This week it’s been one year exactly that Adriana and the kids arrived to Seattle and moved aboard Pesto. And what a year it was !
Two thirds of this time was spent on the US West Coast, as we sailed from the northernmost tip of the coast down to the Mexican border. And we had a great time, enabled in part by some great people and their businesses – genuinely honest and good-willed folks who bent backwards and/or provided us with excellent services, thus making this trip so much more enjoyable.
This post is about them.
Starting with Swiftsure Yachts, those guys are awesome. From the acquisition of Pesto until we finally moved into her, they were our guardian angels. And while I was preparing the boat for this Journey, Pete, Brad and PJ shared invaluable knowledge – being experienced sailors as they are.
Then there were Bob and Kris Ridenour. For two years, while Pesto was our “vacation condo”, they helped us take care of her. And when the time came to prep Pesto for the Journey, they played an invaluable role in sourcing and implementing a number of new systems to her. During our last days in Seattle, they even helped us fish Paulo’s skateboard out of the marina’s water!
While still in Seattle, I met with Jack from North Sails. He helped me evaluate the existing sails on Pesto (even though they were not from that manufacturer), did preventive maintenance on them, and built us a wonderful new mainsail, over-specified for this Journey, as I requested. Here is a guy who listens, commits, and delivers!
Also from Seattle, we are thankful to the crew of Dockside Solutions – kind, friendly people who will go out of their way to provide solutions for cruisers. In our case, in addition to their customary mail forwarding services, they helped us ship the Green Mazda from there to San Francisco while we were sailing down the coast.
Cameron Strong came strongly recommended to us, and delivered accordingly. He was our advisor regarding Health Insurance, spending numerous hours via email and over the phone with me and providing invaluable information. We acquired our international insurance through him, and are most thankful for his attention and patience.
At the end of the year, we had a problem with our generator, and Steve from Gold Coast Marine in Ventura, CA came to the rescue. Despite being the 22nd of December, and his being swamped with work on other boats, he bent backwards to help us, came to Pesto, removed the genset’s raw water pump, and managed to ship a new one overnight to have installed for us on the 23rd – hell, that was one great Christmas present !
At the turn of the year, we decided to install a new dodger to enhance usage of the cockpit on Cold, Hot and/or Wet weather. We knew we wanted a set from Iverson’s, and they were able to accommodate us within their busy schedule, doing the work on two different places as we moved along the coast. And the result was outstanding – we love our new “hut” !
Also from San Diego, the team at First Watch Marine made a difference. After having sailed the entire contiguous US West Coast and lived aboard for 7 months, we naturally had a few maintenance items to tackle, as well as some new improvements on the bucket list. I ran into First Watch really by chance, picking their name on the marina’s vendors directory list, and was really lucky to have reached the right guys. They came to Pesto and handled our maintenance items – including a number of plumbing jobs, replacing the high frequency radio’s antenna set up, and fixing a nagging problem we had on the autopilot. Even after leaving San Diego for Mexico, they remained in touch with us via email to follow up on performance of our revised Autopilot. These guys stand behind their names and their work. If I ever need boat services in San Diego again, I would go to them with my eyes closed – Thank You PK, Bill and Miles !
On the way down the coast, we stayed on a number of Marinas and generally had good experiences. The Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond, The Two Harbors Moorings at Catalina Island, and The Shelter Island Marina in San Diego, deserve a special mention here for the very friendly and helpful staff, who made us feel really welcome – thank you guys for having us !
None of these people have an idea we would be posting about them. Nor do we have any affiliation to their businesses. It is just that they really did the extra mile to us, made a positive impact on our Journey last year, and we truly wanted to say a heartfelt Thank You for it !