self with corona Travels and Images

WEEK 31 2003

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Picture of the Week

Lancaster Weather

A Year Ago, This Week

Saturday 2 August 2003

Saturday - something must have happened, but I'm writing this on Tuesday, so...

Friday 1 August 2003

Friday - at my Dad's. I went over to the boat yard and checked on things. The boat is back in the water, the rudder repaired and the bottom painted, the marine head removed. They hadn't replaced all the thru-hall valves, a bit of confusion there, but that saved money - which can now be applied to the backstay, which has all these minute stress cracks. Which meant, alas, no sailing.

The standing rigging isn't in good shape, one of the port shrouds really needs work, but most of it can wait until next years maintenance budget comes due.

They are replacing that backstay this week. Guess I'll head up in a couple of weeks and bend on the new sails, and then try to do some sailing.

Thursday 31 July 2003

Thursday - actually, I think I wrote this already, but it doesn't seem to have been posted. Anyway, after seeing a storm coming in again at work I headed north from work. I missed most of it, except for a bit of rain over the Tehachapi's.
storm of edwards
A storm cell sitting directly over Edward AFB, 31 July 2003.

Wednesday 30 July 2003

Wednesday - we had another wind/dust/thunderstorm today. It was very similar to last week's storm.

A bit before three in the afternoon we could see a wall of dust coming across the "dry" lake bed towards us. It looked a great deal like the wall of sand in the movie "The Mummy" actually, except it was quite dark. So we battened down the hatches, which consisted of locking the doors and turning off the A/C so that the sand didn't clog the filters. I dashed out and rolled up the windows in my car completely. Good thing too - it was thick. In fact, it looked like night out, except that you couldn't see three feet. The power went off briefly, then the fire alarm went off, from the dust in the air. Eventually the dust blew through, to the west, and then the rain pelted down, turning the fine dust into a sort of sticky goop.

After half an hour of wearing hearing protection to keep some of the fire alarm sound out management sent everyone home. By that time I already had a headache.

Yesterday a cell formed over Lancaster, with rain and hail. It knocked out power to thousands, and downed tree's and power line's. In my own neighborhood there was just a litter of leaves about, stripped from the tree's by the hail I suppose.

I should post a bit about the kayaking at Anacapa last weekend. It was a blast. The kayaks were the Scrambler model from Ocean Kayak and were rented for about $25 a day, complete with helmet, seat, and paddle. The boat that took us out and back was $35. They leave from Ventura Harbor and drop you off at the landing stage on the south east edge of the island. You then lower the boats ten to twelve feet down to the water, and then climb down a ladder, hop in, and you are off.

ship in santa barbara channel
According the the skipper of our boat, about 25 container ships a day pass through the Santa Barbara channel.

approaching anacapa island

Approaching Anacapa Island from the southwest.

Dave and I went south, then through the sea cave at the south end, then north along the ocean side. There were seals and sea lions roosting along the shore, which is just rocks and an occasional pebble beach at the base of steep cliffs. The seas were essentially flat calm. Eventually we went through the shallow mid-island passage, which was about three feet deep and where I overturned (too timid on the paddling, I needed to be more aggressive) and then back downwind along the east side again. And through another cave. Eventually we came back to the landing dock, and then went down to the south end again, just because we had some spare time before the boat was due back. Coming back from that was a reminder that kayaks are hard to paddle against wind and chop. There were snorkelers and scuba types about, near the island, and some pleasure boats, though I didn't see any really good anchorage's.

It's difficult to describe the experience - a wonderful day in the water and wind on a beautiful warm southern California day.

I didn't bring the camera, as it isn't waterproof, so the pictures I have are taken from the boat and from the top of the island, which is, by the way, a national park and bird sanctuary.

A last word of caution - the kayak instruction was non-existent: one group of kayakers were on their first trip and no one had told them how to get back into the kayak if they fell out. So I did: belly, butt, feet. In more words, (1) climb back into the kayak belly down sideways. (2) Roll over on your back. (3) Rotate so that your feet are facing forward... It ain't pretty but it works.

Tuesday 29 July 2003

Tuesday - work.

Monday 28 July 2003

Monday - work.

Sunday 27 July  2003

Sunday - we got up late, had a leisurely breakfast, and then I headed back to Lancaster to catch the local production of "Jesus Christ Superstar". It was pretty good!

Picture of the Week
fire in the palmdale hills
Photo Notes: Here is a shot of the fire in the mountains south of Palmdale last week. It was so thick in town that someone said they thought it was a house on fire just down the street. Note the curiously large Altoid images in the sky....

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