My brother brought his family to California in July 2018.  It was their kids first time ever in California.

They flew into LAX on a Tuesday, rented a car, and drove down to San Diego.  They went to Lego Land Wednesday, and then drove up the coast, along the historic CA Hwy 1, arriving in Ventura Thursday evening.

Friday we went out on a boat trip to Santa Cruz Island, to Little Scorpions Anchorage, where we spent the night at anchor.  The kids did some snorkeling and fishing.  We cooked a Tri-Tip steak and everyone enjoyed it.

Saturday morning we went kayaking into some of the caves in the area so everyone got to experience kayaking in caves.


After that I taught my niece how to paddle board on my stand-up paddle board.  No one else wanted to try it.  After that I went scuba diving and spear fishing, while my brother and the kids fished from the boat.  I got a good sized Sheepshead with my spear gun and cleaned it on the way home.


We cruised back to Ventura in the evening by the compass, as the GPS wasn’t working.  We arrived about dusk.

Sunday morning we headed up to Santa Barbara and went to church at Ocean Hills Covenant Church.  After church my friend Chris gave us a private tour of Moxi, a science museum.  After that we drove up the 101 and cut across over toward Sequoia NP.

Monday we went to Sequoia National Park, hiked up Moro Rock, and saw the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree in the world (by volume).  Monday evening we drove back across the state to Paso Robles and stayed in a hotel there.

Tuesday we went to San Simeon and saw the Elephant seals in their molting season.  After that we had lunch in Cambria, then stopped at the beach in Morro Bay and picked up sand dollars.

After that we went to Avila Beach and went out on the pier.  On the way back we stopped for dinner in Goleta and arrived back in Ventura late.

Wednesday they flew back home.  They got a whirlwind tour of CA in just over a week!

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Chris and I went to Yosemite April 13-15, 2018 and camped in the Lower Pines Campground.

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My friends and I went to the Causey Reservoir on July 16, 2017. It is located up in the mountains east of Ogden, UT. Kate went kayaking on the lake while Charlie and I went for a hike along the side of the lake. There were a lot of people there that day. We skipped the first turnoff on the trail which goes to some rocks that you can jump off of into the water because it was too crowded. We continued on to find the rope swing. We met some people along the trail that said there was a trail marker but you had to go off trail and bush wack your way down the side of the hill to get to the rope swing.

Rope Swing

There were some other people there that came by water.  They were enjoying the rope swing and everyone took turns.  I got some video clips of some of the cool acrobatics that were done.

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Tall ShipsThe Tall Ships are back in Ventura again and they have gone out on some battle sails.  They were out at sea during the sailboat race on Saturday 1/28 and have been spotted offshore at other times.

Sunset Tall Ships
They will be around Ventura until February 15. Check out the schedule here.

Hawaiian Chiefton

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There was a sailing race hosted by the Ventura Yacht Club on January 28, 2017.  I crewed for Claudia on her J24 sailboat “Within Reach”.  They divided the race boats into three groups and we were in group C.  Group C had 3 races and we got second place in all three races and second place overall, of 4 boats.

Controversial Finish Between Rival and Menace

There was a very controversial finish during one of the other two classes.  There were two boats headed for the finish line, Rival and Menace.  The finish line was between a buoy and a boat at anchor.  The race boats were sailing down wind with their spinnakers up side by side.  Menace was on the starboard side and Rival was to Port.  Menace steered toward the sailboat at anchor and did not give Rival any room to cross the finish line.  Menace sailed very closely to the sailboat at anchor passing it on the port side.  This forced Rival to steer to the left to avoid a collision but also prevented them from crossing the finish line.  They doused their spinnaker and did a 360 to go around the sailboat at anchor and cross the finish line, but that cost them time.  I don’t know the official sailing rules, but I’m pretty sure that’s not allowed.

We were sailing back and forth at the start/finish line and saw the whole thing unfold.  I wish I could have made a video of it, but I didn’t bring a camera.

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Before leaving Las Vegas I went to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  It is a mountainous area west of Las Vegas that, as the name implies, has some red rocks.  There is a one way scenic drive around the park with multiple turnoffs where you can go for a hike.  I stopped at a few of the pull offs and went for some short hikes.

Red Rock

Red Rocks

There is a thrust fault in the area that is responsible for the geology.  It is called the Keystone Thrust.

Thrust Fault

The elevation in the park varies.  In a higher part of the park at the north end there was some snow on the nearby mountains.

Snow Mountains

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I got to see Jorie and Charlie in Henderson, NV while I was in the area.  They use to live on a 60 foot sailboat called “Jorie” in Ventura.  However they moved to rural Iowa to assist with a family farm about 10 years ago.  A few years ago they got a place in Nevada to spend the winter.  The both lived in Nevada where they built the sailboat before moving to Ventura.

Jorie and Charlie with their dogs

Jorie made a very nice and healthy dinner and we had a great visit.  Jorie makes jewelry (when she is not farming) and has a website  She has been building webpages for years and has learned a tremendous amount about web development.  She has also developed websites for other organizations and charities.

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