Monday, August 5, 2013

Life of a Sailor

City of San Diego skyline from the bay

J and L happened to bump into their old friend (figuratively speaking of course) Johnny Nevada from the Talk of San Diego on a beautiful 36 foot classic sailing yacht by the name of Lei Lani. She (that's how we sailors refer to yachts) was built in 1967 in Costa Mesa (a true California girl) by hand. That means every inch of this boat was lovingly caressed into the finely shaped vehicle she became.

Wow, sounds like the start of a romance novel.

The Lei Lani ready to sail

Lora Lei under sail
Seriously, the Lei Lani is a beautiful boat from stem to stern with the rich mahogany interior and the teak wood exterior which is kept up by the boat owners, Kyle and Ashley Corbett . Perhaps their more favored monikers would be the Big Kahuna (Kyle), and the Mermaid (Ashley) and both seem appropriate as both are excellent and professional sailors who spend most of the year in and around the San Diego Bay making a sailing tour into a memory of a lifetime.

Enjoying the bay

Owners - Ashley and Kyle Corbett
J of J and L had lived in San Diego eons ago and had always believed, and still does, that San Diego has one of the most stunning sky lines in the world (and he's traveled much of it and knows a thing or two about sky lines). But to see it from the waters edge is a special treat that not many can experience unless they are proud owners of their own boat or has had the ability and pleasure of sailing around it quietly aboard one of the two yachts owned by the Corbett's - the other being an almost retro thirty foot sailing yacht built in 1991 in San Francisco but looks like the sixties to this old salty dog (J and not L). The Lora Lei is just as handsome (can you say that about a woman) as the Lei Lani and as impeccably cared for. The Lei Lani and the Lora Lei are in the fleet owned by San Diego Sailing Tours (i.e. - the Corbett's) and either boat is a thrill to sail on especially with the knowledgeable and friendly crew.

Captain Kyle Corbett and the back of J's head

We had been invited by Johnny to go on a private tour of the magnificent San Diego Bay while he interviewed the co-owners of San Diego Sailing Tours (Kyle and Ashley) and if time permitted would chat us up a bit about J and L's recent three week trip to Ireland. It was our third time in front of the camera with the Talk of San Diego and made us feel like regulars and that was good. How many times has so and so been on Jay Leno and we're sure it's as exciting the hundredth time as it was the first but the difference being a person tends to get a little more relaxed each of those times and it was for us. Besides the fact Johnny and his wonderful interviewer, Ivonne Ferrero, made us feel right at home. And yes, Daniel Bentz, the sound man was very attentive but rather quiet (strange for a 'sound man') except when the microphone wasn't held to his liking - he's touchy like that.

Big Kahuna - Kyle Corbett

The cruise included many of the famous sites around the bay - San Diego is truly a city built around a bay, that including the Coronado Bridge, the famous floating Maritime Museum, the United States Naval station on Coronado, and one really interesting and new site which is the building of the replica sailing ship of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who discovered San Diego Bay on September 28th of 1542 (excepting it had already been discovered by the natives who resided there but let's not dither about the details shall we?). The flagship of Cabrillo's fleet, the San Salvador, is being rebuilt to exact measurements by the Maritime Museum right off of North Harbor Drive just west of the Spanish landing site (the only non-rocky stretch of waterfront) and the 200 ton galleon should be water-ready very soon which could mean a year or two but since it's been hundreds of years in the making a few more doesn't seem that important.

Mermaid - Ashley Corbett

As the cruise continued Johnny and Ivonne talked to the owners of the charter company and J and L, along with L's sister Beth Baker, just relaxed on the bow of the Lei Lani taking in the sun, wind and perfect weather which is a pretty steady stream in San Diego.

Laureen relaxing on the bow

John talking with Skipper Dave
Finally, Johnny stated we had a few minutes to interview J and as the yacht sailed noiselessly back to its slip on Harbor Island J and Johnny traded barbs on air about John's novel, 'Hunted', his next upcoming book 'Soft Target' and of course they both did their best to imitate the Irish accent which turned out to be a mix of somewhere between London and Dublin. It was rather amusing but not if they were both sitting in a pub in downtown Blarney. They may have been asked to leave after finishing their pints and not to come back to soon.

Johnny Nevada and Ivonne Ferrero kicking it on the Lei Lani
 Beth Baker enjoyed the sail

Of course, that could be just blarney but that is sometimes how blogs go.
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