Anthology of A CENOURA

Hi I am Philip Skinner. A Cenoura is my sailboat and my home. Below are things that go on in my life with the most recently-shared event on top. There's some other links at the bottom of the page, too.
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Sunday July 27 2014

You might not believe all these pictures were in the same day, but it was a crazy weather system in the South Bay.  I say that, because I left to sail in strong(ish) wind and hot sun (notice the hat which I found last weekend floating in the marina is now on my head), saw Palos Verdes to the south and it was swamped in a rain storm, so I sailed over to A Cenoura and told Mia (who was studying) to close all the windows in case the rain gets up to us. I then sailed over to the main channel when I saw lightning strike south redondo, probably a mile away, so I got back to my dock and out of my sabot real fast. It started to downpour just then and there, and the wind completely died - so I’m glad I made it back when I did.

After about an hour of heavy rain, I put the sabot away and it became sunny and nice again. During this time, the unfortunate even of that same storm traveling north to Marina Del Rey and Venice Beach apparently struck the beach or water and electrocuted about 14 people, and killed a 20-year old who was in the water. That’s rare, and very sad.

With the sun out, and my boredom taking over, I washed Mia’s yoga mat, and I washed the moldy/bird-dung/dirty mainsail cover. It came out really nice so I feel like it was a productive afternoon.

To clean a yoga mat: nice-smelling dish soap, water, and scrub a brush.

To clean a sail cover: Water, Woolite, and a brush.

The $100 26’ sailboat

Sunday. I set up my sabot and as I tacked out of my little area, past the owner of a $100 auction boat, and I asked “You going out today?” He replied “No, I don’t have anyone to go with.”

YES. FRIEND. YOU DO NOW. I’ve been telling Mia for a couple weeks “I want to go sailing with Pit Bull guy on his boat” so this whole thing went down exactly as I planned.  He’s got this awesome short dog that is in fact a ‘Bully dog”  - imagine a pit bull fave, at short and stout as a bull dog, that could still probably knock you over, his name is Rocky. His owner is Gary, and Gary bid $100 on an old 60’s classic-designed spin-off of an Islander 26.  It’s fully old-school. Hank-on jib, winches on the mast, tiller, old non-tailing 1 speed winches in the cockpit, mainsheet/traveler in the back. Just awesome.

So we went sailing with Rocky, who had never been sailing before. Gary steering and me on the deck and trimming the sails. He was happy because the other 2 guys on my dock who have taken him sailing are both old, but I was like “Does tipping scare you?” he said “no, I don’t think so” so we had it heeled and going fast - his handheld gps said 6.5 knots consistently - that’s faster than my boat sails (which I blame on weight of all my worldly possessions). He had no idea what “wing and wing” meant to sail downwind, so we did that too. Speaking of auctions at the dock. There was an auction for a nice Ericsson 27 for $1800 and went to the dock master. He doesn’t know how to sail either.

Sunday July 13 2014
The weekend went by too fast. Both days started by prioritizing a set of chores, mostly, and things I wanted to do in between. Everything was set in motion Friday when I brought my truck to a tire place because the 5 year old, 57500 mile old big fat meaty off road tires on my truck were showing too much wear and tear than I could ignore any longer. The diagnosis wasn’t just new badly-needed tires, but also all four shocks and the alignment that goes with it all. Some bartering and offering of cases of energy drink to the mechanic and out the door I paid $1300 for probably $1600 of labor and parts. When I drove away Saturday morning after picking it up, I quickly realized that it felt like a brand new car, not even a truck, but like a Cadillac, almost like a boat. Just soft and pillowy and no other road noise except for the engine. No more rattling at low speeds and rubber slapping hums at high speeds. I then washed it, waxed it- huge pain- and can stand back and feel okay about my worthwhile increased credit card debt.
On Sunday I made banana and blueberry pancakes, scrubbed the pan and plates clean, scrubbed more of the wax off of the truck, scrubbed the growth off the bottom of the sabot, had a short workout, came back and sailed the sabot, came back and did laundry. I was pleased that the easiest and quickest of those tasks was cleaning the sabot.

Fourth of July 2014

I got up early hoping for the ocean fog to keep this hiking trail cool enough, did some stretching, and starting running uphill.  It’s basically a fire-road and the few groups I passed by were really friendly and obviously pretty surprised at somebody running up it. One lady called it amazing, another said “good job! happy 4th!”.

As is common with morning exercise activities, I was off to a weak start and had to pause after about just 5 minutes to let everything cramping and aching and out of sync get settled. After that I was good, just charged up and up. The funny thing is that running uphill takes twice as much energy, and you move about half the speed. So I reached the summit, snapped a photo, and then ran back down.

All in all, the sign says it’s 6 miles, round-trip I assume. With a few breaks to drink water and stretch, the ascent took 58 minutes.  The descent took 17 minutes.  The beer at around 10:30am tasted great.

Also, I’m writing this 3 days later and it still hurts to walk up and down stairs. It’s a good hurt, though.

More than 9 years old with 158,000 miles and still getting compliments for how good it looks.

Nighttime pingpong with outdoor music and tree lights.

I went sailing after work. There aren’t many better ways to enjoy this time of day.

She’s a natural!

Sunday June 22 2014
Beautiful weather. Anchored out for what could be the last time - they’re planning to drop 25 mooring balls in the channel - hung the hammock over the foredeck which is much easier. Sailed around a lot and when Mia finished studying she took over the sabot solo.

Saturday June 21 2014
Picked up my dad’s outboard motor from the repair shop, had some difficulty setting it evenly back on the dinghy, but finally got it to a satisfactory position - moving the motor tends to move the floating dinghy, and drags a separate rubber pad under it, so 3 things moving all at once when you need 2 to stay still- but things seem to be working! I had breakfast at my dads and headed back to a cenoura. I fiddled with the gennaker and this crane I found in the lazarette. I guess it was for hoisting the outboard I sold. Whole checking out the gennaker my well-respected-circumnavigating-neighbor saw me and said “put that f**king thing away dude. I never used mine and unless you have like 8 men to wrestle with it, you don’t want to fly it.” Well, so I stuffed it back in it’s bag. It looks awesome though.
I spent about an hour trying to hang the hammock correctly, and then enjoyed it. All this whole, Mia studied for about 12 hours for the bar and pretty much only stopped when I distracted her. We biked to dinner and passed out after that.

I woke up a few times and basically had nightmares all night about horrible things going wrong with my boat. Nothing did. It stayed hooked in, and other than a strong brief moment of broadsiding wind in the middle of the night, all went well. I think I’ll get more comfortable and confident the more I sleep while on anchor. These pictures were taken at 5:30am.
A few things to note about the overnight anchoring trip:
I want to refill both of the natural gas tanks because using them is awesome.
Having the window shades up is great, and the windows are so tinted I can hardly see inside anyways. But it does get really bright at dawn and challenging to stay asleep.
The harbor patrol guys are really chill in redondo.
And, stern anchoring is pretty easy, especially with no other boats around.


We made a huge delicious dinner, played cards and listened to music. The fog and clouds actually reflects a lot of the lights on land and makes it pretty bright out. A wedding at the portofino was letting off a string of those floating candles up into the air which was neat to watch. Then Mia sailed us around in the sabot - yes, I had a light for safety. It’s surprising how many people we saw taking boats from the bars and back to their slips in the marina without any running lights on.
The real test was if I could sleep while at anchor, constantly trying not to worry if my home is about to bash into rocks.


At the pumpout dock the harbor patrol told me that staying the night was free, I didn’t even need to fill out a permit because I live in the harbor. Wow, I think I should do this more often.
Mia and I set the bow anchor like normal, and then I let out more than 200’ of rode (the usual is 120-150’) and proceeded to shut off the engine and toss the stern anchor off the back. After that I just toyed with pulling in the bow a little, then the stern, and back and forth until both were snug around 130’. It was approaching an extreme 6’+ high tide late at night so taking they into consideration I knew I should leave room for the boat to rise.
Mia studied the afternoon away while I sailed, took pictures, made coffee (using the newly found working stove to boil water, and a newly purchased French press) and got changed so I could feel yachty while making dinner. My iPhone doesn’t deal with contrast that well.