Poseidon is starting to need some routine work to get back into our cruising mode, so we spent several months patching and repairing to get back to our usual state of readiness. Every boater knows that no matter how careful the preparation, something always breaks or goes wrong; but we believed we were ready to test the will of the gods and were determined to get out of the harbor as often as possible. Of course, our Poseidon is named after that Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea so hopefully we get some slack from all the others gods, some of whom seem particularly malevolent.
But protected by Poseidon or no, a shakedown cruise is a prudent measure.
Our first trip of the year was planned for the Father’s Day weekend, at Pelican Harbor, one of our favorite anchorages. Pelican can be crowded, although there is room for a lot of boats provided that the early comers anchor properly and thoughtfully, which is by no means a given.
This was one of those wonderful days when there was only one boat anchored, in a great location, close in, just below the spot where many years ago the author of The Sea Captains Wife operated the tent hotel for the Santa Barbara fishermen and for the Russian seal hunters pursuing the plentiful fruits of the Pacific; and later for the Hollywood folks filming movies on the island.
The great part was that when we came in we realized that the only other boat was a neighbor from our dock, the E-Dreams. We’re happy to report that all the preparation paid off, we had no problems, breakages or incidents. A perfect shakedown and we spent the two calmest nights that we can recall.
To make it even more enjoyable, two other friends from the dock showed up for the day and, between them and their fishing buddies, gave us lots of fresh Halibut and Yellowtail. Nothing like dining on a fish caught the same day.
The next trip was on the 4th of July weekend with my brother Pete and his lady, Val, from Sacramento. At the last minute we decided to brave the crowds and go to Smuggler’s for a few days. As we pulled in and anchored, we noticed a big south swell, not predicted, but not very pleasant on this end of Santa Cruz Island. We took a pleasant, easy ride back around the island headed for Prisoner’s or Pelican. Prisoner’s was crowded so imagine our surprise when we saw Pelican was very empty. We spent four gorgeous days.
We always try to spend a month or so around Catalina Island in August with family and as you know, we have lots of family. This year, school was starting early for many of the kids, so we moved the trip up to late July which also allowed us to meet up with several other boats from Ventura who also planned a long stay. At one time we had six Ventura boats, all anchored in a beautiful spot by the famous Hen Rock at White’s Anchorage, one of our all-time favorite destinations. Lots of camaraderie, activities and pure enjoyment with our boating friends.
The first load of grandkids and great grandkids, total of seven, arrived at Avalon and we picked them up in the dink. Lots of fishing, swimming (after I convinced them that there are no great whites waiting to eat them), diving and jumping off the top of Poseidon, riding on towed toys, kayaking, watching sting rays and leopard sharks in the surf on the beach, eating, drinking, etc. The kids’ favorite part is honking the horn at five in the anchorage, the official happy hour, a wonderful tradition at White’s that we have written about before, and of course the cocktail cruise around the anchorage, cocktails in hand (non-alcoholic for the kids) .
By the end of the week, Sarah, Jeff and Marco came in with a one night overlap with the previous gang. A marvelous day and one night with twelve of us on board, maybe one of the best family days we can remember. All the same activities plus music, dancing, lots of love and sleeping under the stars. As usual, the food and meals prepared by Linda and everyone else, who love to share with her and learn, were beyond my powers of description.
As always, Marco caught enough fish for the BBQ and for sushi prepared by Linda. We spent the next week with S, J & M as we have been doing in August for many years.
When they left, we decided to go over to Newport Beach as we like to do. Dudley and Jean, aboard Stormy Weather, had gone a few days before so we met them at the anchorage, spent a few days, enjoyed the things we like about Newport: restaurants, restoring the larder and liquor cabinet, a little fuel, dinner with our business partner and his wife, enjoy the sights and the hustle and bustle and finally back to Catalina for another week.
The next trip was not planned at all as we both had other things that had to be done. We sometimes allow our schedules to fill before we realize that what suffers is the thing that we love most – our time away from the dock, underway or anchored, enjoying this marvelous life style that we have been blessed with. But our schedule changed and we quickly inventoried what we needed for a few days out, notified everyone and first thing in the morning we cast off the lines and headed out. A little fog in the morning. We are not worried about that as Linda and I have “his and hers” radars and know how to read them.
The fog finally lifted and we pulled into Pelican, the only boat there. That changed a bit and we ended up with three boats for a beautiful sunny weekend. As we had good cell coverage, we communicated with our friends at the dock who informed us that they were socked in with fog. Friends, look at Linda swimming in 63 degree water, in the sun, on a very calm day!
Back to the dock on Monday morning. We rarely leave on Sunday night as we love to squeeze in an extra day, or part of a day, in paradise.
We thoroughly enjoy Poseidon and Poseidon Cooks!’ every day of our lives, whether at the dock or at sea. How wonderful is it that a poor Italian immigrant boy from Africa and a humbly born girl from Los Angeles can enjoy such a beautiful life?