Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marina Del Ray

Al and Deniz contacted the marina and got directions to the slip we were to dock. It was quite a big marina, mostly full, with different kinds of boats tied for the winter. They gave us an inner slip to my dismay, although there were some readily accessible ones. Anyway, Al maneuvered the cat perfectly while I watched with apprehension, and Deniz gave the lines to the guy waiting at the dock. Great success in docking, and quiet at last, after the constant hum of the wind on the way.

This marina was the best we had seen so far, including the Yacht Haven Grande of St Thomas, USVI, considering the facilities provided. Everything was clean and modern, despite the fact that it has been in operation for twenty years. It was so big that the marina staff was running around on the docks in golf carts. One could call the marina office on VHF and ask one of these carts to transport you from your slip to the restaurant, or to showers and laundry etc. The drivers were master racers, spinning the wheels of the carts on narrow docks skilfully.

As soon as we docked, I made some ginger tea, by boiling fresh ginger slices and adding some lemon juice, which I found to be effective for nausea. Although neither Zeynep nor I get sea-sick, we both felt uneasy because of the exhaust fumes and the violent rolls.

We got our precious water, did our laundry, took long hot showers; heaven on earth! To top it off, the guys thought I should get a break from cooking, so we tried the elegant restaurant of the marina. Everything was great, but unfortunately it only lasted one night. Early next morning, we had planned to start for Culebra, SVI, to spend several days, including the New Year’s Eve; because we heard that Culebra was the happening place for the celebrations.

Al had been checking the weather sites, and found out that the forecast for the winds and wave heights would be most favorable on the 29th, which was the reason he rushed us back from Vieques, to start our major passage to Culebra. We had done that passage coming west in about three hours, and we were expecting some delay in going east towards the wind. Al also read something about the tide, being in a favorable direction against the waves sometime in the morning, so he decided to start around 9:00 am. We checked our charts, and got ready to “retrace our steps” on the GPS.

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