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

Exploring Oakland, California

We knew that every Sunday morning there was a Farmer’s Market at Jack London Square. But when Sunday morning rolled around, we almost fell over from shock when we walked upstairs shortly after waking up to see this:

The booths were so close to Kosmos that we could have stood on the bow and stolen produce from the stands! Here is a shot from the other direction:

Having the Farmer’s Market come to us made shopping easy! It was an especially good market, too. We knew we’d miss it when we were gone.

We did a little exploring of downtown Oakland in the month we had Kosmos there. Oakland was officially made a town in 1852, the same time the shipping industry began on Oakland’s shores.  Oakland was prosperous from the beginning. In addition to the shipping wharves, Oakland became the main staging post for passengers and cargo journeying between the Bay Area and the Sierra foothills during the California Gold Rush. In the 1860s a railroad hub was put into Oakland and the town boomed even more, with shipbuilders, automobile manufacturing, canneries and many more industries developing there. Oakland’s history is rich with fascinating information, but we’re not going to get into the details in this post.

As we walked around downtown Oakland, we noticed that most of the buildings looked to be from the late 1800s to early 1900s. It was clear from the architecture, the quality of construction and the appointments that this was once a very wealthy city, and that it was beautiful in its heyday. Here are a couple of examples:

Oakland continued to flourish until World War II. During the war, an influx of Continue reading Exploring Oakland, California

San Diego to Gila Bend

It is going to be tough doing detailed postings while we are on the road. Those postings will have to wait until we get back home. While we are on the road, we’ll only give you a quick taste of what we did and saw, but don’t worry, detailed posts with lots of pictures will come in a few weeks.

April 24, 2006: Day 1, San Diego, California to Gila Bend, Arizona
Via: Interstate 8
Miles: 293

Desert View Tower (at border of San Diego and Imperial Counties, California)

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Dateland, Arizona (can you guess what they grow here?)

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Space Age Lodge and Restaurant (Gila Bend, Arizona)

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This is Part 2 of the Passage Across America series. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.