A Day Off

Robin and Jessamine decided to stay another day at Afton’s – who could possibly say no to Afton’s hospitality and the location? We really enjoyed walking on the beach and picking up buckets of sand dollars (yes buckets). The day and into the night was spent laughing, eating and drinking good wine. The only time we got in a car was to go to Trader Joe’s to get more goodies for the trip and for Stacy and Frank.
I don’t think I have laughed so much in years!

Puget Sound Reunion

Day 5… Robin called her good friend Afton to see if she was in Washington (where she has one of her homes). Afton was on her way home and said “come play and stay with me!” so… we drove to Seattle to visit Pike Place and watch the fishmongers throw fish. We purchased some gigantic shrimp and headed to the wine shop for some wine to take to Afton’s.
We backtracked 60 miles to Olympia and Afton’s. It was so good to catch up and relax in her beautiful home on Puget Sound. We made mojitos and took a walk on the beach in-front of Afton’s home and picked up sand dollars and agates while enjoying the spectacular view. We sat on the balcony and chatted for most of the evening. The shrimp and chicken kabobs and asparagus were grilled and enjoyed with sushi, wine and conversation. What a wonderful evening with friends!

Decision Time… Coast Highway or Inland??

Day 4 – We left Coos Bay Oregon on a beautiful, clear morning driving past a mountain of wood chips. We stopped in a Myrtlewood shop and were impressed with the lovely carvings. The coastline was rugged and beautiful. We stopped at the Devil’s Punchbowl to check out the views and drove to the highest headland available by car and watched the fog roll in. We headed to Lincoln City for lunch and the wind was honkin’!
We had to decide at this point of the trip to continue along Hwy 1 along the coast or turn inland to visit Portland and Seattle on the way to Canada. So… at Tillamook (yes the town known for cheese) we turned inland and went to Portland for a local brew. The hotels in Portland were booked (this was the first time we didn’t make a reservation… live and learn) so we went a few miles farther to Vancouver Washington and spent the night.

Fog clears at the State Line!

Our last day driving in California was very foggy on the coast and pretty in the redwoods. We left the main highway and drove through the Redwood Forest State Park – AMAZING! We were in awe of the tree with the largest circumference in USA. There were some BIG trees in the park! As we crossed the state line to Oregon the skies cleared and we enjoyed a warm sunny day. California must have forgotten to pay the sun taxes or something…
The Oregon Coast is beautiful! We stopped at several beaches to admire the scenery and found a little funky cafe on a pier. It is amazing how much the wind blows in Oregon and the waves in the ocean were HUGE. For a change we were very happy to be in a car and not a boat on this day.
Jessamine had read a story about a rock in the ocean with a woman’s face on it with her kittens (little rocks) all around and we had to find it. That was a little harder than we thought it was going to be, but we succeeded. We could see the face in the rock but never made the rocks near her into kittens… Oh well, it was all part of the adventure.

The Long & Winding Road that Leads to Stacy’s door

400 miles of driving along what looked like the edge of the world in thick fog is where we spent day two of our adventure. We started in Santa Cruz and ended up in Eureka. Jess and I had really looked forward to the beautiful views and saw fog! The California Highway Department did their job to rub it in our faces all day too with the constant signs saying “scenic vista” and “coastal access” all along the road. There were a few highlights in the day though… our first stop was on a beautiful beach north of Santa Cruz where we found lots of beautiful sand dollars.
Jessamine had never been across the Golden Gate Bridge so that was fun to cross even though it was shrouded in fog.
We stopped at the Pelican Inn north of San Francisco (where Robin fondly remembers visiting with her oldest son Alan and his wife Crystal earlier in the year). The Inn was empty and our new favorite bartender, Brian offered up some amazing service! We tasted beers and discussed local attractions. We found the Pelican Inn to be warm, gorgeous and very welcoming and wished we could have spent more time exploring the place, but it was lunchtime and Jessamine had heard about this great place for oysters a bit farther north, so off we drove into the fog.
The oysters at Marshall’s Store (north of Point Reyes) were amazing as well as the two men who obviously enjoyed grilling and serving them, but the woman at the counter left much to be desired (we decided she was having a bad day). The drive here was so different from the views we had seen up to San Francisco. The rugged coast had turned into beautiful bays. From there we traveled along the coast until the 1 turned a bit inland and through the amazing Redwood Forest where we were above the fog until we came back to the coastline and the marine layer.
Onward through the fog to Eureka and a soft bed, a little wine and a good nights sleep waited. All in all another great day.

North to Alaska!

Ok, Mermaid is tied to a dock in Long Beach… she won’t be going to Alaska on this trip. Robin and her friend Jessamine (a Texan!) are driving to Alaska to deliver a car to Stacy (about to be a new mom!). Robin and Jess are driving up the historic highway 1 enjoying the coastal sights along the way. Day 1, August 16th they drove from Long Beach to Santa Cruz – first stop was for Robin to visit Tony and get a big girl haircut… its short! They had lunch on the old pier in San Louis Obispo at Old Port Inn. Then they ventured on to Nepenthe in Big Sur for an adult beverage and enjoyed the fabulous view before ending up in Santa Cruz for the first nights lodging.

A Dockers again

We are back on A dock in Portofino where we have gotten the generator issue resolved (yea) but the frig is still not working. We spent most of the day on Saturday trying to figure out why the frig isn’t working and the rest of the day making the tour of Southern California Home Depots looking for the right insulation (which we didn’t find but settled on something else). Today we enjoyed breakfast at Polly’s on the Pier with Austin and Sara and will work on getting the insulation replaced on the frig right after our huge breakfast settles…

Catalina on hold…

Mermaid sat at anchor off KHYC where we enjoyed beautiful sunset and sunrises in addition to the Thursday night races.


As we were getting ready to head to Catalina Island when the generator started acting up. We got into a slip back at Portofino on A dock and called the company who did the rebuild. This was the first 10 minute fix ever! Good news… bad news is the frig is not working properly so we decided to stay put and troubleshoot this weekend.

Long Beach to King Harbor

We spent a couple of weeks in Long Beach getting all the Raymarine installed (why is it always more complicated than we think!?). It was fun spending time with our friends in Long Beach and doing a little racing but it was time to move again. Mike brought Mermaid to King Harbor while Robin brought the car. Mike and PeeWee had quite a rockin’ rollin’ trip to King Harbor and were quite happy to arrive to waiting rum and cokes and a fun evening on the patio of King Harbor Yacht Club with friends. Robin had done the Santa Barbara to King Harbor race and we both enjoyed the annual shrimp feed after the regatta. The plan is Catalina Island again this weekend and then off to… ?? We’ll figure it out.

Catalina Island Weekend

We finally got out to the island for the weekend! The boat work had to be halted for a couple of days so we could enjoy this great California weather. The wind was on the nose Friday evening so we motor sailed most of the way over. We picked up a mooring (with much difficulty due to kelp) in 4th of July Cove and were amazed when by light of day we saw that we were moored in a kelp forest… This also made our departure quite difficult because the sand line would not sink to the bottom, it sat on the kelp and hooked our rudder. We got Harbor Patrol to give us a tug in the opposite direction to release the line and free Mermaid. It turned out that our friends Victor and Jane were on the mooring next to us which was fun. The weather was spectacular! (sorry to our friends sweltering in other parts of the country, but we had to button up the cockpit because it got a bit cool – and we had to wear sweatshirts in the mornings). We had quite a few friends who raced over on Saturday and back on Sunday. It was fun to sit in the bean-bag chair on the bow and watch them finish. Also fun to mingle with them at Doug’s (yea for buffalo milks) and at the start line on Sunday morning.
The sail home was gorgeous! Perfect winds, seas and wild life. What a great weekend!!!