Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Best Birthday Present Ever

Did you know that seal’s can dance? Am not kidding, they team up, jump on one another and offer you an amusing show for you to enjoy (talk about the cheapest sea world show ever attended!). They’re backdrop? The rays of sunset and remarkably clear, glassy waters tonight brings. Occasionally, a whale or two will poke up (this time-from a distance!). I mused, am still not familiar with this scene of holistic immersion, being that intimate with the ocean is still to my eyes, intimidating.

It’s September 29th, we’ve just passed Point Arena, CA. We we’re in Fort Bragg, yesterday and the day before we we’re stationed in Eureka AND the day before THAT day before, it was, if you didn’t know (shame on you!) or care to know, the most important day of the year: MY BIRTHDAY. Yes siree, on September 26th I turned 27 year’s old to be exact. Needless to say, I was happily and gratefully spoiled rotten. I am so lucky. But back to the twister’s adventure’s if I must…

Well, dear comrades, the Twister’s arrived in Eureka the Tuesday prior and didn’t leave until the Saturday after, as a result, these tales will be firmly stranded on shore. As of now, we’ve met many sailboats heading south. I won’t lie, they’re mean age is 60 and mean boat size is 45 ft. Hum, let’s see, we’ve got a mean age of 30 and a 28 footer, (or overhearing the exact words of a 4 years old: “look! A baby sailboat!”). Dare I say, we are therefore set apart from our neighbor’s cigars, precious yacht and luxurious amenities. Bah! We’re young, active, knowledgeable (that would be Scott) and ignorant (that would be me). But in any case we’re quite likable and un-intimidating to other cruisers. Then it’s without surprise that we ended up in Max and Sandy’s modest VOLO’s. Both two endearing Australian who had not only good humor, good wine but also numerous tips and advise about boating. Having done a trip of 5 years around the world, and still boating around continents to this day, there is nothing they haven’t seen, no mistakes they haven’t done. It’s good to hear. We get caught up in that lil’ sausage of a boat and it shouldn’t be this hard, or is it? The best was when Sandy told me that on her first ever shift at sea she thought a submarine was ferociously coming out of the water straight at her, to find that, in the end, it was only the moon rising. At that moment, boy-oh-boy was a glad that my first night shift was moonless! : )

Other than our little get together, our week went by really fast. Eureka is known for its heritage house and design, some yoga (they have Bikram’s there!) and you can bet that surfing in Northern Californian rustic scenery was also in our agenda. But best of all, was just being in a real cities with “normal” people and not just fisherman’s (no offense!). What a delight to have nice, clean, no-nonsense shower/washrooms for a change. I was so relieved when I saw the Health Food Coop as big as Wal-Mart! I mean, there is so much cheese and cracker one can munch on, and shopping in overprized and undersized grubby convenient store as never been a hobby of mind. So Hallelujah! for large produce section and healthy deli counters. We did ended up staying in Eureka longer than we thought due to weather complications but we liked it there.

As we finally leave for San Francisco that Saturday, we are unaware that Scott will decide to turn the boat around at 7 am on Sunday morning because the wind are 20 knot, but South- hence right in front of us. We are bummed because we need to backtrack 20 miles to Fort Bragg, but at least we will get some rest. That morning, we can smell San Francisco at our doorstep. We decided to go for a quick walk and breaky It’s a 15 minute walk from the marina. Abruptly, some kind of mutt of a dog jumps onto the street. I just keep walking ignoring him, but Scott says: “Hi Doggy!”. The dog walks over tale in the air, with a fierce and vicious look in his eye. All of sudden Scott screams at the dog : NO! go back NOW! NO! GO AWAY! Oh man- now the dog is showing is teeth and while am ready to go run in the woods (I am such a girl!), I am certain this dog will bite Scott in the calves. But he didn’t… why, after NOT being eaten by a whale 30 (or more!) times this dogs size I should have known better. Phewf!

So you see, Scott and I don’t even need the high seas for it to be an adventure. Apparently, we are able to initiate our (and our family’s) fight or flight response even while having a lovely morning stroll- go figure. From here on out, I realize that there is nothing remotely material that could replace all the unique tale’s (good or bad), the interesting people we meet and the experience we are undergoing during this beautiful voyage. Not only that, but that I get to live all of them, everyday, with my most favorite person in the whole world- this is priceless and surely the best birthday present EVER.

p.s: PATIENCE… picture will come, promess! I might post some on facebook pretty soon to!! Til next time xoxo

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life is But a Dream

The skies were clear when we left Coos Bay, destination:Port Orford. You see, I am NOT a fan of fog, am more of the type who like’s to know where am going (like most human beings). In any case, clear days make me happy. It’s on these days that I get to discuss with Scott if I like the sunrise or sunset better. It’s on these days that we close off the radar and relax as miles and miles of water are laid out before us. As we arrive in Port Orford, you can bet I don’t have to squint my eyes to see the uncanny rocks shaped like shark teeth’s from a distance. Yes, now you can understand more my fondness for clear, bright days.

I am, however, a fan of wind. We both are (duh-it’s the purpose of our trip!). We’re joking about how our expedition as been “all or nothing”. It seems that since the last stormy night, it’s been: NOTHING. Therefore, on what appears to be this almost-dazzling and almost-perfect clear day I permitted myself to sing my lil’ heart out (anything to bring some wind):“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily…”. Well, in our case it would sound more like: ” Sail, sail, sail your boat gently down the Pacific Ocean merrily, merrily…”. But how can you sail when there’s NO wind!? Where is the wind? Of course, Scott stubbornly tried to put up the sails (the spinnaker- for lighter winds), but without progress. Don’t get me wrong, the trip of 45 miles motoring was still enjoyable. Who could complain about breathtaking scenery that offers the strip of Oregon cliffs and all these rocks that present a stunning spectacle, not me! We anchored in Port Orford for the night.

At 7 am, Saturday morning we depart again, destination: Crescent City. We motor again, but it’s o.k. The weather is obviously something you have no control over so why fight it? By sunset, the ocean is glassy with some orange-like reflection. Scott sees a whale from a distance… yeah! We’ve seen seals, birds, and even 2 dolphins but this is our first whale. Quick! Give me the binocular, the camera, anything! Ah, another one there and look, another one! Whales are everywhere! Then, one is really close… cool! Wait a minute, like, how close is too close here!?! Before I have time to ask anything else, unexpectedly, a whale is in front of the boat, at approximately 15 meters and jumps out of the water and opens its jaw’s!!! At this moment, not only I am thinking that this massive mammal could fit my brother’s Prius in its oral cavity, its rib cage is at least the same size of the Twister. Oh-My-God! The whale is right there and we’re motoring right in front of it. We both fall silent. I don’t know why, but in almost a whisper, I tell Scott. STOP. THE. BOAT. Gently and quietly he does. The next 5 seconds, were the longest of my life. We did not breathe, we did not move, we did not flinch. Suddenly, there she was, at our left, its giant tale flopping out of the water. If we hadn’t stop we would have hit her! (MOTHER’S its ok, WE ARE OK!!!) Needless to say, we didn’t feel big in our pants. After that, others whales kept on popping out, but at this point, you can imagine that I was kind of over whales. Phewf! Anyhow, arriving in Crescent City was confusing (due to darkness), but since it didn’t involve a head-on collision with a monster whale, we know we would most likely survive. We are officially in Californian waters now. This is exciting. Sunday was spent like a blink of an eye- hiking through the gigantic Redwood forest, admiring coastal waters and walking everywhere to get things done before our next lil’ trip.

Next destination: Eureka ,CA. Scott is getting aggravated of the no-wind situation. But then, with a hint of abracadabra, there it was. At around 1 pm, a full 20 knots push steady for almost the entire afternoon. See, now that was the “ALL” in the “all or nothing” theory. Or more so, I’d like to blame it on my song working wonders…where was I again? Oh yeah ….

Merrily, merrily, merrily…..Life is but a dream ; )

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Our week-end in Garibaldi (OR) was filled with well-deserved rest, hiking and sightseeing’s. Given I have felt like a shoe stuck in dryer for the past couple days, it’s nice to be walking on solid ground, to have space to move your arms around, to turn, twist, and stretch just like you want to, when you want to.

It’s only the U.S, I know, but the culture is truly different here. Garibaldi is a little fisherman’s town (920 habitants), which consist of mostly middle age man with there wife’s, both of whom significantly look older than there actual age. I wonder if it’s because every second person here smoke’s, or because there life compromise of hard labor/poor diet. In the end, it’s probably a mixture of both. Nonetheless, we’ve met interesting people here, Norma the librarian (who offered me to join the Oprah book Club…aww!), Daisy the baker (who made dirt cheap americano’s) and Vic (who had one hand on the wheel and the other one fixing is oxygen mask). I was excited; we took a real old locomotive train ride to Rockaway Beach. The scene of it was windy, sandy and picturesque. At night, we went to experience the ‘real’ American Bar. As we entered, I felt we were Martians coming back from the future; all eyes were on us the out-of-towner’s. There I am walking in and thinking “my-OH-my who ever though jeans and a hoody would ever feel overdress”?! Clouds of smoke were upon us, pool was free, drinks were strong, but best of all, it was good ol’ KARAOKE night! I was threatening Scott to go up and sing, but he thought they would think I was unintentionally mocking them, and causing a riot this early in our trip was out of questions! : ) On the Sunday, we’ve hitchhiked (yes, you’ve read correctly, your dentist can and will do it) to Brimson Fall (one of the highest falls they say along the Coast), with my thumb of fire and Scott’s irresistible smirk people took us in jiffy! We’ve finished our day at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, with a delicious and oversized ice cream, that was bigger than shall I say, both of our brain’s.

On Monday, we departed once again. It’s 3 am; this will be an overnight trip of over 151 Nautical Mile. It’s a South wind, not in our favor, so we motor the whole time. Overall, (and secretly glad to report) it was an uneventful trip, with no sea sickness, no rockiness. At approximately 7 am that morning I have the sun rising on my left and the moon setting on my right- beyond doubt à m*a*g*i*c*a*l.

As we get out of the boat in Coos Bay, at around 10ish, Tuesday morning, our heads are ringing and we’re both dizzy from 30 hours of hearing a motor blazing though our ears. The dock is filled with filth from algae, moss, and pieces of bait. The smell of all this, is… shall I say, fishy. The “no crabbing” signs doesn’t stop locals from doing just that: crabbin’. It’s quite a violation of privacy if you ask me. Mostly retired people will plant there own chair right to the boat, and be there for hours on end, just chatting with other of there kind. As a result, it feels as though a stranger is eating toast on your lawn. In the end, apart from treating ourselves to the gym, some surfing and seeing a movie, we don’t like it much here. I mean, part of it is beautiful, but too put it way too nicely, most of it is extremely “blah”. : (

On top of it, as I am typing this on a cloudy day, we are kind of stuck here. The winds are still South (and said to be so until Sunday). But yeah, we’re just too antsy and we just can’t stomach another gloomy day. We’re leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow, motor to our next destination, hoping the marina there doesn’t come with the group of smocks stretching there legs on my lawn!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

OH-MY-GOD- it’s Matt Damon!!!

3 days, 2 nights, and 2 calls to the U.S Coast Guard later, we are back safely on land (PARENTS do not panic and please let me elaborate!). What incredible journey what an inconceivable voyage! Scott and I left Neah Bay early Tuesday morning with butterflies in our stomach, we have never gone cruising this long. There’s 5 more miles in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and swiftly Cape Flattery welcomes you. There is hundreds of seals at the entrance of the open ocean, a sort of welcome to the land of the unknown.

We’ve been spotting this green 50ft boat that seems to be going our direction for quite a while now. The passage between Tattoose Island and Cape Flattery is rocky and narrow, but totally doable. However the driver seemed to be hesitating and was waiting for us to make our choice. Yes, we were going through it, and YES we had no doubt about it. Before going in, the green boat guys tells us his GPS is broken and could he please follow us? Sure! An hour and a half as now pass and this guy is still erratically tail-gating us!? You see, right about then, all these questions start going through our head… why is he alone on a 50 ft boat (twice the size of ours that can go TWICE as fast!?!?!), “buddy-boating” is quite fine, except if you want to follow us man, do it by a mile! He also told Scott that he was going to San Diego, hum… with NO GPS (go back home and fix it!!!!!)?? For all we know he could have stolen the boat! After him doing one of his most spectacular 90 degree angle move, Scott had to talk this bizarre individual…. just like, you know… about what the heck was he doing??? The guy understood, backed off, but still seemed oblivious. I just kept on repeating to Scott, just call the police, just call the police! If only for HIS safety. The cops of waters are the Coast Guard, and while Scott is talking to them about the situation on the radio, the guys is so desperate that he is just circling around us as murky fog was setting in. The U.S Coast Guard told Scott that he had contacted them already, and that he had no GPS and no maps, humm, serioulsy?!?…. ( En bon francais on appelle ca un “colon”, non meilleur encore un mechant TWIT!!!).

After this lil' incident, we're finally ready to go on with our cruise (phewf!!!). Oh, and no more motor ladies and gentlemen, all sail! The theme of that day was foggy. The night was cold but steady. When I wake up, it’s my shift and the morning is glorious. It’s pretty rare to see only the sun, only water, all around. We had a perfect sail all day. By the end of the day, the wind as picked up a fair amount. I won’t lie, that second night was long and rocky. The wind is up to 30 knots and Scott is awfully sea sick, it’s seems to be worst at night, when he can’t see the arisen. I, on the other hand, except of feeling unbelievably drowsy, seem to have somewhat acquired my sea legs. It’s really hard to see your boyfriend to be feeling SO bad, SO exhausted, and I wish at this moment I knew what HE knew about sailing so I could drive this boat in that much wind, but I can’t. So we had to stop so and "park" (the sail are still up but were not going anywhere) the boat so Scott could rest a bit.

At 4 in the morning, we decided to make to the closest port possible. We haven’t planned this entrance to Tillimuck Bay, which books say is hard to enter. For this reason, Scott calls the Coast Guard (call #2) for us to be escorted on our way in. Twenty Nautical Miles later, approximately around 10 am Friday morning, when the Coast Guard come to fetch us, am in a dream state and Scott complains of probable hypothermia (well, something on the line of being really cold!). There are magnificent rock arches surrounding us and sands banks too. The Coast Guard starts asking us questions. I blink my eyes twice, I put liquid in my contacts, I look away and look back, but no, it’s true, OH-MY-GOD I swear its Matt Damon! Then, at that moment, am thinking, geez weez, that’s what 3 days at sea can do to you…. I am now starting to have the most wonderful illusions!!?! Of course, I don’t want to mention anything to my boyfriend, I assume he is not in the mood for me to think this Coast Guard facial feature shares quite a resemblance with what I think is the most beautiful actor in the world ( everybody very well knows, including Scott, my feelings about Good Will Hunting). After arriving at the Marina, we’re dirty, hungry, our face’s blushed by cold wind and sun. A couple mandatory routine questions, safety check ups by the Coast Guard; we’re all good to go. We’re welcome here, in Garibaldi, OR. We both take a seat, am waiting for hotter-than-Matt Damon-boyfriend, to say something, anything our first lil’ leg of the trip. I imagine he’s gonna blurt something along the line of “Man! I am starving let’s get some food”, or “ Man! Hope they have public showers here”, but no what he says blows my mind: “ Man! Did that guy looked like Matt Damon or what??”. I can’t help it, I start laughing uncontrollably. I can’t stop, at this moment, in this instant, I am truly happy.

p.s: I want to thank everybody for the lovely comments they have made about the blog! It’s great.

p.p.s: Pictures will come!!! Internet connection is rare and more expensive that we thought and am still figuring out the in’s and lil’ bit of this blog. But they will come promess!

Till next time….. xoxo

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Give me eyes so I can see a.k.a il fait noire, noire, noire , je veux voire voire voire !

We made it to Port Angeles just fine! It’s quite beautiful here. It’s quite neat to see up-close the stray of mountains that we usually view from Victoria. Clearing custom was a drag (those people take there sweet time!), but surprisingly easy. Couple of house standard questions, showing of fruits, did we have tobacco? alcohol? But not even a small little search!?! To think the custom lady didn’t even bother to leave the cockpit blew my mind! I mean, looking closer she would have come across Scott’s coke stash and my marijuana plant: P (parents: I AM JUST KIDDING). No wind, but the weather was amazingly warm and sunny yesterday, so we basically motored the whole time. We haven’t really hit the open ocean yet so it is really a breeze to cruise around. Luckily, the motion queasiness hasn’t yet hit either, so the crew says “yeah” for that!

After the fueling up and getting some grocery items, we are in for are first overnight trip, destination àNeah Bay. Just to give you guys an idea, Neah Bay is situation right before Cape Flattery, right before we actually start heading where we really want to go… SOUTH! It is 10h20pm and were ready to roll. I am doing the first part of the trip from 12h to 3am and Scott’s is doing the second shift of 3am to 6am. We calculated we shall be there around 6, 7ish. Its 11: 50 and I can feel Scott is a bit worried to let me in charge by my lonesome. It’s our first time we try the “shift system” thing and we both know I’ve never really been left driving the boat by myself (if only for Scott’s 30 min powernaps). It’s good though because it’s an amazingly clear night, there is no wind again so will just motored and Mister self-steered is preciously handy at this time. “If there’s ANYTHING baby you let me know, wake me up I’ll be right there”, and believe you me I will and would wake him, but first I want him to go to bed so I can get my share of sleeping when 3am rolls by! So down he goes…

This is what you think about when you are left with yourself at sea, IN THE DARK: First you say a couple of Hail Mary’s, what the heck you have nothing to loose. Then you sing your Grade 3 choral song that you got to sing solo, what the heck it’s the only song you know by heart. Then you go through your yoga class in your head cuz you already miss it SO VERY much (if only for its warmth) and after each visualized posture you peak you head up.

Peaking your head up consist of looking for 1) any kind of lights ahead 2) see if any considerably BIG fraters, spacious yacht, cruise ship, ferries, run down fish liner, cute sailboat, whales, logs (basically ANY foreign moving object) is coming towards us 3) looking on the GPS our current position, if we’re still on course, our speed etc. Oh, don’t forget its nitty night, and DARK doesn’t justify being this DARK and excuse my french but when all's said and done, you don’t see s**t out there. You see,

during broad daylight you set your eyes on des points de repere, but at night, there are none. You are left with your faithful GPS, intuition, and might I add, frozen fingers. Despite of all these facts, there is something astonishing about tonight. I have never seen this many stars in my whole life. To add to the brilliance, I get startled by more then 10 shooting stars, I swear!! My only wish for all of them: give me eyes so I can see a.k.a voire dans le noire. : )

Of course you know that Scott woke up at both 1 am and 2h30am. Nervousness, may be? Fair enough, its hard to rest when a motor is totally loudly roving…but more so, the uneasiness to leave your loyal vessel alone with your not-so-professional-expert-sailing partner must be somewhat disconcerting. In the end, Scott took over at 2h30 and it was time for me to go for my beauty rest.

Dare I say it’s quite auspicious to wake up and be in this completely new environment. Scott is happy we made it but I can see he needs sleep. He didn’t woke me up at 6, instead just kept going because he knew we were going to get anchor soon. Now he’s sleeping and I am typing this, realizing we are really in for it now. It’s really happening and we are really doing this trip. What a life!

p.s: For all the people that I didn’t call back before leaving, I am so SORRY

p.p.s: Warning: This blog will contain massive spelling and grammar error. For once in my life I refuse to send this to my mom for correction…. 4 years of this charade was enough : )

Monday, September 8, 2008

Leaving is a HARD thing or NOT so HARD thing to do, you decide.

So, for those who haven’t heard the rumors….yes, indeed, it’s true. Scott and I are sailing down to Mexico… for real. I know, most of you didn’t know that Scott sailed, if even at all?! He’s a surfer, right, but a sailor? Well, surprise, surprise, Scott’s has been pretty much sailing all his life. I knew about is dream to sailed down South since we’ve met. And after well over a year, events unfolded so that, this vision just became reality and everything fell into place. Next thing you know, am in for the ride to, why not? After selling Scott’s house, his practice and putting all our stuff in storage, there is not turning back. We’re left with a couple pieces of clothing (to my dismay!), 4 surfs board (not my fault!!!), and hopefully our right minds.

Scott and I have been living on the boat the Twister, for a couple weeks now. I won’t lie; it’s been a bit tight. Probably because both of us were still living our life, going out and about, and had Biscuit with us. It will just be better from now on… to be actually moving with the boat, with nothing but a sense of discovery and adventure.

First destinationà Port Angeles, WA. Of course, we’re a bit nervous, it’s a lot of having faith of the unknown, trusting that the world is truly round all over again. As we will learn to trust the waters, we will try to keep you guys posted as much as possible. I guess this doesn’t mean that we could never experience difficulty, but I guess we can trust that we will know how to handle it. : )

Scott and I left the West Bay Marina in Esquimalt this morning. Oh my God!!! we are gone, GONE!! It is HARD because it is gorgeous as we leave this morning. Let’s face it; Victoria is magnificent in its splendor. But leaving is NOT so HARD because…. here’s is to being stoked on life to the fullest, here’s is to being faith-filled and fear-free, here’s to nothing