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Old 28-06-2009, 18:17   #1
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San Diego 4th of July

Its getting near one year since I have had my boat in San Diego. I love it down there. I am packing up the family and driving 9 hours to get to spend Fourth of July on the boat. I am trying to figure a good place to anchor so that I can see the fire works. Here is a link to lots of info on SD fireworks. Port of San Diego | Big Bay July 4 Fireworks Show Promises a Big Boom (Updated)
What I am trying to figure out is where is the best place to watch the fireworks and what time do you need to get there to get a good spot. The fireworks take place off of Shelter Island, Harbor Island and Coronado Island. There are also fireworks on the Midway. I was figuring on anchoring some where in the Harbor Island area and then watching the displays and then heading back to my berth in Coronado Cays. I'm not opposed to the idea of spending the night at anchor but figure that most of the good spots are already full.
I guess I should also mention that my idea of a good spot is somewhere where we can see the displays but don't have to listen to someone balsting rap music from there stereo. Also would prefer to not have to deal with really drunk people, but that is hard to avoid on 4th of July.
Please give me some recomendations if youare from the area and/or know of a good spot.
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Old 28-06-2009, 18:26   #2
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There is no open anchorage in the Bay. You can get a permit to anchor in A-9 from the Harbor Police on Shelter Island I believe. There are fireworks in the South Bay as well and even though it's not permitted I think you could get away with anchoring in the old open anchorage that's NE of the Cays.
Mission Bay also has fireworks & there's an open anchorage there but very crowded and as you know a quite a sail from the Cays.
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Old 28-06-2009, 20:01   #3
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Thanks Randy. sounds like I will have to sail or motor around arther than anchor. Do you know if it gets really crowded?
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Old 28-06-2009, 20:14   #4
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Crowded in spots. The weather is variable, I was in the Navy on a ship at the Nav Sta one year, had the family come out cuz I had duty and we couldn't see across the bay. Now we live on a hill a ways inland walk around the block and the fireworks are exploding at eye level about 1/4 mi away.
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Old 28-06-2009, 20:32   #5
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Honestly I would say stay in the Coronado Cays. That way you don't have to deal with motoring or sailing all the way back at the end of the night. This will be my 1st 4th of July in SD and I am working so won't be going out. From what I hear it is a crazy mad house. When the airshows were going on they shut down half of the harbor and people were just anchoring in 70ft of water in the middle of the channel. I assume that is what the fourth will be like as well. From the Cays up to the the bridge - and I'm sure you know this - is only about 15ft deep you could easily anchor there without hurting anyone's feelings. It does shoal up though right before the bridge and the channel to Glorietta Bay. I'm sure you could spend your 4th of July aground on that very shoal enjoying the fireworks next to every other bozo in the South Bay. That's what I would do if I wasn't going to be slaving for the man. Good luck avoiding rap fans. They are always trouble and generally have bad values.
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Old 29-06-2009, 17:11   #6
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We've taken our boat out with friends the past three 4ths in San Diego, and truthfully we've had a great time. Like anywhere it's rather crowded and it's definitely amateur hour, but it's not too crowded to enjoy yourself. We usually sail out in the ocean where there's not much traffic until the wind dies, then motor back into the bay for the fireworks. Watch out for the power boat wakes!

As Randy says, you can't anchor outside of the designated anchorages, and those are all permit only and the permits will have sold out instantly. You may be able to raft with some friends, but otherwise you won't be able to anchor. Unbusted mentioned anchoring the channel, but that was allowed for the Red Bull Air Races only since the channel is closed during the races (we actually went down and anchored in about 45 feet nearly mid-channel for those).

If you can find someone to raft with you'll have a reasonable view of the fireworks from any of the anchorages. If not, the best spots are typically around the Embarcadaro, or up on the north end of North Island by the old concrete piers. We've hovered around in both locations, and like the north end of North Island better. You can usually drift around there for long periods, and you can see all four city fireworks shots, plus Coronado, Chula Vista, and the bigger Sea World fireworks. There typically aren't many boats around there, so the rappers are at a minimum. Enjoy!
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Old 29-06-2009, 18:22   #7
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thanx for the comments guys. What do you think of the area around Glorietta Bay? the entrance from under Coronado Bridge. I don't want to anchor for the night just thought I would drop the hook and watch the fireworks but in thinking about it I'll just drift. Fireworks are less than a half hour so the concrete piers sounds like a nice place to hang out. I'l have to check the currents and make sure that they aren't reall strong on the 4th.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 29-06-2009, 19:30   #8
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Yeah, that'd work. Again it'll get crowded early
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