Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 555 We're in San Diego!!

Here are some pictures of the past few days.  I can get them posted now that we have a better internet connection.  I've even included a new movie of more dolphins playing off our bow just North of San Diego Harbor.   They stayed with us for a good ten minutes splashing through the bow wake.  Really cool!!  
Downtown Los Angeles in search of scuba equipment.(remember, if you click on the picture it gets bigger for a better view)
The view from Jay and Terri's house in Malibu.  A great couple and a house with a great view.  With luck, we will see them again down South.  It would be fun to sail around for a while together.
Off Dana Point and it's marina.
Looking North up the coast from Dana Point.
Looking back down the channel into Dana Point's anchorage.  They have two breakwaters.  One makes a channel leading into the anchorage and a second protects the marinas from any kind of swell.  One of the most protected marinas we have ever seen.
The Dana Point Yacht Club and part of the west marina.
The paddle boarders at practice.
Do we see a problem with the authenticity of this boat.  Since when did ships like this have inflatable dingys hanging off them?
A home over looking the marina.  Ah, California architecture.
Approaching San Diego yesterday with total overcast skies.  One of the first overcast days we've had in quite a while.  They are suffering here with temperatures in the 50's.   Boo hoo for them.  They have no clue about cold.

We made it into San Diego yesterday about 1600 after a full day of motor sailing.  We upped the anchor at 0620 and took off for the 53 mile trek to finally get to San Diego.  The day dawned cloudy and stayed that way all day.  I think we saw a bit of sunshine once just as we entered San Diego Harbor.

Our stay in Dana Point, while short(one night) was quite pleasant.  A nice anchorage with good holding ground.  Our CQR anchor bit in and set hard, just the way we like it.  The anchor chain was straight out the stem fitting at the bow and at a nice tight angle.  No give as we tried to move backward setting it.

We'd prepared for a day of sailing as(again) the weather people had forecast winds that would allow us to sail instead of motor.  They were close this time.  A sailboat needs winds the are about 45 degrees off its bow(pointy end of the boat)at a minimum.  The winds we got were about 35 degrees.  It allowed us to get some energy to drive Zephyr but not the full force of what we needed.  We put up the sails(all of them, even the forestaysail)and with the motor going, we moved along at about 7 knots.  While they didn't make us move that much faster, they did stop the rocking from side to side that we get from the swells as they hit our side as we moved through the water.  With so many miles to go and only so much sunlight, we had to make good time.  We could have angled the wind so we could have sailed, but then we wouldn't have gotten to San Diego during the day.  And again, it is not recommended that you enter an unknown harbor in the dark.  To many things can go wrong.

I'd called the Shelter Island Municipal Docks to check on availability and found that they had three still available that would hold Zephyr.  We were still two hours out so knew we couldn't dawdle.  There are only so many slips at the docks and since they go for only $10.50 a night, they fill up fast and with Zephyr's size, it makes slips that much harder to find.  When we pulled in, we got the last slip!!  If we had missed it, we would have had to go farther up the harbor and dropped an anchor until a slip became available.  As it was already 1600, we would have been dropping the hook in the dark by the time we got there.  We're now at 32 42.563N  117 14.045W for those of you following us on Google Earth.  Oh, if you are using Charlie's Charts for the US Pacific Coast area, the phone number listed in the book is wrong for the Municipal Docks.  It should be 619-686-6227.   We squeezed ourselves into the end of a long linear dock just past another long sailboat.   As we headed in, lots of other sailors came running knowing that where we were heading would not be an easy fit.  I'd stepped it off when we came down to look at the space--just about 50 feet(maybe).   Now 18 months ago, there was no way we could have gotten ourselves into this space.  We've had a lot of practice in our travels and we put her right on the mark coming in.  We got complements from everyone on shore.  Nigel and Kay on Arena(they are right behind us) were nice enough to move their boat backward a bit to allow us a bit more room.  As it was, the depth sounder was having a cow telling us that we were in water a bit too shallow for it's comfort.  With low tide still coming, we only had a foot under our keel and the tide still had 1.6 feet to go down. After Nigel moved back and we shifted Zephyr, we had 2.6 feet below us.  That gave us 1 foot to spare.  We have a place to stay till we are ready or ten days which ever comes first.  Ten days is the length that you can stay here.  We're making lists of everything that has to be done.  I'll be making the car rental reservations this morning.

We wanted to be in San Diego for "Cruisers Week" at Downwind Marine, one of the local chandeliers.  It starts off with a pot luck dinner this afternoon and goes on with seminars throughout the week.  Tomorrows is on "Pressure Cooking for Cruisers".  Tuesdays is "Offshore Safety:Gear you need and how to use it".  Wednesday has "Cruising on 12 volt batteries, alternators, inverters: tips and troubleshooting".  Thursday has "NOAA Weather Service for mariners".   Friday ends with "Outboard motor needs for cruising in Mexico".  All the seminars are during the evening so the days are free to get errands and tasks done.  

A fellow cruiser was just on deck with Tracy looking at our rigging.  He just replaced his in Port Townsend.  Our Forestay and Backstay are way to loose.  Tracy had always felt they were as the genoa sail on the bow tends to sag on the wire that makes up the forestay.  So the genoa will have to come off and the wire adjusted tighter.  We'd discussed it with Brion Toss when he inspected the rigging back in August before we left.  He'd replaced our rigging late last year while we were in Port Townsend.  He thought it was all right.  Another project to get done.

When we pulled in yesterday afternoon, we found that the zinc on our propeller has fallen off again.  We'd installed a new one before we left Port Townsend on August 15.  We got about 11 weeks off this one.  At least now we have scuba gear so we don't have to hire a diver to replace it.  That saved us a quick $100+ bucks.  While I'm down there, I'll be inspecting the rest of the hull just to be sure that all is well.

Well, that's about it for now.  We're just 15 miles from the border of Mexico!!!  Final prep is the name of the game for the next 10 days or so.  We have to be ready for the jump by then no matter what it takes.  Keep your fingers crossed.

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