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
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
Mexico. There are moorings here but they also stay pretty
There are also some anchorages but they limit you to 72 hours and only
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
two days. That brings us to Wed. We can't use the anchorage
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,
tangle) is taking place while we are attempting to get our Mexican
insurance, our visa, our fishing licenses, our amateur radio permit for
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
From where we are docked, it is about 1¼ mile to the nearest
services. We walked to West Marine only guessing that there had to be
"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
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
mail forwarding person and requested they send mail to the local post
office in care of general delivery. BUT discovered when she
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
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
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.
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
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.!
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!
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
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
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
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
to some beautiful places that we may have missed on our own.
Thank you John and Kneshia.
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
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
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
We have found a nice marina with a pool and Jucuzzi available.
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
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
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
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
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:
DATE HR dir/deg range(kt)
---- --- ------------------ -------------------
12/30 20 WSW 245 1 -
WSW 7sec 4 - 7
12/31 02 SW 212 7 -
9 WSW 7sec 4 - 7
12/31 08 SSW 195 13 -
W 8sec 4 - 7
12/31 14 W 274 9 -
12 WNW 10sec 6 - 9
12/31 20 NNW 330 6 -
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!
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...
Report - Where we are now