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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I'm looking for anyone who sails near San Diego to chime in. I've been an east coast sailor my whole life and grew up cruising (and still do) the Chesapeake Bay. I know there aren't many places like it and that Southern California is nothing like the Bay. However, there are a lot of sailors in San Diego, and I was wondering if there is any cruising there. Is it only daysailing and racing? What's it really like to own a boat in that area?

I realize it's different, but at least there IS sailing (compared to much of the US), so I'm curious to know about the reality of what it's like.

I saw another thread on this from a few years ago, but that was specifically about destinations. That's part of my question, but also want to understand the bigger picture of what the area has to offer to sailors/cruisers.
Thanks!
J
 

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Anyone? Anyone? :)
Jos--

In San Diego there is day sailing on the Bay and only limited near term cruising opportunities, south perhaps as far as Ensenada, northerly along the coast perhaps as far as Dana Point or Newport and northwesterly to Catalina tho' that is a fairly long haul. Most of the activity in SD is day sailing and/or inside or outside racing. It is much different than your home territory. For more, click over to ActiveCaptain.com, sign up (for free) and you can find quite a bit of information on the interactive charts of the area.

FWIW...
 

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Pretty much agree with svHyLite.

There are lots of sailboats in San Diego and lots of sailing going on.
On San Diego Bay and out past Pt Loma into the open ocean.
Winds are generally light, 15 knots is usally a lot of wind here, but of course
it does higher on occasion.

There are few places to anchor for the night or a weekend in the bay and you can also run up to Mission Bay and anchor there.

San Clemente Island is 60+ miles from San Diego, controlled by the Navy so the anchorages are shut down from time to time. Seems to be more frequently these days.

Santa Catalina is a bit further.

Ensenada to the south provides the first protected anchorage as well as as marinas to check into if desired - ~60 miles south of the border.

So weekend trips are limited.

But active racing community, beer can racing on Wed in season. And the weather is good year round.

Marina space has opened up the past few years. So getting a slip is not the issue it was a few years ago. I think all the marinas have open slips in most sizes. But slip rates have not come down.

Regards
Marc
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MarcHall and svHyLyte, thanks for the thoughts and information. It's just something that's recently come up, though not at all concrete. It could be a great opportunity, but the differences in the sailing area are tough for us. We currently live very close to the water on the Chesapeake Bay here, and our boat is at a neighborhood dock up the road. We just walk over and there it is. As I'm sure you know, there are thousands of miles of shoreline with nooks and crannies everywhere in which to anchor. It's hard to beat.

There are many counter points--longer in sailing season, etc., but still very different from what we're used to.

No idea what we'll do, but we welcome the information from those who are in the know. Thanks!
-J
 

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MarcHall and svHyLyte, thanks for the thoughts and information. It's just something that's recently come up, though not at all concrete. It could be a great opportunity, but the differences in the sailing area are tough for us. We currently live very close to the water on the Chesapeake Bay here, and our boat is at a neighborhood dock up the road. We just walk over and there it is. As I'm sure you know, there are thousands of miles of shoreline with nooks and crannies everywhere in which to anchor. It's hard to beat.

There are many counter points--longer in sailing season, etc., but still very different from what we're used to.

No idea what we'll do, but we welcome the information from those who are in the know. Thanks!
-J
Jos--Think very carefully about whether you want to give up your home to relocate to the Peoples Republik of California. Not only will you be giving up a great sailing venue. I am (was) a California native (my family even has a street named in one of my fore-bearer's honor in San Francisco). Never-the-less, leaving California in 1992, although difficult, was, in hind sight, one of the best things we ever did. Many of our friends there declared we'd regret the move at the time, and for awhile we did. Now, however, virtually all of them say they wish they had had the courage to pack up their homes, boats et al and do the same. Think about it.

FWIW...
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks svHyLyte, I will say that under no circumstances are we selling our current home in MD, at least for the foreseeable future. Our intent would be to rent our home, and if we decide to come back, well then we can come back. Still, we haven't even decided to go--just thinking about it a bit.

Thanks again for the insights.
-J
 

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Thanks svHyLyte, I will say that under no circumstances are we selling our current home in MD, at least for the foreseeable future. Our intent would be to rent our home, and if we decide to come back, well then we can come back. Still, we haven't even decided to go--just thinking about it a bit.

Thanks again for the insights.
-J
Jos--

If you're pondering a move, consider southwest Florida as an alternative to SD. Your Sabre would be perfect here and getting back to MD would be an easy, even enjoyable, trip if you chose to "rebound". (Actually, some friends of ours make the round trip from the Chesapeake to Florida/the Bahamas and back every year!)

FWIW...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jos--

If you're pondering a move, consider southwest Florida as an alternative to SD. Your Sabre would be perfect here and getting back to MD would be an easy, even enjoyable, trip if you chose to "rebound". (Actually, some friends of ours make the round trip from the Chesapeake to Florida/the Bahamas and back every year!)

FWIW...
Thanks svHyLyte. We frequent FL (my wife is from there) and like to visit, but in this case, the proposed move would be for work. We're pretty happy where we are otherwise, but the benefits as a career move could be significant. So when thinking of it from the perspective of, "hey we might have to move and at least it's coastal and there's sailing," SD doesn't sound too bad. There are many places I wouldn't even consider, whereas SD still has a lot to offer. It's just different from what we have here, and my concern is that we'd effectively be giving up sailing for the most part because it's just SO expensive to own and slip a boat there. Plus, there wouldn't really be any cruising (except longer trips to Mexico, etc.). Giving up sailing is not on the agenda.
 

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Thanks svHyLyte. We frequent FL (my wife is from there) and like to visit, but in this case, the proposed move would be for work. We're pretty happy where we are otherwise, but the benefits as a career move could be significant. So when thinking of it from the perspective of, "hey we might have to move and at least it's coastal and there's sailing," SD doesn't sound too bad. There are many places I wouldn't even consider, whereas SD still has a lot to offer. It's just different from what we have here, and my concern is that we'd effectively be giving up sailing for the most part because it's just SO expensive to own and slip a boat there. Plus, there wouldn't really be any cruising (except longer trips to Mexico, etc.). Giving up sailing is not on the agenda.
Ah. I see. If a re-lo will further your career/profession that could be compelling although ensure you accurately assess the costs/benefits. A "big raise" to re-lo to SoCal may prove not to be when you actually take into account the cost of living, taxes, et al, to say nothing of qualityy of life. N'any case, the sailing in SD can be a lot of fun and one alternative there is joining a sailing club or fractional ownership program (i.e. yacht time-share) as an alternative to owning your own boat. If we were still there, that's something I would seriously consider. In re: cruising, forget Mexico until such time as the Mexican Government gets its act together with regard to visiting yachts. Between the government there and the other issues, we wouldn't consider going there.

N'any case, Good Luck!
 

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Don't believe all the media hype about Mexico, and from people who live thousands of miles away.

I've been sailing, surfing and exploring mainland Mexico and Baja since 1964. The "problems" are overblown with regards to the drug cartel violence, boat issues, etc. The only downside in the past 50 years is the "******-izasion" of many of the areas. Was down in Baja just a few weeks ago and life is still as mellow as ever. If you learn to adapt and follow the Mexican customs and rules, and have patience (remember you are on manana time), you will have no problems. Just follow the rules and leave the ugly American attitude behind.

Mexico is just like any other society, watch where you go, keep a low profile and smile and say hello...in Spanish. The Mexican people are wonderful. Have fun. San Diego is also a great town.
 

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Don't believe all the media hype about Mexico, and from people who live thousands of miles away.

I've been sailing, surfing and exploring mainland Mexico and Baja since 1964. The "problems" are overblown with regards to the drug cartel violence, boat issues, etc. The only downside in the past 50 years is the "******-izasion" of many of the areas. Was down in Baja just a few weeks ago and life is still as mellow as ever. If you learn to adapt and follow the Mexican customs and rules, and have patience (remember you are on manana time), you will have no problems. Just follow the rules and leave the ugly American attitude behind.

Mexico is just like any other society, watch where you go, keep a low profile and smile and say hello...in Spanish. The Mexican people are wonderful. Have fun. San Diego is also a great town.
Do I take it you've missed the news concerning visiting US yachts and the Mexican IRS (AGACE)? Or that of the drug runner Panga's now as far north as Santa Barbara?

I too sailed have sailed Mexico since the mid-60's and these days it's not quite the mellow place it was then. There's no jumping over the border and running down to Rosarito or Califia for $5.00 lobster dinners any longer and Avineda Ruiz (Hussong's) "ain't" quite what is used to be. A little caution/head's up goes a long way, particularly to someone young and new to SoCal, eh?
 

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"hey we might have to move and at least it's coastal and there's sailing," SD doesn't sound too bad."

To me this sounds rediculous. Like you're talking about Cleveland or something. Im dying to get down to San Diego.

I've been to Maryland at least 12 times and it isnt very good. San Diego and Southern California are so far superior that you'll probably laugh at your previous thoughts.

I would take this opportunity in a heartbeat. There are tons of places to sail and cruise they are just different and farther. Google images of the central California coast. It's incredibly beautiful.

And don't forget there are tons of other things to do. You have mountains and desert and redwoods...basically everything except the tropics. What's not to like? I know they main complaint is its crowded, but its not as crowded as the northeast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
"hey we might have to move and at least it's coastal and there's sailing," SD doesn't sound too bad."

To me this sounds rediculous. Like you're talking about Cleveland or something. Im dying to get down to San Diego.

I've been to Maryland at least 12 times and it isnt very good. San Diego and Southern California are so far superior that you'll probably laugh at your previous thoughts.

I would take this opportunity in a heartbeat. There are tons of places to sail and cruise they are just different and farther. Google images of the central California coast. It's incredibly beautiful.

And don't forget there are tons of other things to do. You have mountains and desert and redwoods...basically everything except the tropics. What's not to like? I know they main complaint is its crowded, but its not as crowded as the northeast.
Thanks for the reply and the perspective, northoceanbeach. I can see how it might sounds a little silly. Perhaps I should clarify a few things. First, I've been to California probably 50 times, mostly San Diego and San Francisco, but also LA area a number of times. I'm actually flying back from SD right now, and while I was there, I hung out with some sailing friends who were passing through on their boat at the same time I was there for business. So I got a bit of their perspective too.

I'm pretty familiar with California's beauty and what it has to offer ashore. And the fact that one can sail there makes it awfully tempting, and that's why we're considering a move (career move by itself would not be enough for us). Cleveland, not so much (no offense to my friends from there, by the way). So that's why we're trying to learn more about the sailing life in SD.

You said that Maryland isn't that good, but I beg to differ, although I'll agree that this is subjective and depends on where you go. From a sailing perspective, there are 4,000 miles (some stats say 8,000) of shoreline in the Chesapeake Bay, which is only a couple hundred miles long. That's a testament to just how many anchorages, nooks, and crannies there are to visit--you could take decades to visit them all. As it is, we can leave our slip on Friday and choose from easily 30 different anchorages (or marinas, if we want) within just a few hours sail, many much closer. We've explored remote areas of the eastern shore and all kinds of hidden anchorages that simply do not exist in California, or in most places for that matter.

I'm not saying it's perfect, just that it has a lot to offer. And add to this that our boat is only a short walk from our house, and we live in a community with several swimming beaches, a number of community marinas, several fishing piers, etc. And it costs almost nothing for us to keep our boat here (seriously, almost free). We take afternoon walks with our dog and little one along the shore every single day, just a block from our house, and stroll past the boat while we're at it. And this type of living is accessible here because of that same stat--so many miles of shoreline that it isn't QUITE at the premium you see elsewhere.

If we move to San Diego, there will be no house near the water (far too expensive), no daily walks along the shore (without driving there first), and it will cost many thousands per year in slip fees to give the boat a home. Does this mean we shouldn't go? Absolutely not. I'm just saying that we have a good thing going where we are, and we respect the fact that this would be no small change for sailors from the Chesapeake considering a transition to southern California, even though SoCal has much to offer itself.
-J
 

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That makes total sense when you explain it like that. Hard choice. But hey, even though Chesapeake has lots to offer, California is totally different? Why not go because of the adventure? The different kinds of sailing you will do? Life is short, what if this is your best chance to make a really cool move? You don't know sailing until you have mountains in the background. I'm serious, it makes a lot of difference.

But when you explain it like you did, it makes me understand that you've got a good life going and change isn't always good. Many moves aren't for the better and you may miss the waterfront property and more peaceful life you have now. So sometimes if you have a good thing going its best to hang on to it.

Good luck with whatever you choose. I think both options sound good.
 

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"hey we might have to move and at least it's coastal and there's sailing," SD doesn't sound too bad."

To me this sounds rediculous. Like you're talking about Cleveland or something. Im dying to get down to San Diego.

I've been to Maryland at least 12 times and it isnt very good. San Diego and Southern California are so far superior that you'll probably laugh at your previous thoughts.

I would take this opportunity in a heartbeat. There are tons of places to sail and cruise they are just different and farther. Google images of the central California coast. It's incredibly beautiful.

And don't forget there are tons of other things to do. You have mountains and desert and redwoods...basically everything except the tropics. What's not to like? I know they main complaint is its crowded, but its not as crowded as the northeast.
Having been to SD and California greater than 12 times certainly doesnt qualify me to make such a broad sweeping statement as San Diego and Southern California are so far superior that you'll probably laugh at your previous thoughts.

The last time my wife and I sepnt in the San Diego area was to look at in terms of retirement. My impressions were very favorable to the climate, the vistas etc.

The traffic is the terrible ( even compared to the DC raea from which i travel daily. and the cost of living is bordering ridiculous. As far as sailing we have charter an number of times in SC and San Fran area and the sailing while great for ocean sailing is very boring and mundane compared to the many small towns, rivers, creeks of the Chessie or even the same further north in New England which is really close enough to travel back and forth to eaily. NOte on the right coats you can go north and south while on the left coast its a one directiuonal trip unless you detour to Hawaii.

There are very few museums and historical places close together. And then there is the cost of living again. I would live in Seattle before California. Better sailing with far more opperetunities for places to explore.

But actullly the east coast is best for me. So many places to see you never have to visit one twice. So many sailors to meet. From the Carribean to Maine, and where best to situate yourself...in the middle...the Chesapeake.'

Dave
 

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the weather in sd appears great. dont winter there.
we sail to mexico for a reason.
as far as the troubles with yachts in mexico at present is a combination of banjercito agent and boat owner writing wrong dates.... and the resulting mayhem involved as this takes many years to rectify. some have other problems. some never got tip,. omy. go figger.and some had falsified papers.. omy could it be.....

considering how many nonmexican boats are in mexico, the numbers that were tagged was miniscule.
 

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excuse me, but someone said ensenada is an anchorage..it is not an anchorage. it is a port of entry with marinas and a marina cooperativa that prevents anchoring in bay of ensenada,. sorry., no anchoring unless it is during newport to ensenada race week. only then and only with port captain and marina consent...oboy isnt that fun. has been like that for over 5 years.
catalina is closer to san diego than is san clemente. use a chart to plan your trips.measure mileage..not many are day trips.
 

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I guess I'll throw my 2 cents worth in. I've sail Southern Calif for over 35 years. The last 5 in San Diego. Mostly day sailing. I sail to relax and sailing in the harbor isn't relaxing to me, you have to have your head on a pivot in the afternoon. It is an awesome harbor, lots of things going on. Navy ships, including subs & air craft carriers coming and going among a host of other things. I love to get going early in the AM, I motor sail out when the harbor is quiet so I'm past the kelp beds when the wind starts. Lunch often under sail sometimes with dolphins near by. As far as cruising, as others have mentioned there is Mexico, but if you want to stay in the US many anchor in Gloretta Bay in SD Harbor or go up to Mission Bay. Oceanside, Dana Point & Newport are destinations. If you want to take a week or more you can work up to Catalina then head out to the Channel Islands where, with a permit, you can do some hiking. Not many anchorages along the mainland but quite a few out in the islands. All the info is on the web.
 
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