Baja Haha, leg one

I’m finally cruising, currently sitting at a beachfront palapa in Mexico, eating cevicha tostadas and drinking Pacificos. Somehow, I think I can get used to this. It is, on the other a little challenging to find good internet service. Maybe the downside of sailing in a rally with 150 other boats is half a dozen other people all trying to get online at the same palapa as I’m attempting to connect in. I guess I can live with it, I don’t have to finish up and get to work after all.

So far the Baja Haha is a great introduction to cruising. We’ve been hanging out with crew from boats we met on our way south, and meeting some new friends. While having four people on the boat is a tad crowded we are having fun and enjoying the shorter night shifts. Minion is enjoying having some new people to attack while they sleep as well. Our sail down here was very enjoyable, although we had to cheat with the motor for a bit of the beginning of the trip. I wanted to sail the whole way, but our wind lightened a few hours into the start, and we came to the decision that we would rather be in Turtle Bay to hang out with friends and explore Mexico for a couple days rather than sit in the ocean bobbing around. After motoring from 3:00 pm until 10:30 am the next day, we were able to hoist the sails and started cruising downwind. Since we had four people on board, including several racers and a Coast Guard captain who just sailed around Vancouver Island, we got brave and hoisted our spinnaker. After some tweaking, we got it dialed in enough to kick back and watch the nautical miles roll by. The wind was a pleasant velocity, wonderful direction and the seas were gentle rollers. We were able to relax, other than some of the racer elements among us trying to tweak sails and enjoyed sailing more than we have at any point along our journey so far.

We had about 300 miles to our stop in Bahia de Tortuga (Turtle Bay), and had a nice direct line to sail towards it. We rotated shifts, listened to other boats chatter on the VHF and talked to a friend or two ourselves. As the time passed we enjoyed beef stew and mashed potatoes, blue cheese and crackers, lettuce wraps and snacked on Crunch and Munch and potato ships. I believe some beer an wine may have also been consumed. At times, it was a struggle just to manage it all, but I powered through. Early on in the trip we kept seeing dolphins, and the Jenns and I laid on the bow watching as they swam, under the boat and jumped out of the water mere feet from the bow. The days started to warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, although the now well-used foulies were still making an appearance at night. While we had started in a cluster of about 150 boats, they rapidly spread out and we scanned the horizon day and night for boats, trying to guess if any of our friends were in site. With all the boats and space, the closest we came to another boat was about 1/4 mile as we finished, and after a brief chat on the VHF we bore away to give them room to deal with unrigging a wing on wing sail setup in the dark.

After finishing the race and a quick discussion, we slowed down the boat and started aiming for the entrance to Turtle Bay. The word was not to go in at night without experience, so we managed to arrive just at dawn (with a little mechanical assistance for the last 8 miles after the wind shut off). Our first anchoring experience went smoothly with a great hook on our first try. We inflated the dinghy, and headed to shore for some exploration. Turtle Bay has a larger town then expected, and we spent the day looking for an ATM – no luck, poking into little stores and playing an organized softball game with the cruisers and locals. After an appetizer with Leif and Jackie from Dodger Too, we met up with the Lightspeed crew, and Patrick from Deep Playa while Dawn slept on the boat and had drinks and dinner at Vera Cruz where most of the cruisers were hanging out.

Today is an organized beach party for the cruisers, and we are just wrapping up a trip into town for internet (where I can hopefully post this) and some ingredients for our potluck dish. I’m getting the “wrap this up” from Jenn, so I’ll try to get another update out when we reach Cabo San Lucas in a few days.

Reminder of Seattle

This recently ran through the Seattle sailing community like wildfire, but since not everyone following this blog is part of that community I thought I would share it here.  It highlights Duck Dodge, a local Seattle beer can race with theme nights, along with a few clips of the Downtown Sailing Series run out of the Elliot Bay Marina.  Seeing it after leaving Seattle was a tad bittersweet, over the last few years Duck Dodge has been one of the highlights of my summer, if not my overall life experience.  Jenn and I met on the Duck Dodge and I’ve made new friends during it along with cementing some old friendships.  I’m sure I’ll peek at this from time to time as I travel the world on my boat for a reminder of one of my favorite events back home.  If you see a black boat with a unique yellow stripe named Absolutely, Jenn and I are probably on it.

Of course, the end of the video reminds me why I’m sailing into Mexico in a couple days.

San Diego, slightly busted

After an 86 hour run, with just one brief stop in Oxnard for fuel, some extra oil, and a stop I couldn’t resist as I walked back to the boat for some fresh donuts, we have arrived in San Diego. It was a fairly uneventful run, all in all, and I don’t have the chip from my camera with me as I write this from a happy hour with free wi-fi, so I’ll have to update with pictures later.

We left Monterey at 1:00 am – trying to time the dreaded Point Conception rounding for an early morning arrival.  Despite several interesting sounding stops along the way, our intent was to run non stop to San Diego.  We anticipated a roughly three and a half day trip, and the forecast was for some useable wind to get there.  Of course, that was the forecast.  Reality proved to be more of the same, with only about seven hours of sailing.   We did sail for a bit after motoring out of Monterey, our favorite stop of the trip.  But the winds died down, and it was back to the motor to try and keep our speed up.  The wind started back up, right on the nose.  We powered on towards Point Conception, with our speed dropping and our arrival time trending towards mid day, rather than our planned early morning when winds were supposed to be lightest.  After our Cape Mendocino adventure, there was quite the feeling of trepidation about this rounding, and the later our arrival time showed on the GPS, the more I began to worry.  The wind was building, and while the seas were not large, they were slowing us up and our progress was again down to the 2-3 knot range.   The coastline eased by, remarkably empty of civilization.  As much as waterfront property is valued, it always amazes me how much of the coast line is empty.  These are the type of thoughts that cross your mind as you take your turn at the helm and watch nothing go by and less than five miles an hour.

Dusk on Friday evening found us in some fog, and a vessel hailed us on the VHF to make sure we aware they were close by.  We assured them we could see them on radar, and I was somewhat assured knowing they had seen us on their radar.  As we ended the quick conversation, our friends from Indigo hailed us.  It was a bit of a broken transmission but we were able to hear that they were heading into Morrow Bay, a stop we would have considered if it wasn’t for our desire to reach San Diego.  It was good to hear from them though, and know boats we’ve met are around us.

Finally, in late afternoon on Saturday, we began to approach the cape.  I spotted a couple fishing boats close to shore also approaching for a rounding, and began to slide towards shore to follow their path. After a closer inspection of the chart on the GPS, I decided I might want to stay a bit further off shore without their local knowledge.  But after watching them round I decided to head in after all, for the view of the lighthouse on the point.

As we approached, the wind died, the waves flattened out, and we rounded under the most benign conditions imaginable. As a very light wind came up the Santa Barbara channel, I swear I smelled oil.  I called Jenn up to confirm, and after we sniffed the engine to make sure it wasn’t us, we agreed it was coming from the ocean.  I had just read an blurb in Lattitude 38 about the significant amount of oil that seeps out of the ocean in this area, I guess it is enough to actually smell.  Of course, after rounding we also began to spot the oil derricks everyone says to watch out for.  I’m not so sure what the fuss is about, between the size of them, radar and the amount of lights they turn on at night I can’t imagine not being aware of where they are.  Seeing them lit up at night is actually in an odd way rather pretty.  Or maybe I’m just having Burning Man flashbacks.

Our other welcome to Southern California was a small school of dolphins that cruised by and played for a few minutes before continuing on their way.  We’ve seen them a handful of times now, and it never gets less fascinating.  I look forward to seeing them further south with the stories of huge schools.

We were now traveling almost due east, as we motored up the Santa Barbara Channel, land to our port, oil derricks scattered to our starboard, both lighting up the night.  Another fairly uneventful day, and as darkness fell we were crossing the shipping channels near Los Angeles and Long Beach.  The wind had picked up enough to sail, and I had been fooling around with the wind vane enough to try engaging it.  While there is quite a bit more testing to do, it was holding a straigher course than I usually steer (I get distracted at the helm).  After watching it for long enough that we were convinced it was working, Jenn and I looked at each other and asked “Now what do we do with our selves?”  The answer quickly became drop the sails, and start motoring again when the wind died once again.  There was some shipping traffic to dodge, while avoiding Catalina Island.

Around 7:00 am a small bird landed on the rail while I was steering.  It fluttered a few times trying to grasp the tubular railing, than settled in for a ride.  Minion lay several feet away, under the dodger, oblivious to our new passenger.  It was not a sea going bird, lacking webbed feet for swimming, and looked a bit unkempt.  I gave a quick peek at the chart plotter while trying not to let the distraction alter my course, and calculated the nearest land at about 18 miles away.  I got a bit to close trying to get a good look and the bird flew up to the bow, where it continued to chill out while hitching a free ride.  Eventually Jenn woke up for her turn at the helm and I pointed out our passenger.  We tried to feed it some bread, but I never saw it eat any.  Periodically, it would take off, fly a couple hundred feet behind the boat, then flap back up to us, sometimes dipping to inches off the water.  It continued with us to near Point Lomas, marking the entrance to San Diego.  We didn’t see it wing off on its final flight, but we felt good for giving it the rest we felt it needed.  Or maybe it was just a lazy bird freeloading its way south.  We will never know.  What we do know is Minion is not good at hunting birds.

As we arrived at Point Lomas, so did the fog.  Painfully, when you reach the point, you still need to continue a couple miles south to round a navigation buoy, then turn back north to enter the harbor.  It was foggy, cool, and frustrating, so close and yet so far, and the promise of sunny southern California unrealized.  As we entered the channel to find the marina we had reservations at, I saw a huge sailboat sailing towards us.  I grabbed the binoculars and checked it out – Stars and Stripes!  An old America’s Cup boat, I’m sure sailing tourists around, but an impressive site that geeked out the sailor in me.

Using our joint navigating skills, Jenn spotting buoys and me driving the boat, we made our way to Harbor Island West Marina where Jenn had set up a reservation during moments of cell phone service 15 miles off the coast.  We had perhaps the scariest moment of the trip for me as I tried to dock the boat in our assigned slip.  My docking skills have been improving, but a combination of a narrow fairway, some wind, tidal movement and not knowing exactly where the slip I was docking in conspired to leave me kinda of bouncing off some (very fortunately) empty slips while drifting towards the end of the fairway, which did not have an opening.  Because of the way the sailboat handles, it is very difficult (impossible for me with my current skills) to swing my stern to starboard, which is what I desperately needed to do.  Jenn dashed for the boat hook, which should probably standard on deck docking equipment in the future, and we were eventually able to get just far enough off the piers that I had enough clearance to spin the boat as we drifted closer and closer to the boxed in end of the fairway.  Finally pointed in the right direction, we crept back and managed to enter the slip, which was only a foot or so wider than the boat. 

Safely tied up, we went to the office to check in, and were informed we had been given a rather discounted rate.  We were encouraged to tell our friends to join us here, but not how much we were paying per night.  With key cards for the marina in hand, we returned to the boat for swimsuits and promptly headed for the hot tub, a welcome warmth in the unexpectedly cool San Diego weather.  We had saved our longest passage for our last trip in the US, and while longer overnight passage surely await in the future, it felt good to complete this passage and arrive at our destination.

After 1400 miles of sailing motoring we feel pretty good, nothing more than some fatigue from a couple long nights and some lingering frazzled nerves from the failed initial attempt at Cape Mendocino.  The boat has held up well, with the excpetion of the engine needing some TLC.  On the last leg I began to notice a couple little issues, and have parts on order to replace a fuel lift pump, put a new gasket over the front engine timing plate cover, and install the proper cooling hose.   We are also due for an oil change, and I’m a bit suspicious of the water pumps but I’m just going to keep my eye one them for now.  Still, for the original engine and a 1976 boat, it held up like a champ while being run so much in a short period of time.

According to the GPS, and I wouldn’t put this as the complete gospel truth since I didn’t notice the logging feature till over halfway through the trip and logging threshold was set to traveling at 3 knots per hour, we traveled 1415 nautical miles in 285 hours and 37 minutes at an average speed of 5 knots per hour, and hit a maximum of 18.7 knots per hour.  That last number I’m particularly suspicious of, I think it was a combination of the GPS moving several directions at once and getting a false reading. 

 

Add another thing to the list of things I’ve learned on this trip – check the engine over closer to your arrival in port than your departure.  I’ve needed to top off engine coolant and oil after the long motors between legs, but on the last leg we didn’t run the motor very much, so I wasn’t as concerned about the fluid levels.  But I still did my due diligence this afternoon with a late night departure looming.  The coolant was significantly lower than it should have been, disconcertingly so.

I think I see the problem.

Since we still have the pressure tester from the overheating issue at our departure, I put some pressure on the cooling system, and sure enough, we could here coolant running out of the engine.  Some work with the flashlight and feeling around led us to find a significant hole in the hose carrying the coolant from the heat exchanger back to the engine block.  I managed to remove it without too many adult words, but unfortunately it was not just a straight hose.

Close enough to continue our voyage.

After some calling determined there was no Westerbeke dealer in Monterey, we took another approach.  A little over a mile of walking led us to the closest NAPA auto parts store, and a helpful employee took our hose and went on a search.  It took him about 10 minutes, but he produced a couple matches that looked workable.  The one that looked closest was also luckily about $12 cheaper.  We purchased it, a gallon of antifreeze, an emergency hose repair kit just in case, and set out on our hike back to the boat.  The whole trip took about an hour and 15 minutes, a bit less then I expected.

The new hose went in with a minimum of drama, in about 10 minutes.  I tightened up the hose clamps, and started pouring in coolant.  Finaly topped off, I finished off my fluid check, and discovered the one downside of my fix is the new hose runs a bit more in the way of the oil dipstick.  I can live with that for now, and maybe for a long time depending on the availability and cost of the Westerbeke hose.

With everything topped off, I started up the engine, and we both watched for leaks.  Nothing was visible to either of us, so we did a test run over to the fuel dock, arriving just ahead of Deep Playa.  We filled the tank, and three jerry cans, then licked our wounds over a large fuel bill.  Hopefully we won’t burn all of it on the run to San Diego.  We had been worried when we found the leak that we wouldn’t be able to fix it in time to reach the fuel dock by 5:00 pm when they closed, but we made it with plenty of time to spare.

We are now back on the dock getting ready to nap before our late night departure, happy that our first breakdown on the trip had such an easy (and inexpensive) resolution!

San Diego or bust

Cliche tourist picture

It has been an enjoyable few days of playing tourist here in Monterey, but the ocean is calling us back out.  That and our deadline to arrive in San Diego before the Baja Haha starts.  There has been some discussion about not needing the stress of sailing under a deadline, but we do have crew flying in expecting a sailboat to be there for them to get on, so south we go.  The plan is head out tomorrow evening, hoping to time a round of Point Conception early Saturday morning.  We’ve read it tends to be calmest that time of day, and we’ll take any advantage we can get rounding the “Cape Horn of the Pacific.”  Thanks for that confidence building description, Charlie’s Charts!  There is a positive side, the word is there is visible change in the water and weather coming as we progress south past the point.

Monterey has been fun, we spent a day wondering around checking out the touristy sites (it is amazing how many stores sell almost the same stuff), and another day at the aquarium.  I highly recommend a visit to the Moneterey Bay Aquarium if you are in the area, they even had a small great white shark in their open ocean tank.

No chance someone was going to pass this by. Hint, not me!

The otters were suitably cute, and the backlit jelly fish display was quite beautiful in a way you don’t expect jelly fish to be.  There was an enjoyable hour or so wondering around a little charity event street fair in support of animal rescues and petted some cute rescue dogs and rabbits.  The unexpected can be some of the most fun experiences. We also got together with Dawn and Patrick from Deep Playa for dinner and discovered some small world connections.  I find it amazing the that while traveling some 1400 miles ocean coast, not only have we run into boats that people told us to keep our eye open for, but have met people with personal connections.

Small Great White shark

We’ll be setting out tomorrow, the weather forecast in the morning will help us determine  the hour.  While we have a contingency plan in case we can’t quite make it, or goal is a 370 mile run straight to San Diego.  Depending on the wind, amount of motoring and conditions, this should take three to four days. It would feel great to knock off the final mileage, especially in one long run.  Time to see if I can’t get the wind vane to take a turn steering the boat.

Amazing jellyfish display

Then time for some provisioning, a last visit or two, or three to West Marine and it is off to Mexico to continue learning how to cruise in warmer weather.

Miles to Monterey

Finally, a weather window to leave Fort Bragg.  And not only a break from the rough seas, but a forecast northerly wind.  While Fort Bragg wasn’t a bad place, it didn’t have much charm, we weren’t docked with easy access to other cruisers, and its rain and cool weather was causing serious condensation issues on the boat.  I was wiping water off the walls with a towel that I then couldn’t get to dry out.

The narrow channel in and out of Fort Bragg

We had resorted to running the diesel heater to try to remove some moisture from the air but I think it was being overwhelmed. So it wasn’t with the sadness of leaving some of the other ports that we fired up the engine and began winding our way back down the creek towards the bar crossing.  Seeing it in the daylight did make it a bit easier, although maybe a bit more eye-opening actually seeing how narrow a channel we were passing through.  It is a pretty short run to get clear of the shoreline and then we were back to the ocean swells.

I hope I’m not going to jinx myself, but I have yet to visit the rail to feed the fish on this trip.  When I spent time on a fishing boat in Alaska, I would usually do some chumming in the beginning and then I would be fine for the rest of the trip, except for once when we were caught in a storm and I could not quit being seasick. When the mixed swells (NOAA speak for a washing machine on agitate cycle) after leaving Fort Bragg kicked in, I was feeling just a tad green.  I managed to adjust before anything tragic happened, but the sea did let me know I’ve probably been more lucky than cured of the seasickness ailment.

One of the boats we met while in Fort Bragg, Deep Playa, followed us out an hour or so later, and checked in over the VHF about the conditions.  We were still motoring along, which they proceeded to do as well.  For all the boats we’ve met during our stays in the harbor, this is actually the first time we’ve been traveling within site of another sailboat.  Watching the arc of their mast as the water pitched their boat from side to side really gives you a perspective you don’t need on how much rocking your boat is doing.

Downwind at last!

After a few hours of starting to wonder if NOAA stands for “We don’t know-a what we are talking about,” a northerly started to fill in.  We tentatively rolled out the jib, started picking up a little speed, and decided to give sailing a try.  I pulled the kill switch on the engine, and blessed silence settled over the boat.  Well… not quite silence as there was a whole net set of squeaks and rattles we hadn’t heard with the motor drowning out all other boat sounds.  I’ll take the sailing sounds over the engine any day, but we did discover, surprisingly, it is actually easier to sleep with just the sound of the motor.  I’m not sure if it is concern over the noises you hear while sailing, or the variety of sounds your brain is sorting out, but we did miss the drone when it came time for sleeping.  Not all the noises were from sailing, such as the shelf full of glass bottles clinking together.  I’m sure they have been doing that the whole trip, we just never heard them before.

While we sorted out the new sounds, the wind started to pipe up.  Deep Playa had continued to motor, and slowly passed us by, but I was happy to finally be sailing, even more so that it was downwind.  There were large swells also coming from the north, but with both the wind and waves behind us the ride was fairly comfortable, as these things go.  As the winds velocity grew, the boat began to get a bit squirrely coming down the waves, and I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before.  I slowed a sailboat down on purpose, by rolling in about half the jib. We were still sailing at six plus knots, really scooting along compared to our trip so far.  I would not have wanted to be bashing into this weather, we’ve been there and it is not pleasant, but running with it was quite fun.

Best sunset yet!

The wind continued into the evening and it was a beautiful night.  The moon was already up as darkness descended, and one by one stars filled the sky.  The moon was almost dead ahead, casting an undulating path of silvery sparkles leading us towards the horizon. We plowed on, the sounds of rushing water filling the cockpit, the sounds of bottles clinking, dishes in the sink rattling, and a variety of other hopefully not serious boat noises clunking, thunking and creaking down below.

We began crossing the shipping lanes off of the entrance to San Francisco Bay and the wind began to abate.  Faced with potential large commercial vessel traffic, ebbing wind, the approaching Farallon Islands and lack of sleep from both the cold and boat noises, I doused the sail and fired up the engine.  Jenn turned on the heater that blows warm air heated into the cabin and finally was able to sleep.  I drove through the shipping lanes, and my fears were not realized as I only saw one large ship in the distance. Clear of the shipping lanes as marked on the chart plotter, I woke Jenn up, having given her an extra hour of sleep.  I worked my way into the pilot berth and quickly dozed off, something that doesn’t always happen when you take your blessed two hours away from the helm.  Jenn proceeded to avoid some large vessels, which we later determined in a chat over dinner with Dawn and Patrick from Deep Playa, were Canadian military vessels on exercise.  Jenn dodged them like a pro, although I think I deserve some credit for my advice when she asked what to do if she saw a ship as she was taking the helm for her shift.  “Don’t hit it” I mumbled as I focused in on the bunk I was aiming for.

I came back on watch near dawn, and looked over towards where San Francisco should be.  There was a faint glow of light in the sky,

San Francisco, hiding behind what it is famous for.

and a solid bank of white, more fog than I could imagine existing.  I could see no signs of civilization as we passed one of the landmark cities of the west coast. The wind was pretty calm, but we went ahead and rolled the jib back out, and eased along in the three to four knot range.  Jenn insisted the wind would come back up, we were well ahead of our schedule and moving almost as fast as the motor would take us, so I was content to keep moving forward.  And sure enough, as the day progressed, so did the wind speed till we were back to carrying about half the jib and racing down the swells.

I’ve read and heard about surfing a sailboat for years, but never been at the helm of a boat that was doing it.  Until now. I think I surfed more waves in a day than some Hawaiians do in a month.  The stern would suddenly lift like an elevator rising, the boat surging forward, great mounds of white frothy water flying away from the sides of the hull.  I could feel the push forward, watching the GPS speed climb, 7,8,9 knots, and at times almost alarming numbers such  as the maximum 12.5 knots for the trip.  Then the stern would settle as the bow rose slightly, and the wave would race forward and continue towards the horizon, soon lost in the overall rise and fall of the ocean.  The boat would slow down, stumbling for a moment then regaining her feet (keel?) and climbing back to normal speed waiting for the next swell.  At one point three waves pushed the boat forward one after another with no time to wallow between them, and suddenly my GPS showed me arriving at our 18 mile away destination in 2 hours and 2 minutes.  Sadly it only flashed that for a moment and our speed settled back down.  Still, we were averaging about 6.7 knots running downwind with still only half of the jib (and this is the smaller of the two jibs we have on board).

Large swell and an unphased Jenn

While the speed hurtling us towards our destination with a very satisfying velocity, we had one problem.  Our arrival time of Sunday morning was calculated on a 4 knot average speed, and we were going significantly faster.  So once again, we prepared for a night time arrival in a new port, something becoming a bad habit like the junk food I was eating before we left.  GPS zoomed in, radar on, spotlight in the cockpit, we approached the marina, dropping sails about 3 miles away and returning the engine to life. A quick lesson was learned about just how much the sail steadies the boat as we began to roll side to side again until clearing a point that blocked the rolling swell. Deep Playa responded to my email inquiry about the entrance with a question about how we had caught up, and the advice that it was an easy entrance, like Shilshole back home.  And yes, it was like Shilshole with no bar crossing, but again I found myself faced with a very narrow gap between pilings and a seawall, but with no swell to deal with it was fairly straightforward.  We wound our way through the marina to an easy end tie the friendly harbormaster had given us, tied up about 10:30 pm, completing about 200 miles in about 38 hours with only 8 hours of motoring.  By far the best leg of our trip in every way except sea life encountered, there was very little of it on this leg.  Fortunately Monterey has an abundance of birds, seals, and an amazing aquarium to make up for what we didn’t see while sailing.  The wind angles lined up almost perfectly with our course, we made great time and did not spend a fortune on fuel for this leg.

We’ll be in Monterey for a few days, while it is a bit of a tourist trap, we are enjoying the sights and having fun being in a town geared toward entertaining visitors, something we haven’t experienced in our previous stops.

Made it to Monterey

After an epic sail we pulled into Monterey last night around 10:00 pm – yes, another entry into an unknown harbor in the dark, although this one did not involve a bar crossing.  Just a shockingly narrow entrance into the marina basin.  We had calculated reaching the harbor at about 8:00 am this morning but obliterated our 4 knot average target speed.

Freshly showered this morning, we are off to play tourist.  Monterey was the one stop I really wanted to make on the trip down the coast, as I was here briefly years ago on a road trip and did not visit the aquarium.  I’ve been pining ever since to return and explore it, and finally I have the chance.  We’ll also hit the Trader Joes in town, my supply of Blue Cheese Pecan dip ran out a week or so into the voyage, and the stocks must be replenished.  It is probably time for some fresh veggies and such too, but I do have my priorities.

I’ll write up a recap of the trip down here later on, but for now we want to take get to the aquarium to maximize our time there and maybe still have some daylight to explore the town after our visit.