Location and Moorage: Marina Del Rey — two nights dockside; and Catalina — three nights on mooring, two nights at anchor
After a fabulous week with Sierra and Haven, it was time to get back to the city and put them on a plane (see previous post). After hugging them goodbye (at 0545 in the morning), we got to boat chores. Scrubba, scrubba, scrubba. Whew! With that out of the way, we took a long walk around the harbor to Playa Del Rey, the next beach town south of MDR, along a nice bike/ped path where Jody was chased by a homeless woman with a shopping cart. What?! Not sure what precipitated that little incident, but no harm, no foul. It was a lovely walk regardless, on which we could peek in at the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. We couldn’t actually figure out how to access the area, but checking it out from outside the chainlink fence was good enough.
The next morning, we looked forward to another fun sail from MDR to Catalina, but it wasn’t exactly what we’d hoped for. The previous three legs between the two points were super fun and fast reaches that had us screaming along on relatively flat water. Not this time. We knew we would start out with winds pretty much on the nose, but it was supposed to wrap around for more of a reach, but it never really did. So we were once again beating to weather in building breeze and wind chop. Dang. Being the prudent sailors we are, we single reefed the main and within an hour or so, as we got closer to the island, we were just lollin’ along. But we had arrived in Cherry Cove and it was glorious on Catalina, as usual. There was more ice cream to be had, more hiking to be done, and lots of swimming and snorkeling this time around. Again, glorious.
We’d come back to celebrate the 60th birthday of a fellow cruiser we’d never met, but were invited by other fellow cruisers whose mantra is, “the more the merrier.” And it turned out to be quite merry. We reconnected with friends aboard Sea Level, Jim and Kent and Monte, and met several other repeat cruisers to Mexico. We gleaned lots of valuable information for our future adventures and are looking forward to meeting up with some of these folks down south or in other ports of call. It was a great party to get invited to, with great people, and we’re so glad we got to meet the birthday boy, Glenn and his beautiful wife, Debbie. Thanks, Monte, for letting us crash!
The birthday party was a potluck bbq, so Rand and Thad worked their magic, presenting the group with an amazing artichoke heart/hearts of palm/jalapeno dip and cowboy salsa, respectively. The grilled corn on the cob was also to die for, as was the mac and cheese. Oy, it sounds like we’re eating a lot, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true. The sugar intake has also set new records, hence the hiking, swimming, and occasional workouts on da boat. Gotta get a grip.
The last couple of nights on Catalina were spent on the hook next to Sea Level off of Little Fisherman’s Cove (with a stern anchor set toward shore), and oh was it lovely. Despite some pretty stiff (and slightly chilly) winds, which made getting in and out of the water uninviting, there was still water play and good lounging time. Jody got some guitar time with Jim, we shared some weather data, Jim gave us a crapload of pirated movies, and all was right with the world.
Come Tuesday, it was time to move on and catch She’s No Lady at Long Beach. So off we went, leaving behind Jim and Sea Level and our sweet little cove. But we’ll be back (sooner than you might think — like in August — ah!).