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Logbook:  Summer and Early Fall 2004

We left Ensenada, Mexico, on July 1, 2004 to spend the summer and early fall cruising in Southern California.  This was to be our "shakedown" cruise to make sure that all systems were working properly.  It was a successful voyage not only because we found and took care of a few items that needed attention, but also because we really enjoyed our travels. 

Click here for photos.

From Ensenada, we traveled north and stopped in a number harbors and anchorages: 

  • Glorietta Bay, San Diego (near the Hotel del Coronado) - Here, we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary on July 3, and enjoyed 4th of July festivities.
  • Mission Bay  - Each night we were treated to a fireworks display from Sea World.
  • Dana Point - Beautiful setting - check out the photos.
  • Long Beach - Port of Los Angeles and Alamitos Bay (our favorite marina in So Cal).  We left Slip Away in Alamitos for a week while we traveled to Maryland to visit Rich's mom and sister.
  • Catalina Island - We anchored in Cat Harbor for 17 days - what a treat!
  • Marina del Rey - We had some boat projects to take care of and left Slip Away for a week while we traveled to Ohio to visit Jan's family for Labor Day week.
  • Paradise Cove - A beautiful anchorage and stopover on the way to the Channel Islands.  We intended to stay one night, but we stayed two waiting for strong Santa Ana winds to die down.
  • Santa Cruz Island - Smugglers Cove, Little Scorpion Anchorage, Prisoner's Harbor and Fry's   Harbor.  We hiked most days, scuba dived one day (beautiful dive, but cold water), and Rich caught his first fish when we were traveling between Little Scorpion Anchorage and Prisoner's Harbor. 
  • Redondo Beach - We had a beautiful downwind trip from Santa Cruz Island to Redondo.  This was a nice calm anchorage, but Slip Away was the recipient of way too much bird poop here!
  • Long Beach - We stopped in Alamitos Bay again for two weeks and replaced our fuel tank - a big job, hindered somewhat by stormy weather.  We'll post photos in the near future of that job on the "Boat Refitting" page. 
  • Catalina Island - "Cruisers Weekend" and one final visit.
  • San Diego - This was our last U.S. stop for provisions and boat parts before heading back to Mexico. 

Some highlights of our summer/fall cruise included:

  • Sighting numerous whale spouts as we headed north from Ensenada to San Diego. 
  • A full moon over the San Diego skyline as we motored toward our anchorage in Glorietta Bay. 
  • Cracking crabs with the Donohue Clan on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake.
  • Visits with friends who live in Southern California.  These great folks helped us run errands, loaned us their cars, had us over for dinner.  It was incredibly heartwarming!
  • Sharing anchorages with friends we've made since we started our cruising life. 
  • Our favorite hike on the backside of Catalina Island on one of the clearest days we've ever seen there. 
  • Happy Hour at the Banning House on Catalina Island.
  • Labor day weekend and pig roast at the Schwab family river camp.
  • The smell of the grove of eucalyptus trees at Scorpion Cove on Santa Cruz Island.
  • The hike from Prisoner's Harbor to Pelican Bay on Santa Cruz Island and the tidepools at Pelican Bay.
  • Rich catching his first fish off the coast of Santa Cruz Island.
  • A dinner of fresh scallops hosted by Bob & Janet Griswold on their boat Ka-Tet, while anchored in Fry's Harbor, Santa Cruz Island.  Bob & Janet caught and prepared the scallops, invited ten people for dinner, and they had more than enough for all.  
  • The multitudes of starfish and the lone Spanish Shawl nudibranch on our dive in Fry's Harbor on Santa Cruz Island.  (We were distracted with sightseeing underwater while the Griswold's were busy hunting dinner.)
  • A Sunday afternoon sail on Zubenubi, our old Catalina 27, with our friends John & Camille who own and are taking such good care of her. 
  • The warm welcome from our friends in Ensenada when we returned there.  

In addition to having fun, this was a true shakedown cruise, as we found a few items that needed to be repaired and/or replaced - a watermaker pump, our autopilot display, a temperature sensor on the alternator regulator.  Fortunately, most of these things were covered under warranty, and our being in Southern California made them much easier to handle than if we had been further south in Mexico.  We did not plan to do any major refit projects in Southern California, but when we noticed a small leak from our diesel tank, we arranged to replace it in Long Beach before heading back to Mexico.  This turned out to be a very good decision.  When we removed the old tank, there was quite a bit of corrosion on it, and the tank vendor told us that our small leak was about to turn into a large one, so we avoided a major problem. 

On November 3, after four months in Southern California, we returned to Ensenada for some final preparations and provisions before heading further south for winter.