We left Avalon Harbour at sunset on Oct 28th for a night sail into San Diego. We planned it this way as it was about 62 nautical miles and we wanted to arrive during the daylight hours. Apparently, San Diego has a huge pocket of kelp that accumulates at the entrance that you will need to go way around to avoid.
We started out with 10 to 15 knots of wind and sailed for the first 2 hours, which was fantastic! Then, the sun disappeared over the horizon and the wind died completely. Fired up the iron genny and kept on pushing southward towards San Diego.
We initially had plans to stay at Kona Kai Resort and Marina. It was going to be a little splurge since they’ve got a pool and all the amenities. We booked the slip at the beginning of September. We were assigned a slip and gave them our credit card details and all. We then contacted them to confirm the booking and the slip number to be sure all was still good to go. Ya. Good thing we did. After I FINALLY got a hold of someone, I was told that our slip was ‘given away’ to another boat and that the fellow who took our reservation was no longer with them. I’m assuming that means he was fired. So- we were stuck without a reservation in San Diego during one of their busiest times of the year- the Baja Ha Ha (for those of you who aren’t aware of this one- over 180 boats all converge in San Diego and leave on October 31st for Mexico.) Needless to say, the marinas were full. The ones that did have some space were expensive. I mean extremely expensive. One even wanted $110 a night for moorage! Say what?! I think I’d rather anchor for free, then stay in a hotel for that amount and have my sheets and towels washed for me. Geez. Anyhow, don’t stay at Kona Kai. They SUCK.
At least boat kids rock 😉
We ended up with a slip for a week at the Police Dock for $40 a night which was much easier to swallow. Their shower facilities however shared a remarkable resemblance to those we saw during our Alcatraz tour in San Francisco. These were adoring referred to as the “don’t touch anything” showers. They were BAD. Otherwise, the location is great and the whole dock was full of other boats from various ports who were all heading South to Mexico soon.
It is extremely surreal to be in San Diego. We are LONG ways from Victoria, where we started. We are SO close to the Mexican border (about 10 miles). This is the point where we say “We made it!” It is a pretty incredible feeling and I do think we have earned the right to no longer call ourselves ‘beginner’ sailors. Ha!
San Diego is awesome. It is always room temperature and when it isn’t, it is hot. Our kind of place. Ruby’s too (that’s the sun-worshipping whippet we keep onboard). We got to see our close friends Paul and Kim while we were here who we hadn’t seen in TWO years! A wonderful reunion and we went to check out ‘Old Town San Diego’ with them.
So much fun! Everything was all done up for the Day of the Dead celebrations (Dia De Los Muertos) and was extremely colourful. A special thanks to our friends also for allowing us to send OODLES of packages their way as we stock up for our continued journey and also for the Costco run! Woo hoo!
We have spent just a little over two weeks in San Diego and have stayed in 3 different marinas (Police Dock, Harbor Island West Marina and Southwestern Yacht Club) including 3 nights at anchor in the ‘La Playa’ anchorage which was wonderful! We have stocked up on boat parts, food, starting practicing our Spanish and booked a slip at Baja Naval Marina in Ensenada. We leave Tuesday for Mexico! Woo hoo!