Greetings to all from our Sailing Friends

November 8th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

Pam and I are safely in warm, sunny Bahia Santa Maria Mexico on the Pacific coast of Baja.  The Ha-Ha group numbers approximately 135 boats and was quite a sight to behold leaving San Diego.  With colorful spinnakers flying, the fleet spread out slowly on the horizon.  The first evening we saw a continuous parade of lights heading south.  Two more nights at sea had us virtually alone although the AIS showed scattered targets around us.  Turtle Bay appeared on the crystal clear horizon the morning of the fourth day.  We enjoyed an entertaining lunch ashore at the Maria’s seaside restaurant and lavanderia (laundry).  While eating, we noticed the waitress putting clothes on the line behind the kitchen cialis india price.  A short while later, a cruiser walked in with dirty laundry for Maria.  Only in Mexico.  A rousing beach party, pot-luck and talent show followed the next day.  See ‘Lectronc Latitude for pics.  Out next leg was uneventful and significantly more mellow.  We are loving life!  Next stop Cabo.

Pam and Roger

Park A Bike

August 30th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

Park A Bike

 

 

 

Park a Bike has represented every bike rack, bike locker and bike shelter company in the country. Park a Bike has generously sponsored the ETBT this year with their Portable Event Racks.

Thanks Park a Bike!

Bequia is home!

August 29th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

It was good to see Marc and Steve and Becky waiting at the dock.  Always nice to be home! Thanks for securing us a spot on the guest dock!!

Looks like Pam is ready to dive in!

 

Bequia is now home

Arrival

August 28th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

Our uncomfortable but speedy run ended  40 miles west of the Farallons as the wind shut down at the beginning of my watch.  With the prospect of motoring the remaining miles home, all hope of an arrival under sail ended.  This was an emotional low point for me as I was loath to fire the motor.

As dawn emerged, the rocky islands were abeam to starboard.  We were also greeted by the local charter fishing fleet of perhaps a dozen party boats all gathered within a quarter mile of each other.  It must have been a really good spot.  As we neared the gate, more signs of humanity crept into our senses.  Vessels of all types were zipping about, large tankers moving deceptively fast and channel markers with clanging bells introduced us to sounds unheard of for nearly three weeks.   We sailed under the bridge @ 1 PM.  It was a beautiful, sunny day on the bay with lots of people enjoying the conditions.  Being the last day of the AC 45 World Series, there were perhaps more boats out than usual.  Actually, there were tons and tons of boats.  Like Fleet Week on steroids.  In addition, there were multiple helicopters buzzing, seaplanes overhead, ferries and kayakers.  It all bordered on sensory overload.  A big contrast to say the least.

Re-entry

Re-entering is difficult.  The simplicity of life on board does not translate well to modern society.  The pace of things is the most striking. It also hits you pretty quick.  Driving home on the freeway is about 650% faster than we’ve moved during the entire trip.  And all those cars were way too close.

The house also tends to move.  For me, this was most apparent taking a shower.  I was bracing myself as if we were at 20 degrees of heel.  I only occasionally run into walls now.

Top ten highlights:

10) The evening sky.  The cosmos are a never ending source of enjoyment for us.

9) My mid-Pacific dip.

8) Baby wipes.  Don’t leave home without them.

7) Sailmail.  Hearing from friends and family was always a treat and much anticipated.

6) Our friends Sonja and Paul for hosting us before our departure.  They are always accommodating.

5) Food.  We ate well.  When even a simple PB&J sandwich can seem gourmet during a gale, many of our meals were over-the-top.

4) Landfall.  San Francisco bay on a sunny Sunday afternoon has to be one of the prettiest.

3) Bequia.  Our magic carpet.  Tolerant if we were exhausted.  Responsive when on our game.  Solid and reliable always.

2) Skipper Dennis Ronk.  ‘nuff said.

1) My wife Pamela for enduring some pretty crazy adventures over the years and always being up for more.

Smellin’ the barn

August 28th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

 

Bequia has the bit and is charging hard for home.  Over the last few days we’ve experienced our longest run of good boat speed and, more importantly, heading in the proper direction.  Currently @ 0100 hours PDT on Saturday we are 220 NM from SF.  The living conditions aboard have been challenging.  This is mostly due to the sea state but also because skipper has run out of smokes.  I’m unsure if smoke-free is a good thing right now.  As I noted earlier, the motion of the boat is uncomfortable acheter levitra en france.  The seas are running 5 to 8 feet with occasional long-period rollers of 15 feet.  Moving around below, you must be very deliberate.  Your path and hand-hold locations have been etched to memory, but it’s still work.  Sometimes I just sit down for a rest.  Sadly, hanging out in the cockpit to work on my tan is out.  I would probably get wet anyway.

Latest projection for arrival is early Sunday AM.

Off to the races

August 28th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

We finally got the wind we were seeking yesterday.  Its as if the wind gods rewarded us for our patience.  I’ve always been taught to be careful what you ask for.  The implied meaning is that you may get too much.  We are well prepared to handle wind, but that doesn’t mean life is a box of chocolates on board.  This particular wind is coming from the direction we’re headed.  That translates to the boat heeling up to 20 degrees and a choppy, uncomfortable motion.  Sailors have an endearing term for this: Bashing.  If you envision your favorite rock band on stage destroying their instruments for your entertainment, you have a good idea.  Its been said gentlemen do not bash to windward.  Obviously spoken by a wise sailor.

Magazine sailing

August 22nd, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

You know the full page glossies of beautiful boats with beautiful people in beautiful tropical locations.  Everybody all smiles, even the kids.  Well, we’ve had our ‘zine moments on this trip.  We had one the other day in fact.  A decent breeze, good boat speed and a brilliant blue sky led my wife and I on deck to bask in all the goodness.  And yes, we were smiling.  A lovely interlude read here.  Then the wind promptly turned off.

Light air (part 2)

We’re seeing a nearly identical pattern over the last few days in which the wind picks up in the evening around 10 or 11 PM.  It continues throughout the night (at times freshening) then drops in the morning and completely shuts off by noon.  Daytime is marked by scattered clouds, evening by overcast mixed in with more ominous-looking but mostly impotent clouds and rain.  The wind is typically 10-12 kts, so we’re not setting the world on fire.  At this point, we’re just thankful we’re not having to motor too much.

Happy Birthday from the Bequia Crew to Bill

August 20th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

The crew of Bequia would like wish Pops a wonderful and happy 94th birthday today!  We would love to hear from him and any other family if they wish to send us a message.

Dark and stormy

August 20th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

The last two things my wife says to me before ending her watch are “its wet out there” and “happy anniversary”.  I refrained from a smart alec remark about it being wet.  And no, I didn’t forget.  Earlier in day, overcast skies with little sprinkles (or pissers) kept us alternately opening and closing hatches.  More of an annoyance than anything.  The night was especially dark as the overcast had shut out most of the light from the stars.  However, it was still possible to see dark patches in the sky.  A good thing considering what was next.

With the light wind we’ve experienced the last couple of days, the priority has been to just keep the boat moving.  This leads us to steer the boat to always maintain the wind on the beam.  Sailing this way means you’re not always going in the right direction.  Our heading varies from east (good) to north (less good).  I mention this because our squall wasn’t your tropical, intense, exit left affair that racers seek out.  It was a more extended, gentlemanly, controlled boost that had the boat moving like a freight train for well over an hour.  A few taps on the autopilot was all it took to smooth things out when it got rowdy.  I never did see our speed as I was trying to stay dry under the dodger.  I still got soaked anyway.  Not only was the night dark and stormy, but it was now cold and clammy.

Bad motor scooter

August 20th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

Have you ever had a song playing in your head for hours?  Days?  Right now, Sammy Hagar’s tune Bad Motor Scooter (and ride) is in mine.  I’m sure it was wishful thinking.  Motoring for over 30 hours straight does that.  The monotonous drone hour after hour with literally nothing to do is decidedly un-scooter like and definitely not bad.  Its also not healthy.  Your mind has free reign to delve into wild scenarios that, although plausible, are remote.

We needed some horsepower found on this site.  And quick.

While describing to a co-worker what I was doing for my vacation, I was asked in deadpan fashion … why?  At the time, I responded with my typical “because its there” response.  But my free-range mind of late was asking the same thing.  The answer came in the form of a steady breeze from the south.  Wandering minds now become focused.  We tweaked this, ground in that.  The boat came alive along with three giddy sailors.

Lake of the north (Pacific)

August 17th, 2012 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

Bequia is firmly ensconced in the Pacific High.  Zephyrs from horizon to horizon.  It reminds me of a lazy summer afternoon on Folsom Lake.  Only there is more trash floating by.

We’re on the lookout for the elusive Japanese glass fishing float.  I don’t quite understand the fascination with these.  Perhaps skipper is planning a nautical museum for the garage.  Or a shrine to fishing flotsam.  I bet you could find one on e-bay.  No long voyage required.

 


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