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Heading South

September 12, 2000

The harbor is starting to fill up with boats headed South, so like the wild geese, we’re getting the urge to go, too. Today we fueled up and met some Canadian boats from British Columbia’s Bluewater Cruising Association traveling together down the coast. We met a lot of them at their rendezvous in BC last summer on our way to Alaska. It will be nice to get reacquainted and to have company on the trip; cruisers are just about the nicest people you’ll ever meet. So about 9:00 AM on Friday, September 15th, give a little thought for Raven and her crew as we head out the Golden Gate at slack tide and ‘turn left.’

Jan has been keeping close watch on the weather faxes and the satellite weather pictures for the last week. Everything was looking quiet for our departure on the 15th, until Hurricane Lane decided to head our way. Here’s a photo we Hurricane Lane - Sept 10, 2000 (58K)downloaded by radio a few days ago directly from a US weather satellite, clearly showing Lane’s frightenly tight spiral west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Jan added a few place names to the image).  At that point, it packed 100-knot winds, and even though it was over 1,000 miles away we didn’t even want to be in the same hemisphere! Since then it’s been moving northwest over the Pacific and dissipating quickly. By our departure time Lane will be down to a wimpy 20 knots and no danger to us, although the leftover waves might make it a little lumpy. Jan is pleased that all the electronic gear he loaded onto Raven is working exactly as billed, helping us to spot weather patterns and stay safe.

The other reason we think it may be time to move on is that we had 5 days of cool weather and actual rain over the Labor Day weekend. Oh, the horror! On the first day we were driving down the freeway looking at six drops of rain on the windshield asking ourselves, “What is this stuff?” The radio announcer Encroaching fog over Sausalito (36K)started talking about the “dreadful weather” and that it was a real ‘Bela Lugosi kind of day’. At that, Jan said, “You think this is a Bela Lugosi kind of day?!! View of SF in fog from the masthead (37K)I’m from Tacoma, and I’ll show you a real Bela Lugosi day!!!  Mercifully, after putting on long pants for the first time since our arrival, all is back to normal and it is sunny again and in the 80’s. Whew. Dodged winter again!

We have had our 15 minutes of fame on this trip, having been mentioned, with photos, in Latitude 38 magazine — the west coast cruiser’s bible — for three months running. I’m sure it’s just because we have an unusual boat. The first time, I was reading along, (I have to read it before Jan because he’s a notorious article ripper-outer!) and I saw a photo of a woman who looked familiar. Then I realized it was me! The second month, they complimented us on our “fine website.” The third month there was a photo of Raven and the bio of her crew that we wrote for the Baja Ha-Ha rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas in November. Paul and Michelle are going to join us on the ten-day trip (750 miles, five parties). The kick-off event is a Halloween party, since we leave on October 31st, and Paul and Michelle are in charge of costumes. We have all just finished the fourth Harry Potter book (You’ve had the pleasure of reading them all, we hope!) so they’ve decided we’re going as the Raven Quidditch Team, complete with broomsticks and helmets. We’re still arguing about who gets the Firebolt 2000. (If you haven’t read the books yet, have we piqued your interest?) There are bound to be more photos in Latitude 38.

Speaking of The Kids, our other role in life is to be Raven Moving and Storage. Paul dislocated his shoulder for about the 10th time, so he had to go have some fast surgery to give him back a tendon and a rotator cuff to hold it all together. The timing of it all is a bit difficult since he has to have his arm in a sling until mid-October, Hearth & home (42K)but he and Michelle were about to move into their new house. Thus The Raven Heavy Lifters appear! Professionals shifted the major stuff on Monday, and we spent several fun days (no, really) helping pack and unpack boxes, install furniture, move a few carloads of clothes and breakables, and generally get Paul & Michelle settled in.  Amazing how much more fun moving can be when it’s your own kid and his wonderful fiancée!

We’re still managing to fit a little culture into our lives while all this physical stuff is going on. Sausalito’s huge annual Art Fair was on Labor Day weekend, with artists from all over the country. Knowing that I would have to get rid of a similarly sized possession on the boat if I purchased anything, I was not tempted. We’ve even started sending stuff home that’s not being used and isJan Signe Michelle Paul in SF (66K) taking up valuable space. Last week we attended a performance of the Teatro Zinzani, billed as “Love, Chaos and Dinner.” We were laughing so hard that dinner was hard to manage – a very entertaining evening.  Today we’re seeing a play called “Totally Committed,” a one man play about a New York restaurant reservationist, and all the “types” he encounters in his job. We’re also planning an evening at “Beach Blanket Babylon” (Did I say culture?) but that event is running a tight race with a baseball game at the new PacBell Field. Wonder who will win?

It is going to be very Michelle & Signe sailing (38K)hard for us to leave Sausalito. We’ve begun to know the area, made friends here in the marina, had some beautiful sailing days , and renewed friendships from the past. We finally know where to go to find everything we need. Now we get to start all over in San Diego, but I guess that’s what cruising is all about. We have especially enjoyed being able to spend so much time with Paul and Michelle at a very exciting time in their lives. Then again, Michelle mentioned painting some of the rooms in their new house, so on second thought maybe it’s time to head south!


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