San Diego

On Wed October 12 we left Dana Point at 0400hrs (4:00am) hoping to make it as far as Mission Bay just north of San Diego before sunset.  The weather was perfect, 20 knots from the north propelling us

Sailing into San Diego Harbour
Sailing into San Diego Harbour

southward at 6 knots with all white sails flying full.  Our buddy-boat, Nightide was within visual all day, although on occasion about 5 miles seaward of Mayaluga.  We still struggle with radio issues; a repair job for San Diego, as also is the bent whisker pole.  The 0400hr start resulted in me going below to sleep at midday; I slept soundly for over 2 hours.  As the afternoon progressed, it became apparent that our excellent progress meant we could make San Diego Harbour well before dark, and skip Mission Bay altogether.  The last 4 hours into San Diego was fantastic sailing!  The wind maintained strength and “bent” around the headlands so that we were able to actually sail into the harbor and sail the additional 5 miles all the way down to Glorietta Bay.

What a “military” presence!  Many warships were in the harbour, including several aircraft carriers, helicopters by the dozen flying overhead, and military zodiacs zooming everywhere at top speed.  Quite the place!  I particularly enjoyed sailing under Coronado Bridge.  It’s absolutely huge and I remember

Close port-to-port passage past nuclear aircraft carrier #68
Close port-to-port passage past nuclear aircraft carrier #68

driving over it in 2002 on the quest to find a sailboat to purchase.

Anchored just off the swimming beach in Glorietta Bay
Anchored just off the swimming beach in Glorietta Bay
Mayaluga (right) anchored near the Coronado Bridge with Nightide (centre)
Mayaluga (right) anchored near the Coronado Bridge with Nightide (centre)

Glorietta Bay is peaceful, quiet and beautiful however, except for the US national anthem blaring from the military barracks each morning and the incessant helicopter traffic.  We are able to swim in the wonderfully clean and clear warm water, just jump in off the rails!

Each weekend we sail up to La Playa behind Shelter Island in the north section of the bay where we have a permit to anchor each weekend whilst we are here.  It’s much busier up there, but close to the boat chandlers, riggers and major stores.

Monday 24th Karin attends an all-day seminar on “Sailmail and SSB radios”.  I spent several hours with Cliff Lewis at Pacific Offshore Rigging converting a used whisker pole they sold to us.  They allowed me to use their modern workshop to harvest the fittings off our old bent pole.  The new one will function far better.  It is now rigged with an internal halyard to adjust its length.  It is lighter for us to handle as well.  Whisker poles can be a nightmare in high winds and heavy seas as we have discovered, but a necessary evil when sailing almost downwind.

A big “shout-out” to Cliff Lewis and the friendly and helpful staff at Pacific Offshore Rigging is appropriate. I received lots of help and advice free, and when the job was complete I was prepared to walk the kilometer back to the dinghy-dock with the pole on my shoulder.  Instead, Cliff loaded the pole into his vehicle and drove me there.  Unusually great service!

We went to a great “saturday-sale” at Downwind Marine and found some stuff at really good prices that we desperately need.  Items included wheels for the dinghy (so we can get off a beach in breaking surf), navigation-lights for the dinghy (we are using it more regularly after dark with our expanding social activities), captive pins for our rail-gates (long overdue, and we discovered that the correct nomenclature is “handgrenade-pins”), some books on Mexico destinations complete with detailed charts (we found a similar one given to us as a gift by Keith James absolutely invaluable for the US Pacific Coast), and several meters of mosquito and no-seeum netting (which Helen is kindly sewing on Nightide for our hatches).  Downwind Marine has delightful and friendly staff, and we were fed chili and hotdogs “on-the-house” too!  Ah …. and ….. we also found a great wind-scoop for the forward hatch (it is starting to get hot enough that it is sorely needed).  It’s been so hot the last few days that it is not possible to walk barefoot on the deck!  What a foreign concept for us, it already being so late in October.  We heard that at home in Victoria it has been blowing gales over 100kph, and cold and freezing no doubt!

Only a few days remain before we leave San Diego and join the other 150 boats registered for the “Baja-Ha-Ha” rally down to Cabo San Lucas.  The plan is to leave Monday morning at 11:00am October 31st and sail the 355 miles non-stop to Bahia Tortugas. Beach BBQ and other events take place there before we continue on for the 250 miles to Bahia Santa Maria where further festivities are apparently planned.  From there we sail a further 175 miles to Cabo San Lucas where a big “arrival-party” is planned.  Karin and I are both introverts by nature.  The party atmosphere seems intimidating to me, more so in fact than the almost 800 miles of sailing from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas!

Our plan is to continue on up into the Sea of Cortez and make La Paz our temporary “base” until January.  We are delighted that Jim and Anna McLauchlin are joining us between Christmas and New Year, and we are looking forward to spending a few days exploring some islands to the north together with them.

Our calendar is filling!  Get with the program!  Check your available dates and make arrangements to

Sunrise is welcome after several hours of night-watch
Sunrise is welcome after several hours of night-watch
Back from shopping, Karin takes time off in Glorietta Bay
Back from shopping, Karin takes time off in Glorietta Bay

come join Mayaluga and her crew in the warm, tropical, Mexican atmosphere!  Your very own on-deck hammock awaits your arrival!

2 comments on San Diego

  1. Great report, glad to hear your having fun in the sun. yes back here in Sooke we had some high winds and power outage but now snow. Happy sailing.

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