The Bride of Frankenstein

When we had visited Benicia, California there was an old theatre called the Majestic located on the main street. The marquee on the Majestic announced that the movie – The Bride of Frankenstein, would be showing on October 27th.  Each time we went by that theatre I thought to myself – oh, how I would love to see that movie.

Be careful what you wish for.

We had stopped by Benicia as we were making our way into the Delta system, which contains large tracts of grassland with sloughs through them off the main Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.  We had the impression that sailing in these areas would be relaxing, laid back, easy anchoring, sort of like a slow boat ride down the muddy Mississippi. What we came to realize afterward was, there would be little difficulty navigating shallow grassy waters in a power boat, not so much in our sail boat.  Possibly if we had continued further along it would have all worked out.

(the movie begins to set the stage)

Our intention had been to travel along the Sacramento River and tuck into one of the sloughs, somehow though we took the San Joaquin and could find no suitable place.  The rivers are wide with large industrial, military and oil storage sites along the shoreline. The river is also deceivingly shallow.  It may look inviting to travel toward the shore but it will only be a few feet deep with no protection from wind, wave or current. We noted many old abandoned pilings or pieces of metal along the shore. We could not believe the wind, once again blowing up at 20 knots, current against us and the waves!

We did pass marinas but they were private ones and one that we could have gone into but we still had plenty of day light. We looked at a slough on the chart plotter and saw that depths were adequate for anchoring but once we were into it noted that we would still be in the wind.  Onward we went out of the slough and into an open area, almost like a small bay, called Sherman Lake.  Very shallow depths and Captain had to navigate very carefully. Then our speed started to slow then no speed at all.  Captain could see long grass trailing and said the prop is clogged.  Down goes the anchor, wind is blowing us into shallower areas, no more than 2 feet and Captain puts on his wetsuit, fins, mask and snorkel and takes a knife.  He cuts great swaths of grass from the prop and drive shaft.  He said it was in a long huge thick ball.  Up comes the anchor and away we go but not very far, within 5 minutes the engine has no speed.  Down goes the anchor and the same process is repeated.

Again, we continue, this time we travel much further along but the engine again stops forward speed.  Captain puts on the scuba gear and tank; day light is running out and he does not have time to keep coming to the surface for air as with the last two attempts. This time he must hold onto a rope while under the boat, the current is running so fast.  We make it out this time into the main river, the Sacramento.

I find a marina on the map and we headed towards it when we realize that there would be a bridge to go under and at this late hour no one to open it.  Ok, there is a slough not far away with good depth and we go for that.  We turn into the slough and make our way down it.

(the horror movie begins)

It is pitch dark.  Captain uses the spot light to check for other possible objects and the shoreline.  None could be seen, so we drift down further.  We are probably about half way into the slough by now and the Captain is at the bow putting the anchor down.  Wind is blowing hard at 25 knots but not a concern, we have anchored now numerous times in winds this high or higher since arriving at San Francisco.

Captain taught me to always look and see what is behind us while sailing, other vessels have a way of coming up from behind and could catch you off guard.  I took that lesson and always applied it to when we were anchoring.  Could be the calmest little bay but I always looked behind us as the anchor would go down to make sure we were not drifting too close to shore, always a quick check.

(the audience begins to scream in horror)

I begin to scream and scream and scream for the Captain.  He is not responding, he is busy with the anchor and the wind is blocking my frantic screaming.

As the anchor was going down I looked over my shoulder and there not a few yards away was a massive barge.

I was face to face with Frankenstein.

Due to the high winds and current pushing us backward, it looked as though the barge was under power and coming towards us.  Captain finally heard me and in a split second he saw that we were heading towards the barge and yelled to put the boat in full throttle, which I did.

Have you ever heard a train attempt to come to an emergency stop? Wheels screeching, the sound of metal on metal.  The boat hit the barge as I put it into full throttle.  I felt at that moment we were going to break apart or be pulled beneath it. Captain within seconds took over the helm and we pulled away.

I must admit that I was coming completely apart.  Captain yelled that I must take over the helm, he could not be in two places at once.  He still had to deal with the anchor and get it up.  When we drifted towards the barge he said, I must throttle away from it. Over and over I saw the barge getting closer and I would throttle away.

The anchor went down for the last time that night but it was not a night of rest.  Once daylight broke we pulled anchor, found another area out of the wind and waves and rested for a few hours before heading back to China Camp.

The boat was unscathed.  The two of us, not so much. The stainless-steel piping on the back of the boat (which stuck out about two to three feet) to hold the single side band antenna was bent in an odd shape and the man overboard pole was snapped in two.

The Captain has criticized himself several times, I have not.

Theatre lights come on.

All is well.






Lotto 649

Do you remember that commercial on TV that showed a tropical looking ocean, long lovely clean sailing boat, looks like the sun has just come up and then this young-looking woman in a white cotton sweater easily steps up onto the deck holding a fresh cup of coffee?  The theme of course was buy a Lotto 649 ticket and this could be yours.

I remember watching that commercial and thinking I would love to do that!

What I have come to learn over the last year or so (from a woman’s perspective living in the Pacific North West) – sailing, true sailing is not for the faint hearted.  It is work, boredom, cold, miserable, wet, tiring, private, challenging physically and mentally, amazing, relaxing, pinch me beautiful, with moments of intense awe, constant learning, adjusting to the environment, location and your partner (24hrs a day).

When I spent three months last year travelling to Alaska, my clearest memories are of the wretched cold, rain and the constant feeling of dampness. Silly me, I had brought along sleeveless tops, flip flops and suntan lotion!  There were few days when I didn’t look like the Michelin Tire Man, I was so layered in clothing. It was summer, it should be warm! I should be warm! To be honest, I had no intention of ever, ever, ever! going any great distance again, let alone towards the north end of Vancouver Island or the Queen Charlottes (rain is worse there but I had the grandest time there this year).

I had no idea last year what being on a boat week after week meant, how cold it would be or how cold I would constantly feel. The niceties of everyday living not available.  No hot shower, no warm room to wake up in, no refrigerator, no music, everything seemed to be no, no and no. There is no question we saw beautiful places and the sun did shine, I have the pictures to prove it but I was not prepared, it was not what I expected.

I wanted 649.

Things do have a way of changing and with it one’s perception.

As time wore on and we spied the boat we have now, I knew what to expect when the Captain spoke of going around the north end of the island and then over to the Queen Charlotte Islands. I now knew there would be cold and rain, this time I was prepared – mentally.  My anxiety was mainly in the thought of the 24-hour crossing to the QC and then the sail southward to San Francisco – 7 days around the clock. How would I possibly be able to do that?  I intensely dislike being awake all night long, the thought of it made me think of my working years when I had to work the night shift.  Horrible!

Was it tough? Yes, but it was also tough for the Captain as well and with that knowledge I was able to except each hour and day knowing that our sailing was not a singular venture but a joint one. You know what?   It was fine and (except for the stormy days) I cannot really remember the days being difficult.  It was something we had to do to get to our next destination and we both worked toward that.

The difference from last year’s boat and with this year’s boat is night to day.  On this boat, we have a 5-gallon hot water tank which provides steaming hot water after the engine has been running.  A shower stall but must admit that due to lack of sufficient storage space we have opted to use the shower area for storage for such a long voyage. A large deep fridge that has a small freezer compartment that we can keep cold with the solar panel.  A large bed area at the front of the boat (called the V berth). Captain bought a small personal juice blender (well I nearly keeled over!) and we purchased a carbonated water system (good friends showed us their unit, we love it!) – this time my legs went wobbly. Captain also brought along the Sirus radio to listen to music or news!  Be still my beating heart.  The boat is roomy inside and out and is comfortable! The best though is my ability to communicate through this blog, or send a text via the inReach communication system, or use the satellite phone or look at news on the iPad or sit back and hand write a letter. Yes, that option is still available, no app for that, or is there?

With this journey, I prepared myself based on last years’ experience and this time it is completely different.  What changed?  Everything!

I am getting that 649 feeling.



Yesterday I jumped from our boat into the water.  Currently we are anchored north of the San Rafeal area, off China Camp.  Last evening the temperatures were still up in the 90’s F (none of that sissy Celsius stuff) and we had to cool down.  It was brutal.  Haven’t experienced heat like that daily in over 20 years.

Off the bow of the boat the Captain goes. Like walking for him, easy peasy.  I finally follow suit with hesitation, not because the water was too deep (only about 10 feet or so), not because it was too cold but because I could not see beneath the surface.  The water is murky and I have never ever liked that. Being from Ontario there isn’t a lake that I have been to that you can see what “lies beneath”.  Given the imagination that I have at times, I visualize all sorts of “things” that will grab, hold onto and pull me down.

I had said to the Captain that I had never jumped from a boat before but that is not true at all.  We went scuba diving in Cozumel and jumped off a very large vessel day after day.  What I meant to say was I had never jumped into water that I could not see clearly what was below me.  Although this was a very minor situation it did require my mantra – “walk into the web” or what I usually think – “what is the worst that could happen”.  Then I let myself go.

It was heavenly!  The current was quite quick and if not aware of this you would be drifting away within seconds.  Captain had made sure that a rope with a flotation was available to reach.  I held the rope and let the current run past me.  Warm currents and then cold currents could be felt but it was wonderful.

Sometimes you have to just jump in.


Who You Gonna Call

Thought I would put a good word in about the different companies/people we have had the pleasure of meeting and requiring help or information from.


San Francisco and area

San Francisco Marine Customs: We had to check in with customs but our experience with the officers was outstanding.  They accommodated us in every way; during our night entry and the next day when we were not able to make it to the land office in time.  Thank you!

Johnson Hicks Marine Electronics:  298 Harbor Dr., Sausalito.  We had an urgent request to have our AIS fixed and they looked at the system the next day and programmed it for us within two hours.  Thank you to Beau!

San Francisco Coast Guard: Thank you for pointing us in the right direction to obtain guest berthing at a nearby marina.

Marina Village Yacht Harbor:  This is an excellent, top notch marina located in the Oakland Inner Harbor, the Alameda area.  Sandra Coong is the Manager.  510.521.0905   Look for the yellow capped pilings on the right side, just past Scott’s Restaurant (which is on the left, you cannot miss their sign).  The best Chinese food restaurant is located at gate 8 and so are the sailors we met!

Enterprise Rental Cars:  2307 Blanding Ave., Alameda, 510.523.5722 and ask for Maggie.  Also ask for Mike the driver if you require picking up, which you will need.  They will send a car out to get you.  Mike was our driver, maybe he will remember us.

Loch Lomond Marina:  Located in San Rafeal.  We had the most relaxing and quiet stay there.  Very, very reasonable pricing and the staff are excellent.  The manager Pat, came out to introduce himself and Christine is fabulous!  We were an oddity as they receive very few cruisers as most seem to stay in Sausalito or San Francisco proper.  How lucky we were to be the oddity!  We had so many people say hello but that could also be because I would wave at everyone! The marina is a little way from the downtown but hop on a bus or call a taxi, we had our bikes and in no time, we were in town.  Cautionary note:  at marker 17 there is a channel to the marina. DO NOT vary from it, as soon as you can blink you will be in a foot of water.

Land or Sea Design:  Loch Lomond Marina.  During our weather adventure off the Oregon coast, our dodger tore on one side plus stitching was coming away over the entire canvas (due to age) and had to be fixed sooner than later.  Laurie was amazing!  She was up to her eyeballs in orders but we explained that we required something done now before the whole thing fell apart.  No problem, it will be done by the end of the week.  She had it completed in two days for us and indicated that she used specialized thread. Thank you!

Andy’s Market:  Loch Lomond Marina.  I wish they could deliver to the boat.  This was truly a jewel to have literally at our front door or should I say dock.  High end, quality market.  Not just your ordinary market but one that has beautiful wooden tables in the café area, sit up wine and bar area (not that we drink but it was just so civilized), plus a kitchen that is producing amazing foods and salads.  Then there is the market itself.  They bring in mostly locally grown produce.  A real treat.  Yes, more expensive than the local grocery store but worth it.  Staff began to recognize us and other locals would greet us in the morning as we had our usual coffee and banana bread, then ask if we would be back later for dinner.  Love it!

Ocens: Des Moines, Washington, 206.878.8270.  We have decided to try another communication system by using the satellite phone to retrieve weather information.  This required obtaining a router and setting up two weather programs. The poor man (Pedro) that constantly ended up receiving my phone calls as to what to do, how to do it, how to download etc. was extremely patient and he eventually remotely took over my computer and set everything up!  Big thank you to Pedro!  The new system worked great.  Uses up valuable satellite airtime but for ease of use and instant download, perfect.


Welcome to San Francisco!

With great trepidation, we sailed into the outer entrance of SF Bay at night.  After our weather adventure, we made great time but that put us into a night situation.  Where do we go to for customs?  Would we have to find the customs dock that night?  Plus add fog. Through a contact back home we found out that there is no actual customs dock, that you basically dock somewhere and contact customs.  We contacted customs first and the officer was ever so obliging.  We said we were near Drakes Bay and asked permission to put anchor there.  No problem he said, call this number tomorrow and they will let you know what to do.

The next day we set out from the bay and it became more and more crowded with boats. Fishing boats, dozens and dozens of people fishing.  The Captain called up the customs once we entered SF Bay proper only to be told that we need a cruising permit to enter, the office was not at a dock but on land and that it closes at noon!  Captain explained we are a sailing vessel going 5 knots and would never make it in time as we would have to find a place to dock and then rent a car.  No problem he said!  Find a place for the night and then report the next day to 700 Maritime St.

Ok, now where do we go to find a place to dock?  I looked up the address of the customs office and then looked up marinas in the general area and began to call.  No luck, the marinas I called did not have guest slips.  Captain said to call the tourist information.  I did and they were very helpful and said to go to Scotts Restaurant along the Oakland Inner Harbor (which we had already started to enter), they have slips there, then walk to the harbor master’s office.  Scotts restaurant slips were full and we continued past it wondering where to go next.  Fortunately, the coast guard came towards us, Captain hails them and they indicated that just behind us where guest slips at a marina.

We could not believe our luck, they had a spot for us for the next few days.  We tied up to Village Marina in Alameda and we could not have asked for anything better!  Impeccable!  Top notch. We were greeted over the next few days by other sailors.  Roger stopped by and said his wife was Canadian and that he was always welcomed warmly in Canada.  The next two boats down from us, each owner dropped by to say hello.  I remember Jim’s name, very interesting and charming man.  Our neighbor beside us said he cruised the Sea of Cortez for four years and loved it. Then we were introduced to Penny and her boat is called Out ‘n a boat, she is Canadian.  What a wonderful person to meet.  She was very gracious and said she would send me her email, should we require help with anything, anything at all.  She had many contacts here in the USA and in Mexico and would be able to find us the right person. Are we lucky or what!

Penny also hosts a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner every year which is held at the Oakland Yacht Club.  Some 80 to 90 people attend, she plays Canadian music and has everyone play a Canadian trivia.  What a lady!

I book a rental car from Enterprise.  They send a person out to pick us up.  We have a very nice driver, Mike.  He was big, looked tough and gruff but we had the nicest conversation.  He has lived all his life in Alameda. Been a pipe fitter among other things.  When we eventually return the car, we have another driver take us back to the boat and she told us how Mike had been so excited telling her about our sailing and where we were going.  He said to her, why don’t we do that!

We now have a car and off we go to find 700 Maritime St.  Should be no problem, seems straight forward, at the corner of Maritime and 7th street.  What could go wrong?

We arrive at the intersection.  There is a small sign stating Customs and an arrow to go right. We go right and then there is nothing.  No visible building and no other signs.  We drive up and down Maritime St.  It is now getting dark.  After a few thousand times of going back and forth, I noticed that near the corner of the intersection there was a small sign stating 700B and a very small inset driveway.  I tell the Captain that maybe we should try 700B.  We end up driving around the block and see customs vehicles parked there!  We found it.  What we realized or determined was that at one point the customs area was likely visible from the road but the area was now under construction with large fences around it.  Gheesh!

We are up at the crack of dawn as traffic everywhere is brutal and we did not want to be delayed.  The customs officers were so friendly and polite, it was such a relief as we were really expecting a bit of a grilling.  Give us an hour or so and the paperwork will be ready.  Off we go for breakfast.  Later we picked up our cruising paperwork and let out a sigh of relief.

For the next day or two we are constantly buzzing around Sausalito and into San Rafeal.  The Captain has suspected that our AIS (automated identification system) has not been transmitting, meaning other vessels do not see us unless they use radar. We are down at a marina in Sausalito when we spy a marine electronics shop and we go in to see what they can do for us.

We tell them what type of system we have and they said – do you have the disc?  What disc?  The one that came with the system.  We are at a loss, we do not remember seeing a disc.  We then find out that to transmit, the system must first be programmed.  Gheesh again!  Can you help us?  Well they might be able to without the disc but will not know until we bring the unit in.  We return to the boat, Captain removes the unit and the next day we are up at the crack of dawn.  Did I mention traffic is brutal?

We receive great news; the unit is fixed!  We let out another sigh of relief.  Off we go to the West Marine store to buy bits and parts for the boat, some clothing that is on sale and a map of the Delta river system that we plan on cruising.

We drive to San Rafeal to Loch Lomond Marina to see if we can dock there for three or four days.  No problem.  Christine oversees the marina and holds a spot for us.  She works two jobs, the marina and as a server at Joe’s restaurant in town. She is looking forward to going to her friend’s wedding in September which is being held in Paris!  When we do arrive at Loch Lomond Marina, Christine states, pay me when you are ready to leave.  We both shake our heads and smile.

This is a nice marina, not at the same level as the last one but good all the same.  The area is being developed, very nice town homes are now across from the marina but at one million each I guess they are very nice!  An excellent market is a minute away.

We lack for nothing and have been accommodated at every turn and concern.




The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and then The Good

The Good:  We left the west coast of Vancouver Island on August 16th and we were glad to be under way again.  For the Captain, it was the urge to get back out onto the water sailing, for me it was more like, let’s get this show on the road. Initially we had a fog bank to get through but then it was clear sailing, then we had to motor for a long while.  August 17th was a good sailing day.

The Bad:  August 18th started off well enough. We were on course. By late afternoon you could see things begin to change minute by minute and a funny feeling for both of us started to creep in.  We looked at each other and knew the weather was deteriorating.  By now we were 70 miles offshore with little opportunity to make a quick exit to a port. Unlike the coast line around Vancouver Island which has multiple bays and inlets, along the USA west coast there are few.  At our speed of 5 knots per hour, it would take us approximately 14 hours to reach any destination.  The winds picked up very quickly with each passing hour and the wave swells were climbing.  Still it was manageable.

The Ugly:  August 19th and 20th.  One of our biggest concerns were other vessels, mostly fishing boats as we noticed that once we were in USA waters the fishing boats did not have or were not using AIS (Automated Identification System). The AIS will show up on our navigation system and will give us their location, speed, size of vessel etc. We saw three or four boats in one area and not one transmitted their AIS.

Winds had now picked up to 40 knots from behind us, which was good but the waves were now taller and grew shorter in the amount of time it took to reach us.  Many times, the boat was hammered broad side and then the boat would shake.  I do not know which is worse, the increasing strength of the storm or watching the Captain put up the storm sail.  “Storm Sail”, this is a much smaller version of the Genoa (most forward sail) and about 70% less in size as compared to the Genoa.  The purpose is to help keep the boat under control and not become over powered.  With the “normal” working sails up the boat would be propelled too quickly due to the size of the sails and loss of control would be the outcome.

Captain prepared the storm sail for hoisting by attaching it to a stainless-steel line that runs from the deck to the main mast.  As it was being hoisted up, a pin to the steel rigging broke!  Now he must in almost the worst of conditions rework everything by using ropes.  I watched as the sail, the ropes and the boat were being whipped about with Captain holding on.  As I looked around I knew then that turning the boat around to rescue the Captain, should he go overboard, would not be an option.  This was a terrible reality.  (Notice I mention that the Captain would be going overboard, not me. Thought a little humour should be added).

It was not safe to be outside, so Captain said all we can do is go inside and wait it out.  He assured me the boat was fine and it was.  We closed the hatch and began every 15 to 30-minute watches, mainly for other vessels.  We were being hit fiercely by waves that were in the range of 13 feet and winds were now being recorded at 50 knots.  We were “pooped” at one point, which means that water filled the entire outside cockpit up to the seat level and came in the hatch around the hinges and middle of where the doors close, water was everywhere inside.

At one point the boat heeled over violently to port, we were hit by one of many waves. Captain kept reassuring me, for I was not being very quiet at that moment. I know I will never forget the sound of the worst waves.  It is like a small canon going off, the impact is so loud.  I was certain we hit something rather than being hit.  All night this went on.

Our exhaustion became so complete that we slept. The alarm was set for one-hour intervals.  We were no longer concerned with vessels, no one else was out here.  We had to make sure that we were still on course and that all was still well with the boat.  A side panel of the dodger (covering over the hatch and cockpit area) was ripped and nearly lost.

Either the Captain or I would crawl out from the covers to check on things.  By August 20th the winds and seas had decreased slightly.  We crawled back into our blankets and continued our one-hour watches. No other boats could be seen on the navigation system nor with us taking a visual look.

August 21st, Solar Eclipse.  I was so looking forward to that event.  We were too far south to see it.  Seas and winds had moderated compared to the last two days.  We remain inside as it is not comfortable enough to stay outside.  By 2100 we had to begin to motor, no wind, no stars and the sea was calm.

And the Good:  We made it through a tough and for me a frightening experience.  In future, a more thorough planning for weather.  Only one pot from the stove went flying during our weather adventure and it only had water in it (did the happy dance, no not really but close). We are still on course for San Francisco.  Now able to have a decent meal and wash up.  Sea is like glass and you can see ships at ten miles.


I have hesitated about posting this blog as I know my son would be reading it and I worried that he would worry but thought that I should be true to myself and write about the not so nice things. I know my son understands the meaning of being true to ones self.

All is well and life is good.  oo


What Lies Beneath

Sheer beauty lies beneath the waters surrounding Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands and most of the time only a few feet below the surface along the water’s edge.  Low tide is the best viewing time to see my lovely Sea Stars.  Orange, blue, purple, red and brown are the ones I have seen.   Some have long slender arms, others with stubby ones and others are called “cookie cutter” as they resemble the star shape of a cookie cutter. The west coast of Vancouver Island has been the best viewing and with the largest stars that I have seen.

I have book called Whelks to Whales and have used it extensively to identity Sea Stars, Jelly Fish, Sea Cucumbers, Moon Snails and a variety of sea plants.  Last year my encounter with jelly fish was limited to the Moon jelly fish and it looks as it names implies, very white and round like a globe that gently floats through the water.  We had been in one small bay and there were thousands of them.

This year while visiting the Charlotte’s I saw two amazing jelly fish and they were large!  The first one is called the Lion’s Mane and looks like its name states with the edges looking hairy and drooping down and coloured brown with red. It is approximately 20” or more bell shaped and has tentacles that extend to 30 feet behind as they float along.  The tentacles give nasty stings and blisters should you come in contact.

The second one is also extremely large and is called a Fried Egg jelly fish and believe it or not looks exactly like a fried egg.  It is approximately 24” or more in a bell shape. The center is round and bright yellow with the surrounding edges creamier looking, they also have long tentacles that will give a mild sting.

Captain found for me a Moon Snail that had most of its body out of the shell. This is not a small snail but one that was at least 6 inches across.  Never thought I would hold a snail much less actually enjoy the feeling as it slowly started to wrap its body around my hand.  Yes, it had a somewhat slippery feel but not slimy as I thought it would be.  It was fantastic!

Although I adore the Sea Stars, I am in absolute love with Sea Cucumbers. The Captain introduced me to them last year.  We were in a bay that had a narrow channel that led to another bay.  The channel was shallow with long sea grass moving along with the current and within the sea grass you could see long dark shapes on the bottom.  Captain said they were Sea Cucumbers and when they were relaxed they would stretch themselves out to about a foot and half in length. Before I knew it, he had picked one up for me to hold.   Now that it had been disturbed it shrunk in size to about eight inches and was dark brown to black in color. It was a Giant Black Sea Cucumber.

Oh, it was lovely!  There in my hands I held a creature that felt wonderful, cool and jiggly.  For those of a certain age group and I am talking to the ladies out there.  Remember the Jell-O we or our mothers would make and then pour that into pans shaped like pineapples, fruit or that of a bunt cake ring? My mom would always take one of those creations to a baby or wedding shower and usually a green colour. I shudder to think of what chemical composition that green came from back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

The Cucumbers also have little knobs all over the surface.  Captain told me that these creatures are harvested.  I put it back with a feeling of sorrow and thought run, run!  But it slowly relaxed, stretched out and stayed there.

This year Captain new I desperately wanted to hold another Cucumber and he found one!  A gorgeous reddish brown one. It was a California Sea Cucumber and they grow to about 20” long.  This one I did not wish to let go of.  We spent our time together, me awing and oohing, it patiently waiting for me to say goodbye and be returned to the sea.

After arriving in San Francisco, the Alameda area, we went to a fabulous Chinese restaurant.  On the menu, I saw Sea Cucumber was being offered.

I do not think that I will ever be able to eat Jello again.