tues nov. 11 2008

i woke up to Lao Tung's voice yelling "Ai Tun!!!" there were lots of dolphins surrounding us. they didn't linger though. our speed wasn't high enough to play. actually we didn't make any way at all. once it was our watch the engine got started and we motored on a glassy golf of catalina towards point loma. we had a pilot whale visit us and shortly after two grey whales and then a submarine. what a bizarre fascinations sailors have with any dark body emerging from the depths...
i had a great time steering the boat into the entrance around the point, dodging kelp beds and sailboat traffic. more and more i realize how to use my photographic memory for navigation.i can memorize the chart and translate it to real life without having to look all the time. whereas anything i can't can't see gets forgotten quickly. i found a good perch on the port caprail, standing high and using the ropes to steer. once Lao Tang releived me, i noticed how pooped i was. we had yummy peppered pork with noodles and cabbage and continued motoring against the current.

the we heard the engine hick-up. she lost speed, going any direction but forward. there was a moment of panic (all in chinese with nelson translating the basics), then we realized that the prop had gotten fouled with kelp.
so the engine got turned off and we were at a good spot to drift for awhile while ACai used the boathook to free the prop. then we could go again at 2.9 kts instead of the 0.3kts with the kelp.

we got met by friends in a powerboat who helped us into a slip at the southwestern yachtclub where we had drinks and showers. i booked my flight home, talked to john M, john B. Frank and Kim.
then we just sat on deck into the late night and drank wine and talked.
these are very cool and special people and i am glad to have met them and spent time living and working together.
i definitely will keep in contact and i am hoping to be able to join the boat for another leg of this and any other voyage in the future.

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