Sunday, December 12, 2010

San Diego (2010)

After we arrived in San Diego, we spent a few days relaxing, and getting the boat cleaned up.  San Diego is the largest city we have sailed into and it took us a few days to get our bearings and figure out where we could provision and how to get around town.  Fortunately, people in San Diego are very friendly and would go out of their way to help us find things. 
We had quite a few boat projects to do and wanted to get as many of them done in San Diego as we could since we weren’t sure how easy it would be to find supplies in Mexico.  The first project was to haul Saviah out of the water, so we found a boat yard on nearby Shelter Island.  We spent five days in the boat yard.  The first order of business was to apply Saviah’s name and hailing port stickers on the hull.  We also had to enlarge our engine intake through hull to provide enough sea water flow to power the engine and the desalinator.
Then we started the sanding.  Much of the exterior teak that had remained uncovered was starting to show the effects of four years in the elements.  Since the peeling and pitting was too far gone to repair, we needed to sand it down to bare wood.  While she was out of the water, we also needed to clean the bottom, put another coat of paint on, and replace the zincs.  After five very long days, she was ready to be back in the water.

Early the next day, we hopped on a plane and headed to Houston to visit Andrew’s family.  It was good to see everyone.  We celebrated Andrew’s dad’s 60th birthday early since the whole family was together.  When we got back we decided to save some money and move to the mooring balls near downtown.  They are only $7/day to stay and it was in a good location near downtown.   They have dinghy docks there, so we rowed to shore a few days a week.

During our stay on the mooring balls we spent about half our time working on the boat and researching Mexico and the other half doing sightseeing and walking around town getting supplies.  We bought a one week pass for Balboa Park, which got us into the zoo and about a dozen museums.  We spent a day at the zoo and a couple days walking through the museums and the rest of the park.  We also went to the usual tourist attractions, including Old Town San Diego, the Gas Lamp district and Little Italy.

Thanksgiving Day in San Diego was a gorgeous day, with 65 degree weather and sunshine.  We spent the morning walking around the waterfront, and had a non-traditional steak dinner.  A turkey would definitely not fit in our little oven.

We discovered that renting a car for the weekend cost about the same as a bus pass, so we decided to rent a car for three days and do more provisioning.  It was very nice to be able to put groceries in the trunk instead of in our backpacks.  While we had the car we visited Coronado Island and walked around the Hotel Del Coronado, which is a beautiful hotel built in 1888.  They had an ice skating rink set up.  It was interesting to see people ice skating 100 feet from the beach wearing shorts and t-shirts while Christmas music was playing. 
After two months in San Diego, we are ready to head to Mexico and to some warmer weather.  We put in a lot of hours on boat work over the last two months, and we are ready to do some relaxing for a while.  We think we have most of the systems where we want them.  Hopefully we will just have routine maintenance to deal with going forward. 
After we head across the border, we plan to stop in Ensenada first to clear customs.  This is about 60 miles from San Diego.  Then we’ll head to Cabo San Lucas and up into the Sea of Cortez.  It is about 900 miles to La Paz, and we are hoping to be there by Christmas.