Warships of San Diego

San Diego Harbor is rich with Navy ships of all types. Sailing next them, they felt so monstrous. We enjoyed using binoculars and sighting the number on the side of the war ship, then learning more on wiki.

Hanging around these Naval Bases all week reminds me of stories of my Dad, Don Brown, who served here in the Navy during the Viet Nam war. He is currently a happily retired math teacher and life long surfer living in Santa Cruz. He was stationed here for a bit near Point Loma. He was working on the USS Pritchett DD-561 (similar to the USS Russell, #59 pictured above) when my oldest brother Jeff Brown was born, not far from where we were in the Coronado Cays.

It turns out that Scott’s Dad, Ashley Erwin, now living in El Paso, was also stationed here, in ’63 and ’64, but on a submarine. Ashley was in the Navy for 20 years and later lived on a 45’ sailboat also. Yes, “son of a son of a sailor” comes to mind.

Sue and my step father Roland Krevitt, currently reside in the beautiful country house where I grew up, in Scotts Valley, Ca. They all follow us on maps via AIS.

Below is a little history that I learned while lounging on the beach today. By the mid 1900’s, the San Diego Naval Base had grown to 7, 000,000 square feet with berthing facilities including five giant piers, see pictures, of more than 18,000 feet of dock space. The land totaled more than 921 acres. Today it has 1,600 acres.

I took this picture while driving our temporary truck over the huge Coronada Bridge. These barracks down here could accommodate 18,000 enlisted men. More than 3,500 sailors could be fed in the galley at a single sitting. I am sure glad I am not their galley cook! Watching these naval ships amaze me, so does knowing that San Diego Naval Base is the largest and most powerful navy base in the world.

A Day in the Life…..

Just one day at a glance, while chillin’ at Harbors in So Cal: french press coffee in bed, Kathy made egg/onion/tomato burritos, Scott changed out propane tank 1 to number 2 and we carry 3. Kathy went for a paddle to spy on the backyard gardens of the rich and famous, dinghy’ed to the beach for a picnic lunch and a long walk, bought 3 jugs engine oil at West Marine, napped in the sun on the bow.

Occassonally, with good internet reception, we watch a few Youtube episodes of “Gone with the Wynns” (a long and stressful journey sailing to New Zealand)
Had fun watching this 4 year old learn how to sail a Sabbat. His coach was behind him in a dingy giving gentle reminders.
Scott removed  some of the black caulk in the cockpit seating area that oddly enough started gumming up (great tool invention Scott!) We will hire Leonardo in Ensenada to re-caulk it.
Kathy does the bright work on Sea Bella, today she addressed the teak cockpit deck: repaired, sanded and glued a few small areas, cleaned both panels and re oiled them.
We stayed a night as reciprocal guests at the dock of fancy Newport Harbor Yacht Club since we are SLYC members (they were very friendly and had great showers!)
Visited with friends Ryan and Molly from Avila who were down in Newport in their Grady White for tuna fishing. They caught this big boy in 17 minutes! Ryan cut it up and we were lucky to sample the delicious sushi.
Scott picked up a replacement BBQ and installed it. The Magma will be better than the old Force 10.
The young couple anchored next to us on Bojangles came over for a visit (they will be cruising the Sea of Cortez this season, on a shoe string budget).
Kathy cooked some of Scott’s Alaskan Salmon for dinner, so yummy.

Island Hopping

Great 1st week on the go. We had plenty of time for decompressing, and enjoying no cell or internet service. The many island coves we anchored in gave us tranquility and hours of thought and planning. After our 1st quiet night in Cojo, we sailed and motorsailed in an average of 4 knots of wind, about 8 hours a day. The Channel Islands are rugged and mesmerizing (Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and Catalina). The scenery, sealife, and our new life on the boat are all amazing! 10 days later we are in Newport Harbor enjoying quite the opposite experience: hundreds of fancy boats, mansions on the water, shops, restaurants and friends. It is busy boating around here, some not ever leaving the bay and many not knowing how to anchor. Life is all good! (Scott keeps saying he wishes we could have half of the wind down south we had up above Conception). We had our challenges too, rollie anchorages, organizing the new way of life and keeping the water out (leaky hatches). Heading to San Diego next week.