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SoCal and loving it

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 15, 2008

  Jo and the KAISEI under sail coming into Oxnard

Posted by Karen


Welcome to Southern California! We’re all working on our farmer’s tans down here in Oxnard, where the afternoon sun is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Luckily, Jesse, Jo and I got the opportunity yesterday to escape the heat and enjoy the open water when we joined Lynx for an educational day sail. Twenty children swarmed the decks, excited to hoist the sails, get a glimpse of the ships’ guns, and spot dolphins and sea lions as we pulled out of the harbor. 

            I struggled to recall the lines and pin rails that I had memorized only a month ago on my transit aboard Lynx from Victoria to Tacoma. It slowly, but surely, came back to me while Jesse rushed around the deck like a seasoned crew member, fresh off her ten-day stint on this tops’l schooner. Once out of the harbor, we set the sails and the crew members taught their new students about line handling and maritime history. The most exhilarating moment for kids and parents alike was when the gunner, Saul, fired the ships’ cannons just as Kaisei appeared on the horizon, making her final approach towards Oxnard Harbor.

            As the afternoon came to a close, the captain and crew made a gallant attempt at approaching our slip under full sail, but the plan was foiled as we narrowly dodged a capsized vessel in the middle of the harbor. We quickly dropped sail and drifted into the dock with Kaisei right on our heels. When Jesse, Jo, and I alighted Lynx, most of the ships had lined up in their slips, bowsprits facing outward, like a queue of sturdy cadets awaiting inspection.

            Later that evening, we changed our clothes and headed back down to the docks, where the crews were still busy furling sails, coiling lines, and scrubbing the decks, just as the sun began to sink over Oxnard. We boarded the ferry boat  for a relaxing dinner cruise around the harbor, and chatted up the captains and crewmembers that we were delighted to reunite with after more than a week at sea. Though the afternoons here in SoCal are, indeed, sweltering, our evening aboard the ferry cruise was bone-chillingly brisk, so the girls and I took refuge by the dance floor, happy to be together and back in the swing of things.





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