(9) The Voyage Home – COMPLETE


(9) The Voyage Home – Ensenada to Marina del Rey, CA – COMPLETE

Hard to qualify the trip from Ensenada to MDR an actual Leg, since it’s almost like a weekend cruise to Catalina, but just didn’t feel right not taking the blog readers all the way to the home port.


We split the trip up with an overnight in Cat Harbor in Catalina. Time up to Cat from Ensenada was about 14 hours of calm motoring. Uneventful except for the crossing into US waters around 5am.

We departed Ensenada a little after midnight on Sunday and proceeded direct to Catalina.

It was pretty cool getting to walk up to the bar at Harbor Reef and tell the guy I had just landed from Florida via the canal with my crew. I left out the 5 months of stops in between, but I still felt like a rock star.

After all the years of sailing out to Catalina and dreaming about really going some place, getting to brag a little at that old bar was sort of a bucket list thing. Hope I didn’t lay it on too thick.

Who am I kidding, Jim always lays it on too thick…

Monday morning we departed Cat, rounded the west end, and made for MDR. 3 hours total, and about half the average time of Sierra Wind. Certainly a game changer for weekend trips to the island.

Karlsberg rolled out in his Swan to meet us in Santa Monica Bay. Thanks Dave!

We dropped the main, I turned the bows down the main channel, rounding the south jetty like I’ve done a thousand times before. I was a lot higher on top of Reliant than I ever was on old Sierra Wind, so maybe it felt a little different, but mostly it was familiar.

The day before in Catalina it occurred to me that entering Cat Harbor was the very first place since the moment I started the engines where I had even seen, nevertheless navigated, a place I knew while piloting Reliant. I barely knew to turn right or left when we pushed off the first dock in Ft. Lauderdale.

Going into Cat after a good trip up from Mexico was so exciting and noisy, I didn’t have a chance to ponder that feeling deeply, but entering the main channel of MDR was more quite. Anti-climactic maybe.

There were no banners or flags waving. No one really knew who we were, or cared. We passed the Coast Guard cutter, ran down battleship row, and found the open end tie at DRYC. Just another boat.

Nick jumped off and worked out our lines, we made them fast, I shut down the engines…and that was it.


Not sure what I expected, but I think something. You plan for provisions, weather, routes, crews, spare parts, emergencies, but not for the trip ending. It just ended.

Still, Nick and Aimee and I had a blast, and a good share of Buffalo Milk! I guess I should be grateful I got to do it, and glad I got the boat here in one piece.

Pics will be uploaded soon.

Welcome to your new home Reliant! She’ll be on one of the end ties at DRYC. Come find us.