Passage Note - s/v Carina

[030831, 1701 UTC,  Commercial Basin (America's Cup Basin) San Diego,  CA, USA,

32 43' N / 117 14' W]

Dear Friends:

After nearly six hours of motoring under light wind conditions (bummer-we envisioned sailing right up to San Diego), we arrived yesterday at 1701 local time and tied up to a temporary moorage (actually alongside a tuna boat near the High Seas Fuel Dock).  We had made it!  It took us almost exactly 12 days from Neah Bay (Cape Flattery) to San Diego.  The trip into San Diego Bay was interesting and somewhat nerve wracking.  There seemed to be hundreds of boats of all shapes and sizes sailing into and out of the bay.  Then there was the occasional cigarette boat thundering in at 40 knots.  Howard was anxious to get home so he got on the cell phone when we passed Point Loma and called to arrange a 1945 flight home.  His company, sailing skills and watch standing were greatly appreciated for our first offshore passage.  Our hostess, Beverly Wilson-Gledhill actually took Howard to the airport!

Intellectually, I knew we were over 1000 miles from WA and the weather and surroundings and people would look very different (I had never visited San Diego), but I was still surprised at the tropical temperature, palm trees and sheer numbers of people.  It feels almost like a foreign port to me.  Les has had numerous business trips to San Diego so she of course wasn't surprised.  It took us some time to get our "land legs" back once we stepped ashore-your body seems programmed to sway to counteract the motion of the boat.

We had the luxury of sleeping in today so we got a chance to catch up on our sleep and alleviate our deficit.  This morning, Les made a killer omelet of ahi, cream cheese and hot peppers and didn't once have to worry about the boat pitching her off her feet!  We feel thankful for the generous help we've received so far from Bill Petterson, brother-in-law of our sailmaker, Sean Rankins, the Seven Seas Cruising Association hosts, Dennis Griffin and Fredricka Taubitz and of course Beverly. Today we regroup, clean the salt and accumulated crud off the boat, find a laundry, some fresh veggies and maybe do some exploring.

We'll be assembling a dispatch with some of our photos that will be published soon.  In the meantime, we have a list of upgrades and improvements to do (for instance-rebed with sealant every fitting and crevice that allowed seawater to seep into the boat during our passage).  We will be in San Diego until about the first of November when the danger of tropical storms passes in Mexico.  We also have to assemble cruising permits, fishing licenses and even make a trip to Tijuana to get reciprocal radio licenses.  We are considering joining a rally called the Baja Haha for this passage that may offer us access to other cruisers and their knowledge and companionship, but the jury is still out on this.

Leslie & Philip with Jake the cat