Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Leg 2 Oceanside to Catalina

This is part two of a three part series. Read part 1 here

On Thursday, June 7, we took off bright and early from Oceanside. Conditions were almost the same as Wednesday, except the wave interval was 8 seconds instead of 10 and they were hitting us on the nose. Eric and Christi were both green almost as soon as we pulled out of the harbor. The good news, though, is that Catalina Island offered some shelter, so the closer we got, the better the sea conditions became.

Keith slept about half the time. While he was up, he seemed unaffected by the seas. We brought his changing pad upstairs, so diaper changing was no longer an issue. We saw the Hover Crafts again, and this time one came up very close to us so we got a good look at it. And a couple pods of dolphins came to visit.

We pulled into Catalina Harbor in the early afternoon and radioed the Harbor Patrol to get a mooring assignment. There were about a dozen boats in the mooring field and at least forty empty moorings. We were assigned a spot with no one around it so it would be easy for us to tie up. Amazingly, as we were motoring towards it, another boat tied to the mooring next to the one we were assigned to. We asked if we could move one over so we would still have plenty of space to maneuver. The Harbor Patrol said no problem.

The moorings at Catalina are a little different than any other mooring we’ve been on. Since it had been so many years since we’d been there, neither of us really remembered the right way to tie up. After some arguing and awkward fidgeting with the muddy lines (that left us both coated in mud), we finally got properly secured. “Ah,” we said to one another “It’s time to relax!”

Literally one minute later, the Harbor Patrol radioed us and let us know the slip we were on had just been reserved and we needed to move one over. Sigh.Now that we knew what we were doing, the second tie up was simple and completed in a few minutes.

That night we stayed onboard and enjoying the peacefulness of the anchorage. Here is a picture looking back at the entrance of Cat Harbor from Kosmos’ deck.

We started Friday off with Continue reading Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Leg 2 Oceanside to Catalina

Blue Angel Sky Show

Another fun thing we did was watch the Blue Angel Skyshow over San Francisco Bay on October 9th. Many boaters like to take their boats out to watch the planes perform directly overhead. We don’t like to take Kosmos out on special events days because the waterways are generally packed with inexperienced, drunk boaters. We spend the entire time out worrying about what others are doing and never get to relax and enjoy ourselves.

Fortunately, we figured out how to watch the show from the water without taking Kosmos out — we rode the 3:00 ferry from Oakland to San Francisco.  It was a great plan. The show started a little after 3:00 and ended just as we pulled into San Francisco. We had amazing views!


As you may have surmised, the Blue Angels are essentially military aviation stunt show. Six Boeing F/A-18 Hornets fly together in a coordinated series of maneuvers, some maneuvers so daring that they take your breath away. The planes fly as high as 15,000 feet, as low as 50 feet, at speeds between 120 miles per hour (mph) and 700 mph (which is just under mach 1), and get as close as 18 inches from each other while twisting, turning, darting past one another, flying in close formation and doing other amazing coordinated tasks. If you get the opportunity to see a Blue Angels show, don’t pass it up!

We are glad we chose to take the ferry instead of Kosmos. Our poor ferry driver was constantly changing course to avoid nutty people who got in his way and weaving in and out of boats anchored in inappropriate places. We saw several near accidents between other boats, too. We probably would have been so focused on the other boats on the water that we would have never looked up to see the show.

San Francisco’s Embarcadero

Since returning from our circumnavigation in 2009, we’ve started several threads that we haven’t finished. One of Christi’s New Year’s Resolutions is to get better about finishing blog threads. So to start the year off right, we are going to finish up our San Francisco thread from a few months back.

To recap: on Wednesday, October 31, 2011, we set out from our home port in San Diego on our way to San Francisco, where we planned to spend a couple months. We broke the trip up north into two legs: the first was 24 hours at sea, stopping in Ventura. The plan was to wait in Ventura for a good weather window around Point Conception. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long. After only 24 hours in Ventura, we were back at sea. Leg two took two days, and we arrived in San Francisco Bay on Sunday, September 4.

We docked at South Beach Harbor Marina, located right next door to the AT&T ballpark in the heart of downtown San Francisco. We picked that location because Eric could walk to work (his company also has an office in San Francisco, which he worked out of). Here is a shot of Eric in front of the ballpark and one at the back of the ballpark.

Monday, September 5 was Labor Day, so Eric had the day off work. We took a walk along the embarcadero to the famous Ferry Terminal Building. Here are some sights along the way:

This is Pier 38 right next to the marina. Along the waterfront, there are several more of these Pier buildings that all look similar.

The view of San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge from just past Pier 38

Continue reading San Francisco’s Embarcadero

Passage from Oakland to San Diego

When we initially arrived in the Bay Area, we stayed in South Beach Harbor marina, next to the AT&T ballpark in the heart of San Francisco.

As much as we loved being in the city, we didn’t enjoy the slip we were in at the marina. There was no Internet, it was a long walk to shore and it was so rolly we felt like we were at sea, particularly in the afternoons when the wind picked up. Christi would find any and every excuse to get off the boat, so she didn’t get much work done on the books.

After a month, we moved across the bay to Jack London Square in Oakland.

We enjoyed our time in Oakland. Not only was the marina good, we were in a great location. We had easy access to the Continue reading Passage from Oakland to San Diego

More About Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation

Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation: Unusual Boat, Unusual People covering Australia to Oman is now on sale! Read the first few pages on Lulu’s “preview” feature and read an excerpt from Chapter 1 here (starts on page 18)!

Jeff Merrill wrote an extensive book review for the site.

Many people have asked us why they should buy our book if they can read our blog for free. Just like Part 1, the book is very different from the blog. Here are a few of the differences between the two:

  • Prologue: Picks up where the Prologue of Part 1 left off. It focuses primarily on the research we did as we planned for our journey and addresses the majority of the questions we were most frequently asked.
  • Several new stories from the journey – And there are some really good ones!
  • Many details have been added that were best left undisclosed while we were still on the journey (sometimes we didn’t want our parents worrying about us; sometimes we didn’t want to incriminate ourselves!)
  • In Retrospect sections with great insights — so you can see the situation through the eyes of a newbie as we learn, while simultaneously seeing the same situation through the eyes of experience.
  • Streamlined stories – some complained our posts were too long and detailed, the book is a condensed version they will enjoy more.
  • Formatting is first person, through Christi’s eyes – Some complained they didn’t like the third person format, so they will enjoy the book more.
  • Actual dates on each post. On the blog, the dates are not real time, which is a significant piece of information for anyone hoping to follow in our footsteps.
  • All profits will go to our cruising fund. The more books we sell, the sooner you can start reading about our next journey! So, buy one and get all your friends to buy one, too!

People have also asked us why we broke the series up into four books instead of only three. We had very different experiences in each of the four world regions, so it was best for each region to have its own volume.

  • In the South Pacific, Part 1, we spent most of our time in sparsely populated areas communing with nature. And we did a lot of rough sea time, learning about boating the hard way.
  •  In Asia, Part 2, we were mostly in densely populated areas building cultural bridges. Our sea experiences were also different from the Pacific, with both our best and worst passages occurring in this region.