November 7, 2005   

Marina Del Rey to Newport Beach

We left Marina Del Rey at 1100, a little later than intended, for the 45 mile run to Newport Beach.  It was a pleasant run in nice weather and 3' to 5' seas, winds to 10 knots.  It was interesting to see all the development along the coast here in Southern California with everyone trying to get their slice of the pie.  I guess it's that way everywhere desirable.

We got into Newport Beach just before dark and found our way to the channel where Balboa Boat Yard was located, but I must have misunderstood Art's directions and we were eyes right looking for his yard sign and a 57' Grand Banks that was our landmark.  We never saw it and turned around and headed back, looking carefully as darkness settled in.  We soon saw a flashlight waving on our right and it was Art, motioning us into a slip.  Instead of eyes right, it should have been eyes left.  We had a nice conversation and then Art left after getting us settled in.

Kath has so many good childhood memories from here, especially with her Dad who passed away a couple years ago.  Her family used to keep their boat across the channel for years and she regularly swam across the channel. 

When I told her Art had recommended a good reasonable seafood place nearby, she asked "is it the Crab Cooker?"  I said it was and she told me that she remembered when as a young girl of about 12 or 13, she went there with her Dad.  There was a 1400 pound great white shark on ice there that had just been caught about 100 yards from the beach where people swim.  It was on a bed of ice and she remembered touching it.  Well, when we went there for the first time, there it was, stuffed and hanging from the ceiling with a little story board hanging from it, just like she remembered!  Talk about memories!  We "rediscovered the Crab cooker while here and finally found some good tender calamari/squid!  It's usually tough and chewy from our experiences.  Ate there a number of times which is unusual for us as we normally eat at home.  We had mucho squid, some dorado/mai-mai, swordfish, halibut, shrimp and rockfish.  All with cole slaw (not sweet) and all well prepared.

While in Newport Beach, we hauled Dreamer at Balboa Boat yard on their rail system.  We were out about 11days and moved our boot stripe, swimstep, lower quarter guards and furnace, genset and four other thru hulls up a bit.  We also found that both rudder logs/packing glands/bearings were broken and replaced those in a better fashion than original.  We painted the lower half of the hull topsides  due to the other work and painted the bottom..  New three blade props to replace the old four blade props and Spurs shaft cutters were installed along with kelp/line guards in front of the stabilizer fins that BBY made up in SS.  They also serviced the seacocks and sea strainers.

While there, I discovered that we had an oil leak from the cover of the port Gulf Coast bypass oil filter which soaked a couple carpet covered floor boards and seeped into the bilge.  The carpeted floor boards cleaned up quite well with degreaser and pressure washing several times and BBY's crew cleaned  up the bilge.  I have no idea why it chose that time to spring a leak.  Go figure!

Balboa Boat Yard is run by Art and Anne Lewis and they are great people to work with!   They and their crew are very competent, knowledgeable, friendly and cooperative.  I could not have asked for a better boat yard experience!  If you want a very good yard that is competent, fair and honest, this is the place in Southern California to take your boat, IMHO.

While there, I measured space in the aft lazaret and discovered we could store about 10 cases of Two-Buck Chuck wine from Trader Joe's in space we weren't using so we borrowed Art's jeep and loaded up with 12 cases.  J  Good wine is hard to come by at a decent price in Mexico and TBC is a good table wine.  While at TJ's, we also loaded up on some other good stuff from there.  Tis a good store!  Good thing we raised the boot stripe!