Sailing Mango

I'm Talking To YOU!

"This is warship 1-0-0, hailing the vessel at approximately 32 degrees, 40.8 minutes north, 117 degrees, 08.5 minutes west, heading 1-5-2 making 8 knots, on channel one six, over."

We were just off Point Loma, making for San Diego. Kristen and I look at the chart plotter, then back at the huge destroyer off our starboard bow, "what were those coordinates again?"

"This is warship 1-0-0, hailing the vessel at approximately 32 degrees, 40.8 minutes north, 117 degrees, 08.5 minutes west, heading 1-5-2 making 8 knots, we are off your starboard bow, over."

Hmm, well the coordinates were not quite right, but close, and our heading was 147, and we were making 7 knots, so maybe they were hailing the little boat ahead of us?

Kristen: "Surely they would just hail us by our name, since we are broadcasting that on AIS. They must mean the boat ahead of us."
Me: "Yeah, sure, they would just hail us by name. But maybe we should load torpedoed tube one just in case?"

"This is warship 1-0-0, hailing the vessel at approximately 32 degrees, 40.8 minutes north, 117 degrees, 08.5 minutes west, heading 1-5-2 making 8 knots, we are off your starboard bow, over."

I felt a little bit like when someone is looking slightly over your shoulder and says something, and you look behind you only to realize no one is there. "Are... are you talking to me?", you say, embarrassed.

Me, on the radio now: "Warship 1-0-0, this is sailing vessel Mango, are you trying to hail us?"
W100: "Yes, please shift to channel 1-0, 1-0 over."
Me: "Channel 1-0."
We duly changed our radio to channel 10.
W100: "Yeah we are manuvering in the area and request you keep a two mile distance from this vessel, over."
Me: "Roger that captain, we will keep two miles distance from your vessel, over."

I'm still not sure why they didn't just call us by our name. Maybe they were brushing up on their radar plotting, who knows. I wasn't about to hail them and ask. We heard them hailing various vessels in the same manner for over two hours. Towards the end they were conducting small craft operations and asking other vessels to stay at least one thousand feet away. When you are on the water, one thousand feet is not very far. I would be hard pressed to get that close to a destroyer out in the ocean. It just seems like a Bad Idea.

This wasn't the ship hailing us, but it was similar.

Backing up a week or two, after we left metropolis of Marina Del Rey, we anchored in the Los Angeles harbor with the big boy ships. Not really with them, but it felt like it. That is one busy port. We actually anchored off a small marina in a designated anchorage, with no other boats around, other than the police that stopped by to ask if we had already registered with them. We hadn't, didn't know we needed to, but the officers were very nice, issued us a permit on the spot, and off they went.

The next morning, after two hours of alternator belt struggles, we were off to Dana Point to meet up with my sister and family. It was great to see them, have the kids hang with their cousin, and explore the area. Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., who wrote Two Years Before The Mast, a memoir about his two years on a sailing ship as a deck hand begining in 1834. He wrote the book to highlight the harsh life of the common sailor, and it became a best seller. It is an excellent book, probably free as an e-book. I highly recommend it.

We anchored in the little tiny anchorage at Dana Point. Anchor scope, the ratio of how much chain we let out vs. depth of the water, was limited to 3:1 at best, so we didn't swing out into the channel, the rock wall, or other boats. 5:1 is ideal, but there were no waves and the wind was not strong, so it seemed OK. We have survived much stronger winds with a similar scope in the past, so all is good in the watery hood.

My nephew spent the night on our boat, and the next night A spent the night in his nephew's hotel room. It was all very civilized. A especially enjoyed the mediocre hotel breakfast.

After the long and wonderful weekend with family, we moved the boat from the anchorage to a yacht club where we left the boat and went to Disneyland for a day. It wasn't my cup of tea, but Kristen and the kids were keen on it, so there you go.

As we pulled up to the dock, our dogs came up on deck, and per normal operating procedures, began to bark their fool heads off. The guy across the finger pier hissed "No dogs, no dogs!" Amidst the chaos and noise of securing the boat, handling the dogs, and worrying that I was late for a rental car pick-up, I assure him we were taking the dogs to the kennel, but he was a grouchy kind of guy and the whole interaction left me rattled.

Disneyland was actually quite good. The park is super clean, has a great staff, and the rides are good. This was my second time, and once again I was impressed by the ride theming. At most amusement parks the rides are just sort of plopped on an old parking lot or similar, and there you go. DL rides are incredibly well themed everywhere. Example - on the Raiders Of The Lost Ark ride, the line you wait in is fully decked out like the movie. There are camps and equipment from the 1930s, jungle plants, tunnels with stone blocks being supported by bamboo poles, fake traps with mostly dead people in them, etc. When it comes time to tell the riders to keep your fool hands and feet in the car, instead of annoying announcements on speakers, they use short film clips with one of the actors from the movie, they guy that meets Indie in Cairo. I think I enjoyed the details of the rides better than the rides themselves.

The day after Disneyland we spent at anchor in Dana Point again, and just like the first time, we had trouble anchoring. There was one spot in the anchorage where we just could not get our anchor to hold. We have a super spiffy anchor, so I was pretty surprised. After doing a little research, I think we should have let our a full 5:1 scope, set the anchor with the engine in reverse to dig it in, and then reduce scope to 3:1 to accommodate the other boats in the anchorage.

After Dana Point, we spent a night in Oceanside. As we were coming into the harbor we remarked on how clean the break wall was. Normally they are white, covered in bird poop. We secured Mango to the dock, then took the dogs for a walk, and saw the reason. There were a bazillion birds up in the trees. One huge tree was missing half of it's needles from all of the poop, and the branches were as white as if someone had painted them. We made a circuitous route around the trees, and back to the boat.

We are now in San Diego off of Coronado Island in a special anchorage set aside for the Baja-ha-ha boats. The Baja-ha-ha is a rally from SD to Cabo in MX, and takes about ten days. We joined the rally to meet more kid boats. Wouldn't you know it, not long after our hook was down a dinghy came over with three kids in it to say hi. We chatted for a bit, they told us where we can get water, etc. I nearly cried with joy.

So we are here until October 31st when we leave for MX. We will be doing final provisioning, lots of laundry, wrapping up boat projects, and visiting with friends. We will have friends Paul and Karen with us again, the same two who sailed with us from Seattle to San Francisco. We had a great time with them on that leg, and we are all looking forward to another voyage with them.

LA harbor.

Around the 2-1 mark you can see by our tracks that we tried to anchor there a few times. Eventually we settled on the spot near 2-3. Those are in fathoms and feet, so by the 2-3 the water is about 15 feet deep at mean low tide.

Falling real estate?

Spelunking with the cousin!

A couple of mermaids.

We tried a slow panoramic, but a few of us got even skinnier. And we gained a boy.

At anchor in SD!