Post Shakedown – Week 3

Well, the interim doesn’t have to be all about boat prep, does it? No, it doesn’t. So, we stole away one more time to Catalina for the 11th Annual West Coast Multihulls rally. We think this was our sixth rally, and it was a blast! Because Jody had taken so much time off work recently, asking for more leave seemed irresponsible, and since Lea and Stace wanted to join in on the rally, they accompanied Rand for the overnight to Catalina and the first rally events: the Meet and Greet on Thursday evening and the Friday morning Bloody Mary Morning Talk Show, featuring none other than Thad of She’s No Lady and Rand, who spoke about our upcoming plans to head south. Flea and Jody took the ferry over later Friday afternoon in time for some water play and the Mexican Fiesta party that evening. Unfortunately, Kristin couldn’t join us, as she’s been with her family in Florida, but she was certainly with us in spirit!

The Talk Show was a great success, even though Rand blathered on a bit. Folks were genuinely interested in our Shakedown adventure and our upcoming travels. While there’s no plan beyond Mexico, people were still curious about the how, when, where, etc., of a single destination. Pretty exciting stuff.

The theme of the WCM rally this year was Mexican Fiesta, so we were expecting people to be all dressed up in their finest Mexican threads and sombreros, but no. Only a handful of people wore sombreros and pasted on a mustache or two, but there were no outstanding costumes — except for the six Speedy Gonzaleses from She’s No Lady and Free Luff!! Yes! We finally won the costume contest!! Haha!

Saturday was race (rally) day, and per usual, there were some hung over sailors (a little too much tequila at the Mexican Fiesta). This year, crew aboard Free Luff was determined to make a better showing then our usual 8th or 9th place out of a field of 8 or 9 boats. And we did! We changed our tactics this year — instead of looking for wind offshore, we decided to follow Larry aboard Island Time (who usually wins the race — I mean, rally), who stayed near shore where the wind tended to be stronger and more consistent. Our tactic worked. We came in third — well, we like to think we came in second because Freestyle, the boat that technically won the race — I mean, rally — is a real go-fast boat and beat the fleet by at least an hour. In our mind, they don’t count, so second place for Free Luff!! The only bummer was that Flea sustained a pretty serious rope burn when she struggled to control the spinnaker sheet; she really should have just let it go. Next time…so sorry Flea. At least we had some good tequila and a nurse on board.

After the race (ok, rally) was the raft-up and progressive appetizer party. Always a wonderful time with really good grub — mahi ceviche aboard Barramundi; foccachia (courtesy of Tango) and pasta aboard Free Luff; chili on Bama Breeze; surf and turf skewers thanks to Lagniappe; California cowboy salsa aboard SNL; and smoked salmon on Island Time. Fun was had by all, even Happy, Bama Breeze‘s perennial mascot.

Sunday was a leisurely cruise to Descanso Bay off Avalon, where there was great sun and clear water for swimming and rehydration 😉 Even Flea got in the water, with her hand bandaged and wrapped in a dish washing glove. Yummy dinner aboard, and we dropped Flea and Jody off for their ferry ride back to work (boo), while SNL and Free Luff prepared for an early Monday morning departure for San Diego.

Morning did indeed come early, with the battery bank aboard Free Luff refusing to wake up properly. Oh well, one engine did the trick for most of the morning, and the sun’s rays recharged the bank quickly enough to get the second engine started, just in time for the wind to come up so we didn’t need either. Ha! Lots of dolphins, and good relaxing time on one of the more spectacular light sailing days one can expect in Southern California. Then back to the real world. Great times had by all, and special thanks to Lea and Stacy for crewing for the duration!