It’s odd how traveling accompanied by uncertainty and new discoveries aids a person to remember the passing days more clearly. Details blur less.
Sailing south from Ventura this past month since our departure the morning of February 10th has heightened my remembrances of daily details. For example, burned into my brain are the particulars of our first 10-hour sail down the coast of California and docking at Del Rey Yacht Club. The trip south was rather unmemorable to mark the beginning of such an extensively planned trip. We attempted to sail but there was little wind so we engaged the motor the entire time. The colors of the morning were soft, the air fresh. The temperature warmed once the sun rose fully overhead. Our hard dodger kept the direct sun at bay until just past noon. The swells were stable generally angling behind us pushing us south. In the calm, Eric and I caught up on messaging our loved ones and texting photos of our debarkation from that morning. The boys slept to keep nausea at bay and later watched a movie down below. We ate crackers and Clementines. We set-up the new fishing line and trolled to no avail. We all wore our life jackets the entire time. I scratched a little at Sudoku. Those details I remember and much more…over a month later.
Arriving at Del Rey Yacht Club, a facility we already were familiar with having been members a couple years before we moved to Ventura, was a bit weird. The size of boats surrounding us were enormous (i.e.: lavish) and we learned over the next couple days these were very well kept by cleaners, but hardly visited. The members and staff were polite and kind. The facilities were deluxe including brand new bathrooms with lovely showers, swimming pool, table tennis, basketball, laundry and space for us to park our car as it traveled south to the border with us.
What we remember most, however, was being asked to move twice after we arrived. Docked initially in prime view, perhaps our boat was an eyesore to the members sitting in the bar – albeit very well maintained and polished, Kandu’s deck is laden with five surfboards, two boogie boards, an extra propane tank, buckets, 3 diesel and 3 water jugs, 5 gasoline cans, water hose, etc…plus beach towels, wetsuits, and rags, drying on the life lines. Yet much more importantly, I fondly remember the quick visits we shared with our Los Angeles friends. Over four days, we packed in a punch. One of the times we moved, Jim and Joanne Schubarth, friends from church, delighted in a quick ride on Kandu and witnessed the crew handle the boat. I felt a funny sense of pride at having been able to ease their minds on our boating abilities. We celebrated my birthday over drinks and dinner with the Franks. The joy I felt at spending time with them again was deep. We enjoyed a BBQ with Cub Scout cronies hosted by the Calimlims. So many dear neighborhood friends showed-up to wish us well; I was overwhelmed. We relished visits from Bryce and Trent’s friends from swim team and school. The boys were touched by the families’ efforts to come hang out at the boat. Our financial advisor Spencer came to wish us off with big smiles, our property manager JP and his family brought us SPAM (good thinking!), and a girlfriend with her young family came to enjoy the California Yacht Club pool and a beautiful day in Marina del Rey: what incredible memories of experiences and feelings! All this I remember and in great detail because we were in unfamiliar circumstances – in traveling mode where the variation of our days makes for recalling distinct moments.
In my mind, each port in which we have docked this past month: Alamitos Bay in the Long Beach Harbor, Dana Point, Oceanside, and San Diego all remain very distinct in my mind due to the friends, the acquaintances, the places, the surf sites, the repairs we had to make and the paperwork we needed to address.
As uncomfortable and frustrating as it can be moving from one slip or marina to the next, the feelings are overshadowed by the many fascinating and helpful people we’ve met along the way. Good and bad, more than when comfortable on land, I recall clearly, in vivid detail, each of these days.