Posted on April 17th, 2012
While most Monday mornings slowly arrive with trepidation, yesterday’s Monday morning came with sunshine and a Corporate group of 40 guests who were ready to do some open ocean sailing and have a good time – we couldn’t have asked for anything more.
We started our morning early on the docks, getting to the boat around 7AM and making sure everything was clean and ready for our day. We set up the deck chairs out forward, loaded our coolers with ice, and did one final vacuum throughout the interior; we were ready to go. Fast-forward two hours and by 9AM we were up at the front dock, or the loading dock, at the Sheraton Harbor Island Marina San Diego, where we were loading our guests onboard.
We had everyone head to the bow – or the most forward part of the boat, so that Captain Stephen could give his speech… “Today we will be out on a four hour sail in the Pacific Ocean; we’ve got a cooler in the back loaded with essentials: beer, juice, and water.”
Today’s sail was unique in that we would be heading out with Adventure Rib Rides, a local San Diego company owned by one of our Captains, Ken Manzoni. Adventure Rib Rides boasts the US Navy Seal Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) custom built for the US Department of Defense, Naval Surface Warfare Division – so in other words, these boats are fast, and safe. Holding up to six passengers, guests are able to comfortably sit on built in chairs in the RIB boat and go whale watching, their most popular charter. Seeing as it is mid April, we were on the lookout for Humpback Whales and Fin Whales, and of course our Common Dolphins which always play along our Southern California coastline. So, as guests jumped aboard the Aolani Catamaran they were also given an option to go out on a RIB boat – as we would be switching out passengers on and off the boats throughout the day, if they were interested. Two RIB boats from Adventure Rib Rides headed out at the same time as us, and we were well on our way for a big day of adventure.
As we headed out past Point Loma, our guests stood around the edge of the boat and enjoyed the San Diego sights, while Ken Manzoni, who was onboard with us that day as a Naturalist, gave everyone some insight about our local marine life and what to be watching for as we headed out to sea. “Watch for flocks of birds as we get out there, because they might be hovering over a gray whale who is feeding at the surface!” Everyone was on the lookout..
An hour into the charter, Adventure Rib Rides found us out on the water and we switched out passengers –those that had been on the catamaran headed out for a fast change of pace on the RIB ride and those that were on the RIB boat, now relaxed and ate on the catamaran. Life is good…
A few hours into the sail, as we were making our way back into the bay once the wind significantly picked up off the coast, we heard over the radio that one of the RIB boats had found a whale just off of Sunset Cliffs. Success!
We made our way back into the bay on the catamaran and reflected on the day. Once we were out of the wind, the sun felt a whole lot stronger and everyone came to sit out on the front deck, beer in hand. One of the ladies onboard requested some music to dance to, and ended up plugging in her iphone. Suddenly everyone was excited to hear Van Halen blasting from the outdoor speakers, followed by Lynard Skynard’s “Sweet Home Alabama”. One of the ladies, a Louisiana State University graduate, probably wasn’t too thrilled to be singing about sweet home Alabama, but everyone had a blast and that’s why we love what we do.
We’ve got a busy week ahead, so I’ll be posting again when I get a chance!Tweet
See you out on the water,