Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ruth's Reflections

A week ago today we sailed Kamaya out the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a little scary and you can see the fear and relief in our eyes to finally cut loose.

This morning, we’re docked in Ventura right outside of John and Dee Lockwood’s home. They live on the water and Tim and I were here ten years ago preparing Capella, our Mull 45 for the ocean. Now we're back. This time married with kids.

My mind races through all the hurdles it took to get us here this second time.

First, the task of finishing up work and packing our home in Hood River was more challenging than I had ever imagined. Thanks to Liz, Sue, Michelle and Ted, Kelly, Barbara, Jennifer, Margaret and Mike and Barbara, I was able to sort all our Stuff with a capital “S” and figure out what to store, what to purge, what to give away and what to throw away. I could not have done this daunting task without these exceptional friends. It’s amazing how much Stuff you can accumulate in life, especially if you’re a pack rat like me. Now our life on board Kamaya is considerably simpler with less toys, less clothes, and less junk and we don’t seem to miss anything, at least not yet.

I’m writing like I do in a diary as I think that’s appropriate for our blog, though I’m new to this and don’t want to bore you, the interactive reader. On August 31st, the kids and I waved good-bye to the Davis’ and Whitmores, and drove out of the Gorge in our Betty mobile packed with clothes, tools, and pots and pans. Tim was already in San Francisco preparing the boat. I choked up sad to leave our wonderful friends and life in Hood River.

As we crossed the Hood River Bridge, Kai said he had left his money and wallet under his bed, so we made our last stop in the house. We’d never seen our house so neat, clean and empty. Our house will be rented out by Kristin and Joe O'Neill who are moving to Hood River from Ojai, California.

We drove to the airport to pick Tim’s college friend, Chris Cleland, who had volunteered to fly from his home in Arizona and help me drive out of Oregon. After all, Chris helped us move to Hood River in 2001. Thank you Chris!

Oma had banana bread waiting for us when we arrived in Sausalito about 20 hours later. I’ll skip the part of packing the boat with food, unicycles and books and fast forward to Monterey, our second stop. With light wind on our nose, it took us about 12 hours to get to Monterey and we left Half Moon Bay around 2:00 in the afternoon. So at 2:00 in the morning Tim and I made our way passed the barking sea lions and into the narrow channel to a slip in downtown Monterey. Fortunately, the marina has a night guard who led us to our home.

Biology class the next day included buzzing around in the dinghy to study the sea creatures that have taken over the harbor. We saw sea otters share clam shells with their pups while floating on their backs. We examined the barking sea lions under the docks, many waiting for leftover fish from the fishing boats. Others played queen of the docks by pushing each other off the top of the docks. Some sat on buoys while others jumped into the water. The seals were the quiet ones, and lied flat on their backs, perfectly content to hang out for hours. Boat schooling can be pretty fun, though sometimes our students protest the various subjects. Kai loves the Singapore Math, but doesn’t like journal writing and Maya is the opposite.

The kids are also learning how to work as a team, which is imperative on the boat. When we left Monterey Wednesday morning, we flew the spinnaker, our colorful sail, and as the winds increased we were moving at a good pace of about 8 knots. When we approached Pt. Conception, dubbed the Cape Horn of North America, the winds increased even more and we needed to work together to douse (take down) the spinnaker. Tim and I went forward to gather the spinnaker. Kai was in charge of steering the boat downwind and Maya had to let the sheet off so we could gather the sail. We had to make sure the sail didn’t drag in the water or pull us over to the side. Fortunately, everyone did their job without any mishaps.

While Kai and I bundled up in the aft cabin, Maya and Tim sailed us through the ominous Pt. Conception where Tim claimed the knot meter peaked at 50 knots. Kamaya proved herself to be a strong, sturdy boat and the big seas didn’t phase her. The winds didn’t seem to phase Maya either as she was focused on playing “Name that tune” with Tim, who hid his fears well.

So we’ve made it passed perhaps the most challenging part of our journey and are spending a few days in Ventura with a house, a dock, great company and John's garage full of tools and a 1920 Model T Car.


rod said...

Around Pt. Conception already. And only 50 knots.
It's all downwind from here! Following your journey with great pleasure!
rod and wendy

Maureen said...

Kamaya is a variant of Kamea which is of Hawaiian derivation. It means "precious one."

Will the precious ones head through Panama, round the horn, or turn west towards Galapagos and Hawaii?

Ruth said...

I love that Hawaiian meaning. We blended Kai (ocean in Hawaiian) and Maya ("water" in Hebrew) to get our new name. We haven't figured out our route as it depends on our crew's enthusiasm. Where do you want to join us?

Nira said...

I love reading your blog! Keep the stories coming!

Melody said...

Congrats on Pt Conception. What a crew! From the photos it looks like you are all having way too much fun!


ill will said...

Ahoy!! I am so happy for you 4, braving the seven seas. We are thrilled to get updates. Keep em coming! And sign us up to rendez-vous in 2009.

Love, Mardi and Will (and the boys)

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