Other than Tucker not going to work it seems like our day to day routines are really normal. Tucker wakes up early with the kids and makes me coffee before he gives me my wake up call. We make a breakfast or two and get dressed for the day. We go about our day doing boat projects or walk to a grocery store, or look for a place to do laundry. The kids play, read, do workbooks, make crafty projects, make messes, play games and video games, go for walks, find parks, climb trees, go to the beach, and visit with friends. All of our meals are at home or packed up as picnics. The pace is really perfect. Ruby has time to sew with my help; to concentrate on her cursive handwriting; or to sit in between Miles and I and give us very specific and serious lessons so that we can become competent Angry Birds players. Miles looks for jobs and fixing projects whenever he can. Today he very seriously threaded buttons onto embroidery thread (really a distraction so I could work with Ruby on her project) and made several strands as gifts for all of us.
When we’re underway, we have been for 7 days in the last two weeks, the kids tend to be peaceful and calm. Today Ruby came up to the cockpit with paper and a clipboard, workbooks, and story books and said, “I have so much to do!” Though it’s clear that they appreciate being able to run around when we go ashore I don’t think they’ll run out of things to do or claim boredom.
As far as the sailing goes…The wind has been mostly at our backs. We have had one perfect sail from Half Moon Bay to Monterey with wind, swell, and sun all so comfortable that it became very clear to me why people get in their boats and sail off into the sunset and keep on going. We have also had a long cold overnight sail between Monterey and Morro Bay. It all went perfectly well, but I was so exhausted that when we dropped the anchor in the morning I laid down on the bow and took a nap right there. Another day was fierce, with 20+ knot winds combined, at times, with rolling swell, cold temperatures and little visibility. During that day we passed Point Conception, a major milestone in many sailor’s books.
We holed up in a remote anchorage (Cuyler Bay, San Miguel Island) waiting for the winds to drop so we could go to shore and explore. After two and half loud and windy nights we hauled the anchor and sailed towards the mainland again. We spent three easy nights at a marina in Ventura where we did boat chores (Tucker found a friendly chandlery close by with all the parts necessary for the watermaker install), laundry, groceries, and some exploring. And then we motored away from Ventura towards Santa Catalina Island where we’re anchored now.
This spot that we are anchored in is significant because before we bought our boat we chartered a boat from Marina Del Ray out to Catalina Island to see if sailing with kids would be as good as we hoped (and to rule out extreme sea sickness and the like). We spent from Christmas 2009 through the new year out here playing around on the west end of the island dipping our toes in the cruising life. We told the kids that we’d come back and it’s been high on the priority list for Ruby. Miles is excited that there’s a place called the Tucker Playground that we’ll walk to tomorrow. I don’t think we’ll get to hike high in the hills and take pictures of Convivia anchored in the harbor but it’s certainly one of those views we’d like to capture!
I’m excited about our southbound progress and happy that our next stop is San Diego. I keep waiting to feel the great excitement of starting our trip and thinking that maybe I’ll find that in San Diego, or perhaps the Mexico border. For now I love coming into each new harbor and getting underway to the next one when we’re ready, and feeling, finally, that I’m where I need to be.