Monday, October 30, 2017

2017-18 Avalon to Mission Bay

Monday, October 30, 2017

We dropped our Avalon mooring lines at 7AM headed for Mission Bay.  It's an 8-hour motor.  Some of us were still sleepy-eyed after attempting to follow Game 5 of the World Series.  Yes, it just has to be those baseballs!

So the run was pretty uneventful.  We did pass within a mile of the Gener8 Constantine a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC).  She was lightering about 25 miles off the coast.  Lightering entails offloading crude to smaller tankers or barges for transit to shore ports.

Departing Avalon at 7AM.
Gener8 Constantine a VLCC SUPER tanker! At 1050 feet
in length drawing 55 feet, this ship to too large to enter
port offloading facilities unless lightened.
VLCC have a size ranging between 180,000 to 320,000 DWT.  VLCC are very large shipping vessels, the standard dimensions of these ships range between 300 to 330 meters in length, 58 meters breath and 31 meters in depth. They are known for their flexibility in using terminals and can operate in ports with some depth limitations. The cost of a VLCC ranges between $100 million to $120 million depending on its age. See for more info on these giants and the bigger ULCC's.

Just after 3PM we motored into the Bay and made a hard left into Mariners Cove.  There we dropped the hook and settled back for a longish happy hour.

At anchor in Mariner's Cove, Mission Bay

Friday, October 27, 2017

2017-17: Marina del Rey, Newport, then Avalon

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Oh my it's been a HOT ten days at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.  Besides the record breaking heat, there's been some record breaking socializing by Alex with old Club friends.  He's been wine and cheesing lots during Wild Blue's stay, with folks stopping by to yak about old times, dinners out most nights, wine tastings in the dining room and Dodger madness.

Wild Blue crew Elias cheers Dodgers
while Texas native crew Sid boos
Everyone has been quite friendly in what has to be a the friendliest boating Club.  Members Denny and Dick offered their backs to help offload Wild Blue's 150 pound anchor and 650 pounds of chain.  Then Denny gave Alex his truck to drive it to the galvanizer in San Diego.  Dick loaned Alex his newly certified life-raft, and then gave him a "stern" lesson in paddle tennis. Denny gave Alex his car to drive to and from San Luis Obispo.  It was tons of fun seeing old friends and learning that pretty much all look as they did a decade and half ago!

Chain Gang

Yesterday we slipped our lines and exited MdR under bright warm skies.  The seas and wind were calm as yet another "globally warm" day started up in Southern California.  By 11am we we're rounding Palos Verdes point then Point Vincente soon after.  At 1PM as we approached Newport Harbor, we knew not where to moor the Wild Blue, however we had zoomed in on one of the lowest marine fuel prices in SoCal. Island Marine Fuel on Balboa Island has a great fuel price as we loaded 875 gallons at $2.60 and paid by credit card.  This compares with quotes from $3.10 to $3.96 from ports northward.  Amazing how the price lowers where the competition is plenty.  In addition, we needed to load up as the California 20 cent per gallon tax increase starts Wednesday.

Dolphins Come Out Again

Palos Verdes Point
Homes on PV Cliffs
Point Vincente Light
By 3pm we were filled to the caps and looking for moorage.  The yacht clubs (BYC, BCYC, NHYC) were already full but we managed the last slip at Newport operated MarinaPark.  This near new marina is well-appointed and close to amenities.  Crew Elias invited his old neighbors to cocktails aboard so Bill and Marsha drove their Duffy boat over.  We enjoyed tales of  their friendship as well as Ophthalmology, flying Hawker jets, and cruising boats in Europe.  Great fun.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Today we enjoyed the morning calm of Newport Harbor as Wild Blue glided down the fairway and out to sea headed for Avalon on Catalina.  Within a few miles of clearing the Newport jettys, a thick fog developed.  Soon the fog horn was sounding as the radar lit up many local targets.  The fog continued thick, thin and thick until we reached Avalon at noon.  We paid close attention to the traffic and passed just ahead of the large blob on the radar which turned out to be a missile frigate!  Luckily no shots where fired and we made sure to minimize our use of the North Korean language.

Crew Elias Takes His Watch at the Helm
The Catalina Flyer definitely flew by us at close to 30 knots.
The radar blob turned into a Navy missile cruiser
The Avalon Harbor Patrol assigned us on mooring 211 and we've been enjoying the afternoon sun. Alex is here with Crew Sid and Elias until Monday when we drop our mooring for Mission Bay.


Friday is party night in Avalon!

Friday, October 13, 2017

2017-16 Channel Islands to Marina del Rey

Friday, October 13, 2017:

9AM: The Wild Blue is moving further down the coast today.  It's a short 6-hour motor from the Channel Islands Harbor to Marina del Rey.  Crew Dick Squire is along for the ride and great story telling.  Ocean is quite nice with low swell and light easterly winds.  Weexpect to arrive at the California Yacht Club about 1230PM.

Once off Laguna Point, south of Point Hueneme and the rifle range, we passed within a mile of the research vessel (RV) Sally Ride.  The Ride was built in downtown Anacortes, Washinton at Dakota Creek shipyard.  During construction, her superstructure rose to heights of the taller buildings in town which drew lots of spectators including the various crew of the Wild Blue.  We also came across Sally Ride at sea during many of her lengthy sea trials.

Sally Ride is a research vessel, capable of both coastal and deep ocean operations. The ship is equipped with cranes and winches for over-the-side loading of research equipment and supplies, as well as accommodations for twenty-four scientists. It is powered by a multi-drive, low-voltage, diesel electric propulsion system for efficiency and lower maintenance, with fuel costs. The Neil Armstrong-Class ships have state of the art oceanographic equipment allowing deep ocean mapping and information technology for ship monitoring and worldwide land-based communication.

RV Sally Ride off  Laguna Point, near Point Hueneme, California

Sunday, October 1, 2017

2017-15 Smugglers to Channel Islands Harbor

Sunday, October 1, 2017: What a way to begin the month!

We have just a month to get the boat back to fully functional for the CUBAR, or Cruise Underway to BAja Ralley. Formerly named the FUBAR, the name was changed for political correctness.  In November, Wild Blue and crew will be joining some 30+ other power boats for a group cruise down the coast of Baja, hopefully ending at LaPaz.  See for cruise itinerary.  

At this late date it's not a good thing to have a non-functioning crane and dead windlass.  But alas, the replacement power supply for the ship's crane arrives Wednesday.  A brand new windlass has been located and the old one, which has anchored this 95,000 pound ship more about 800 times, has been removed.  So a fully functional craft should be back in the near term.

Yesterday afternoon, we anchored at Smuggler's Cove with about 20 others, Wild Blue being the closest boat to shore by far, with 12 feet of depth.  Rick and Peg scouted the anchorage and stood by while we manually set the anchor in a semi-controlled manner ....... using gravity instead of a powered winch.  When completed, all crew counted and reported the full manifest of fingers and toes.  

Centinela, a fully capable work boat.
Looking westward from the center of Smuggler's Cove
Just outside the break!
Capt. Rick Wiles of Centinela
Crew Gerard, Peg,and Vince on Centinela.
Centinela rooster tail.

Today the crews relaxed aboard Centinela and Wild Blue.  Crew took to kayaks, wet suits, swim suits and inflatables for trips ashore, to reefs, and to the bottom.  Gerard speared a Calico Bass and plucked a half dozen scallops.  And, one last time at 3:30, the "swabbies" manually raised the 140-pound anchor and 24-pounds of chain with such ease and control, that thought rises about the need for a functioning windlass--- NOT!

We arrived at Channel Island Harbor and secured moorage for a few days while repairs are effected.  Next week we move down the coast to Marina del Rey and the infamous California Yacht Club.