Pizza and Volcanoes

Day 6
Oxnard Wanderings and Further South

Big Lots. Toppers. Panda Express. Welcome back to society, to civilization. It’s amazing how much one day at sea can free a person from the confines of the day-to-day routine. Waking up Thursday morning in Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, CA, felt lovely. Brent and I had absolutely no plans for the day, and as such, it was wide open ahead of us, sunny and beckoning with possibility and wonder.

Ah, the joys of living on a boat- a regular roller coaster ride of emotions; joy and delight juxtaposed from day to day with nausea, frustration, and the half drunk seasick feeling that comes with being… half drunk. Or seasick. Ahem.

As I said, we were feeling pretty good after a cupcake meatloaf dinner courtesy of CIYC- combined with a full nights rest, so we decided to take the day to complete some errands and chores. Our rise and shine consisted of coffee (blessed coffee, in our boat, from Keuring we love so much) and then a mutual agreement that ol’ Following Seas needed a bath. I’ve decided that “old girl” is a much more agreeable name for our vessel when discussing her casually, and I’ve taken the expression up quite comfortably.

So we got out the simple green and scrub brushes, and spent the morning scrubbing Old Girl with an enthusiasm and pleasure that probably only shows itself in new boat owners.

Bath time for Old Girl

We brushed her, hosed her, toweled her and polished her- enjoying every moment of it. After her bath, we changed out the lines on her new hot pink fenders for black ones, and stood back to admire our work. What a beautiful Old Girl this boat is!

Sparkling clean!

Bam! Hot pink fenders.

Looking good

With bath time over, I had a serious mind to find some lunch and do the provisioning that was necessary for Old Girl to be comfy and complete at this point in our venture. We packed the backpack with granola bars, filled up the water bottles, and set off into Oxnard/Port Hueneme to see what we could see.

The walk into town was so fun! Walking into town took us both back to the days of yore, when we didn’t have cars and enjoyed each afternoon, walking from place to place with a good friend, chatting and observing our surroundings. Think back to when you did that last- just took a long walk with someone you really like (or like, like you know?) It was great fun just checking out the scenery as we ambled towards the nearest shopping center, about a mile and a half away. Crossing over a bridge into town, we observed the largest pizza parlor I’ve ever seen- Toppers of Oxnard. My deductive reasoning skills told me this must be an excellent pizza joint based on the following argument:

P1) All pizza places which are large in size must have a faithful following.
P2) Pizza places which have a faithful following serve delicious pizza.
P3) Toppers of Oxnard is a pizza place which is large in size.
:. Toppers of Oxnard serves delicious pizza.

Based on this deductive reasoning, I suggested to Brent that we try out Toppers of Oxnard on the way back to the boat, to see if their pizza was indeed, delicious. I’m a fortunate woman. He agreed, contingent on the restaurant allowing Mindy onto their patio.

Continuing our walk, we quickly came upon to Big Lots netted us a spray nozzle for the boat hose (which we don’t have), a pot holder (yay! no more burned fingers), a spatula (or turner, depending on whom you ask. Are spatulas only for cake mix?)… and a can opener (necessary. end of story.)

It was a fruitful trip. After Big Lots we quickly hit up Starbucks to upload a blog post, and the local grocery mart to obtain Bloody Mary mix and a few other goods. We finished our errand running, and feeling quite proud of ourselves, headed west once again towards the marina.

Toppers Pizza. One word- amazing. If you get a chance to eat there, do it. It’s that good! We sat on the outdoor patio, with Mindy at our feet, and enjoyed a combination pizza and a garlic hawaiian bbq chicken monstrosity which was altogether yummy.

I wish I’d taken pictures of the pizza, but I was just so… hungry. So I ate it before we could snap a quick photo. Yum, yum.

The rest of the day passed without much excitement, just puttering around the boat putting things away.

Here are some neighbors who shared the dock with us:

Mr. Crabs

Quack Quacks

Day 7: Oxnard to Marina del Rey

Really, there isn’t much to say about this day. We sailed and slept, as evidenced by the following photos.

We had a bit of excitement when we ran out of gas just outside of Marina del Rey…. we were so happy to finally be there, and then the engine just… stopped.

Ehhh… thanks to Ben French, who knows diesel engines inside & out, Brent was able to get the engine working again- though it took about an hour of bleeding fuel lines and dealing with a bitchy woman (ahem, that was me).

By the time the engine was running again, I was in a sore mood. Totally out of line, but true. It can be very stressful boating, especially after 10 hours on the boat and then you’re almost there and the freaking boat breaks. Poor Brent put up with my nonsense most of the way into the Marina del Rey harbor, before finally putting on his Captain hat and telling me to suck it up so we could moor up nicely.

Our host yacht club in Marina del Rey was California Yacht Club, which was very different from CIYC in Oxnard. It was, in a word, fancy. With marble floors, a sweeping spiral staircase, and a dining room complete with grand piano, crystal, and china… it was a far cry from the dive bar boat house we had been anticipating. Upon checking in, dock master Evan was very helpful and generously handed over the key to the pool, club, and ice locker (free ice! score!)
It had been a long day, and we decided to treat ourselves to dinner. I’d also received news that I (Finally) got my AA from Cuesta College, so we celebrated with a graduation dinner at Marina del Rey’s Warehouse restaurant.
The ambience of the restaurant was charming- lots of nautical themed nets and big old shipping boxes, which they converted to booths. Clever. The waiter recommended the “volcano,” an island-themed drink for two, and we agreed. See what happened next…




FIRE! Volcanic Eruption in our Drink!!!

Dinner was delightful, delicious, and absolutely too much food. We split crab cakes, and shared both the Marina Pasta which was shrimp and scallops with fettucine in basil and garlic cream sauce AND a filet with garlic mashed potatoes. Stuffed, we waddled out of the restaurant, back to the boat, and fell into a couple of food comas.

Tomorrow? COSTCO! Excitement abounds. Come back soon for the next update… Marina del Rey to Redondo Beach Harbor.

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