A Christmas Time to Remember

Hello, everybody, this is Toby, and Karis, here for our next update!

After our jaunt over to Dana Point where we anchored for two nights, our next destination was Oceanside. The day before we left for Oceanside we knew that there was a storm forecast for a couple days out, so we were holding our plans of moving on loosely. In the morning, though, the weather seamed just fine. We left at around 8:00ish in the morning and made our way out of the harbor in the direction of Oceanside. That was when things started to take a small turn for the worst. It was about that time when the wind started to pick up, not coming from the north like it usually does, but from the south. That meant that we had the wind strait in our faces.

Now, even aside from the annoyance of having wind blow in one’s face, it also causes the surface of the water to fill with tall and closely packed chop. When that chop is all slapping up against the bow of our boat, it also significantly slows our progress down. Normally, I wouldn’t have any particular problem with staying at sea longer, but then it also started to rain. At that point we put on warm clothes, rain gear, and hunkered down to wait out the next few hours of our leg. All things considered, it wasn’t really that bad. I mean, at least we had rain gear to wear. Part way through the leg, I went down to get a little bit of rest. I got back up when Oceanside was in sight. Unfortunately, Karis fared the least well, of the four of us. She spent almost the whole time in her bunk, which happens to be at the very front of the boat, which also happens to be the part of the boat that moves the most when it’s choppy out. Needless to say, she and Mom had some cleaning up to do next to her bed when we got to Oceanside. We were all glad to get to Oceanside and be able to tie up to a dock and rest a little bit. Also, Grandma Nini had just driven down from her house to spend some time with us there. After taking it easy for the rest of the afternoon, we all went to bed ready to get some good sleep.

Little did we know that there were still more things in store for us that night. For being a protected harbor, Oceanside is surprisingly not protected. This added to the fact that we had a relatively large storm coming in ended up causing quite a lot of motion. Dad and I ended up needing to get back up out of bed, after 11:00, and try to secure the boat further. One hour, a mildly munched bob-stay, and a few broken dock lines later, Dad was content with it enough to at least send me to bed and go to be himself; still planning on getting up a few more times to make sure everything was still okay. Next morning, we had been planning on driving over to Aunt Helen’s for a Christmas Eve get together she was having over at her house in Huntington Beach. Fortunately, we put on enough dock lines, and the weather had calmed sufficiently for us to be able to make it to Helen’s. The five of us all had a wonderful time seeing Helen, Tony, Glen, Dillon (who is actually related to us, contrary to what some might believe), Paul, Sydney, Mike, and Julie. Who would ever pass up an opportunity to hang out with those fun people? We came back in the evening to a still blustery harbor. Hoping that it would calm down as the night progressed, we went to bed for the night.

Christmas morning was almost idyllic, at least compared to the few days before it. It was a cold clear day, the sun was out, there was almost no wind. After heading to a local church for a Christmas service, we went back to the boat for the afternoon. The dock that we were staying at in Oceanside was close enough to the beach that I was able to get some surfing in on Christmas and the next two days after that. Thankfully, the rest of our stay in Oceanside was relatively uneventful, aside from noisy Sea Lions and an instant involving a see through kayak, and a $1000 iphone.

Hola, this is Karis interjecting to tell a funny story that Toby made reference to a moment ago. So, in the increasingly warm days at Oceanside after Christmas more and more people were coming and going on our public dock and messing about in various types of boats. Among these was the aforementioned see-through kayak. The five of us, continually more interested in people-watching than the people were in sea lion watching, were quite interested it this new watercraft. Consequently, when it, and the people belonging to it, came back to the dock to get out, both Toby and Dad were outside to watch. 

As one of them got out the kayak and onto the dock (a difficult task even for the boatiest of people, which they were not), there were some out of the ordinary exclamations. After much wringing of hands and low hopes for the best, it came out that she had dropped her one week old, 1000 dollar, iphone 7+ into the water. We were asked to try to get it out of the water, but that is a tricky task, looking for a small dark purple rectangle in the murky shaded water. We knew it was a long shot, but we waited until low tide and Toby, ever ready for more water time, volunteered to jump in. It took a long time, a few false alarms, and many reviews of the vague directions given us, but against the odds, Toby prevailed! 

And here’s the part where I let you down by saying that we haven’t even tried to turn it on yet, nevertheless contacted the owner. I personally think it will turn on without a problem, but the others think that it is a lost cause. Who knows?

After a nice stay with Grandma Nini in Oceanside, we were ready to move on to San Diego. We left at around 7:30 Wednesday morning and worked our way down the coast, this time with much more favorable conditions. On the way to San Diego, there was no sea sickness, rain, or even strong wind. All told the trip from Oceanside to San Diego took about eight hours, roughly. We stayed at a dock for the night, and now are trying to decide whether to stay at a dock, mooring, or anchorage for the remainder of our time. We will most likely be here for a month or more, as this is the last stop before heading to Ensenada, Mexico. We wanted to take some time to prepare for the next big change, which is making our way into another country. Looking back on the last few destinations and the trips between them, I am thankful that they went as well as they did because, in reality, things could easily have gone much worse. Thank you for your prayers, and I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas!

12 thoughts on “A Christmas Time to Remember”

  1. So glad you made it to San Diego without any problems. I feel for those of you who get seasick. I know the feeling.

    Have a fun New Year celebration. Toot some horns and bang some pots!!!

    Love you all and continue to pray for you daily.


  2. I enjoy reading each post! Nice job Toby! Think of you often and will pray for your safety throughout your journey.

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Gilbert Family! We miss you!
    Love reading your posts! Nice job Toby (and Karis)! Keeping you in our prayers!
    The Condes

  4. Hi Gang!
    We are a day late, but want to say Happy 15th Birthday, Karis!!! Sending our prayers & love while enjoying your posts.
    Uncle Bruce, Aunt Amy, Josh & Ellie

  5. Thank you for letting us experience your amazing adventures and trip with you!
    We look forward to the next report!! Enjoy your time in San Diego!!

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