#59 Full Moon

It must be a full moon. Autumn in San Francisco ... Halloween in Dana Point. We have much to talk about, but first I would like to announce we have changed our travel plan, diverting to Hawaii instead of continuing to Mexico. More on that later. Let's catch up first...

San Francisco

As we began preparations to move Eliana to Dana Point, we decided to put on our tourist hats. The weather couldn't have been nicer and we knew life was about to get more hectic so we took a break. Here are a few photos of our time in San Francisco.

Cheese counter at the ferry terminal. Good thing I don't walk by here on my way home from work every day!

The iconic Trans America building.

Cell Block C, Alcatraz

Chinatown. Did you know Chow Mien was invented here, not China?

We had to buy something. Debbie purchased this beautiful pillow case.

SF to Dana Point with Roger & Rich

Tim Juan is President of the Ta Shing factory in Taiwan where Eliana was built. Some months ago he called, offering the services of two engineers to come aboard for a thorough vessel inspection and to help us crew during a live passage. I jumped at the chance and thought this would be the perfect opportunity since San Francisco is a reasonable connection from Taiwan, then likewise the return would be from Los Angeles.

Roger and Rich came with a gift of Pineapple Moon Cakes. Tim sent them along knowing I love them. These are traditional during the Chinese Moon Festival but you can get them any time. With only two days to get ready for departure, Debbie prepared a delicious meal of pork chops, rice and veggies. For desert we celebrated their arrival by toasting a sip of 1986 d'Yquem which went perfectly together with the Pineapple Moon Cakes that were incidentally formed in the shape of the Taiwan Island. Strangely enough, we toasted to a full moon with moon cakes!

It was interesting to see Eliana through their eyes. They already knew every square inch having spent months building her layer by layer. This was, however, their first opportunity to enjoy the finished product as a functioning home. Roger remarked that his biggest surprise were the various sounds. He knows the systems and what they do. He just couldn't get over the subtle clicking, whirring and gurgling sounds that soon become familiar.

The trip to Dana Point was flawless. It took slightly more than 50 hours nonstop, an easy trip but still comforting to see our old familiar spot there. Garrett Severen, our project manager greeted us at the dock.

Roger, Rich, Debbie and I

Our little celebration. Sorry we forgot to take a picture of the moon cake before we ate it! The wrapper will have to do.

Full Moon rising over San Francisco Bay

Rich checking bolt tightness on an exhaust flange.

Roger took copious notes in his book. I was amazed. It was page after page. Every detail was meticulously recorded.

Important Guests

As expected, our activity level in Dana Point shot way up. We had the honor of receiving Tim Juan and Jessica from the Ta Shing factory to visit Eliana. They were traveling on their way home from the Ft. Lauderdale boat show. Dan Streech, President of Nordhavn, was also back in town so was able to join us. Jeff Leischman stopped by for a long visit. It was a unique and memorable experience to have all these remarkable folks together at once.

As luck would have it, we also had the opportunity to meet Kristin and Reinhard, a wonderful couple from Munich (currently living in Mallorca). They are building a Nordhavn 76, so we were fortunate to spend time with them, too. Kristin brought her parents, Matthias and Renate who were a lot of fun. Together we talked boats, boating and boat design endlessly. It was fun to put lines on paper again and dream of better ways to do things.

While we had the folks from Ta Shing, Nordhavn, Kristin and Reinhard there, we decided to take Eliana for a sea trial. Nothing like a boat ride to get everyone smiling and having a good time!

Tim Juan, Jessica and I

Visiting with Dan Streech while under way.

Arriving. Dan, Matthias, Reinhard and me on the bridge. Renate and Kristin on the foredeck. Garrett on the dock.

Kristin and Garrett having fun.


You may recall a post I did on July 4, 2010. We were in Dana Point then too, and I decided nobody celebrates Independence Day better than Dana Pointianites. Well, I now believe the same is true for Halloween. We laughed and laughed at the costumes going by. Here are a couple pictures...

Must be something in the water at Dana Point. They definitely know how to have a good time.

Definitely a full moon thing. I think this guy gets the blue ribbon.


Here's the scoop on Hawaii. We were visiting with friends a few days ago and they were telling all the things they loved about Hawaii. I knew it got Debbie thinking but she didn't say anything until the next morning; "So what do you think about Hawaii?" I knew right then any argument was hopeless. We were definitely going. Before the day was over we had arranged berthing at Ko Olina Marina and started to prepare for the 2,300 mile trip.

Getting ready for something like this isn't to be taken lightly. There is a lot to do. But for quite a few reasons we need to get moving if we're going to do it. Our departure is set for Wednesday, November 16 and we'll make one stop in Ensenada, MX to top off the fuel tanks, then we'll be on our way. Should be about 11 days across, which is the longest non stop passage to date for Eliana and for us.

We have an excellent crew of five selected. Peter and Paige St Phillip, good friends and an experienced cruising couple will make the trip as will Linda Waldroop, Debbie's sister.

I plan to provide one or two journal updates along the way. In the next one, I will write about a few of the things we did to get ready. In the meantime, you can follow us by clicking the "Track Eliana" link below. Since we will be leaving the AIS range used by Marine Traffic, I will upload our positions manually.

More to come! As always, please post comments or questions on our website by clicking the link below where it says "You can access the blog entry here." I will do my best to answer questions. And please invite others you think may be interested in following along, too.

Rick Heiniger

N7617 Eliana

Lying: San Diego

Mileage: 8,695 Nautical Miles

Track Eliana


Ed 11/22/2011
Hi, Rick and Debbie. I have had the dream of a live aboard lifestyle for some time now. I am a native San Diegian and absolutely love the ocean. My best friend is on the list for a 48' slip in Dana Point to upgrade from his 28' slip. I am visiting PAE next week to start the process of acquiring the 76' Nordhavn "Take Five" or one of the other 76-86' Nordhavns on brokerage through PAE. Your blog has convinced me this is to be the lifestyle for me and my family. I just turned fifty and plan to retire within 5 years. My oldest son is off to college next year and my youngest son is 10 and we will homeschool him as my wife is a Phd college professor. Thank you for giving us your insight and confirming that life aboard a Nordhavn is indeed an excellent adventure.
Grant T 11/21/2011
Rick, Looks like you're just about to the point of no return, all things being equal. Hope you are enjoying your passage. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! Grant T
Mike Brown 11/20/2011
Rick, I am watching you as you make your way across the Pacific. That has to be an adventure beyond words. Be safe and have fun.
Rock and Fay Rockwell 11/20/2011
Just heard from Peter who is on watch as I type. Also heard from Jerry Bryan, our dock mate, that he was following your blog, as we now will. Glad your weather is great so far. Jealous of your fabulous adventure. We will stay tuned. Hi, to Peter and Paige.
Rob and Patty 11/18/2011
My wife and I found your video on you tube while searching for real life experiences on Nordavn Yachts, and found it very interesting. We are sttarting our search for our retirement boat. We ave been avivd boaters our whole life, but just have not had the tiime over the years to venture to far. We have been up and down the East Coast several times,but never had the time to enjoy each of our stops along the way. We currently have a 47 Sabrelne we bought new 10 years ago. While it is a great vacation and weekend boat, we are looking for a more substantial boat,and Nordavn is on our list. While doing our research we are finding the real life adventures of people living our retirement dream very informative and extremely interesting. Thanks to your generous Webb site,we will actually get a real life,real time look at our future. I will look forward to your travels and more importantly your day to day experiences. God Speed Rob and Patty Lombard
Thelma Call 11/16/2011
Enjoyed the photos and your blog. Just to let you know that my husband (Tom) and I are friends of Peter & Paige. We will be praying that your trip to Hawaii is beautiful; that you will have calm seas; that your time in the islands is magical; and that you all remain in good health while on this grand adventure. What fun!
Nathan 11/14/2011
It's great seeing the author in some of the photos! Look's like you guy's are having a great time!
Craig 11/13/2011
Did you expect some of us to recognize cell block C in Alcatraz? Thank you for all your efforts in keeping us posted. It's just wonderful.
Ken Williams 11/13/2011
Wow! Hawaii! Congrats! A friend, Don Stabbert, just brought his boat back from there, after being there for a while. He was able to get moorage for a similar sized boat right in the heart of Honolulu. Let me know if you want me to connect the two of you. I'm looking forward to reading about the passage. -Ken Williams N6805, Sans Souci
Roddie 11/13/2011
Congrats and have a fun trip! Just started following your blog and have really enjoyed it! Someday I am hoping for a Nordhavn myself!