We are in San Diego and wow is it a beautiful city. I had forgotten how large the bay is in San Diego. There are loads of marinas and mooring fields here and a huge military presence. As we were motoring in I was suddenly feeling rather patriotic with all the helicopters flying overhead, the military transports filled with uniformed men headed offshore and all the radio traffic between copters, aircraft carrier and boats.
All the radio traffic gave us the great bonus of unexpectedly hooking us up with Larry and Karen on Panta Rhei. As we motored south from Dana Point we heard the military announcing that they were doing live fire operations offshore. We figured we had better double check the coordinates before we blundered in unannounced. So we called in on VHF 16. As we signed off happy to know we weren't about to be shot out of the water by friendly fire we were totally surprised to hear a reply back....."Island Bound, Island Bound, Island Bound this is Panta Rhei. Come in."
Karen and Larry lived down F-dock from us at Shilshole and left just ten days ahead of us for SE Alaska. We ran into them just once in SE, unexpectedly in the little town of Elfin Cove and we had been wondering when we would find them again. Turns out that they were en route to San Diego the same day we were making our passage there and had picked up our VHF transmission. Their friends Kirk and Debbie on Kela were in San Diego and had already made arrangements for them to stay at Marina Cortez with them. We called and were given a d-dock slip just a few boats down. Plus they got a great deal of only $25/night which was passed on to us as well. When we arrived I had to give them a hard time. After all, we were just 30minutes behind them but they had a ten day head start!!
They had another friend, Ron an ex commodore of the Puget Sound Cruisers Club who was in town on business so we all loaded into his rental car and went to dinner in down town San Diego to a great seafood place right next to The Midway. After dinner we all went to Kirk and Debbie's boat and talked till nearly one am. Kirk and Debbie did a circumnavigation with their kids a few years ago and so the night was filled with laughter and lots of sharing. Were going out again tonight and I have been looking forward to it all day. Kept my spirits up despite a day of 5 loads of laundry and hours of boat cleaning. Trying to get everything ready for our departure.
In addition to dinners out our time in SD is filled with some pretty big to do lists. This will be our last place to "easily" get parts and supplies. We won't be doing a huge provisioning stop here because there are quite a few rules governing importation of fruits, vegetable and meats into Mexico. Plus there is a big shiny Costco in Ensenada!! But instead we are trying to anticipate things we will need for a handful of projects. Which means the bikes have come out and we have been all over the San Diego area looking for goodies. On the list is: bigger dingy wheels (to make beach landings easier) a fix for the leaky dinghy drain, clearing papers from the Mexican Consulate, Mexican fishing licences, a new lap top, printer cartridges, electrical connectors, make a gasket material, peanut butter, a stop at the local Kinko's to make 12 copies each of a pile of documents and Fed Ex to pick up a delivery of parts and pieces to make magnetic mosquito curtains! We also need a new bilge switch pump, some Imodium, starboard sheets to finish our aft deck seats and laundry detergent. Quite the eclectic mix.
In addition we are trying to talk with some local companies to help us either fix or replace our radar which has decided it is only going to work every other time we need it and a Ham radio/electronics specialists because we are still having trouble with our SSB. Lots to do but we are not in any rush so we will just plug through and then go.
We are definitely beginning to get excited about being so close to Mexico. We are a mere 65miles away from clearing Customs. Somehow entering Mexico seems a bigger deal than going into BC. We have been pouring over the guide books and doing a lot of day dreaming. We are so close. Habla en espanol? Si, hablo en espanol muy poco.
San Diego was another big shift in the weather and in the "feel" of being this far south. Suddenly it is warm, mid 80's, and much dryer. I saw my first gecko yesterday and am packing away another round of cool weather clothes and searching for the shorts and tank tops I stashed some where.
We will be here at least until Monday but will likely stay another day or two as we finish making our way through the lists. We will write as soon as we have an Internet connection in Mexico. Until then enjoy that lovely cool fall weather you are having and I will think of you while I work on my lists and my tan.