Thursday, November 27, 2008

People we met in Catalina Harbour and Dana Point

It seems like if you stay in a place for a few days, you will meet at least a couple of interesting people. We were anchored in Catalina harbour for a week and enjoyed the company of four very different people - a young Alabama man cruising on a small engineless boat, a seasoned charter captain and harbour master who gave us a plethora of tips about cruising in Mexico, and two gentlemen from Los Angeles who were cruising on a lovely Bill Garden designed Porpoise ketch, named 'Reprieve'.

Justin is from Alabama and is bound for Panama and beyond in his small (less than 26 foot) but seaworthy Pearson sloop.

Justin and Poseidon, a Pearson Ariel sloop.

One night after we had him over for dinner, a strong Santa Ana wind blew through the anchorage around midnight. When we got up to check and reset our anchor we could not see his boat, which had been anchored near us for 3 days. I rowed out to look for him and later asked other nearby boats if they had seen anything, but it was not until 3 pm the next day that we saw his little blue boat sailing back to the anchorage. His anchor had dragged and he woke up only after the boat had drifted out to sea, fortunately missing the cliffs and other obstructions on the way. He had been unable to sail back against the winds and had spent a sleepless night drifting and beating into strong winds. We treated him to a good stiff drink of the local Buffalo Milk that evening! Maybe because of this incident, Justin has decided to stick around and find work at Avalon (a small city of 4500) on Catalina Island before he heads further south.

Casino at Avalon - the 'big city' on Catalina Island.

Bruce works as a harbour master at Two Harbours, taking care of the local mooring fields. He lives on a large ketch moored in Catalina Harbour and has spent about 11 years on the island in various roles, working as a charter captain before that. We spent many enjoyable hours chatting with him about Catalina Island and the years he spent in Mexico.

Bruce on board his ketch.

Dennis and Roger were over to Catalina Harbour for a few days on Roger's immaculate ketch, 'Reprieve'.

Reprieve anchored in Catalina Harbour. This was our view when we woke up each day.

Dennis and Roger invited us to dinner at the (only) restaurant in Two Harbours and Rani enjoyed sitting on a throne during the meal.

Rani on her wicker throne with Dennis seated to her left.

We were given a tour of Reprieve, which Roger built largely by himself between 1965 and 1976. She is beautifully constructed with many clever touches and boasts a mahogany interior.

Rani and Roger in the Salon of Reprieve.

Roger and Dennis rowing over to say hi.

Here are a couple of pics from Catalina that did not make it into our earlier blog post:

Sailing to Catalina Island - amazing rock formations on the Pacific side.

Chris getting ready to clean Ladybug's dirty bottom.

While we were in Dana Point, we had visits from Rani's friends, Sangeeta, Ajay, and their family (Rani knows Sangeeta from her days in Windsor, Ontario). We also met up with my friend Kevin, with whom I spent some time exploring Death Valley a few years back.

Sangeeta, Sangeeta's mum, Ajay, Roshan and Sanjay.

Kevin and Chris enjoy a light air sail off Dana Point.

One of the best aspects of traveling like this is the opportunities it gives us to meet interesting people and to share our trip with friends and family.


Anonymous said...

Greetings from N.S. I was at the califoria scope 10 Nov. Just missed you. Having a lovely winter. refitting the catspaw, knew nees, few ribs, bit of planking. Recession hit the lobstermen, $3.25/lb at the jetty and falling.
Nat and Sam are visiting for this week, and we're eating our faces off.

Bill said...

Any chance Justin is still around? The Ariel - Commander Yacht Association would like to learn more about his planned cruise and also the hull number of his boat.

Bill Phelon, Secretary