SAN DIEGO, California
October 30, 2003
At first light we arrived at San Diego and were immediately shadowed by a US Naval Warship escort for the entire way into the bay. After they decided that we weren't a national threat, we found our way to the Police dock where we had to check into customs.
Although the boats from the Baja Ha Ha had left, all the Canadians had arrived in San Diego at the same time and the marinas were full.
We finally found 3 empty slips at an upscale marina at a very hefty price and got all settled in just in time for happy hour. We ended up staying on Harbor Island for 2 weeks but the Marina had a swimming pool, hot tub, laundry facilities and clean showers, so it was a nice luxury.
We spent the following days preparing for our sail into Mexican waters. Lots to be done. Gord bought and installed a wind generator to power the freezer we had bought in San Francisco. Reefing lines needed to be replaced and a new VHF antenna needed to be installed on top of the mast. In addition, the self steering line had broken and that needed to be repaired. Everyone had work to do on their boats and we all helped each other, which made the tedious jobs a lot more bearable. We did manage to find time for Margarita Night on Ocean Girl (above) for a break in the routine.
Ascension needed a good cleaning inside and out in preparation for the giant influx of groceries that would be the food stores for the next 4 or 5 months while in Mexico. We all shared the expense of renting a car to make getting groceries and supplies easier. We also made use of the car to go downtown and get Mexican fishing licenses and made a couple of trips to Tijuana to get Tourist Visas, Mexican Ham Licenses and money exchanged.
I did massive loads of laundry and prepared meals to freeze for use during the long passage that we were going to make. I also arranged for boat insurance and took care of updating the banking and doing last minute business that was easier done in San Diego than in Mexico.
We enjoyed a delicious farewell champagne brunch at the restaurant near the marina. The next day Reaction left to head south along with Wandering Star, In the Mood (Ken & Sharon), Twix, Dragon Fly, Sowleu and other Canadian boats. Since we hadn't completed our repairs, we bade farewell to Gary & Dale. I am anxious to join the fleet as everyday in San Diego reeks havoc on our bank account. I can hardly wait until we are in a place where there are no stores!
When we were finally ready to leave, severe thunderstorms and waterspouts were forecasted so we were forced to wait in an anchorage until conditions improved. Waiting with us were Anjuli (Dan & Tammy), Promise (Tom & Jane) Epic 5, (EJ & Mike), Matarua (Joyce & Peter), Mira, Adelante and Canadian Freight (Mike & Heather).
The anchorage was right in front of downtown San Diego and afforded a fantastic panoramic view.
Also, the SS Nimitz was anchored to starboard. It is an awesome site by size alone. This nuclear powered aircraft carrier is manned by a crew of 9000.
We decided to pull anchor and finally set sail for Mexico! Anjuli was also leaving at the same time. On the way out of the bay we had to alter course for a huge nuclear aircraft carrier. We have certainly noted the consistent presence of military and naval vessels in San Diego. Warships, coastguard cutters, harbor patrol, choppers and lots of fighter planes taking off and landing.
We headed out to sea and were soon able to replace our US courtesy flag with the Mexican flag...a sure sign that our adventures were really beginning.