San Diego: More projects and great friends

One of the things that happens when you arrive in a new place is that you spend a lot of time meeting people, going places and – if you’ve arrived by boat – cleaning and reorganizing, both yourself and the boat. And sometimes, fixing things. You get busy and you keep telling yourself that you really MUST get back to the blog to share some of your experiences with family and friends. And then, when you finally DO get back to the blog, you have to remember what happened last week and the week before and … well. Catch up. Or try to. When we left off at our last blog entry, we had tied up in San Diego at Harbor Island West Marina, just a short distance inside the channel and across from Coronado, with its enormous naval base as well as historic hotel. The marina is another of California’s clean, well-managed and reasonably priced marinas. We were happy to tie up to a quiet dock again, since we now had a handful of new projects: #1 Install the just-purchased water maker. Randy was sort of obsessed with finishing certain projects at our last port in the United States.

Doing this would be MUCH easier with ready access to hardware stores and a tool rental shop – Randy needed to drill holes for running hoses, which required a drill motor and a hole saw. The marina is within easy walking distance of the airport’s car rental lots, so renting a car for all the necessary errands was relatively easy. Another nice feature of the marina’s location was proximity to Shelter Island – where most of the marine services are located.

Dear friends from Portland, who also have a residence in Arizona, decided to drive over to San Diego for a visit. We appreciated Mike’s assistance installing the water maker.


Newly installed water maker and additional filter below the V-berth. An open spot where we can keep an eye on it. Water makers benefit from TLC. An insert fills the v-shaped gap above, completing the head of the berth.

We chose a Katadyn Power Survivor 40E.  We installed the additional filter system to extend the range of seawater that can be used from clear open ocean to clean fjords and atolls. It’s rated to produce 1.5 gallons per hour and uses 5 amps, with the additional filter and lift pump. The solar panels can put out just about that much electricity on a bright sunny day. Yeah! “Free” fresh water from the sun.

Later in the week we very much enjoyed a couple of days with both Q’s – Mike and Christine – doing a little sight-seeing and catching up with news before they headed north to rainy Portland and we headed south for what we hoped would be sunny Ensenada.


Mike and Randy spent a morning at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Behind Mike is the HMS Surprise, recently restored.


They toured the Star of India, the last working sailing square-rigger. It sailed around the world 21 times.  It rained in San Diego: Note all the buckets below decks – the Star’s wooden decks had dried out and the seams opened up as she sat in the California sun. There’s a reason the sailors on those old wooden ships regularly swabbed the decks with salt water: It kept the planks swollen and tight.


Mike and Randy take turns at the helm …


Other boat projects completed in San Diego included adding boarding ladder brackets to the port side of the boat. Now we can use the dinghy on either side of the boat.


Randy added a plastic bin to the wet locker bulkhead for small items we need to keep close to the companionway; like another flashlight, a deck knife, shackle key, etc. He had installed the bracket for the engine control handles in Portland. Very handy not to be rummaging for handles in the dark bosun’s locker when you need to start the engine NOW.


The new bin and engine control levers in the “wet locker” for hanging up wet rain gear, life jackets, etc. Our “garage” is behind the wet locker. Every boat needs a “garage.”


Gear for fishing from shore or from the dinghy. High hopes for dinner!

Randy and Mike went shopping for fishing gear at this great place. With a name like “SquidCo” it has to be great.  Definitely the local fishing supply in a beater warehouse in the commercial district, definitely NOT sport fishing tourist! We already have hand-line trolling gear for offshore which caught several fish on the way back from Hawaii in 2010. Randy wants to also fish along the rocky outcrops and reefs when anchored. Mike has been a great resource and adviser on setting up for fishing from the boat and shore.

We left San Diego at 03:15 am for the ~60 nautical mile trip to Ensenada, Mexico. That works out to about 12 hours at our average speed. This would be a one day trip, and we wanted to be sure to arrive in the early to mid afternoon. It’s much easier to leave a place that you know in the dark of early morning than to arrive in a place you don’t know in the dark of night.


One thought on “San Diego: More projects and great friends

  1. One of my favorite ports in the US of A. Spent many varied experiences here. Waiting for the Mx blogs for even more exciting memories. Can’t wait for you to hit the places I have never seen and only dream about. Hgs, Annie


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