"Is there any advice on quality of life things to make sure to bring along for the return trip? You probably have said a dozen times "Gee, I sure could use such and such or wish I had brought this or that.""
Up to this point we hadn't given it much thought, but after some discussion several ideas immerged. One of things we all miss is a particular hors-d'oeuvre (puu-puu), the one where you start with a slice of a small red skinned potato that has been boiled. You add a dollop of sour cream and a generous dab of caviar. (We couldn't agree on the best caviar to use but I could send you a list of suggestions if you are interested.)
Another place that there was not universal agreement was what to drink with it. Even champagne was mentioned. (Yuk!) Myself, I lean toward a particular Danish aquavit. Others had vodka suggestions.
Another thing we miss is live chamber music. Recordings are not the same. Alas, not very practical during a sailing trip. If someone wanted to do something really cool they could arrange a greeting at RYC consisting, for example, of a violin, viola, cello and flute. The score could be just about anything, with a slight preference for Mozart.
At the last minute Kate said that a climbing wall would be nice. Once again, not so practical. A trip up the mast, just for fun, is in the works but we have agreed that it would be more interesting to do it during the day when it is light so you can look around.
As far as learning, literature, navigation, etc. Kathy's new iPad has taken care of that. Its GPS navigation and charts are better than what we have on the boat. It seems to contain just about every book that comes up in discussions. (This is a bookish group.) Classics included!
We spent part of the early evening on a Periodic Table app that even has 112 properly named. Half the night was spent using its animated star charts to find and name various constellations. Thank goodness it was my watch and I had to be up anyway. ~~ Bill
Bill and I may agree on a lot of stuff, but caviar and chamber music are not among them. Bruschetta and Billy (ZZ Topp) are more to my taste. While we were discussing this topic (early, very early) this morning, I added my suggestion that a mobile shower room would really add to the dock party. One thing led to another and I hallucinated on a music video with ZZ Topp playing Sharp Dressed Man in this huge luxurious locker room with the sights and sounds of showers in the background. Maybe have the showering sailors and their groupies doing some kind of "Thriller" dance behind the shower curtains. Man, I gotta get some sleep!
Seriously though, to answer Rick's question, one thing that would have added comfort to this delivery would have been a cockpit cushion. We were very fortunate that we had benign conditions and we were able to keep the bean bag on deck almost all the time; extremely comfortable. I mean EXTREMELY! You have no idea how hard the fiberglass feels after several hours of having your backside jammed in place against it. If condition had been wet on this trip, the bean bag would have been kept below and there would have been a lot of really sore butts (aka monkey-butt; Google it!).
I think the time has come to start discussing our landfall. Here on the boat, we have a local copy of Cirrugator running. In theory, it should give us the same results you see on the Cirrugator website. However, our results may be slightly different because I might be using slightly different weather data from Ulli, and because Ulli knows what he's doing and I don't (Time offset = 17, right Ulli?). So, allowing for those variations, our copy of Cirrugator says that we will land at 7:27 pm on the evening of the 16th. Of course, that's completely bogus; we all know that Cirrus always lands between midnight and four am. The other thing we have just started looking at is the tide data for the Golden Gate. If you are not familiar with the Golden Gate Bridge, it is known for its very strong tidal currents, currents that are strong enough to overwhelm the forward movement of sailboats, and currents that are strong enough to create a violent washing-machine effect if they flow against strong winds. Ideally, we will arrive at the GG on a strong flood tide with the wind behind us. Alternatively, we would look for a slack current regardless of wind. Anything else can be very slow and extremely scary. So stay tuned for updates as we get closer.
The other big deal in current events aboard Cirrus occurred yesterday. We were equally distant from Hawaii and the mainland, 1089 nautical miles. Kathy and Kate organized a hell of a bash (see photos). And gourmet delights included tuna salad for lunch (my favorite), pasta for dinner (my other favorite) and various goodies like giant chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, accompanied by real champagne. I want to stress to all our friends at Sea Life Conservation that all champagne corks (all one of them) were noisily popped but kept safely aboard. Kathy also provided the ribbon corsages and bubble pipes. The bubble-blowing competition was pretty muted though. I think Kate was first in the big bubble class, and Kathy and I were distant thirds, totally incompetent. Bill declined to compete; that man knows how to blow a bubble!
That's all for now. Smoke 'em if you got 'em! Thanks for your comments yesterday; keep them coming. ~~Chris