Seagulls and pelicans sailed by on the continuous updraft of air over the bluff at South Carlsbad State Beach where our Safari land yacht was carefully positioned last week for a direct view of the ocean. Relaxing sounds of the surf could be heard even at night with the windows closed. Our land yacht, with its two factory installed solar panels that generate amperes from the sun’s energy even through the early morning marine layer, is a self-contained vessel that thrives at this non-hook-up location.
“Calling travel trailers ‘land yachts’ was an old industry tradition dating back to the 1930s,” wrote Fred Coldwell in his article, “Wally Byam’s Last Caravan,” which tells about the sea yacht Caravan built for a retiring Wally Byam by Scheepswerf Westhaven of Zaandam, Holland. (See the article in the Summer 2012 issue of Airstream Life.)
Most days were sunny and we hoisted our main sail (the awning that was recently attacked by a dust devil and repaired) and hung festive banners (papel picado, Mexican paper cutout banners) and a sun screen curtain.
Larry had sewn a striped butterfly fish appliqué (that he had made) to an old sheet, which was clipped to the top edge of the awning valance. Homegrown bamboo poles were inserted in each side casing. This in progress project provided a pleasant, shaded reading area. He also made removable noren curtains with the Chinese Double Happiness symbol and a removable dog gate, both held in place by adjustable tension curtain rods. These provided sun screening, privacy, easy access, and ventilation while keeping the main door and screen door open.
We easily went in and out of the Safari by stepping over the dog gate and holding onto the side handle and door frame.
The curtains could also be used inside to separate the galley and bedroom areas.
Sounds of crashing waves below became appropriate ambiance for my afternoon riveting readings of Rachel Maddow’s Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, Crown Publishers, New York, 2012. The dust jacket proclaims, “Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow’s Drift argues that we’ve drifted away from America’s original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails.” Rachel talks about her book in this YouTube video: “Rachel Maddow’s ‘Drift’ … Premier Book Launch in NYC.”
Besides seagulls and pelicans, military helicopters also flew by occasionally, just as in the desert while we were camping.
Thoughts also drifted by, especially at sunset as I looked up the coast at the smokestack of the old Encina Power Plant. A plan to build a new power plant nearby is opposed by the City of Carlsbad. I had thoughts about the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant just 30 miles up the coast, which was shut down last January due to a tube leaking radioactive water and since then hundreds of other tubes were found to be wearing out more quickly than expected.
As the days grow longer and hotter, we will suspend our camping trips until the fall, and yet still enjoy day trips… and follow the sun, but not bake in it.