Believe it or not, we were actually ready to depart by Oct.
12!  We spent our last night in the bay at Richmond yacht
club, compliments of our mentor, Bruce Powell.  His friend
Gary Clifford joined us for the trip south.  Departure day
proved to be the foggiest day we'd ever seen!  Luckily
Bruce & Gary had a vague idea of a compass course to get
us pointed in the general direction of Angel Island.  
Maureen thought we should head back to a slip and try
this again on a day when we could see past the bow of the
boat.  For some reason no one else thought there was
anything to worry about.  We made it  out the gate and
headed south with no wind, but plenty of fog.  Finally
around 2 pm we were able to shut off the engine and start
sailing.   David proceeded to feed the fish regularly for the
next 18 hours.  Katherine was sick with a bad cold so she
spent most of the next two days holding down a settee.  
Justin proceeded to amaze our crew with his abilities in
the galley no matter what the sea conditions.

Once we put up the sails, we had a great wind from aft for
the next 24 hours, at times we were hitting 11 knots south
over ground.  The only positive aspect of the fog was that
it made the nightime sailing less stressful as we hadn't
been able to see anything all day anyway!  We were very
relieved to (at least I know I was) have seasoned ocean
veterans along with us for our first offshore experience,
fortunately we never had to put their knowledge to the
test as all went smoothly  for the three day trip.

We saw whales at a distance the second day, and began
having repeated encounters with the dolphins, who would
make a beeline for our bow from a distance and play under
us until they got bored with our lack of speed. After all the
buildup of Pt. Conception, we motored by with no wind on
the second night and proceeded to motor through the
Santa Barbara channel until just a couple of hours north of
Long Beach.  Our entry into the harbor was momentarily
delayed while David figured out how to hotwire the engine
(we have since figured out it is a problem with the
solenoid as it only fails when the engine is warm -
however by La Paz we still haven't fixed it!)  

We pulled into Long Beach yacht club Friday eve-Duke
was never so excited to see land (he had eventually peed
on deck, but held all else for terra firma).  Justin thought
our surly crowd was not dressed appropriately for dinner
at Long Beach Yacht Club, so we hid out in the luxurious
bar rather than their dining room.  We never actually
found ourselves dressed nice enough for the proper
dining room during our four day stay.
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Second Shift