Sunday, March 31, 2013

California Dreamin' - Sailing at Dana Point

Photo by Chris.
All rights reserved.
Morning came much too early, as always, but we'd had a great night's sleep at Moore Manor. Bear with me as I mention that the guest room was all decked out like the best hotels and decorated beautifully: comfortable bed, soft sheets, cushy pillows, quilts handmade lovingly by Reggie, restful colors, and a flat screen television! I made a few mental notes about our guest room at home...

At Harbor House Cafe, Dana Point
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Reggie had to go to the office, but she'd left the coffee all brewed and ready for us as we waited briefly for Dave to return from his top-secret work at the airport. We were going to go sailing!

But, first, we went out to enjoy a plentiful and delicious breakfast at the Harbor House Cafe on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) in Dana Point. The young waitress was sassy and gave the guys a hard time. She got our day off to a good start and totally deserved the large tip (For those of you who are not familiar with American restaurants, gratuities are generally not included. The people on the wait staff depend on those gratuities, though, as their wages are very low. Please be especially generous [20%] when the service has been excellent). The decor of classic movie posters and photos gave us lots to look at, admire, and discuss as we ate. A picture is indeed worth 1,000 words. It also can bring back memories and emotions. Youthful ones, in this case. We were in vacation mode.

Marina at Dana Point Harbor
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
I don't have a lot of experience with this sort of thing, but the marina at Dana Point Harbor seemed awfully big to me. It's a good thing Dave knew where his sailboat was. There was a variety of shops and restaurants to explore around the marina, and people were pushing baby strollers and walking their dogs and enjoying the good life.

Captain Dave
Photo by Chris.
All rights reserved.
Dave, being the good and conscientious skipper that he is, gave us "the safety talk" before we left the harbor. Always hang onto something stationery. Watch the boom so you don't hit your head or get knocked overboard. When walking on the sides to go to the bow and the boat is leaning one way or the other, maneuver in such a way as to fall onto the boat rather than overboard if you should slip. No problem there. I had no desire to fall overboard!

The view off the stern
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
It was a spectacular day offshore, with bright sunshine and just the right amount of wind. There were other boats out around us, but not very many and not very close. It was a weekday, after all.

An excursion charter was nearby, indicating the possible presence of marine mammals. It was whale-watching season, so there was a possibility of seeing some.
Playful dolphin off Dana Point
Photo by Chris.
All rights reserved.

Suddenly, a pod of dolphins was frolicking all around us. I was excited as I made my way to the bow (without slipping or falling overboard) to take photos. Such beautiful, playful, smart creatures! They swam along next to us and ahead of us for a long time, crossing back and forth, diving, jumping. What thrilling fun! I was mesmerized.

Too soon, it was time to head back to shore. Being out on the water had been so peaceful and relaxing. There's just something about the fresh, crisp, salt air, and the sound of the ocean rushing by as the boat slices through it, and the sails snapping in the wind, and the creaking of the boat, and the otherwise utter quiet. Did we really have to stop? But the sun was beginning to dip in the west, and it takes time after you're back at the marina, too, to stow everything and secure the boat.

Bird in flight...extra points,
right, Bob?
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Granted, I've only been sailing a handful of times. But I completely understand why people want to live on their sailboats, going from port to port and country to country, experiencing a wonderful variety of cultures and food and people. It would be an adventurous way to live.

Thank you, Dave, for allowing us to share the adventure with you, just for a little while. Don't be surprised if we come back for more!

Dana Point
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.

Harry thought this one would be nice. It was almost affordable.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. I can almost feel it! Sounds utterly relaxing.


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