Friday, November 28, 2008

The Tail of Two Turkeys

Visits during the winter season can change as plans change. When Turkey Day approaches in is important to keep in touch with the pilgrims if you are going to get fed. Having two cooks in the family that can prepare a great dinner why not eat twice. Well there was some uncertainty on where to go as senior daughter was not sure and middle child was in Frankfort until the last minute. To eliminate stress on the weary traveler we decided to have dinner with a valley view instead of one of a downtown view but the plans had been already been set in motion by middle child. Both of my fair daughters live at hill tops, steep ones, even scary steep. So Thursday we left the plastic home-owners burbs of Orange County and headed north to Los Angeles not knowing how long the trip would take on the suckey freeway. We didn't go very early and left at noon. The freeway was actually smooth sailing going north and on the larboard side it looked really bad southbound. With one dinner early and one dinner late our troop ate twice with a ten minute trip on the Hollywood Freeway between hilltops.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smoke and Ashes

Last weekend the winds came up in the early AM and blew all day Sunday. The weather predictions were for somewhat of a repeat with lots of wind Saturday and a little less on Sunday. So with this mind I set off for the boat and as the approach to the freeway came near a large black cloud was seen rising over the the foothills. It wasn't a cloud of welcome rain it was the horrible sight of a fire out of control. As I drove west towards San Pedro the smoke stayed on my starboard side and the fire in the Santa Ana Canyon fueled by acres of dry brush blew west in the direction I was headed and we finally met at the marina where the ash began to settle as the winds slowed. One of my first chores is to clean the boat for Sunday's sail but the ash kept falling so cleaning was put on hold and there was zero wind. Listening to a classical music station does not keep you abreast of all the current events and after turning to AM radio I became aware of all the fires in progress then I promptly turned back to classical music.

The wind for Saturday stayed around 1 knot most of the day in San Pedro while winds with destructive fires blew in the east and north. When the sun came up Sunday morning the ash falling had ceased and the cleanup crew began. There was a litttle light breeze going out from the dock into the ocean but a total lack of waves and in some spots the water was mirror smooth with areas of small patches of pertubation possiblly casued my schools of small fish. Something was in the water as there were lots of birds and seals swimming about. There was enough air to get a hull speed of 8 knots for a while and the boat never heeled more than ten degrees. Usually in the afternoon the entrance back into the harbor by the light house is met with white caps and 25 to 30 degrees of heeling but what a pleasant surprise it wasn't.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Windy Weekend

The seasons change somewhat in California, some trees shed their color of leaves, some years the rains fall late in the year bringing welcome new green and some years the sun just keeps on shining. Saturday was a trip to the tropical island of San Pedro which is actually in the City of Los Angeles to scrub and holly stone by boat. Yes, the sun was shining bright and as usual I forgot to bring something from the house, like my shorts. There are two closets on the boat and plenty of places to store things plus a dock side stowage where I keep my sails but the feeble brain that directs my actions tends to forget and almost every trip leaves a forgotten item on the kitchen counter or in my bedroom. Washing the bird crap off the boat's deck and cabin top can get you soaking wet and Saturday I not only forgot the shorts, it was nice and warm outside, I forgot another pair of long pants to change into. So to help our President Elect create a stimulus for our weaken economy I ventured to beautiful downtown Pedro and went to the war surplus store where I have been wanting to visit. Unfortunately their selection of shorts did not meet my surfer's choice so I meandered over to West Marine on Harbor Blvd. and bought a couple of shorts with lots of nautical pockets. This purchase, when viewed, was not accepted by the waisters and lubbers a day later. These teenage mutants who spend 24 hours a day playing video games complained loudly about the length of my new shorts. The length of the shorts were not within the limits set my creatures who idea of fashion does not consider anything pragmatic, as they the shorts did not reach my ankles as most basketball players do so they booed and their cries of Prop 8 rallied about the house.

Meanwhile armed with dry backup clothing I returned to swab my decks. Then I got ready to sail my sabot and the wind just quit working, similar to the people who write speeches for Sarah Palin. It is not hard to fault her speaking or writing unfortunately for me it doesn't earn any money.

So the lack of wind caused me to switch to rowing as a form of entertainment and I did so. Well tomorrow will be better and getting an early start will allow for a nice sail. While sleeping so nicely Saturday night/Sunday Morning mother nature decided at 2:20 AM to start blowing and actually howling. And did she howl. When I was a kid there was a TV Show which featured Gale Storm as a young woman as the star of her own TV Comedy.
I don't know where Gale Storm is today but her ghost came to visit me after a very calm day Saturday. We had 45 knot winds in the Gulch. I am sure veterans creatures of the Gulch have seen greater but as a novice it was a little bit more than casual.

About the ohotos: Every weekend the cruise ship sails from our island of San Pedro headed towards other destinations that are close. The pictures of the cruise ship leaving the channel next to where my boat is are actually a far piece but since the ship is so large it's actually looks very close. Close enough to hear the music from the ship as it heads toward the breakwater and out to sea.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Pictures

Not much to say here cause these are too scary for words.

It is hard to tell about these evil looking eyes and I am not sure if a "Red Eye Edit" would fix it.

Really can not say what happen to the mummy and how he got in such terrible shape but at least he has some serious helpers.
The two pumpkins heads did the carving themselves and took their own pictures using the auto timer on the Nikon.