These are the chronicles of the sailing ship
Mustang Sally a blue water catamaran. Rae and
Sharon Simpson are circumnavigating the planet aboard. Rae
and Sharon departed White Rock, British Columbia,
Canada - from Semiahmoo Marina on June 1, 2005. Their
updated itinerary can be viewed by clicking
here. You can
San Diego - What a Great Place
30 and we are still here in San Diego. We are
delayed waiting for parts for the windlass. (the machine
that lifts up the anchor and chain). Get this - we are two
Canadians waiting on a Japanese manufactured bearing, used
in an Italian gear box, distributed by an American company for a
Gotta love globalization!
check out the solar phenomena in the sky over San Diego.
We have been trying to find out what it might be. If you
have any ideas let us know.
The picture at the right was taken with my HP707 digital camera.
The picture was taken at dusk. The silvery gold is a cloud
or fog rolling over the hill. The dark green patches at
the bottom are trees below the fog. Dark blue is the sky.
What the heck is the rest? You can click on the picture to
expose a high resolution copy.
It took me about 15 minutes to convince the camera to take
the picture. It closely mirrors what we saw in the sky
over Point Loma.
The best account came from my brother George:
- "cirrus cloud formations are the most likely explanation.
These high clouds composed of ice particles are the very wispy
ones you see on a clear day. They can catch and reflect the
sun's light towards you after sunset. If this explanation is on
the right lines, it looks like there might have been two layers
each acting like a lens - the image of the sun is turned into
ovals by being out of focus; you can do this with a magnifying
We are getting some boat jobs done and preparing for cruising
in less developed countries but mostly we are taking our time and enjoying this beautiful
city. We even had fun
trip while tending to the
Mexican embassy and department of fisheries for permits and
We spent the first week at South Western Yacht Club.
Very nice location - high end. We hooked up with some
interesting boaters. George and Lyn on Tranquilo.
What a fine yacht George and Lyn built. George
lamented that they spent so much time building that they never
had time to travel before they got too old.
George and Lyn still enjoy life and are spry enough to get
around and to tell some good stories. We enjoyed their
hospitality and some
lazy warm evenings talking boating and savoring hors de oeuvres and
the odd libation.
We were honored to meet Mike and Chris Eldon and daughter aboard
Chinook - a 44ish foot Tiara. We joined them for an
afternoon cruise to Coronado where we hung out at the elaborate "Del" hotel.
were moored at the San Diego harbour police dock for ten days
where we hooked up with some Blue Water cruisers from British
Columbia. Terry Pope aboard Southern Wind arrived in San
Diego after an offshore passage.
BCA members aboard Maestra Del Mar arrived safely after an 18 day
passage direct from Bella Bella. It has been a pleasure getting
to know Rod, Charlotte, Morgan and
The police dock is a modest facility located at the entrance
to Shelter island. Our best pictures of San Diego were
taken there. Click
Alas, after 10 days they boot you off the police dock.
we are at the beautiful La Playa anchorage. This anchorage is
tucked between Southwestern Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club.
This is "weekend only" anchorage in this highly regulated area. If our
windlass parts don't come Monday, we will
scoot up to the harbour at Coronado.
Such is the life
of a "transient" boater in San Diego. You might be amused
by the song I wrote to commemorate the
Diego Dock Dance. Its got kind of a Latino up beat
Santa Catalina - Divers Paradise and So Cal
On September 8th we left Marina del Rey and had a pleasant 30
mile sail to Two Harbors on Catalina Island. Motor sailing
south under clear skies and a gentle breeze it was a beautiful
day. We were making water and charging the batteries while
The breeze built in the afternoon to 10 then 15 knots and we
could shut the
twin diesels down. We had a glorious sail south over
smooth waters making a steady 7-8 knots.
We planned this trip to avoid the long weekend
holiday crowds. But it didn't much
matter as by Saturday, Catalina was busier than any resort
Island we have ever visited.
Nevertheless it was great fun, very beautiful and a
taste of tropical cruising. You can see some of the beauty
in the two pictures left and right.
These were taken from the boat where we were anchored in Little
Fisherman's Cove which is within Isthmus Cove at Two Harbors.
We anchored in 12 feet of water 50 feet from the beach and 20
feet from a cliff.
We had some fun doing a couple of marine rescues while anchored here.
One rescue involved a
seal with a fishing
line around his jaw, and the other a boater who fouled his prop trying to
We solved the
crunch mystery after a
couple of miss-starts. Experienced cruisers may already be aware
of this situation but it drove me nearly crazy for a few days.
New cruisers may appreciate knowing what
the heck those snap crackle pop sounds are.
FIRE ON CATALINA!
Three fires broke out at Isthmus Cove on the weekend destroying
two boats and damaging some property on land. Catalina's
fire department was very quick to respond and get the fires
under control, but unfortunately, boat fires move quickly.
No one was killed although one mariner suffered significant
burns while trying to stop the fire on his boat.
It was reported that this was the worst weekend ever for fires at Catalina.
On a more positive note, the
scuba diving, snorkeling and dive sites are incredible.
I did two scuba dives, one at Emerald Cove and the other off Bird Rock.
The kelp forest, the marine life, the crystal clear water,
the 50-60 foot visibility all work to make diving on Catalina -
I also found time to finish my
Baja Hurricane study.
I looked at the last 10 years of storms and used that data to try
and estimate storm likelihood as this season peaks in September
and winds down in October.
For a slide show of Santa Catalina Island,
Farewell fair Catalina. Your treasures abound.
September 4th, in the middle of the Labour day holiday weekend,
we sailed into the largest man made marina in the world.
This after a couple of days at the very secluded Santa Cruz
Island. But - on the labour day weekend - what boating
destination in So Cal is secluded? None, I expect.
Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica and Venice are the
opposite of secluded. Happening places with boats,
festivals, celebrations, shopping, surf and surfers,
music, beaches, noise and fun. Friends Roger and Alice
from White Rock drop in to enjoy the mayhem. It is a
wild and unexpected treat as the gears of our career oriented,
time sensitive friends somehow mesh nicely with our time
We tour the beaches where the famous Bay Watch TV show was
filmed. We watch the surfers ride the waves.
Shopping, swimming, and body surfing round out the
At the end of Santa Monica Pier, a guitarist lays down his
bluesy tunes while we watch the world of Santa Monica go by.
Santa Monica walks, sails and rolls on by as the California sun
sizzles and the light sea breeze cools - each in perfect harmony
with the other.
Click here for a
slide show of the Santa Monica, Venice and Marina Del Rey.
diving around this secluded marine sanctuary is awesome.
We spent a couple of days of the Labour day weekend there.
Just 25 miles south of Ventura is a divers and boaters
paradise to rival our Gulf and San Juan Islands.
Crystal clear coves with great soaring 10 feet thick kelp trees that calm
the waves. Hundreds of sub tropical fish dash in and out
of the rocks as you approach. I've left the wet suit on
Sally and dive in my skin for an hour or so while Sharon tends the
dingy and gazes down through the clear waters. With
visibility reaching 30 and 40 feet this is excellent diving.
Unfortunately my underwater camera flooded and I got no pics!
The Santa Cruz Yacht Club had planned a weekend expedition to
Prisoners Cove where Mustang Sally is anchored. We meet
some of our new acquaintances from the club. Two of the
boats will join us in Mexico later this winter.
After leaving Santa Cruz we sail close by the beautiful and
much photographed Anacapa Islands. Some of the breath
taking scenery can be seen by clicking
really enjoyed Ventura and the hospitality offered by its number
one yacht club. The
Club offers up to three free days reciprocal moorage to
almost anyone who can produce something resembling a yacht club
membership card. The club members enjoy meeting new people
and the cruisers who are passing through the area. Folks
like Rick and Suzie McWilliams, Ed and Barb, Una & Herb and many
others were wonderful hosts, putting on a pot luck, offering us
help with our trials, rides to town and lots of good
advice on traveling in Mexico.
Ventura is a cool surfer town. The locals say it is the
'sticks' - but to Canucks from small town White Rock it feels
pretty good. Great beaches, fantastic surf,
nice people - friendly small town USA. Click
here to see a
couple of surfing clips.
Would be great to stay a month or two next time and really
learn to surf. Ahhh, so many beautiful places,
so little time.
We came across an interesting new way to water ski while
anchored just in side the outer breakwater at Ventura.
Check out the pictures
These guys were cool and not very intrusive. The jet
skiers are fun to watch for a while, but occasionally we
got some turkey who would just go round and round and round the
boat. Drove me nuts arrrrgh!
|Drug Running in the USA
Have Rae and Sharon turned to a life a drugs and depravity?
Well, yes and no. We are learning the challenges of importing prescription drugs from
Canada to USA. Apparently it is perfectly legal to do from
corporation to corporation, but drug store to individual -
is frowned upon. Click
here if you are interested in the whole story.
The rounding of Point Conception - so called "Horn of West
Coast North America" was carefully planned and went without a
worry on August 13, 2005. The seas were threatening but
remained fairly calm and the rounding was uneventful. Our last
rounding of this Point in May of 2000 was a totally different
story. You can read that story
The reasons why things went so much better this time are better
planning, more experienced crew and most importantly we were traveling
with the prevailing wind and current. Last
time the winds and current were against us.