For the last week, we've been tied to the municipal dock at Shelter Island in San Diego. As glamorous as it sounds to be tied up at the municipal dock, trust me, it isn't as glamorous as it may seem. There has been a steady stream of vagrants, drug deals, thefts, and police busts during our week long stay. Last night, Brenda and I were going for our nightly stroll and ran into one of our “neighbors” being handcuffed and carted away (I use the term neighbor loosely. He happens to be living on a boat that doesn't run, barely floats, and is full of stolen goods that has been tied up at the dock close to us) Yeah, glamorous isn't the word I would use to describe this place.

When we first pulled in to the municipal dock, there were a few cruisers that are on their way to Mexico, but the vast majority of the boats here are what we would call derelicts. I've done my best to keep my social and political views off of this blog and today is going to be no different. All I'm going to say is that in our 2 ½ years of traveling through North America, addiction and homelessness has been a problem everywhere. I don't have any solutions that I can offer up to fix the problem, but it's definitely a problem that needs some addressing. Having the police show up on a daily basis to deal with the same people doing the same things day in and day out doesn't seem to be working, and more than anything, it's a waste of time for the people in uniform.

Since San Diego is a jumping off point for cruisers going to Mexico, the police have been clearing out the “undesirables” from the municipal dock and making room for the “deplorables” (cruising boats) who are waiting for the end of Mexico's hurricane season before making their next hop across the border. As quickly as a derelict was evicted from the municipal marina, a cruiser heading south pulled in and took their place. By the end of our week at the dock, almost all of the vagrants were gone and all of the slips were filled with a cruiser who had dreams of tacos on their minds. I'm not sure if clearing out the undesirables and making way for the deplorables is better for the port, but my guess is that at least the deplorables are paying their moorage bill and not stealing everything that isn't bolted down.

While we've been here, we have been doing our best to take advantage of easy access to solid ground and get some important things taken care of before we are in Mexico. We've rented a car for the week so we could easily run errands all across town, we made a trip to Costco to load up on food and snacks, we picked up parts and supplies, and have even taken a few sightseeing trips with some of our cruising friends to neighboring towns.

I'm amazed at how much stuff we can get done in a day by just having a car. A normal grocery store run for us by foot or bikes will take us a whole day. It's usually a couple of trips and usually a couple of miles each way with heavy backpacks on our trip back to the boat. With a car, it's in and it's out with tons more stuff than we can normally haul on our backs and there are no sore feet afterward. I forgot how convenient it is having a car. Having a car is a luxury.

While we've been at the dock, we also took care of some maintenance that needed to happen while we are in a place with easy access to parts and services. We serviced the engine, installed new membranes in the water maker, stitched up some blown out canvass, installed lazy jacks, and had our anchor chain re-galvanized (this was the big reason we rented a car. We couldn't figure out how to carry 300 pounds of chain 15 miles to the galvanizer. And if you ever rent a Hyundai accent who's trunk smells like dead fish, you can thank our anchor chain...You're welcome). We still have a few more things to take care of before we head further south, but at least the majority of our projects are done...for now.

After our week tied to the dock, we got the boot just like the other vagrants that were living there before us. There was another cruiser in line to take our place as soon as we pulled out.

There aren't a whole lot of options for places to stay if you are a boat that is making their way to Mexico. There are a ton of marina's in San Diego, including the municipal dock, but they are all full with boats that are either from San Diego or boats like us, that are just passing through. The other option is to anchor in one of 3 designated anchorages. You need to get an inspection from the port police (this took us 4 hours), get a permit, and then make reservations because even the space in the anchorages are limited. We got lucky and have the last spot available in what is known as the “A-9” anchorage.

The A-9 anchorage is actually pretty cool. We are anchored directly in front of the city and have an incredible view of the city lights at night and there is a dinghy dock pretty close to the anchorage which gives us easy access to town. And better yet, there are a few sets of good friends who are anchored here with us. It's a pretty nice place to be while we wait out the last bit of hurricane season.

Brenda is checking out some sea caves.

If this looks like chaos, it's because it is.  This is us watching the Jimmy Buffet concert from our dinghy with about 200 of our closest floating friends.

Seal Beach in La Jolla

The view from our floating home in the A-9 anchorage.  Not too shabby.
If you haven't seen it yet, our newest incredibly exciting video is up on Youtube.  If the link below doesn't work on your device, copy and past this:


Popular posts from this blog

A Double Birthday and the Italian Connection

Balls Hot

The Garnet Ghost Town