Oxnard....what to say about Oxnard....well.....hmmmmm. Yah, that's about it. The facility we stayed at, another Almar Marina, was really pretty nice but it was an odd harbor, half empty. In talking to a number of locals it seems that Oxnard made the decision, right before the recession, to kick out all the small boats in the harbor and remodel the docks for larger boats and bigger dollar signs. At which point the economy went south and the boats all left for better pricing a few miles north in Ventura. So the harbor is half empty everywhere and many of the surrounding buildings were empty and/or dilapidated. Even the Almar facility, while in pretty good repair, was showing its age and the fact that the company had not spent money fixing it up recently. That said, they had a wonderful pool and spa which the boys all loved, and a small but clean reasonably priced laundry facility which Mom and Dad loved. This military town itself really isn't our cup of tea, especially after having so much fun enjoying the sites, sounds, and energy of Santa Barbara. So while we had noodled on the idea of staying more then one week when we entered the harbor, we quickly realized that we were ready to move on. We set our sails for a long day passage to Long Beach and the Shoreline Marina.
Long Beach....what to say about Long Beach...well.....we pulled in at dusk and all I could think of was Downtown Disney. Lights everywhere, in the trees, on the buildings, on the pedestrian bridges, on the boats and then there were people, massive amounts of people, (many of them inebriated) everywhere. It was the antithesis to Oxnard. Mason and I took a walk around that first night and he, the hermit, was not particularly impressed. I thought it was rather neat, in a way that I don't mind visiting but wouldn't want to live with on a daily basis. One of the big reasons for stopping here was it's nearby access to The Aquarium of the Pacific and we have not been disappointed. We bought a yearly family pass and someone from the family has been there everyday this week. Behind the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it really is one of my favorite aquariums and we have seen many around the world. Though not nearly as large as Monterey, they do a great job showing a really broad range of environments and I have been particularly impressed with the knowledgeable docents and hands on interaction that they have with the visitors. I think the Monterey Bay Aquarium could likely learn a thing or two from them in this area. We plan on staying just a few more days before taking off south again to San Diego where we are hoping to hook up with Lyons, a cruising family we met in Monterey.
I'm the wife of the captain, a mother of three boys and a PM in the corporate world. This blog is my view of life and activities related to our boat.