Monday, November 16, 2015

November 7th (Saturday) through November 11th (Wednesday) Arrived in Santa Barbara CA

After two days of being at sea Jeff and I are beat.  Being at the helm at all times and trying to dodge the weather window create a pressure similar to a deadline we are all used to in our professional lives. Once we overcome the stress of coming into a new marina, fueling and docking, we can finally relax and turn off our engine. Though not ideal we arrived in Santa Barbara marina at 1AM.  Later that morning the weather was calm with 5-10kts of breeze and sunny with temperatures in mid 70s.  It was a perfect welcome after two days of toil we just finished. Heard lots of great things about Santa Barbara and they are all true.

The rest of the day was spent at the beach. 

Jeff was lured into the sea by the girls with promises of warm water but found the water not warm enough at 65F.  Compared to the 50-55F water in the Northwest, the water here is considered warm by the girls.  

They created another pool that is warmer than the ocean. 

Where are Anna's feet?  
Sunday, we visited the Old Mission Santa Barbara.  This is the 10th mission in California.  It sits on the mission hill and overlooks the rest of the town down to the ocean.  What a beautiful location.  Although our main purpose was to attend mass, its history and the grounds were a full day of education.

Front of the church.  This mission is run and maintained by the Franciscan monks.  More about Old Mission Santa Barbara

From its nave looking to the alter.  Flash photography is not allowed so a little blurry. 

The statue below the crucifix is the statue of Santa Barbara.  The Spanish landed on this land on December 4th, the feast day  of St. Barbara. I learned that among other things she is the patron saint of sailors.  Nice. 
The mass was beautiful and the homily carried the message of filling our emptiness with Christ's love instead of worldly things.  In the back of the church the professional choir sang in the balcony.  All the hymns were very familiar but sounds were of angelic nature.  After mass we hung around for free donuts and coffee. After the museum tour, we met the pastor of the church, Father Charles, who welcomed us so warmly and invited us back on our way back up the coast.  We would love to be back in Santa Barbara!
In front of the Sacred Garden. 

Sacred Garden is where the monks come to work, and contemplate.  One senses a definitive serenity, peace, and beauty here. 
 The Island of the Blue Dolphins   
It was serendipitous that we picked up a Newberry Award Book called The Island of the Blue Dolphins from a used bookstore in Eureka.  Not knowing that it had close ties to Santa Barbara, it was a nice surprise to read this book and be able to relate to a place we visited.

The following is Anna's summary of the book and the visit to Old Mission Santa Barbra:

Daddy, Sophia and I have just finished reading Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. It is about this girl who gets left behind on San Nicholas Island which is located off the coast of Santa Barbara in the Channel Islands. She lived there for eighteen years by herself.  The story is pretty much real. She finally comes to Santa Barbara when some people from Old Mission Santa Barbara  come and take her away to Santa Barbara. You can see where she is buried if you get a tour of Old Mission Santa Barbara.  But, people do not know exactly where she is buried because they did not use grave stones at that time.  She is buried in the cemetery of Old Mission Santa Barbara. You should really visit that church.  First, it is good to go to church. Second, the church is really cool because monks live there and after mass you can talk to the priest, who is a monk.  Sometimes there are some other monks walking around in their brown robes.  Also, they have a crypt in their church, but they hardly ever open it because it is so hard to open.  When you get a tour, you can see the Sacred Garden, which is very pretty, the cemetery, the museum, and you can also watch a movie about the history of Old Mission Santa Barbara.  
By Julianna Cross. 
In front of the Juana Maria's (name given to the girl in the above mentioned book) plaque.  

Sophia's treasures found in our walk through Santa Barbara.

Walking toward the historic Court House. Notice how Sophia carries her found treasures. 

Inside the courthouse full of Moorish architectural influences.  

It's great that Santa Barbara has preserved a lot of its historical architecture. For a moment, I felt like I was back in southern Spain.  

The highly decorated mural room in the Courthouse. 

At the top of the Courthouse a 360 deg view of Santa Barbara. 


  1. Beautiful mission church, as well as the courthouse mural. So different than the architecture on the East Coast.

  2. That beach looks like fun! In the photos, the water looks warmer than 65F--can't understand why Jeff didn't dive right in!
    You may need an extra storage locker on board just for all of Sophia's treasures!

  3. Wish we were with you. I am so happy to see your family enjoying and exploring. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!