burgeetree.jpg (15266 bytes) The adventures of Lynn and Les on "Cottonwood".

   New Home in Huntington Harbor
wheel.gif (3486 bytes)   4-13-2002

Our second voyage aboard Cottonwood was an adventure. Actually, all our trips on the ocean are an adventure of one sort or another. But this one was, well, adventurous yes, but less than pleasurable. 

We were moving her from the Sun Road Marina in San Diego Bay to Huntington Harbor in Huntington Beach.  When we acquired Cottonwood, the only slip available for her 49 foot length was in San Diego, an hour and 20 minutes from our home in San Clemente.  We had put in reservations at several other marinas between San Diego and Los Angeles, which varied in estimated waiting times from 2 years to 8 years!  However, we received a great bit of luck when a slip opened up at Peter's Landing in Huntington Harbor. Just 2 months after moving the boat from Long Beach to San Diego!  We jumped at the chance to get the boat closer to home. It's only a 35 minute drive to Peter's Landing in Huntingon Harbor from San Clemente when there is average traffic.

Well, we pulled out of our San Diego slip at 3:30 am on Saturday morning. It was pitch dark. The weather report said it was to be sunny and calm and we were prepared for a 10 hour trip up the coast.  I wanted to get there with plenty of daylight left to get the boat settled into her new home.  But, Murphy was slipping along side without our noticing.  It was our first time into the San Diego Bay at night and we couldn't see the buoys! A simple thing we had not thought of and the one thing I hadn't yet fixed was the spot light. Even with Lynn on the bow she couldn't see the buoys.  If you don't know what some of these big bay channel markers look like, well, they are large, and steel, and could do a lot of damage if you hit one!  Luckily, we have a good open array radar which can pinpoint even a lobster buoy and had no trouble pointing out the markers before we hit any. 

We steered through the bay and got out to sea at 0410 and turned north. Murphy decided this was not going to be the nice calm trip we experienced coming south two months earlier. As soon as we got out of the bay and turned north we were experiencing 4-6 foot swells coming on from out port quarter and as I mentioned, visibility zero. But the radar was working just fine, so what could be the problem? We both had taken a Dramamine before departing, but I guess we didn't wait long before pulling out. My fault for being in a hurry was claimed by the First Mate. (She's the Admiral except when things go badly) Anyway, we both got seasick. Not having something visual to focus on didn't help.  I had actually never been seasick before! Taking the med's late, combined with my first time in rocking seas where it was also dark out and difficult to focus on anything, was all a contribution. Anyway, I'm blaming it on these circumstances! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So I put the boat on auto pilot headed to Huntington Harbor and spent the next four hours holding my head and my stomach and wanting nothing more than to sell the boat as soon as we docked.  Lynn and I alternated between having our head in a plastic bag and watching the radar and hoping nothing appeared. Lynn actually got over it about an hour and a half out and was a real trouper, watching for blips on the radar and checking the engine gauges and hoping she didn't have to bother me if something showed up.

When it finally got light out, and we got a few soda crackers down, we both felt much better.   The seas calmed and the rest of the trip was quite nice. I actually decided to keep the boat before we got to Huntington Beach.
We arrived at the marina having averaged 8.5 knots against the quartering seas, 9.5 hours later, and slid into the slip with only one retry. Our slip is actually on the channel and the current pushes to port as you try to slide the boat in. Oh well, it does require a little extra effort, but all life is a learning experience.
We are next scheduled to attend the annual Defever (our boat designer) Rendezvous at the Isthmus on Catalina Island in July and we're hoping to get over there for a few days before this event to get some experience anchoring this big 'un. It should be a short trip of 27 miles from our new digs.

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~ Trip Pics ~

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Huntington Harbor

Activity in the Harbor

In her new slip

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