Us heading out
That's us, heading out!.
George Marcotte took this photo off the coast of Cal. some time back.
Note: George is now (Oct. 2004) in New Zealand, after sailing his Nor'Sea to Hawaii, then on to Oz.
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Position Report 2004-12-31

We sailed into San Diego Harbor just ahead of a storm front about 3 pm.  This place is wonderful.  Besides being very beautiful and the fact
that we can get our first view of Mexico, it is full of activity.  It is very crowded here.  The anchorages are full of boats and slip fees are
the highest we have ever encountered at $9.50 per foot per day.  The day before we arrived, another sailor told us about the municipal (or
police) dock.  None of the cruising guides mention this dock so only by local knowledge can you find this area.  It is limited to a few boats and
the slips are assigned on a first come first served basis.  The cost is $10 per day for 5 days and then $15 for the next 5 days.  After 10 days
you have to leave for at least 40 days.  All boat lengths are the same price.  This is a true bargain.  Most people are struggling to get
final projects finished within that time frame because we don't know where they (and we) will go after that if we are not ready to depart for
Mexico.  There are moorings here but they also stay pretty full.  There are also some anchorages but they limit you to 72 hours and only on Fri,
Sat & Sun (they don't want to spoil the view for the multi million $ homes on the hills).  Trying to put this information all together can make
you crazy.  For instance, our 10 days are up on Mon. I won't be able to get conformation about a mooring until Sun and the out of area
anchorage is full.  The yacht club will allow us to stay at their dock for two days.  That brings us to Wed.  We can't use the anchorage until Fri. so now I must find another anchorage that is not full and where we can spend a few days.  All of this anchoring tango (note I say tango, not
tangle) is taking place while we are attempting to get our Mexican insurance, our visa, our fishing licenses, our amateur radio permit for Mexico,
provision, and finish last minute projects while it is still "easy" (interpretation, in English).

We arrived with no prior knowledge of where these things happen; we began by meeting our fellow boaters to see if they have sorted out some of these things.  Of course, they are all running around like crazy because they only have 10 days also.  We are grateful for the time they gave
to us.

From where we are docked, it is about 1 mile to the nearest services. We walked to West Marine only guessing that there had to be one
"nearby".  What a bonus!  They also provide free Internet access, with two computers and a printer.  Now we are on our way as we can look up maps and information.  We looked up the location of another marine chandlery called Downwind Marine.  They are so incredibly cruiser friendly that they have printed up a brochure with just about all the information you could possibly need at no cost. You can use their phone to call for Mexican insurance, and also use their fax for that purpose.  They have an area in back where you can have your mail forwarded.  What a wonderful group of people!  They also host a morning radio check in and swap meet, and on Wed provide coffee and donuts to cruisers.  They used to have a car that they would lend, but told us their insurance company went crazy when they heard of this arrangement.  They deliver needed items right down to Mexico again at no charge.

We and others begin our day with a "to do" list that seems like a reasonable amount to complete in a day.  And each day we look at the list
and see how little we have completed and how much we have had to fix after we did it wrong the first time.  Examples: one cruiser called her
mail forwarding person and requested they send mail to the local post office in care of general delivery.  BUT discovered when she called the
post office that they are not prepared to handle general delivery mail. Only the main San Diego office can handle this and they are located very
far away.  So her mail will arrive there and the post office will return it to the sender.  She could have had it sent to Downwind Marine and
they would have held it for her to pick up.  She hadn't discovered that info yet.  Another cruiser rented a car for three days.  Downwind will
tell you that a certain car rental agency has a weekend deal for cruisers that is only $10.00 a day. After he found out about this, and before
he returned the car, he did get the deal. But you have to know about it to get it.

We rented a car for three days.  We went to the Wild Animal Park and did our Xmas shopping, provisioned the boat and washed clothes.  We are now just about ready to head for Ensenada.!

Wild Anamal Park, San Diego

At about the end of our stay at the police dock, we got an email from our son Aaron. He was in Iraq, got out of the Army and was able to take
a free military flight to Japan for a two-week vacation. Well….. after about 4 months he said he was on his way home and if we could stay in
the San Diego area, he would visit us shortly before Christmas. As we had not seen him in some time and he had visited Japan, Singapore,
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, we decided we could NOT depart without seeing him! So we managed to find a marina that had an open slip we could rent.   Aaron looks great!

Aaron & us by San Diego Bay

 He had so much fun and says he will go again when he gets the chance.  He had so much to tell us and not nearly enough time for it all.  He wants to meet up with some of his service buddies and must get back to work.  We hope to see him again soon.

We have decided that Aaron must have an angel on his shoulder! He got through Iraq, then, just a week after he returned from Thailand, the
earthquake and tidal wave struck there!  We are saddened at the loss of life in that area!! How fragile we all are.  Without being preachie, the
thing Aaron noticed upon arrival back in the States is how sad everyone looks.  We are all very blessed in this country. 

Not long after we heard from Aaron, we got an email from friends John and Kneshia Zimbaro, who sail the Nor'Sea Poco Anitra. As it turns out
they were going to be in the San Diego area, for a visit, the week just before Christmas.  Being cruiser themselves, they immediately invited
us for a "boat break", a chance to stay at their condo and use the pool and jucuzzi and the suggestion I (Greg wants me to let everyone know
that this is Jill speaking here) jumped on was the invitation to take a bath!! They kept their boat here for many years and were able to take us
to some beautiful places that we may have missed on our own.  Thank you John and Kneshia.
Waiting for the Christmas lighted boat parade

How could we depart? We did manage to move over to the Silver Gate Yacht Club for 10 days and had a GREAT visit with everyone.  The yacht club serves some wonderful meals and host "soup and a movie nights".   It was a bit crowded on Guenevere with Aaron and 4 months of his stuff aboard! But the boat held up well. We were also in contact with a few other old friends that crossed our paths here in San Diego! It was amazing to be walking down the street and run into other cruisers that we had not seen in 3 or 4 years. One couple was on there way back to their boat in Mexico to jump off to the South Pacific.

We spent Christmas day at the Yacht Club.  Jill fixed a traditional turkey dinner for us aboard. We had to move before New Years Eve as they
were having a "Black & White Ball" and needed the slips for members. As the weather is stormy, with 53 mile per hour winds blowing, we decided to wait for a better weather window before we move on.

We moved again to another marina.  We love it here  in San Dieg and I guess so does everyone else, because it is nearly impossible to find a
slip or location to put the boat.  Thank guess we are only 27 feet.  We have found a nice marina with a pool and Jucuzzi available.  Also, they
provide a washer and dryer so I won't have to cart the laundry for miles to wash.

We have figured out the bus system and have traveled around town by bus and trolly.

The one major project we accomplished during our stay here was completing the plumbing of our water maker. We took Aaron out into the ocean and did a test run. We drank the first usable water as if it were a fine wine! This allows us a lot more autonomy.

In looking over our emails we discovered an interesting thing. We are talking to 3 other Nor'Sea boats now out cruising.

1. Ed & Ellen Zacko aboard Entr'acte, now in Spain
2. John & Kneshia aboard Poco Anitra, now on the west coast of Florida
3. George Marcotte, now in New Zealand

With us on the west coast of America, the Nor'Seas cover the world!

For the non-sailors, it's not just the wind or wind direction we are concerned about. We also take into consideration  the waves and ocean
swells. It's not that the boat can't handle them, it's that we don't need to rush and try to start out at least with the best possible weather
for the voyage ahead. When the wind is from the South, we don't want to head out into it, as we would have to motor a lot to make our
destination, or sail for days to tack to it. But, the killer is the waves and their duration. We can, and have had 12 to 18 foot seas with no problem. But, if the time between the waves (the duration) drops below about 10 or 12 seconds, the motion become VERY uncomfortable! So, we are looking for smaller waves and/or longer durations. As we get ready for our next passage, we check the weather at least once a day, or more by downloading data from our HAM radio.

It looks something like the following and goes out about 7 days. This is for the area around Ensenada, our next port of call.

  As of now the weather guy is predicting the following:
                  WIND                  SEAS
DATE   HR  dir/deg  range(kt)   dir/per   range(ft)
----  ---  ------------------   -------------------
12/30 20   WSW 245   1 -  1     WSW  7sec   4 -  7

12/31 02    SW 212   7 -  9     WSW  7sec   4 -  7
12/31 08   SSW 195  13 - 18       W  8sec   4 -  7
12/31 14     W 274   9 - 12     WNW 10sec   6 -  9
12/31 20   NNW 330   6 -  9     WNW 10sec   6 - 10
The rest removed.

As of now, it's rainy outside, and a bit cold, so we are down below, comfy and warm drinking hot tea, and watching a DVD on the computer. We would like to say:

We are thinking of all of you and pray for a better year to come for each and every one of you.  Merry Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all who read this!

Merry Christmas & Happy New year from the Dell Coranado Hotel

Greg & Jill

Our last Position

When we send an E-Mail from Guenevere, our system automatically reports our latest position. If we have sent an email with the last day or so, you can call us up on a map and see where we are! To do this just click on the a link I have placed below...

Position Report - Where we are now