Posted 24 September 2010

San Diego is very beautiful. We love the different flowers, trees and architecture. Although we encounter lower temperatures than normal, the sun shone everyday and we are wearing shorts and t-shirts most of the time.

There is a big military influence in San Diego, with big navy and air force fleets. We went to the Maritime Museum, all the historic ships and the USS Midway aircraft carrier. We were very impressed. The Seaport Village reminds us of Granville Island with a beautiful setting, the harbour on one side and palm trees on the other.

We left the police dock for the cruiser’s anchorage. The anchorage is good with a glorious view of downtown San Diego. The only problem we encountered was the dinghy docks. There are 3 dinghy docks for public use, but unfortunately there are lots of derelict dinghies around. It also seems that the local live aboard residents laid claim to these public docks and give visitors a hard time by throwing garbage inside their dinghies while away. We had encounter this and several other cruisers had the same problem. There are several other anchorages, so we will change anchorage, just to avoid these silly antics.

Our outboard engine developed a problem. Dinis did all the obvious tests and services, but still it does not produce the power to put the dinghy into plane. Dinis took the outboard to be checked. Hopefully the problem will be found. We are also waiting for our automatic tiller pilot that was send to Raymarine to be fixed.

We did another small provisioning as we would like to do some sailing to the islands and possibly go to Mexico within the next 2 to 3 weeks, depending if we get the tiller pilot back by then. We will clear customs in Ensenada and then sail about 20 miles south of Ensenada, where we will wait for the hurricane season to pass.

We arrived in San Diego

Posted 15 September 2010

The anchoring at Santa Catalina Island was great. We made up the lost sleep, had a shower, cooked a nice supper and was ready for the overnight trip to San Diego. Dinis was full of beans and did a 5 hour watch, which was great for me. There was not much wind so we hook up our little automatic tiller pilot. During Dinis second watch he noticed that the boat was heading into a different direction. On closer inspection Dinis noticed that we finally lost the little arm of the tiller pilot. What a drag…we had to hand steer for about 7 hours.

We made it through the night, had tons of traffic, but the night was clear and you could clearly see the lights. Again the AIS and the radar outdid itself. What a blessing !! The only problem is these fishing boats steaming towards you, just to change course in front of you. I suppose they scan the ocean for fish and follow that.

We saw some dolphins approaching San Diego which is fantastic. They either welcome us or sending us on a save trip at every port we arrived or departed so far. I hope this continue for our circumnavigation.

We arrived yet again in fog on Sunday morning 12 September, they say this year is the worst as far as weather is concern. We tied the boat to the police customs dock to get info for where to dock the boat and also for me to let Customs and Immigration know that we had arrived. What a great welcome we had. The people is very friendly and we felt at home. We also got our anchoring permit.

We did not much exploring as yet, but done all the boat chores. All the sails and lines are washed, it is amazing the amount of salt that accumulates. Monday our friends Greg and Joyce from S/V Otter came to visit and we spend the day with them. Today (Wednesday) we are going into town so that Dinis can get the tiller pilot sorted out and a few other things that are on our to-do list.

I lost 9 pounds since we left Vancouver...can fit into all my clothes much easier now. Dinis did not loose any weight, but lost about 2 cm around his waist. Been tossed like a salad I suppose has it benefits :)

On route to San Diego, California

Posted 10 September 2010

The trip started early Wednesday morning. We are currently in Santa Cruz Basin near San Diego. Our ETA (estimated time of arrival) is Saturday night, but we will anchor at Santa Catalina Island during the day on Saturday and continue to San Diego on Saturday night so that we will arrive during daylight on Sunday.

I had to go beyond my comfort level in many aspects of sailing offshore during the trip so far from Vancouver. We had all weather conditions from very light winds to stronger conditions, but luckily no heavy weather. This was especially good for me as we manage to do sail changes relative easy (although Dinis was the person going forward in stronger winds).

We had no problems with seasickness, although going downwind the boat roll from side to side quite a bit, Dinis did feel queasy.

A person can not compare sailing in Strait of Georgia in 20 knots of wind with sailing offshore with 20 knots of wind. The ocean swell and the wind strength is quite a challenge as soon as the wind blows more than 18 knots. First you will notice the increase of swell height and then the wind increases.

Sausalito, California

Posted 5 September 2010

We are currently anchored in beautiful Sausalito bay. It is very picturesque and have a European feeling to it. We are waiting for the weather to be more favourable and in the mean time doing some sightseeing and spending time with our friends Ellen and Ian. They also sailed from Vancouver on S/V Kasasa and arrived a day before us in San Francisco. Ellen took the photo of our boat under sail in Strait of Georgia (picture to right).

We met up with friends from San Francisco, Bingfang and Bin. We met over 3 years ago in Vancouver, when they were visiting with mutual friends Jingly and Max. It is such a small world. They spoiled us with a great lunch at a Chinese restaurant and then also took us shopping for provisions. We tried to reciprocate their kindness by taking them on a small trip within the bay area. Bin was steering the boat most of the way and did a great job.

Today and tomorrow I will spend cooking and freezing the meals for the trip. We have found this the best solution. It is easy to warm up and you can eat when ever you feel hungry, without having to spend unnecessary time cooking.

San Francisco, California

Posted 2 September 2010

We left Crescent City at 05:00 am on Saturday morning 28 Aug. We had a beautiful sailing day and night, doing boat speeds 6 to 7 knots and with the currents and some surfing doing 8 to 9 knots. We did a fantastic 140 nm in 24 hours. On Sunday the winds picked up a bit, blowing a constant 18 to 23 knots, gusting at times 28 to 30. This tremendously increased the sea swells. At times the swell was bimini height (about 8-12 feet). We dropped the smaller jib and hoist the storm jib. We were still doing 5 to 6 knots. It was very tiresome and we could not do more than 1 and half hour watches at a time. There was also a big weather system just behind us, so we decided to come to San Francisco instead.

I took a video when the seas died down a bit standing in the companion way looking aft, did not feel too comfortable to film during the bigger sea swells.

We arrived in San Francisco on Monday afternoon 30 August under a thick fog. We could not even see the bridge. We had the camera ready, but only fog with a little bit of bridge visible.

We went downtown today using the train system. Very efficient. We had a great day walking and visiting all the touristy spots. We took a ride back on the Cable trolley. What an experience that was. At the end of the line they rotate the trolley to reverse the direction. It is a very beautiful city and it reminded us a bit of Durban in South Africa.

There are some strong winds forecast for Saturday and Sunday and possibly Monday. We might just coastal hop to San Diego, not sure yet. We will most probably only leave next week.