed to name them at the moment.

The following day brought fog, some lower temperatures and dozens upon dozens more boats. This all made bobbing around in the water more difficult, so we jumped in the water, swam out, climbed up, jumped in the water, swam out, climbed out... You get the picture. Christy and Casey went snorkeling (we only have two sets of snorkel gear right now, gotta work on that). We also took in some shore life, crashing a party the Latitudes and Attitudes folks were throwing on the beach in Two Harbors.

A bone crushing headache caught up with Casey on her last day there so we spent most of that day getting her the right pain meds and letting her sleep. We ran her down to Avalon that afternoon and dropped her off the ferry and left for an overnight run down to San Diego that night.

The casino in Avalon.

Hanging out in Avalon Harbor on a honking expensive ($38!) mooring ball.

After moving north to Isthmus Cove, the first order of business was getting in the water.

Skinny dipping with some rum and juice.

Casey gettin' her snorkel on.

Casey doing a back dive.

Jason lining up for the huck.

And... there it is.

Casey perfecting the huck.

Try as she might, Christy could never quite let go of her college dive team training and embrace the huck. Every attempt resulted in a nice neat dive.

Hello World in the fog.

On our "hike" over to Catalina Harbor from Isthmus Cove.

Casey, a thousand thank you's for making the planes/tranes/automobiles trek out to Catalina. We loved having you on board and can't wait for you to come back!

The huck-cam.

The rest of the photos are here. It's one of our more hilarious galleries to date.

33°26.914'N 118°29.930'W

maps and photos

If you're sitting at work bored and need more entertainment, here's a reminder of a couple links for ya:

We upload a ton more photos than we actually put on the blog. You can check 'em out here:
Hello World's 2009 photos

We also keep track of our blog on Google Maps so you can track where we're at and where we've been:
Map of our last 10 blog entries
Map of all blog entries in 2009

Happy work avoidance!

newport beach

We picked a nice weather window to leave San Francisco bound for southern California, eager to leave the howling fog and hypothermia of the Bay area for warmer climes. As we pulled out of San Francisco, the fog came in through the Golden Gate Bridge like a freight train reducing visibility to a few boat lengths. We couldn't see the Golden Gate Bridge until we were directly underneath it.

Once out of the Bay area, we began a 3 day run under mostly absent winds. We motored all but about 8 hours of the passage. Point Conception is the last gnarly cape to be dealt with on our journey south and we crossed it on the second night out. It was eventful only in trying to stay awake and not run into an oil rig.

After meeting a disproportionate amount of douchebags while fueling up in Santa Barbara, we chose to skip SB and press on to Newport Beach and the well protected anchorage there. Less than three minutes after pulling into the breakwater at Newport Beach, we had our first bikini'd fake boobs sighting.

Ahh... LA.

We've really enjoyed Newport Beach and not just for the mammaries. We are anchored in a great spot at the center of a maelstrom of activity. On Sunday, we had scads of wee children in dighies sailing circles around our anchored boat as part of a race while the 35 to 45 foot sailboats intersect their course as part of their sailboat race.

Newport Beach has proven fascinating, grossly wealthy, wierd, but supremely entertaining spot to spend a few days.

Next up? Catalina Island and a rendevous with the soon-to-be-blog-superstar Casey.

All we could make out of the Golden Gate Bridge as we left San Francisco Bay.

Sailing into the Santa Barbara channel at sunrise. We virtually never sail east so sailing into a sunrise was new and cool.

These things are everywhere down here.

Inner reach of Newport Bay.

Our boat being mobbed by dinghy sailors.

33°36'31.86"N 117°54'27.54"W