Bill and Kit’s 2020 Excellent Adventure, Journal #8

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
That depends a good deal on where you want to get to
I don’t much care where
Then it doesn’t matter which way you go
Lewis Carroll

Sunday, February 2, 2020: Departed Seal Beach RV Park at 1113 hours under partly cloudy skies, a temperature of 69 degrees, and winds of 22 MPH from the West. Usually my policy is to not travel in windy conditions above 20 MPH if coming from the beam…however today is a very short transit, so we went for it.

At 1208, we entered San Diego County…then following an uneventful trip, Kit and I pulled into Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base at 1231 hours and set up in Del Mar Beach RV Resort on a nice second-row site.
You may have noticed that our TV antenna is a bit askew.
A few weeks ago, I snagged a low hanging tree branch and the forward antenna array bent. With a 13’6” rig, this is a somewhat common occurrence…in fact, a few years ago while negotiating a narrow dirt road in Canada, a tree branch ripped the entire antenna off. I’ve spent more time on top of this camper repairing low hanging object strikes then any other we’ve owned during or 45 years of RV ownership. However, in this case I’m, reluctant to bend it back into shape because we get better TV reception with it bent at the weird 45-degree angle. Go figure?

Midafternoon, I took a walk down the beach…

…followed by a great meal, some cocktails, and a nice sunset…
…where I spotted a US Navy ship…
…on night maneuvers just off the beach.

Goodnight from the Left Coast!


Saturday, February 3 through Saturday, February 8, 2020-Del Mar Beach, Oceanside, California: Woke to Sunny skies with rising temperatures which burned the sea-smoke off the water, and the sound of waves crashing on the nearly deserted shoreline…

…well, except for these guys.

US Marines undergoing training in the use and operation of Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV). These 64,000 pound tracked vehicles feature 2 inches of armor plating and are protected by a 40mm grenade launcher as well as .50 caliber machine guns.

They are operated by a crew of 3 and carry another 21 marine infantry men and women…

notice the top of their helmets in the back.

Traveling at a speed of 45 MPH on land and 20 knots in the water, the AAV ferries Marines to and from US Navy Amphibious ships for beachfront assaults.

Most folks know of my affinity for sunset photos. Being predominantly a lazy landscape photographer, taking snapshots at sunset virtually insures a nice photo…particularly from a California beach with western exposure.

Well, one evening just before dusk, I walked to the shoreline and began snapping photos of the descending sun, when a USMC helicopter flew into view…

…allowing me the luxury of capturing my most dramatic sunset photo in years! The position of the Marine Cobra above the sun setting on the Pacific which was throwing sunset rays to the heavens was, in my humble opinion, the most striking photo I’ve had the privilege of snapping.

Even after cropping away the peripheral areas…

…the photograph still looked pretty cool! Yay for Bill!

Now a warning, I made it a mission to snap photos every evening at sunset during our weeks stay, so an overabundance of these photos will be sprinkled throughout this issue.

And, being an old soul, I couldn’t resist taking a selfie with old sol as she dove for the horizon…

…and yes, I was bundled up as at this time of the evening as it was turning a bit cold by California standards.

Kit and I have camped at this park at least 10 times over the past twelve years of our Excellent Adventures. So, we’ve seen just about everything there is to see, many of the attractions more than once. This year, we decided to primarily stay on base and enjoy our beachfront campsite.

Being on the ocean, especially one that is sparsely populated, makes for a prime venue to fly high performance kites.

The winds are generally strong and consistent, and the soft sand is very forgiving if one’s kite flying abruptly morphs into an impromptu game of lawn darts. During our stay, I was able to spend a few hours every day flying a number of my delta, and parafoil kites!

Kit and I also made it a point to walk the beach a few times a day, either in the morning…

…during mid-day…

…or early evening…

…where we were always treated to…

…a nice sunset! See what I did there? Pretty sneaky, huh?

The town of Oceanside, the home of Camp Pendleton, hosts the California Surf Museum which I like to visit every few years.

Established in 1991, the museum has a great collection of boards…

…from the early days of surfing in California, to the…

…more modern “short boards”.

When the Hawaiian’s brought the sport to California in the early 1900’s when the boards were solid wood and weighed over 50 pounds…

Later, hollow boards manufactured similar to the era’s airplane wings were built…

…similar to the above which was the first board I purchased, from an Abalone diver in 1959.

Next, the foam core boards covered with fiberglass were built, most of which were 9 to 10 feet and weighed about 30 pounds, had one of these as well…

…yea, that skinny dork pictured above was me at age 16.

Later, shorter boards were the rage many of which were under 5 feet and weighed about 15 pounds.

The museum is fairly small in size, but the collection of artifacts, photographs, and stories is second to none. In the gift shop I spied an interesting book…

…which I purchased. There are stories and historic photographs of San Diego surf breaks and the folks that enjoyed riding them…many of them from our era of the early 1960’s!

So, what did Kit do while I made year another pilgrimage to the California Surfing Museum? Why, hang out at the local library of course. Apparently, she’s seen enough surfboards to last her a lifetime! Being that as it may…I highly recommend taking in this exquisite museum if you’re ever in the area.

And to top off the day…

… why another gorgeous sunset, of course…goodnight!

OK, this next segment is “Top Secret”. Kit spent a number of hours during our relaxing stay working on a project for our youngest daughter’s wedding…

…who was married seventeen years ago. It’s a surprise, so please don’t mention it to Suzie!

Walking the beach, one comes across some unique sand formations…

…sculpted by Mother Nature. Also, a few of her…

…feathered friends…

…often waiting to take flight in search of a seafood dinner, either raw, or one prepared for human consumption if the person who is dining isn’t paying attention!

Oh, by the way, it’s another day…so another sunset!


One morning, the tide was particularly high, and the swells had grown to approximately 7 feet.

And the thundering sound of the breaking waves could be felt emanating from the sand as I walked along the shoreline…a unique sensation!

On my midafternoon walk, the tide had receded, and the wave height dropped to a more normal 3 to 4 feet.

Which gave the shorebirds…

…an opportunity to search for newly uncovered morsels.

And, yes…

…this evening offered yet another spectacular sunset!

Now a bit of journal housekeeping, I’ve been asked what kind of camera equipment I use. Well, it’s nothing fancy…

…it’s a Canon G-9X. An admittedly higher end compact camera, however a far cry from a DSLR or other pro-grade equipment. At 4” x 2½” x 1¼” inches, it is easily pocketable which means I carry it all the time. This my third Canon in twelve years (I wore the first two out) and is by far my favorite, as it takes pretty good snapshots and it is always at the ready for any photo opportunity I desire to capture. Hope this answers everyone’s questions.

Well, this brings our stay at Del Mar Beach Resort to a close. So, as the sun hovers above the western horizon which elongates shadows on the sand…

…Old Sol bids us…

…a final farewell!

Kit’s Bit’s: We had a very nice time in Oceanside this year. We took it easy and basically, just hung out on the beach. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as some years. I was able to catch up on a few household things I’d been putting off, in addition to walking the beach each day. The best part of camping here is watching the tanks head out for maneuvers and return in the late afternoon! It’s always a reminder for me of the dedication of our young Marines.

8 thoughts on “Bill and Kit’s 2020 Excellent Adventure, Journal #8

  1. Beautiful pictures Bill, we love the sunset pictures. Great to follow your blog. Safe travels to the next stop! It was so great to see you both here. Thank you for your hospitality.

  2. I always love your journals and am a big fan of your photos of sunsets…and sunrises too…so I was thrilled to see so many in one journal and all stunning as usual..LOVED it! (coffee table book in the future??) …Your stay at Del Mar Beach area looked so relaxing and peaceful…I can see why you extended your stay!

  3. The beach scenes are lovely and so serene. We have been enjoying our own Pacific Ocean waves from our balcony overlooking Waikiki at the Hale Koa. We are back at Terry’s now and plan to travel to our favorite haunts for the rest of our vacation.

  4. Yo Billy! 9Is that CA slang). Great recap of recent adventure. I sit here on my sofa with remnants of a cold, preparing for Thursday’s big snow dump which is delaying our departure to FL. Going down to see The family, Chris and Rachel and precious grandkids. Enjoy the warmth of Florida for a few weeks. See ya in the spring…. from an old ET, you need some tin-foil on that antenna! Ha, ha

  5. you should apply for a patent on that modified antenna!!
    Always great sunsets, one thing for sure they are one of a kind!
    Those armored vehicles reminded me of When I was stationed at Ft Dix in NJ, in Jan.55 except that we had a foot of snow, below freezing temps and no beautiful sunsets.!
    kit! are those baby clothes you’re knitting already?? LOL
    Love the gull and tern pics, terns are one of my favorite birds.
    Great weather here, 50s this coming week, MM bay starting to break up, spring in 19 days lots of robins migrating through already!
    Be safe!

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