Santa Barbara Staycation

Rachel and I had spent so much time working on little projects on the boat and at our real jobs that we decided it was time for a STAYCATION!  We thought we could “sail” north to Santa Barbara for a relaxing weekend.

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Our friends Kirk, Chris and Carly came along for the trip up. We planned to leave around 09:30, hoping to sail a little over half way to the southern tip of Santa Cruz island, pointing as north as we could before tacking back towards Santa Barbara.

10 o’clock… 11 o’clock… 12 o’clock… still no wind! We decided to motor directly up to Santa Barbara. Even though we didn’t get to sail it was still a beautiful day out on the water. It was definitely more fun than the projects we had originally planned on doing over the weekend.

When we arrived in the Santa Barbara harbor we were a little confused on exactly where to go. We knew where we were supposed to check-in to get our slip, but that dock was full. As we waited for an opening, all the fishing boats began pouring back into the harbor. I couldn’t help but feel like we are going to hit something while we were just floating and waiting. Rachel is usually the one handling the boat under power so that I’m free to handle the lines. She totally has it down and knows what she is doing, but if we are ever going to get ‘snappy’ with each other it’s usually at this time. We continued to wait our turn without hitting anything, eventually making our way to the dock to get our slip number. When they asked the size our vessel was, I told them the ‘actual size’ of the boat…. big mistake!

Here in Santa Barbara, I guess all boat owners are professional captains, because when I said our beam was 13 feet (12.6ft) they gave us a slip to match, 13′ wide. As Rachel was pulling in I just kept thinking, “There is no freaking way! There’s no way can we fit, it’s just not going to happen”. But again, Rachel seemed to know exactly what she was doing (even though it was her first time pulling into a finger slip), and lined her up perfectly, coming in nice and slow. Too bad I set her up for failure!
I had accidentally left one of our large fenders hanging off a cleat on the starboard side as we came in for a port side tie up. This fender made us too wide to squeeze into the slip and caught on the piling. Luckily we had extra hands on deck, Kirk and Carly managed to pull the fender out and we were then able to squeeze into our slip for the night. It wasn’t a disaster but I was a little embarrassed. I always feel like everyone’s watching when a boat comes into to dock, just waiting for a bump or mess up.
Once securely tied up at our slip, Chris, Kirk, Carly, Rachel and I walked downtown to enjoy the rest of the evening.

After dinner the crew took off back to Ventura, leaving Rachel and I to enjoy a relaxing evening on the boat. It’s weird how being thirty miles away from home can feel so different. There seems to be less distractions and we feel like we can finally slow down to enjoy reading a good book or just relax. The to-do lists and chores just seem to fade away, leaving us to slow down and be present. The next morning we attended our church’s Santa Barbara campus (Reality) with our friend Caitlyn who was kind enough to give us a lift. After church we returned back to Agápē to cook up breakfast. The rest of the afternoon we spent reading and walking around the boardwalk enjoying all the local art vendors along the beach.

The next morning Rachel had one of her Instafriends (a friend from Instagram) meet us for the sail back home. Rachel and Quin had been following each other on Instagram for over a year now. She had been following his travels from Canada to Panama, camping the whole way, and he finally made his way back to Southern California. Quin brought along two of his friends, Dane (another instfriend) and Dave.
I’ve always thought it was weird to make friends over social media but I’m now starting to see it as a great way for people with similar interests to come together. Rachel is very outgoing and has made some really awesome friends through social media and has had the opportunity to meet up with some of them through her travels for work.
She met up with Brooke and John Gaynes (avid skiers, climbers and mountain bikers) in Utah, along with Caroline Gleich (a pro skier and adventurer).
She met up with Meg Haywood Sullivan (photographer/fellow adventurer, who later came and hiked with us to the base of Mount Whitney) and her boyfriend, Charles Post up in San Francisco for a few fun adventures. While in town she also met up with Lindsey (an avid climber and sports model) for an after work climbing session.
We’ve had Gillian Gibree over for a short visit and met up with Brian, Morgan and Rachel in Joshua Tree, CA. I believe she has made us some life long adventure friends!

With new friends aboard Agápē, we headed back home to Ventura. Again, we had no wind and had to motor most of the way back. The water was calm and the sun was shinning, we even had a few dolphins stop by for a short visit.  As we approached Ventura, the winds pick up just enough for us to fly our spinnaker!
We love getting to practice flying our spinnaker. We want to get it down to a science for when we finally get to make long downwind passages.

After making it back into the harbor, we tied up and headed out for some fish tacos. We then drove Quin, Dane and Dave back up to Santa Barbara to get their car, but before dropping them off we took them up to one of our favorite sunset/climbing spots in the mountains above Santa Barbara. It was a perfect finish to a great staycation weekend!

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