Since we arrived in Santa Barbara at 2am on March 18th we were over exhausted and glad to be on a dock again. The trip had great strong winds but it kept us on our toes.
As we set out to plan the rest of our trip down the California coast we turned on the VHF radio’s weather report to see what the continued forecast would be. That’s when we heard about the Gale force wind warning. It looked like we were going to have to hunker down in Santa Barbara for a few days!
Santa Barbara however was not a bad place to have to spend a few days as we soon found out. It is a beautiful little town with a marina to one side, Stearn’s Wharf jutting out from the centre connecting to the main State Street walk. We took the 50 cent electric bus a few times, watched a movie, anchored a night in the harbor and had a few adventures with the dingy.
There was so much we enjoyed for our few days here. One of the highlights was coming out of the movie theatre to a bustling two blocks of the main street that was blocked off and filled with dozens of local farmers selling their produce.
Our dingy adventure occurred when I decided to fill up the almost empty dingy gas can that is in the boat. After filling it up, Kirsten, I and our two youngest (Zak -1 and Teyauna-5) were motoring back to our boat that was a 5 minute ride in the harbor. About a minute into the ride however the engine cut out. I restarted the engine a few times but it lasted no more than a few seconds before cutting out again. I checked the fuel line to the gas can and it all looked ok. After about 5 minutes of this and watching a half dozen boats and kayakers go by without a word, I decided that I would have to pull out the oars and paddle to my teenage sons who were waiting for us at Stearn’s Wharf. They had decided to wait there as it was a shorter walk from the movie theatre we had just been to and they had no problem climbing the tall ladders to the top of the wharf.
The sun was starting to set and it was getting dark and so we quickly paddled over to the rest of ours family.
Kirsten ascended the vertical ladder the 25 feet to the top of the wharf and was able to locate the rest of the kids that were waiting. Dailin was all too anxious to help out as he had had a similar problem when he was in Alameda with Jaeden. The problem was simply that the fuel line to the gas can needed to be fit on a bit more snugly. Within seconds we had the engine running again.
That is however when I decided that we had best be going back to our boat and had everyone pile into the dingy. Yes that is correct, all 8 of us piled in and we started the trip back to our boat in the harbor.
Kirsten was not too pleased with Dailin’s driving skills however as he sped up and slowed down and Jaeden goofed of as he stood up in the boat and filmed the rest of us crowded into the boat. I think they started to realize how serious their mother was about being nervous with them in the boat when she seriously offered to jump out of the boat.
Without incident (other than Jaeden’s antics) we did make it back to our boat eventually just as the sun was setting on the horizon. As we approached the boat we saw a baby seal that had pulled himself up onto the back of our catamaran landing. It took us a minute to try to scare him off the boat, but not before we scared him so much that he peed on the back of the boat. Terrorized he tentatively flopping off the back in front of our dingy to the amusement of the kids.
Another highlight was on our last full day in Santa Barbara as we received a 8 passenger Surrey Bike from Wheel Fun Rentals across from Stearn’s Wharf. It was so cool that we could find one bike that would fit our entire family! For the next few hours we took the bike down the biking trails along the beautiful beach front. It was our hottest day yet and the perfect time to be out along the beach. I think Jaeden’s driving gave his mother a bit of a scare but otherwise it was a enjoyable and some great exercise.
By the afternoon we were ready for an ice cream break and so we left the bike for an hour while we grabbed some groceries and cold refreshments. We hopped back on the bike and pedaled our groceries back to the marina where our boat was.