Tuesday, October 8, 2013

True North September 19 to September 25: Marina Del Rey

September 19 began early with a 0615 departure since we had about 70 miles to travel to our next stop, Marina Del Rey. As there was little wind we motored all day arriving at the Del Rey Yacht Club just near dark at 1930. 
Invictus in the main channel, Marina del Rey
This was an especially fun family stop. Our slip in the guest moorage was just two slips away from my brother Al's boat, Starlight Express! 
True North next to North Star and Starlight Express
After several visits here over the years, it was very fun to pull into a neighboring slip. Our nephew Gabe was staying overnight on Starlight Express that evening and stopped by to say hello before heading back to study. 
Al and Gabe

The next day we rode with him to Pasadena to meet family and to celebrate our niece Abby's twenty-fourth birthday with dinner at Pops, specializing in decadent s'mores and champagne. 

Holly and Abby
There was lots of visiting at DRYC, beginning with the friendly Commodore  checking in with us to chat and to ask for a burgee from our YC, the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club in Ballard.  During the day, Al was joined by several of his Coast Guard Auxiliary colleagues for a few hours of on-the-water drills. We visited with each of them and heard the stories of their most notable rescues in the area. Impressive saves!  Meanwhile, Gregg's cousin Kathy drove over from Tarzana to visit with us for the rest of the day, with a trip around the marina in Al's Boston Whaler he graciously loaned us.
Gregg and Kathy
And finally, a sumptuous buffet at the DRYC set the background for a gathering of 12 visiting family.
The family affair at Del Rey Yacht Club
By mid-afternoon, most everyone was on their way home leaving Al and Gregg to talk “boats” in depth and compare notes. Most fortunate for us! Al was very helpful in finding marine maintenance sources for us and with trips to/from West Marine. An important maintenance item since before our arrival had been to check out a potential problem with our batteries losing their charge. As luck would have it, Al had a marine electrician already scheduled for Monday morning to come to his boat and arranged for us to be added to the schedule. We tore up the aft cabin for battery access as the batteries are inconveniently located under the bed with a sealed wood cover. Long story short: the three house batteries weren't holding the charge and needed to be replaced. We were unable to find three new batteries in the time we had left in Marina del Rey, so postponed the battery upgrade to the next stop. 
The ailing "house" battery bank
However we did take our boat over towards the fuel dock for an oil change, where we were directed into the slip between two 200' yachts.  The manager told us were were in Larry Ellison's slip, as his boat was at the America's Cup where he watched his Oracle boats win the cup!

True North in Larry Ellison's slip

When we finally had some free time, we walked along the shoreline at Venice Beach and Santa Monica. 
Venice Beach

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