Friday, October 04, 2002
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The Mandisa Chronicles

This incredible tale is the first of Mandisa's adventures with me. Please sit down while reading this; it may frighten you.

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2001/08/01Wherein Mandisa is Acquired and Moved to Mission Bay, San Diego
8/1/01, O, Newport
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We stayed the night in Newport and really enjoyed it. It's a very beautiful harbor with Balboa Island smack in the middle. Balboa is a very upper crust place. We ate at a very nice Italian restaurant, but it was hard to enjoy because we were so tired, even though it was pretty early. Spending all day on the ocean, you use lots of muscles holding yourself straight, and that, with the wind and the sunshine, plus lots of stress from worrying about rocks, oil rigs and boats roaring by all work together to make you very tired.

We turned in early for the run to Oceanside the next day.

8/1/01, Poor Sean
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Sean had a tough time of it during the first couple of days. It turns out that he gets seasick, so we fed him some Dramamine and hoped for the best. It further turned out that the best was that the Dramamine knocked him unconcious and he spent all of the first day and most of the second day sleeping. At least he wasn't lurching about, spewing like Old Faithful.

8/1/01, Happy Sean
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On the third day, Sean made something of a recovery, even managing a smile once in a while. I don't think he cares for this offshore sailing business much, but he maintained a pretty good attitude if for no other reason than to humor me. We didn't have much in the way of misadventures, so that helped.

In fact, most everything went as perfectly as could be. We motored more than we sailed, owing to the classic Southern California wind patterns of essentially no wind in the mornings, building to a decent breeze just when it was time for us to head in for the night. I would have loved to sail more, but we didn't have the luxury of not sticking to a schedule, so on came the motor, which ran perfectly the entire way. I look forward to having the time to sail in accordance with what nature gives me, because that implies the total absence of deadlines, pressures and places to be, and the freedom to stop when necessary and to go when conditions dictate. That, to me, sounds like heaven itself.

8/2/01, San Diego
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When conditions and time allowed, we hoisted sail and enjoyed that special peace that comes only on a vessel of sail at sea. I don't want to mislead you. When at sea, I experience a kind of adrenalin-charged, paranoid happiness that makes it impossible to completely relax. I am always on the look out for un-charted hazards, careening, out-of-control power boats, squalls, or spontaneously occurring holes in the hull. Maybe someday, with experience I will find a way to settle into a more even hum of awareness when offshore.

We arrived in San Diego (also known as Kelp Hell Harbor) right on time, about mid-afternoon on the third day. My newly rented slip at Driscoll Mission Bay was there waiting for us. This marina is incredibly different from Marina Del Rey. The wide, luxurious fairways and generous slips of Marina Del Rey seemed even larger when compared to the tight, cramped fairways of Mission Bay. That, coupled with the down-wind, two-boat slip (finger pier on one side only, boat on the other) and the tidal currents complementing the winds, made our first docking a bit touch and go, but we managed to do it with no damage to boats, pier or pride.

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