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

Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Leg 1 San Diego to Oceanside

We mentioned in our May 2012 update that we had taken Keith on three cruises around San Diego Bay by the time he was 8 weeks old. Shortly after his 2 month birthday (in May), we took him on a fourth bay cruise, and this time we stepped it up a notch by anchoring out overnight. Keith did just fine – in fact, that night he slept for 7 hours straight! (6 hours was/still is his norm, and believe us, that extra hour was a blessing.)

We decided Keith was ready for more adventurous cruising, so we planned a mini-vacation to Santa Catalina Island, about 80 miles northwest of San Diego. The last time we went to Catalina was in October 2006, when Kosmos was brand new.

We decided that instead of going to the main town of Avalon, we’d go to an anchorage called Catalina Harbor on the northwest side of the island. Despite the fact that it was probably the most sheltered cove on the island, it wasn’t all that popular of a boating destination. The nearby town of Two Harbors was tiny with few amenities. Niether of us had been to Cat Harbor before, but from the description, it sounded like it was the perfect “getaway” destination for us: quiet and peaceful.

Getting to Cat Harbor would take us 15 hours in head seas. We decided it would be best to break it up into two legs, with an overnight stop in Oceanside (about 40 miles north of San Diego Bay). The detour to Oceanside would add an extra couple hours of sea time to the trip, but we didn’t know how Keith would do in the open ocean and thought it was best to play it safe.

On Wednesday, June 6 at 0900, we untied the lines and headed to out. Sea conditions weren’t bad, but they weren’t good, either. Swells were coming from both the northwest and the southwest, hitting us on the port beam. Waves were 2 – 6 feet, gently shaped, and well spaced at about 10 seconds. There was a time when we had such a tolerance to the seas that we would have thought the conditions were fairly nice, but we’ve lost that tolerance and were both green the entire trip, though neither of us got sick. (Eric took seasickness medicine before we left; Christi did not as she is breastfeeding.) Keith slept for the majority of the 6 hour run.

The only exciting thing to report on the passage up was that near Oceanside we saw two military Hover Crafts doing exercises. We discovered that neither one of us wanted to change Keith’s diapers. The diaper changing station was located in the forward stateroom, a place neither of us wanted to be while fighting off seasickness. (Not being able to see the horizon often takes a person over the edge from nauseous to sick.) We also didn’t love walking up and down the stairs holding him while the boat was in motion. Keith pooped an hour out of Oceanside and we both agreed that he could wait for a fresh diaper until after we arrived. Fortunately, Keith didn’t complain.

We arrived in Oceanside around 1500 and were assigned a slip near the mouth of the harbor.

We’re kind of ashamed to admit this, but Continue reading Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Leg 1 San Diego to Oceanside

Outfitting Kosmos For a Baby — Feeding, Diapering and Bathing

Our new little crew member is due in only 5 days! Given the limitations onboard, we can’t go crazy with lots of baby products. We’ve carefully chosen a few key items that we think will meet the baby’s needs, yet work well with Kosmos’s space limitations. We’ve already covered the sleeping arrangements in another post. The other basic needs are feeding, diapering and bathing. Here is what we have done:

All the baby books claim that a glider chair and/or rocker are must haves for every nursery, both for feeding and for soothing a fussy child. So when one of our friends offered to give us her used glider and ottoman, we jumped at the opportunity. Most Nordhavn 43s don’t have room for such a large piece of furniture, but when we ordered Kosmos we decided to remove the port side settee and replace it with cabinets. Yes, we lost some seating, but it made some of the juiciest storage space on the boat even more accessible and gave us more floor space. We’ve always been glad we made the choice to eliminate the settee. But when the glider came into the picture, we were more happy than ever about it!

Much to our amazement, Continue reading Outfitting Kosmos For a Baby — Feeding, Diapering and Bathing

Outfitting Kosmos For a Baby — Bassinet, Stroller and Car Seat

We know there are a few readers who are in our age group that will probably have kids soon, as well as many blog readers who are anticipating grandkids in the near future. So, for those of you, we’re starting a series on baby stuff. If you don’t fit the baby demographic, fear not! We promise the blog will still focus primarily on boating and travel, not on babies. But in order continue our boating/traveling lifestyle with our new crew member, we do have to outfit the boat properly.

Needless to say, which such limited room onboard, we need relatively small items that are easy to secure and/or stow away. We also want the gear to be lightweight so it is easy to get on and off the boat.

Our first concern was a place for the baby to sleep. Nowadays, the “experts” advise parents that the baby should sleep in the same room as mom and dad for the first 3 – 4 months, but not in mom and dad’s bed. Conveniently enough, we found the Fisher-Price Newborn Rock N Play Sleeper, which is a folding bassinet that fits in the small space between Christi’s side of the bed and the wall. What was even more exciting about this bassinet is that it is angled, which makes it easier for babies to sleep when they are suffering from indigestion or stuffy noses. It also rocks forward and back, which babies supposedly find more soothing than side to side motion. And, it is “bouncy,” so it jiggles slightly every time the baby moves and/or takes little effort for parents to jiggle it. Babies supposedly like the jiggling motion. When Christi was doing research, she was amazed by the rave reviews — there were over 600 reviews on Amazon and most of them were 5 stars! The plan is to set the bassinet up at bed time, then fold it away in the morning.

Last time we took Kosmos out, we Continue reading Outfitting Kosmos For a Baby — Bassinet, Stroller and Car Seat