7th Jun 2012 - San Diego
San Diego 3 weeks on
It’s interesting, this notion of ‘retirement’. A PC colleague of mine, when chatting to me about my retirement from teaching, asked me if I was ‘retiring from’ or ‘retiring to’, which I thought was a very interesting way of looking at the next phase of my life. I say this because although we left Perth a month ago and have been in San Diego for 3 weeks, it has been quite hectic getting things done on Kiapa. I certainly wouldn’t describe this time as a holiday.
The list of jobs we wanted to do is certainly getting shorter and shorter, and I feel quite confident saying there are only 3 more important jobs to be done: re-installing the auto-pilot after having the seals replaced, having the stays’ tension checked and tuned, and having the clutches and jammers serviced (about 8 in total). Sounds very technical/mechanical, and it is!! While Lionel can do these jobs we decided to get the “pros” on board to do this, as all are vitally important to the safety and enjoyment of our trip.
In between getting things ‘tickity-boo’ on Kiapa, we are doing quite a bit of sight-seeing and socialising. We’ve met some lovely hospitable people, and we’ve been made to feel very welcome. We were invited out for dinner last Friday and Saturday nights, so it’s very much like home! A ‘new’ friend of mine, Gail, who together with her partner Tom live aboard their 42’ Hunter while saving to also cruise the Pacific, very kindly took me shopping to the most amazing Asian grocery store I think I have ever been to! We had such fun trying to work out what some products were, as the writing was all in Korean, or Japanese, or Vietnamese, or Burmese…….. To my horror I even saw tinned shark fin soup! This was where I found all the grocery items I couldn’t find anywhere else, and believe me, I’d had a thorough look in a number of grocery stores and gourmet delis! It’s interesting what we take for granted in our Aussie grocery stores, products they’ve never heard of here, eg green Thai curry paste and coconut cream! So, finally, I think I can say that we’re stocked up for anywhere between 2 – 3 months, provided we can catch some fish…. Leave the fishing to me………. I am the fishing queen!!!!
A few nights ago the yacht club we’ve been “hanging around” had an evening lecture about tuna fishing. We decided to go along to see what we could learn. Boy, were these guys serious fishermen! They discussed the sun’s refraction off different coloured spectra line at different depths – that the pink spectra reflected less at 2m than did the green, but that luminous yellow was even better…………. I think that’s what they said!! And what about daisy chain hook set-ups? Mmmmm it was all too technical for us, but interesting nonetheless! The good news was that we won a raffle prize of a T-shirt and a couple of lures. What a crack up if we catch a tuna on one of them!
Last night we once again joined in with the Beer Can Races held weekly here in San Diego Bay - the equivalent of our Wednesday night twilight races. It really is a sight to behold, as there are over 100 yachts of all different sizes vying for a prime starting location (something I always find a bit nerve-wracking), with the CBD in the background. Last week Dennis Connors was out on Stars and Stripes – we thought we could have a fairly even race with him, (you know, USA vs Aussie) but that was until they pulled out their ginormous spinnaker. Huh, that left us miles behind, because we sold our spinnaker to make room for the surfboards... With the Bay being so huge and sheltered behind a huge sand spit, it makes for very comfortable sailing on dead flat waters. And with the sun setting so late, this altogether makes for an enjoyable evening.
How much longer will we be in SD, you may be asking! We’re not sure, but it may be another week or so. That’s the beauty of not having a strict time frame we have to stick to! We are looking forward to heading south to Mexico though – to warmer weather and blue skies. (The San Diegans weren’t joking when they told us it’s called “May grey” and “June gloom”!!) We’ll also not miss the constant, and I mean constant background noise of helicopters, navy inflatables zooming around, and fighter planes (in case you didn’t know, SD is very much a military town)!! The song “Military Madness is killing my country” by Neil Young often comes to mind.
This weekend coming we’ve had an invitation to go camping “up the river” with Mike and Melinda, a San Diegan couple who were also sailing over Christmas time – who we met in Mexico. They tell us this means camping in the desert on the banks of the Colorado River (a river in the desert??). What a great opportunity!