Friday, November 28, 2008

Arrival in San Diego

We made it into San Diego harbour a couple of days ago. We sailed in the afternoon from Dana Point with a nice beam wind, which died away around sunset and disappeared entirely around 2 am.

Spectacular sunset near Mission Bay - an indicator of rain to come.

We took down the sails, put on our anchor light, and retired below leaving the boat to wallow in the light swells about 10 miles from the entrance to San Diego harbour. Two hours later we were awakened by a shout of "Anybody below?" and a strong searchlight from the deck of a coastguard ship. Rani and I staggered on deck awakened from a deep sleep and tried our best to answer a barrage of questions about where we were coming from and going to. We must have satisfied our interrogators that we were not smuggling illegal aliens (we were only a few miles from the border) because they sped off toward Mission Bay, leaving us to raise sail and carry on to San Diego.

As we approached the harbour we heard helicopters and could just make out the outline of a huge ship a few miles to port. It turned out to be an aircraft carrier and the choppers were practicing lifting and transporting tethered loads from its deck to the harbour, passing right over Ladybug.

Helicopter transferring load during exercise.

Just as we entered the harbour mouth, a military police launch came tearing down on us and cautioned us to stay outside the channel leaving 500 yards between us and the carrier. Click here for a video of the aircraft carrier sailing past us.

Aircraft carrier with escorts.

Rani looking surprisingly fresh after an eventful night at sea.

As the aircraft carrier passed us on our right, a zodiac appeared on our left with a dolphin alongside, which actually jumped completely out of the water! Not sure if they were training the dolphin, but they certainly fed it a lot of fish.

Dolphin and friends.

Dolphin being fed.

We checked in at the police dock and arranged to stay at the dock for 4 days while we left Ladybug to visit Rani's cousins in Oceanside for Thanksgiving. We are tied up in the Point Loma area on Shelter Island and found a very pleasant waterfront hike nearby as well as some good chandleries and marine related businesses.

Beach front walk - Ladybug is tied up a mile or so to the right of the picture.

Colourful landscaping in San Diego.

This lobster is reputed to be 80 years old! (photo taken in Dana Pt)

1 comment:

Ian Bull said...


You could have taken on the carrier. It didn't look that tough!!!