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Old 28-02-2011, 15:44   #1
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Orange County to San Diego

Hey All,

I am planning a sailing trip to San Diego from Huntington Beach at the end of March. Though I have many day sails under my belt, it will be my first multi-day sail. Any advice on the way? What to expect, ideal anchorages, etc? Im looking forward to the experience!

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AZ
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Old 28-02-2011, 16:50   #2
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

AZ:

I live in Newport Beach and have done that trip north once in a sailboat and south once in a powerboat. There are really only two possible stops between Huntington Beach and San Diego: Dana Point and Oceanside. Either would work to break your trip up into two daylight legs. Or you could sail straight through overnight.

There is a small anchorage at Dana Point inside the breakwater on the west end. Room for 4-5 boats. AFAIK there is no anchorage at Oceanside.

Stay well offshore as you approach Pt Loma. The kelp beds extend way out. Otherwise do the rumb line.

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Old 28-02-2011, 18:31   #3
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

A real good book on the subject is The Complete Guide to Central and Southern California. From HB south there are only a few anchorages. Eight Miles south is Newport Beach while it has no anchorages they can find you a mooring for $5 a night. There is a limit on how long you can stay. Dana Point, another 11nm away, is next and they have two small anchoring spots. I recommend that you go to the one that is at the North end of the harbor b/c the south has a bait barge and the pelicans will board your boat at night and crap on the boat. From Dana Point you will need to go all the way to Mission Bay 48nm away. Then San Diego is about 8 miles away. You will want to stay at the 100' contour to avoid the kelp at Point Loma. It isn't too bad right now as I did this trip last week. The distances that I listed are from approach buoy you will have to alot extra time to get into the harbors. San Diego has inexpensive berthing at the police dock but you are pretty far from anywhere. The anchorages require that you make 24 hour in advance reservations. Here is a link Visitor's Dock and Anchorage | Port of San Diego
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Old 28-02-2011, 19:12   #4
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

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Charlie posted: Eight Miles south is Newport Beach while it has no anchorages they can find you a mooring for $5 a night
I believe I read recently that the famous $5/night rate at Newport had finally gone up to $20/night. Anyone?
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Old 28-02-2011, 19:24   #5
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

Welcome to the forum.

Forget Newport. Your official baptism into the cruising fraternity only comes after you've sailed the entire distance from sunset to sunrise. I can't imagine a more perfect stretch to do this for the first time than HB to SD.

Leave at noon.
Sail all night.
Go wide around Point Loma.
Get to San Diego before dark.
Celebrate.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:00   #6
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

Thanks to all for the responses... they're great! I am planning on leaving at 6am... motoring until about noon (depending on the wind) and then sailing the entire stretch. The anchorage information is just so that I can get used to anchoring and navigating through harbors.

I had someone suggest that I leave at midnight so that I can sail through the night.

Bash, you suggest leaving at noon and to just kick it off sailing?
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Old 01-03-2011, 16:18   #7
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

Z:

What kind of boat? I have a 41 foot boat with 36' of waterline and it took us a full day to get from San Diego to Newport. We left from Coronado Island and arrived in Newport before the marina office closed. I don't know what time we left but we did sail from Point Loma to Newport. The seas were pretty bumpy and my daughter got sea sick for the first time. We must have been doing around 7 knots. It is a nice trip have fun with it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 18:38   #8
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

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Z:

What kind of boat? I have a 41 foot boat with 36' of waterline and it took us a full day to get from San Diego to Newport. We left from Coronado Island and arrived in Newport before the marina office closed. I don't know what time we left but we did sail from Point Loma to Newport. The seas were pretty bumpy and my daughter got sea sick for the first time. We must have been doing around 7 knots. It is a nice trip have fun with it.

I will most likely be sailing a 36' catalina or a 32' hunter... I am curious to see how this is all going to turn out. Not sure if Im going to be fully prepared or not, but it will definitely be a learning experience. What is the difference between sailing South vs North? Should I expect the sail down to SD to be less rough than on the way back?
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Old 01-03-2011, 19:57   #9
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

Sailing down is much better than sailing up. Going down, you'll have (depending upon the day) the prevailing north westerlies and ~1.5 knots of south bound current rolling you gently down the coast. The coast line expands away from you, so sea room is pretty easy to get.

Flip it around and all those benefits are on your nose. Have you considered zipping out to Catalina on your way there or back? You can close haul your way to the islands on the way up. Either way, I'd recommend this book from Fagan. It's a great resource for anyone navigating around Southern California. The picture in my avatar has my Kindle on my lap, and this is the book I'm referencing as I'm checking out some of the little nooks on Catalina's eastern side.

Amazon.com: The Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California: Golden Gate to Ensenada, Mexico, Including the Offshore Islands (0639785801825): Brian Fagan: Books
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Old 01-03-2011, 19:58   #10
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

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Bash, you suggest leaving at noon and to just kick it off sailing?
Well, ideally, yes. You may want to check the forecast before committing to a sailplan.

You've only got about 80nm, right? That's pretty darn doable under sail in 24 hours, even in SoCal. So I'm thinking that it's best to wait until the wind comes up to cast off.

You may want to reverse-engineer the sailplan for a noon arrival, which is often ideal, depending on the tides, et cetera. The big question is whether you'll have wind after the sun goes down. But you should be able to get an hourly forecast that will help you figure your passage time. So the real question, depending on your boat's performance, is when do you have to set sail to arrive in San Diego for lunch the following day.

Anyway, don't pass up the chance for an all-night sail. This is a PERFECT course to cut your overnight teeth on.
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Old 01-03-2011, 20:13   #11
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

If you need any help or info in San Diego send me a PM or ask in here. Glad to help in anyway I can.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:44   #12
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

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Originally Posted by Zartarian View Post
I will most likely be sailing a 36' catalina or a 32' hunter... I am curious to see how this is all going to turn out. Not sure if Im going to be fully prepared or not, but it will definitely be a learning experience. What is the difference between sailing South vs North? Should I expect the sail down to SD to be less rough than on the way back?
The trip back is when my daughter got seasick. She is a trooper and has been in 30 knots of wind and 10 foot seas and not gotten sick. For some reason she did get sick on that run. This was before we got our AP fixed and I spent the whole day steering. I don't think the trip from SD to Newport was too long. I personally recommend starting from Mission Bay and anchoring in the Cove there. It is a nice (though touristy) place to stop with decent resturaunts. It cuts about 3 hours off the journey.

The whole HB to SD roundtrip is a nice way to cut your teeth on night sailing but I would avoid going into SD at night until you've practiced a little. It can be a little nerve wracking. Last time I did it from Mexico we had to turn the gain down on the AIS b/c there were 15 targets in a ten mile range. Mission Bay is easier to get in to and out of. SD main harbor in the daytime is a good experience and then maybe leave at night to get the feeling for night sailing.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:35   #13
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

Great, great advice guys. I particularly think its a great idea to time the sail so that I arrive in SD during light hours. I have already bought the Fagan book and it just arrived today. It looks like it's packed with great content, so I'm looking forward to diving in that as well.

If I anticipate a 16 hour sail (assuming I have about 5-6 knots to work with) then I should probably leave at around 9pm on Wednesday night to anticipate a noon arrival in SD. I will definitely look into going to Catalina on the way back up - that sounds like a blast.
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Old 02-03-2011, 13:01   #14
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

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Originally Posted by Zartarian View Post
Great, great advice guys. I particularly think its a great idea to time the sail so that I arrive in SD during light hours. I have already bought the Fagan book and it just arrived today. It looks like it's packed with great content, so I'm looking forward to diving in that as well.

If I anticipate a 16 hour sail (assuming I have about 5-6 knots to work with) then I should probably leave at around 9pm on Wednesday night to anticipate a noon arrival in SD. I will definitely look into going to Catalina on the way back up - that sounds like a blast.
I agree with the comments about aiming for a midday arrival so you're certain to arrive in daylight. However, I'd also put in a plug for a daylight departure unless you're certain no one gets seasick and the crew is very familiar with the boat. Even downwind, the California coast can be rolly. That can be a lot harder on your internal motion sensors after dark when you lose your visual horizon. Also, while overnight sailing is a delight (at least, to me) it's not a good time for you or the crew to find their way around the boat.

It may seem counter intuitive when you're trying to cover ground, but you may want to either lengthen your routing or slow down for part of the trip so that you can leave in the afternoon and still target a noon arrival. Alternatively, you can stick to the rhumb line and then heave to or otherwise kill time off SD if you arrive before dawn.
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Old 02-03-2011, 14:22   #15
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Re: Orange County to San Diego

More great advice. Thanks David...

If I plan to leave at 12pm on Thursday morning, then I could expect to arrive in SD around 4am and could kill a bit of time until sunrise... That looks to be the best hours for your suggestion.
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