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 Nordhavn.com 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.

Welcome to San Francisco, California, USA

As we said in the last post, from 0400 Saturday on, the seas had no wind waves, with only two to four foot, gentle, widely spread apart swells. The wind was almost non-existent at 0 – 3 knots real. The calm wind conditions lasted all night, as well.

During the night watch we had three strange sightings. A target would pop up in the middle of the screen, near our position, stay on the screen about a half hour, then vanish again. When we looked outside, even with the spotlight, we couldn’t see any of them. One time we had to change course to avoid the target. Eric thinks they are all buoys, maybe even fishing nets attached to buoys.

Thanks to the calm seas, we were making great time and had to slow down. San Francisco Bay has strong currents and we needed to time our entry carefully to be at slack tide changing towards flood tide so when the tide did come in, it would be with us.

By 1130, we were at the first marker for San Francisco Bay. Almost about the same time we passed the buoy, the fog picked up, though we still had three mile visibility. We entered the channel into San Francisco Bay at 1230, traveling just south of the shipping lane. Traffic was light; only a couple other vessels were heading in and none heading out.

We were amazed by how large the breaking waves were on the north side of the bay. Today was a relatively calm day; they must be unbelievable on days where the waves are bigger. Inside the bay, the swell died down, but it got significantly choppier.

At 1300, the Golden Gatebridge became slightly visible in the fog. A handful of boats, mostly tourist boats, were in the bay west of the bridge. Here is a shot of the bridge as we neared it.

We passed under the Continue reading Welcome to San Francisco, California, USA

Off to San Francisco: Leg 2 and New Toys

We pulled into Ventura Keys around 1130 on Thursday. We have friends named Stan and Diane who own a house with a private dock, and they had kindly offered to let us stay at their dock while we waited for a good weather window at Point Conception.

In a crazy small world coincidence, Stan and Diane have neighbors who actively cruised for several years on their sailboat, Gone Native, with their teenage sons. We met up with Gone Native in Hualtuco, Mexico and again in Ixtapa and Ensenada and had fun hanging out with them.

We had a lovely afternoon with Stan, his son, Scott, and Dave from Gone Native. In the evening, Stan and Diane hosted a dinner party for us and the Gone Native family. It was a great evening!

On Friday morning, we checked the weather. It looked like the best window over the next few days was today, so we Continue reading Off to San Francisco: Leg 2 and New Toys

Off to San Francisco: Leg 1 and Repair/Maintenance Items

On Wednesday we left for San Francisco. Leg one was from San Diego to Ventura, which took 24 hours. We left at 1130. For the first seven hours, the wind was steady at 15 knots from the forward port side, with two to four foot swells, gently shaped, at about 3 – 6 second intervals. Wind chop was about 1 – 2 feet, also gently shaped. We wish all rides in head seas could be so nice! Speeds varied from 5.5 to 6.5 knots at 1775 RPM depending on currents.

As the sun started to get lower in the sky, the wind picked up to 18 – 20 knots and the wind waves became slightly bigger at 2 – 4 feet, but noticeably sharper and at more rapid intervals. The pointier waves caused Kosmos to hobbyhorse and sent some sea spray over the bow, but it still was not a bad ride considering it was head seas.

The rougher conditions only lasted a little over an hour, then we got into the shadow of Catalina Island, where the seas slowly but steadily improved. By midnight the ride was relatively pleasant again (for head seas) and speeds had picked up to 7 knots. There was no moon and it was pitch black out, so there was no visibility all night.

We expected conditions to worsen once we passed Catalina, but they didn’t. In fact, they continued to slowly and steadily improve the whole rest of the trip. By 1000, the wind chop was completely gone, leaving only the gentle swell, making for a lovely ride.

Shortly after leaving San Diego, we had a small SNAFU arise. The entire downstairs reeked like the blackwater tank. Christi Continue reading Off to San Francisco: Leg 1 and Repair/Maintenance Items