Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Work and Play in Marina del Rey (January 2018)


That title rhymes… sorry… couldn’t help myself 🙂

Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey seen from northern promenade

In my last post about our current sailing voyage, we’d reached Marina del Rey, a huge marina complex just north of Los Angeles, CA, on December 12, 2017. (Sorry for being so behind on the blog, everyone!) We settled in at the California Yacht Club, thanks to very generous friends of friends, fellow Cruising Club of America members Steve and Stephanie Hathaway. The California YC members and staff made us feel very welcome and we were extremely grateful to be able to berth CELESTE there for a full six weeks.


Settled into our slip at CYC. Photo thanks to Stephanie Hathaway.

We soon had the boat all put away for our absence over the holidays – less of a process than when we’d left her for months in the Aleutians, but still a bit of work. When we returned in late January 2018, she was just as we’d left her, always a relief!

We had hoped to get most of our (paid) work done during our absence and be able to set sail for Mexico very soon after our return to CELESTE. As it happened, though, Seth’s clients had a whole lot more work for him within a day or so of our return. That’s always good, of course! But it also meant that we couldn’t set off immediately. The library at CYC was, fortunately, a nice quiet space to work, so we got into a routine of days at the club library, followed by an evening walk along the promenade to the nearby beach.

Marina del Rey beach

Enjoying a warm Southern California evening in Marina del Rey

Our extended time in Marina del Rey also gave us the opportunity to see more of the surrounding area, including a day’s hike in a state park in Malibu. It was fun to see some of the natural landscape and vegetation of this part of California, and the trail afforded nice views:

Malibu hike

Looking west from the trail in Malibu

LA seen from Malibu

LA seen from our hike in Malibu

A day in Malibu isn’t complete without a visit to the famous beach, too!

Malibu beach

Malibu beach seen from a seaside restaurant

The best part, though, of our time in the LA area was the people. Everyone at CYC was incredibly kind and friendly. As well as the Hathaways, we spent quite a bit of time with three other boat crews, two of which were also bound southward. Kellie and Mike were planning to leave directly from California for the South Pacific at the end of March (and are now underway!), and we spent many great evenings aboard their beautifully-appointed 56-foot cutter. They were in the midst of readying their boat for sea, so we all talked a lot of shop as well as trading sea stories. Mike had many good ones after some 200,000 miles as a sailboat delivery captain.

The other southbound boat was a 40-foot cutter, also in a flurry of boat upgrades and provisioning for sea. Cameron and Kathryn are dual citizens of New Zealand and Australia, and had been in the LA area for work for a couple of years. They were planning to take the long, scenic, sportsmanlike way home – by sailing across the South Pacific! They were about our age – pretty rare on sailboats – and we soon became good friends.

The third boat was owned and sailed by Olivia, a young woman (my age again – I hope that’s still young!) who was living aboard, maintaining and upgrading her pretty classic boat (lots of varnished wood), and keeping up her documentary film-making work. I really enjoyed getting to know her and hearing about all her films and many other interests. We got so caught up in actually spending time with all these people that we only ended up taking a couple of photos, so here is one of Olivia and Cameron aboard CELESTE:

Dinner on Celeste

Olivia and Cameron aboard CELESTE for dinner.

Finally, we also had a wonderful evening with one of our Gone Floatabout readers! Doug and Andrea got in touch with us through the blog and we really enjoyed spending some time with them – only wish it could have been more. They came to see CELESTE (Doug had learned to sail at CYC as a kid!) and then we had a great night out for Thai food and micro brews in Santa Monica. We really hit it off over books, especially our mutual love for West with the Night by Beryl Markham.

Meeting all these wonderful people was the highlight of our time in Marina del Rey, for sure. We had hoped that we’d be able to sail to Long Beach and see Doug and Andrea again and also meet another friend of a friend, but in the end we were too busy with work every day and ended up staying in Marina del Rey until the very end of January. After a last minute scramble to provision CELESTE for the voyage ahead (thank you Mike and Kellie for the loan of the car!), we finally set sail for Mexico on January 30, 2018.

Pelican at Marina del Rey breakwater

Pelican seen on our departure day!


5 thoughts on “Work and Play in Marina del Rey (January 2018)

  1. Pingback: Stunning sunsets, a different country, and a total eclipse of the moon: Passage to Ensenada, Mexico (January 2018) | Gone Floatabout

  2. The world is becoming aware of your talents & adventures so the good people like to meet help & share stories with you. Keep up the good work, love your life style of working with pleasure cheers and beers.

    • Thanks so much, Terry! We’ve been thrilled to meet all these wonderful people on our voyages – it really is one of the best parts of travel, of life in general for that matter!

  3. Looks like lots of fun!