Summary of our trip to San Francisco

So, that's it for our San Francisco Trip. We had a great time being on the water for 56 days ... almost 2 months. We travelled about 1370 miles in 320 hours spread over 37 days, or an average of about 8.5 hours per travel day. We actually sailed about 90 hours for 280 miles or so, comprising about 28% of our travel time and about 20% of the total distance covered.

We spent 7 nights on the ocean, 10 nights at anchor, were on moorings for 5 nights, and spent the rest of the 34 nights at marinas, of which 4 were sister Almar marinas, 3 were public marinas, and 2 were at Yacht Clubs. We stopped 6 times at gas stations and used approximately 125 gallons of fuel for an average of just slightly over 10 nautical miles per gallon. We changed the oil 3 times, washed the boat 3 times and did laundry 5 times over the course of the trip.

We saw at least 18 whales, 50 or more dolphin, dozens of sea otters, and innumerable birds and fish of all types. We met a lot of interesting people, ate a lot of good food, and had our share of cocktails in some of the nicest places.

But statistics alone cannot tell the whole story of our trip. We fell in love with every aspect of sailing. There are so many positives to it. By being outside nearly every day we felt healthier and stronger at the end of the trip than we did at the beginning. We enjoyed our increased appetites almost as much as we did the sense of solitude that we found many times, in many places. And we ended up feeling as at home on Mandala, perhaps more so, than we do on land.

It's hard to explain.

Someone asked me, "Did you find it difficult to be on the ocean, always moving, for two months?", and I could only look at them blankly and try to answer.


No it was anything but difficult to spend two months going where you please, at a rate that is so gentle and human, with the sea and the birds as your backyard, and the ocean as your highway.

If anything, it was as completely natural a way as there is for humans to travel and see the world. Think that boats were probably invented before the wheel, and you'll understand. All thru human history, almost all travel, until this century, was done by water. Most of the greatest cities in the world are sea-ports, and most of the oldest cities are on sea coasts. Most ancient civilizations had boats far before the horse was even domesticated.

No, I wanted to tell them, it's not sailing that's difficult. It's living on land ! This was particularly noticable as we had to once again get on the Freeway and drive at breakneck speeds to get to our home in the suburb. And every day to listen to the sounds of traffic, the barking of dogs at night, and to confront hundreds of people competing for little strips of concrete getting to work each day. That's difficult.

Sailing up to San Francisco and back was not difficult :-)

It was Fun!

And we can't wait until our next adventure!

- Pat Horton
August 2006