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Old 10-02-2016, 18:32   #1
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Cruising from San Diego

I've spent my whole life sailing in Long Island Sound and New England, but after two weeks of snow, my wife is lobbying hard for a move to San Diego.

My big concern: other than sailing around San Diego Bay, which I'm sure is lovely, where do people cruise to on, say, a two week vacation?
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Old 10-02-2016, 18:45   #2
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

Lived and sailed Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound many years ago. Now for the past 15 or so years I sail Southern California.

From San Diego you can cruise to Mission Bay, Oceanside, Newport Beach, Long Beach, Santa Catalina Island (with multiple coves and mooring fields), and farther north to Marina Del Rey, the Channel Islands, Ventura and Santa Barbara. Or you can go south to Mexico. Ensenada is about 15-20 hours from San Diego depending on your sailing speed.

Things here are farther apart than on the east coast. The prevailing wind is from the north or northwest. Winters are mild and short. Today in Long Beach it is in the low 80s.

San Diego Bay offers plenty of day sailing and beer can racing opportunity.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 10-02-2016, 19:05   #3
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

One caution, slip fees are out of sight in San Diego in the North Bay. May be cheaper in the South Bay but probably still way more than you are used to paying. Moorings are available at at cheaper rates but may be a long waiting list.

The Channel Islands in the winter are magical. Not a soul around except the Elephant Seals.
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Old 10-02-2016, 19:27   #4
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

Think Catalina Island and the Channel Islands for a delightful 2 week cruise. Heaps of quiet anchorages except for Avalon harbor except during the winter months. Traveling south Ensenada is a 10-12 hour sail. Further south to San Quintin is a quiet little spot not as busy as Ensenada. You will need ships papers, insurance good in Mexico, passports and entry/exit papers to move from one Mexican port to the next along with fishing licenses. Traveling north think about Santa Barbara and other close by harbors. Great restaurants, protected anchorages and nice folks. Also marinas if that is your preference.
We lived aboard for many years in San Diego and ran a successful delivery business from there. Good choice and good luck... Phil
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:25   #5
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

Thanks for the info, guys. That sounds encouraging. All except the high marina prices, but high is relative. Coming from New York, I'm kinda used to high prices, unfortunately.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:37   #6
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
Thanks for the info, guys. That sounds encouraging. All except the high marina prices, but high is relative. Coming from New York, I'm kinda used to high prices, unfortunately.
Your 23' will go in a 25' slip for around $300 a month. Depending on mast height ( for bridges ) Mission bay @ Sea World is an awesome spot. Dana Point Harbor, further north and closer to Catalina and the Channel Islands, is $350 a month but end ties are $250. Really beautiful harbor with good deals on food and great white sand beaches.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:07   #7
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

My husband grew up in Mt. Sinai Harbor pestering all the sailors at Old Man's Boatyard. I learned how to sail there and we sailed to Northport and Glen Cove often.

We moved west in 2014 (although a bit farther north). We've been to San Diego several times to check out prices for marinas, moorings and chandleries. NY is more expensive - if you can afford NY, San Diego will be a pleasant surprise.

BTW I don't regret the move at all. Good luck!
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:31   #8
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

In between San Diego & San Francisco, there are a dozen & a half, or two dozen harbors. In addition to the Channel Islands. And then in San Francisco, there are lots of places to stop & see, as well as The Delta, where people spend months exploring things (or even living there; in marinas, or at anchor).

Although, as has been stated, things are further apart.
That & California's regulations & laws can be a bit excessive, as well as oddly/selectively enforced. In addition to varying from harbor to harbor.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:37   #9
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

Jalmberg, the weather will be the biggest draw to San Diego. Pacific coast sailing, as already pointed out by Tayana42, you'll find destinations are further afield than your current experiences on the east coast. Slip fees in the northern end of San Diego Bay run between $17.50 - $18.50/ft, with all the marinas pretty much in concert with their pricing. The south bay (Chula Vista) may offer less expensive berths with the trade-off of being an hour or more from the ocean. Moorings (The San Diego Mooring Company) in the bay are less expensive ($130-160/mo., depending on location), but the waiting list used to be a year or more. Good luck with your decision to move. Should you make the move, plan on year round sailing and no need to winterize your boat.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:48   #10
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

I have my Freeport 36 berthed in San Diego, on Harbor Island. Paying $700+ for non-liveaboard.
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:45   #11
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

I spent 8 years as a liveaboard in SoCal.

If you enjoy casual sailing ~10 knots of wind, and sailing weather almost 350 days per year, San Diego is the place to be.

If you enjoy rails in the water sailing all of the time, maybe not the place to go.
If you enjoy wearing foul weather gear all but 2 months out of the year, San Diego may not be for you as you will forget which locker has the gear stowed on the one day a year you may need it.
If you enjoy riding and timing major tides and currents, it may not be your place.
If you prefer cheap old rickety single pear non-floating docks and can't stand nice dual finger concrete floating docks, you may want to reconsider.
If running aground in the ICW, inlets or bays is something you have a real thirst for, you may want to stay away from San Diego.
If you have an allergy toward 65-70 degree weather all year round, stay away from San Diego.
If you enjoy dodging ships and barges all day long, maybe not your place.
If crossing a bar or dealing major swells and seas coming through inlets is something you truly enjoy, then head north.


Someone made mention regarding the costs of slips. I would say they are actually a better value. You don't have to run the AC in the summer, a small cabin heater to take the chill out of the low 45 nights. You can sail your boat all year round and don't have to call in sick just because the weather is good. Easier to schedule cruises around timetables, not the weather. No bugs, snakes or alligators to deal with. Most of the marinas have nice floating concrete docks with fingers on both sides and huge clean bathrooms.

The downside is boredom if you like any of the above, lobster pots, and kelp. A few ships and subs to deal with, but depths are such that you don't have to share a small channel with the few (in comparison) there are.

What I miss most is getting on the water on almost any day of the year.
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Old 11-02-2016, 14:57   #12
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

Have you considered other intermediate choices in order to acclimate to the transition? Florida perhaps. Reportedly it works well for New Yorkers.
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Old 11-02-2016, 16:53   #13
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

Gosh, it does sound like it will take a major effort to adapt to the San Diego environment. I hope we are up for it ;-)

Florida is NOT an option. Not our kind of place.

Well, I must say from all the comments, it sounds amazing. We will be selling our 23' wooden yawl, because she really is a New England boat, and buying something more suitable for southern CA.
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Old 11-02-2016, 22:11   #14
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

You know there's always the Pacific Northwest. Checking moorage at Anacortes yesterday for a 42' cutter - quoted $11/ft. Closer to Seattle, at Fisherman's terminal it was $490/month. Yes it is not as sunny and you will need your foulies more than in San Diego, but it doesn't snow often and the day sailing is pretty good. The 2 weeks off are great - San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands just a 1/2 day sail away.
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Old 11-02-2016, 22:52   #15
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Re: Cruising from San Diego

From San Diego for two weeks I would just head straight up to Santa Barbara first. Its about as far north as you need to get to and if you head straight there first you've done pretty much all the "slogging" to windward you will need to do for the rest of the trip. Its 82ish miles from San Diego to Two Harbors and another 82ish from Two Harbors to Santa Barbara. If you start out from San Diego at sunset you can get to Two Harbors before the winds start to pick up the next day and take a nap. Start again from Two Harbors at Sunset and again you don't have to beat the winds when they're strongest as you get to Santa Barbara.

After you get to Santa Barbara there's plenty of things to do as you hop back downwind towards SD. I would check out Latitude 38's SoCal Tata itinerary as an example. Though I would definitely spend more time at Santa Cruz Island...and totally skip Paradise Cove.

www.socaltata.com/itinerary.html

The basic idea is there's plenty to do in SoCal for two weeks.
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