Sailing Away from it all part 2

**Sleeping is kind of nice on the ocean. There is a calm slow rocking (if you are lucky), gentle creaking like a grannies rocking chair and you can usually hear water lapping on the sides of the boat. But there is one problem.

Water lapping.

Splashing.

Water…water… water.

And now I have to tinkle. But I am cozy in the berth. If I am in the big V berth, it means I am feet first in the bunk with my heading pointing to the opening. That means simply, that in order to go the ‘the head’ I have to turn myself around, get my feet pointing in the right direction. In spite of the sleeping bag too. In spite of sharing the berth with hubby. In spite of my bones already weary from a day of being tossed around on the sea like a cork.

But no matter where you are sleeping, the thought of having to get up and navigate your way through the hold and into the coffin sized bathroom is just painful. So I try to hold it and go back to sleep. When the voice in the back of my head starts chiding me that I should just get it over with, that this situation is only going to get worse, I beat it down with a mental stick. And I try to go back to sleep. Sometimes I succeed. But whiny voice is right. Sooner or later my bladder asserts its authority over the rest of my body and I have to get up and go, grumbling and lurching along the way. We sailors need our sleep, ya know!

I swore I wasn’t going to use this photo and almost deleted it. Too late now. I needed a sleeping picture. At least I will make it small.

But anyone who has been camping understands this dilemma? Anyone who has had camping experiences can give you at least one goofy or hair-raising story that took place in the middle of the night on the way to the port-a-potties or bushes or what have you. Heck, I have a “could’ve been me” bear story when I decided to go out at 2 in the morning and look in the back of our then pickup for an inhaler. At least I am not likely to run into a bear aboard the Guilietta. Or raccoons or snakes or bats (although I have seen them at night while sitting in our lounge type chairs in the cockpit.)

But you campers know how it is. It might be cold outside. Everyone is sleeping and you are afraid to wake anyone up. But once you resign yourself, get up and put on your shoes and a jacket, grab your flashlight and head outside, aren’t you just a little bit glad you did? Suddenly you see the world in with a whole different perspective. Its deep shadows, the velvet night sky full of stars. Or maybe the rustle of trees you didn’t hear during the day and crickets. Or distant animals you hope stay distant long enough for you to go to the bathroom and get back to your tent or RV.  (Or, God forbid, out in the pouring rain or snow. Did anyone else have a time when, in an emergency, you might ‘borrow’ your kids little training potty-chair you brought along?)

And not drinking anything before going to bed never helps. You can go dry all afternoon, but if you are a nighttime bathroom go-er, there is no getting around it.

But enough potty mouth.

I got to go kayaking!

Notice who is doing all the paddling?

I have only been kayaking once before, also at Catalina. I took a good strong girl scout with me to help paddle. So here I am with a good strong son to help me…

Well? Why isn’t he paddling?

Okay, he did actually help eventually. Thats when we ended up going in circles and at one point I think we actually hit a boat! Funny how we managed to paddle pretty quick at that point. Nothing like the chance of meeting an irate boat owner to help you pull sudden and unexpected paddling skills out of the depths of your soul.

I also went kayaking with hubby for a while. He also didn’t help paddle much. (acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree I guess.) What is their problem? I suggest you sit in the rear when you go kayaking so you are sure you are not the only one paddling. Even if they were, I was suspicious unless I heard splashing behind me.

But anyway, it is one sport I can get behind. (No really, as in ‘sit behind’ your fellow kayak-er.)  For little paddling effort, you glide swiftly all over the surface of the water. You get a close up view of kelp beds and rocks and fish and all kinds of sea life. I have had seals come right up to us! Its nice and quiet, no engine noises. And it is a lot less effort than, say, riding a bike. I thought my middle-aged arms would be giving me heck the next day, but no. They were so confused by all the boating and clutching and crawling out of dinghies, I didn’t even feel it!

Getting out of the kayak was a problem though. I just could not seem to get my legs back under me! I ended up laughing so hard I was useless! So, since we were done using it, my older son got aboard and we paddled it to the shore, just a few  yards away, and turned it in. Then it was easy to jump out in just a foot of water. I maintained a little grace and dignity. Or at least dignity.

A little.

Here are more graceful kayakers:

Isn’t this just postcard perfect? This is near the Marine Institute.

The kids also did some snorkeling. We had one wetsuit and rented another.

The son without the wetsuit was convinced that there were icebergs somewhere in the water. He was the one turning blue. The water must have been a frigid 66 degrees. Not exactly iceberg weather, but you didn’t find me swimming in it.

Here is a picture where you can see most of the galley.

If you blink, you’ll miss it.

Now you may notice that Celina is wearing a skirt.

Yes, she is determined to stay feminine at all costs. I have no such illusions about myself. I am lucky to get my creaky bones up and down the steps umpteen times a day without worrying about my skirt flying up over my head! But she pulled it off with style, bless her little pea-picken heart.

See the wall just behind her? Dave just installed two magnetic strips to put some of the bulkier utensils up on. And do I love it!! Most of the stuff I use most of the time fits on there perfectly. Now I always know where the scissors are, the grater, the can opener. Love it! You can get a glimpse of the curtains I made just to the right there.

At one point we went to Little Gibraltar and I found myself alone for a while on a secluded beach.

The things that went through my head.Like how many horror movies started just this way. Like one of the Jurassic park movies.

First, it was all this beach is made of millions of small rocks and pebbles. All colors and kinds. Blues and pinks, browns and greens, reds and orange rocks. Flat ones perfect for skipping. Some all sparkly. So I spent my time mostly looking for the best ones and skipping them.

And thinking that I didn’t bring even a bottle of water, let alone my camera. Or sunscreen. Or camera.

No camera!!! All these beautiful stones and plants and cliffs and no camera. Sheesh! Here is the only picture, hubby took it.

I didn’t even bring a stinking chap-stick with me! But i had the whole beach to myself.

Here is the Little Gibraltar:

Our beach was to the left of this.

There used to be a giant iron ring you could tie your boat to. The navy had put it in there years ago. But when we went to find it, it was gone. The boulder was there, but the iron ring was gone. On the beach, I found large shell incrusted chunks of iron in the ground. Maybe that was the remnants? But hubby remembers tying up to it only a few years ago. Anyway, the place was still beautiful. Hard when the wind kicked up and the waves started in, like I said before. But beautiful.

Oh, here is a picture I forgot to put in of the boys rescuing me from certain doom when the engine on the dingy wouldn’t start. (by the way, several other people couldn’t start it too, so it wasn’t all me. And no, I didn’t break it!)

Here is another picture showing the boats lived in look.

And this only took us 5 minutes. You should see us at an hotel. We enter the room and within 30 seconds, we are spread out and already leaving socks in the bathroom.

Here is hubby in the dink:

And now I must say good night:

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