Monday, November 26, 2012

Saint James aka San Diego

We arrived to San Diego (translated from Spanish meaning Saint James, who knew?) on October 30th. We've been here for 27 days! How time flies! Time to get back to sailing! San Diego is a great place to stop for cruisers before heading south. There are a ton of marina stores within 1 block of each other, pieces/parts are easy to get and thus it makes for an easy spot to do boat projects. Since we worked up until the very last second before we left Seattle, we had a list of projects to do on our boat before heading into Mexico. Sure labor is cheap in Mexico, but it's hard to find parts and when you do find them they are surprisingly expensive, and the convenience of the US stores can't be matched. So here we are, finally getting ready to go into Mexico in T-1 day! We are leaving at 5am tomorrow morning.
Evening view of San Diego across from our marina

A few fun facts about San Diego:
- 8th largest city in the US
- Population ~1.3 million
- Was discovered by Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo
- Average temperature annually is 70 degrees
- Has 70 miles of beaches
- Home to Miramar (Marines, Navy, think Top Gun)
- Has lots to do: San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Balboa Park, Skiing (2-3 hours away), Sailing, Beaches, Kayaking, Museums, Black's Beach (lol! If you're into that, it's the largest in the US!) and much more!

So what did we do here?
Boat projects. Tons and tons of boat projects. I learned how to use a heat gun a strip varnish off of all the teak on the exterior of the boat, sanded it and re-cetol'd it all.  Tim also worked on various projects that we didn't have time to do in Seattle. The boat is finally ready for us to have fun and not worry about!

Naked teak in the companion way, stripped by yours truly.
You can see Tim's work earlier this year to the right and left of it,
need to make it pretty and match!
After, not bad!
Heat gun + putty knife = stripped wood.
Didn't realize a heat gun was the man's version of a hair dryer. lol.
Neglected wood under that varnish from previous owners. 
Sad. TLC here we come!
After. Much better! 
Cetol anyone? Several coats of Cetol on the handrails
and life raft cradle. Pretty wood, finally!

When we weren't doing boat projects, we:

Became bingo players. Between Rhythm and Osprey, we won a total of $350 and 1 turkey - lol - Osprey is up $300 + a turkey and Rhythm, $50. You should see us all dob at the Portuguese Bingo Hall on Thursday nights. LOL. Mindless and mind-numbing entertainment.

We fulfilled one of T's dreams of sailing on Stars & Stripes, one of the America's Cup boats! We trimmed it via the grinders and took turns at the helm! The main sail weighs a whopping 350 lbs, and the mast is 115ft tall. The boat itself was 60ft long and very fast. We got her up to 11knots!
T with Stars & Stripes
T & Richard, grinding 
T hoisting the main sail
T at the helm
Fast! 11kt!
Me at the helm, looking fashionable in my Helly Hanson,
the helm is almost as big as me!
The trimmer cubby, they stay in there all race day!
There was a J Regatta that day,
spinnaker city as soon as the boats rounded a certain point on the race course

We went to The Haunted Hotel to get our Halloween on. It is rated one of the of the top 13 Haunted Houses in America by Haunt World Magazine (who knew that magazine existed??)  And it was scary! From walking through a train wreck, to a dark meat packing room, a room full of scary clowns, and other themed rooms, it rocked!

We had dinner at Fiddler's Green where we met David & Camden, who were sitting at the table next to us. We chatted about our voyage and their potential voyage in the next 2-3 years. They were so generous and surprised us by buying our drinks ! We didn't know until they had left, and we had gotten our bill, what a nice welcome to SD! We hope to see them soon out on the seas! Thanks again David & Camden!

We got our Mexican Fishing licenses downtown; required if you have any fishing equipment on the boat! Here we come tuna!

Went to Balboa Park (absolutely stunning with tons of museums, a performing art center and other attractions) and the San Diego Zoo, one of the top zoos in the US.

Photo of downtown SD from Balboa Park

Balboa Park (bridge)

Santa in Balboa Park

Art village at Balboa Park. Cool ground.

Rhythm & Osprey visit the zoo!

This is the inspiration for that plastic thing on your front lawn.

One of my favorites - the Mandrill rocks. Look at those colors!
Beautiful rainbow-colored snout and a blue bum,
truly amazing!

Click to enlarge and
T 'monkeying' around. Ok that was a bad joke.
Gorillas in the mist..errr...taking a nap.
Brian and those large gorilla feet

"Karen" the Orangutan 
Endangered Malayan Tapir
Panda snacking on bamboo, yum!
My favorite, stripes so unique, perfect and crazy, a work of art
Beautiful zebra butts
Santa and his reindeer, where he stores them, at the zoo
He's a beauty!
Yep, even big cats spray! Yuck.
Big ass bird - the California Condor
T, acting as a Condor

Cheetah, where we get the inspiration for those crazy pants
Sudanese Striped Hyena (with large bone)
Southern Warthog, check out those tusks!
Reminds me of The Lion King!
Sloth Bear, from Asia
Mandarin Ducks, love the colors on these guys! So cool!

We visited Cabrillo National Monument and Lighthouse and had fun with the self-timer on Brian's camera.
Our Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo statue pose

Pure Charlie's Angels

Hit up Mission Beach (busy/fun beach, think white sand, girls in roller skates, a roller coaster, etc) with our friends Hillary and Bill.
Bill & Hillary

T & K

Had a lovely Thanksgiving with our new friends.
Glen, Tracy, Dane, Kirstin, Hillary & Bill

It's been a great few weeks here, but it's time to move on and start our real trip now that our projects have been completed. We're off to Ensenada to check in to Mexico (62 nautical miles) and then we're heading south to Cabo! Let the trip begin!! FINALLY!  The next time we write it'll be from Mexico using our Banda Ancha wireless device which is said to be faster than the US? We'll soon find out!


  1. Looks like you have been filling your time with adventures and new fun friends!! And we are so happy to hear that your boat projects are finished and that you are now on your way to truly relaxing!! Sounds like we won't be talking much from here on out - but will stay in touch via email or blog. We look forward to staying connected through your posts and photos! Thank you both for sharing your adventure with all of us! (And by the way, I was one of those zoo visitors here in Seattle that found out firsthand about the distance of cat spray! The snow leopard was cruising back and forth along the fence line (at a distance, of course) - and through the entire crowd, he looked at me. turned around and drenched me with his mark! It was so funny and so gross all at the same time!!!!) XO! Lisa and Rodger

    1. OMG Lisa LMAO!!!! that is so freakin' HILARIOUS and so gross! Thanks for sharing that with us and everyone reading this blog - so awesome!! Sending an email to you shortly with contact info! XOXO

  2. You made it!!! Nice work on the boat bro!