At long last we have arrived in San Diego. We have been here a week now.
We left Long Beach a week ago under a small craft advisory, which is something we never do, however we were anxious to leave the strange, Disney-like setting of Rainbow Harbor. I have yet to find a satisfactory official definition of “small craft advisory”, but it generally means the forecast wind and/or seas may be hazardous to a small craft. I am not sure what the definition of a “small craft” is, but I am pretty sure we fit in that category. Although NOAA had issued a small craft advisory, Passage Weather showed that our 32-mile route from Long Beach to Dana Point would encounter reduced winds and seas in the lee of Catalina Island. This worked out pretty well, although we didn’t have quite enough wind to sail and there were big sloppy seas. The last hour or so we got the full brunt of the 25-knot winds and 8-ft seas. We were pretty glad to get around the breakwater into Dana Point and gave each other a high five – apparently prematurely as we then promptly went aground on a shallow spot (briefly thank goodness) and it took five attempts to get the anchor to set. But at least we were in, and the well-protected anchorage was free.
After two nights at Dana Point, we headed out early (4 am) with our friends on Konami to make the 65-mile trip to San Diego. When the sun came up we threw out the fish getter and fish no. 10 (a nice little bonito tuna) came aboard within 6 minutes. Had a couple hours of nice sailing, and arrived in San Diego by 4 pm. We had applied for and received a permit for the weekend-only anchorage at La Playa Cove so we went straight there and anchored. San Diego tightly controls where and when you can anchor – no doubt due in part to the large number of derelict boats. I guess they figure if they keep people moving from anchorage to anchorage and least that will ensure all boats will at least be able to move under their own power. At an average of $1,000 month for a slip, that certainly keeps the riff raff out of the marinas!
You can only stay in the La Playa anchorage from Friday morning until Monday morning so on Monday we moved over to a small public dock which is known as the police dock since it is adjacent the Harbor Police dock. It is a several mile walk to the nearest store, and there is no wifi or laundry facility so it is not ideal, but at $1/ft per night it is the best deal available in San Diego.
While in San Diego we have been able to connect with friends both old and new. Scott of Windswept who we first met in Newport, loaned us his car and had us over for a BBQ. Nancy, a dear friend we met on our last cruise, and who is a realtor here in San Diego took us to dinner and delivered our mail after we had it sent to her house.
Tomorrow morning we will leave early (4 am) to make the 65-mile trip to Ensenada to arrive before dark. Looks like we will be there a few days before heading south again as there is some weather coming in. Once we leave Ensenada, there is not much in the way of civilization until you reach Cabo San Lucas, which is about another 1,000 miles south. We plan to bypass Cabo and go straight to La Paz, so it could be a few weeks (or a month?) before I update the blog. We will miss the big family Thanksgiving dinner, but friends and family will be in our thoughts.