Sunday, October 28, 2012

Latitude 33.979, Marina Del Rey

Just below Latitude 34, you'll find Marina Del Rey.  Marina Del Rey is home to a 'movie star' Safeway (or so the locals call it), the largest man-made marina on the west coast, the Marina Del Rey Hotel (where apparently a lot of movies are filmed, including one while we were visiting), and is close to Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

Marina Del Rey
Marina Del Rey is a nice place, close to all kinds of places to visit. There is a hotel at the Marina called Marina Del Rey Hotel which is the home to many movies.  Guests staying on boats (like us) had access to its amenities. We saw movie filming/shoots on the balconies and signs were posted all over that filming was going on, but we weren't able to figure out who the celebs were! We were too busy drinking wine at the pool :)  While in Marina Del Rey, we headed up north to Venice Beach and Santa Monica, more on that in a minute. We also caught up on much needed boat projects, like cleaning the bilge, a nasty cavern of doom at the bottom of the boat. The bilge pump, which sounds like a balloon letting out air (when you take the part that you blow air into and use two hands to pull that to let the air out slowly), goes off every so often, needed to be inspected to make sure it was working properly. After all, if the boat gets a leak or hole, we want to make sure that puppy is pumping out the water to keep us afloat!

The bilge pump, clogged with God knows what. Yuck.

T at Fisherman's Village in Marina Del Rey, making a goofy face :)

Lifeguard boats, in technicolor, at the marina

I had no idea that pelicans turn their head backwards
 and bury it in their wings, to take a nap. Some even lie down, but this guy was
standing while napping. Cute feet.

Right next door, a giant sea lion

One night, a visitor came on the dock of our starboard stern (in english - the back of the boat on the right side), a sea lion. Since they eat little dogs, we had to be careful when taking Peanut (aka Olds) to go potty.

Venice Beach
100 years ago tobacco magnate Abbot Kinney tried to create a community fashioned after Venice, Italy. Within a cozy residential neighborhood, you'll find charming canals, narrow pedestrian wooden bridges and landscaped footpaths. That's right, in Venice Beach, CA. You'll also find Venice Pier, which has nice views of the ocean and beaches, and along the beachfront, you'll find an outdoor gym with large men in small shorts working out (aka "Muscle Beach"), tennis-like courts of people playing something that resembles a cross between tennis and ping-pong (they use paddles, but it looks like a tennis court?), tattoo shops, t-shirt shops, vendors peddling evaluations for you for medical marijuana and other random vendors selling God knows what, like a guy selling 'shitty advice, $1', literally.

$40 evaluation for medical marijuana

Venice Beach, from the Venice Pier
More Venice Beach, the park at the beach

Santa Monica
Santa Monica has beautiful beaches and a very large pier with an amusement park on it, along with shops, vendors and snack bars; definitely something to see. There is a bike path from Marina Del Rey to Santa Monica, so we got our walk on, and hoofed it, about 5 miles, but enjoyed every moment of it since it mainly paralleled the water and beaches.

Santa Monica Pier,
complete with roller coaster and ferris wheel

Santa Monica Pier
Us on the Santa Monica Pier,
lots of people in the background on the beach

After Marina Del Rey, our next stop was Long Beach for a few hours. We decided to ditch our trip to Avalon, Catalina Island so that Tim could pick up the new dinghy and outboard he's been shopping for, for months. Our old dinghy was named Sugar, and our new one is named Sugar, too. Since I wanted to name our boat Sugar ( because it's funny and fun to hail a marina on the VHF and say 'XYZ Marina, XYZ Marina, XYZ Marina, this is S/V Sugar' and they respond with 'Go ahead, Sugar'  - LOL it makes me laugh every time!) Tim didn't want people calling him Sugar, mainly other men, since men refer to other men with their boat names typically (ie people refer to us as 'Rhythm' not Kathy and Tim sometimes). I think the name is brilliant, but oh well, we named our boat Rhythm for various reasons, and I got to name our dinghy, Sugar, twice :)

We are now in Dana Point/Laguna Beach and loving it! and then heading to San Diego sometime this week where we will gear up and get ready to head down to Mexico. I can see why people live here in CA...the sun, the weather, friendly people, etc.  Good stuff.    More soon...


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