|Santa Barbara Harbour|
All went well while I was on watch going round Point Conception, except for something small on the prop, which came off first time. Dawn broke over Santa Cruz Island, turning the sky and the sea red.
When Jeremy came on watch he felt sure there was still something round the prop so he stripped off and went overboard with the bread knife. Minutes later he came back on board with a handful of seaweed and a short piece of rope.
|Christmas Eve on Sal Darago|
We arrived at Santa Barbara Harbour just after 11.00 am on 23rd December and stayed for four nights. We were able to wish our family and friends Merry Christmas and generally relax after shopping for Christmas. We ate well on board on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We even had a Christmas tree! We went to the carriage driving museum after Christmas and were impressed by the many carriages, saddles and bridles on display. Entrance was free.
|Kathy at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum|
As we prepared to leave Santa Barbara, a fellow sailor came along and gave us a bottle of wine. Thank you, Mark.
|Mansion above Paradise Cove|
The next stop was Channel Islands Harbour for one night. We decided not to buy a shower and gate key card for $25 as we were only staying one night. We showered on Sal Darago and discovered the next morning that the bilges were full of water. Our shower bilge pump had not been working. Much pumping followed and later Jeremy found that the float switch was not working.
|Outside the Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles|
On our way to Paradise Cove, off Malibu Beach, we passed numerous dolphins and many sealions. It was difficult to find a place to anchor on our arrival as there was a forest of kelp and many fishing pots. Fortunately, the night was calm, so there was no dragging.
It was a short hop the next day to Marina del Rey on the other side of Santa Monica Bay. We spent 4 nights on the guest docks and used the marina as a base to visit Los Angeles. It took about an hour and a half by bus and train to reach Hollywood but only cost $7 each with a Metro TAP card.
We saw a number of hand and footprints of the stars of yesterday and today as well as many famous names on the Walk of Fame. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery was a peaceful oasis and the long bus ride down Sunset Boulevard passing Sunset Strip and Beverley Hills was an interesting experience.
|Hollywood sign from Forever Cemetery|
The next day, Sunday 31st December, we went to Downtown LA, visiting the Walt Disney Centre, the Music Centre, City Hall and Central Park. All the buildings were closed on Sundays but they were all worth seeing.
|Carollers in the park, Marina del Rey|
Back at Marina del Rey preparations were underway for New Year’s Eve.
|Jeremy at the Walt Disney Centre|
The party in the park next to our berth started at 7.00pm. A ten minute firework display, at 9.00pm, celebrated New Year on the East Coast and another ten minute firework display, at midnight, celebrated New Year on the West Coast. Hundreds of people gathered in the park for the free evening. We had a clear view of the fireworks from Sal Darago’s cockpit.
|Music Centre, Los Angeles|
On New Year’s Day we bought a new float switch from West Marine and treated ourselves to new pairs of boat shoes from their sale. Jeremy replaced the float switch in SD’s shower, so we were ready to go to sea again.
|City Hall, Los Angeles|
Today, 3rd January, we are about to spend our second night at Santa Catalina Island.