Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Last Few Days in America! Last Few Boat Projects Complete!

Tightening pipe fittings
Attaching hoses
We stayed in San Diego a week longer than originally planned with the hope that we'd complete a few projects that have been on our "to do" list for a long, long time.  The big project was finishing the watermaker.  To avoid distractions, we moved to an anchorage in beautiful Glorietta Bay (which turned out to be a distraction in and of itself!).  We spent 3 days connecting hoses, disconnecting hoses, wrapping plumbing parts with plumbers tape (again), connecting hoses, tightening bolts, running more hoses - well, you get the picture.  And then it was done.  We started up the engine (our watermaker pump is engine driven), and lo-and-behold, we made water!  It truly is magic.  All told, our "easy to install" watermaker took us probably 100 hours to install and was anything but easy, but it is done.  And did I mention, it makes water??!!

On top of the engine compartment, installing the panel
Charlotte 'helping' with the install
Hotel del Coronado
In between connecting hoses and tightening bolts, we explored Glorietta Bay and Coronado Island. The highlight was admiring the beautiful Hotel del Coronado, which was built in the 1880s and is a truly stunning building.  Apparently this was the location for the movie 'Some Like it Hot' with Marilyn Monroe.  They turned on the holiday lights on the hotel for the first time while we were anchored in the bay and we had a perfect view of it from our boat.  Truly magical.  We also enjoyed several lovely walks by the beach, as well as a celebration dinner of fried food (it was only supposed to be drinks and appis, but the US portions are so big!).  As we haven't eaten fried food in many months, it was a bit of a shock to the system.  I'm pretty sure we consumed an entire years fat allocation in one sitting.  But it was good...

Hotel del Coronado by night
Beach outside the hotel
The 128 foot 'America'

After 3 days 'working' in Glorietta Bay, we moved back to the La Playa Anchorage we'd stayed at before.  This is the "weekend anchorage" in San Diego and is situated between 8 yacht clubs.  Needless to say, it is usually a gong show, and this weekend was no exception.  Not only were there about 30 boats in the bay (did I mention the anchorage is very small??), one of them was the 128 foot schooner "America", which is a replica of the boat that won the first America's cup back in 1865.  It was beautiful, but took up a fair amount of space.  Watching them anchor was an experience.  The boat doesn't have an anchor fitted on the front (I guess that would spoil the 'old' look) so they had to throw one over the side - without damaging the boat.  The anchor they used was tiny - our anchor (which is albeit, oversized for our boat) was bigger!  Two guys payed out the chain (with their bare hands) while the boat was driven backwards, and you could just see the burns they were getting. Not the best show of seamanship we've seen...

The weekend at La Playa was good.  The weather was hot and sunny, and so we actually enjoyed some down time.  I sat in the hammock a couple of days, and Gary stayed still for a few hours too.  Hopefully we'll get to do more of that when we get to Mexico!

We have spent the last few days back at the Southwestern Yacht club.  We finished up our last few boat projects (installing our dingy wheels, oil change, rig check etc) and have completed all the paperwork necessary to clear out of the USA.  We have 2 days to be out of US waters and hope to leave for Ensenada on Thursday, once the storm that is raging outside (yes, it is actually RAINING right now!!) has passed.

Our access to the internet will be non-existent for the next month until we get to La Paz.  We may try to do a few posts using our HF radio, but the posts will be short and without the usual pictures.  Bare with us.  

We are both excited and nervous about the next stage of our voyage.  We are looking forward to the scenery and wildlife, but are naturally apprehensive about the language barrier we'll be facing.  Neither Gary nor I are 'naturals' when it comes to languages and so I expect we'll spend a great deal of time doing hand signals and feeling generally perplexed when spoken to.  But, that is part of the adventure too.  Hopefully we've retained a bit of Spanish from our year of lessons before the trip... time will tell. 

Stay tuned for our next adventures (and misadventures)...

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