Every once in a while, you come across these perfect weekends spent not only surrounded by incredible scenery and weather, but by amazing people. In my last trip up to Santa Barbara, I met Doug, who sails with Sleeper — a Lindenberg 26. He arranged for me to come up this weekend, basically for a trial run — to see if I was game enough to go on an overnight race out to Santa Cruz island this upcoming weekend.
I left a little later than I would’ve liked, so my choices leaving Santa Monica were to sit in traffic on the 405 or to sit in traffic on the PCH.
Obviously, I chose the PCH. It’s a gorgeous drive north, first through the coast and then some picturesque farmland.
I stayed with the co-owner of Sleeper, Cheryl, in her stunning Santa Barbara home. I walked through the door, and was speechless with the view.
Cheryl’s little dog, Allie, transforms the outside deck into a real Poop Deck.
The next morning it was time to take Sleeper out — but first, Doug gave me a tour of some of the great boats docked nearby. He really wanted me to see Dr. Laura’s boat, Katana. Apparently, Dr. Laura is an avid sailor, skippering competitively in some major races, like the Transpac. I asked Doug what kinda boat it was, and his response was “a J-boat.” But what kind of J-boat, I asked. “A J-custom? I have no idea,” he said. Dr. Laura’s boat is customized to the nines — features that make the boat worth at least a couple million. Everything is carbon fiber; Dr. Laura herself might be carbon fiber.
Doug pointed out that the boat was rigged and ready to go. Maybe Dr. Laura had set it up for us to take out for a spin? Yeah?
Behind the wheels, there are these platforms that tilt, helping the skipper with balance.
Then we checked out a Farr 60 — according to Doug, only 1 of 5 in the world.
This is a total cruiser boat. And one day, when I’m sailing around the world, I want to be in one of these! Although I couldn’t see in it, I was assured it was as fabulous on the inside as its perfect wooden deck on the outside.
And then off we went in Sleeper. I did a little bit of everything — rigging the boat, driving and enjoying the incredible weekend weather. Because I was busy doing everything, I didn’t take my photos. On Lugano, I’m usually the one taking pictures of everyone else looking kickass, but on Sleeper, Doug is also an avid photographer, so he snapped a few shots of me.
Another photo of me. Gosh, such a narcissistic post. Stop it!
Doug’s photos are just meant to be shared.
The marina was packed because of the harbor festival.
Santa Barbara is just such a stunning place. It’s not too far from LA to head down there for the weekend, but far enough to feel like a peaceful retreat.
I loved the crepes at Pacific Crepes. We also tried Italian cuisine at Aldos, but I was not too thrilled with my lasagna. That said, I’m very picky about my Italian food because of my grandmother and dad’s excellent Italian cooking. So to be fair, Cheryl and Doug really liked their dishes. And then we headed over to Pascucci for drinks and desserts. Sailing, food, drinks and excellent company — it was a great way to hopefully put an end a very stressful time these past few weeks. Although we come across shitty experiences in our lives, in the end, life is good. And this weekend reminded me of why.