It's hard to believe we're going on our fourth week in San Diego. We've been having such good times, and keeping ourselves so well occupied, that this month seems to have dissolved more quickly than others.
We've particularly enjoyed sharing a home base with our friends, Krister and Amanda. They've done the Pacific crossing and are always enthusiastic to spend hours on end answering our cruising questions. They came to visit Helios, took us to dinner with Charlotte and Eric Kaufman of Rebelheart, let us cuddle with their new baby, Kai, and even let Dominic take him for his first ever dinghy ride! We said goodbye Monday night over fried spring rolls and pad see ew, as Dominic and I are preparing for our departure to Mexico, and Krister, Amanda, and Kai are moving to their homestead in Alaska. It was hard to say another goodbye (the goodbyes keep getting harder, actually), but I loved getting to see these three off on another grand adventure. Not to mention that homesteading, in March, in Alaska, with an infant, makes cruising to the South Pacific seem like no big deal.
We've also had dinner with Dominic's brother, Quintin, and his girlfriend, Jessica. Quintin has been kind enough to lend us his shipping address while we're here, so I have the feeling we'll enjoy the pleasure of his company again before we depart. Our friend Bobby hosts a comedy show in town, so Dominic and I treated ourselves to a night out, went to Mexican food and caught the show. Dominic also has a birthday on the horizon, so I have a feeling the festive atmosphere will continue through what is predicted to be a rainy weekend ahead. But not to worry, we've been thoroughly enjoying our fair share of sunshine and blue skies that San Diego has to offer.
Beyond the weather, San Diego is to sailors what Las Vegas is to gamblers. There is every kind of chandlery and boat gadget specialist we have been able to imagine within one square mile of Shelter Island. We've spent time at the public dock, the Southwestern San Diego Yacht Club, and at anchor in Shelter Island and Glorietta Bay. We've been identifying the local birds, including the photogenic osprey above. We spent February 14th at Coronado Beach. We've marveled at the military might of San Diego, the variety gargantuan ships, the Navy Seals practicing beach landings, the helicopters that continuously buzz overhead, the 20 foot Navy patrol boats with 50 caliber machine guns. We've added a stand-up paddle board to our fleet, and Dominic got our dinghy up and running in under an hour (I've even gotten my first dinghy lessons, super fun to drive!). Dominic has also hooked up the the solar panels and the inverter. Meaning, while at anchor, we're enjoying luxuries such as using the microwave and recharging our laptops. He's also installed the water maker, the SSB radio, the VHF radio console in the cockpit, and finished up the running rigging.
I've been keeping busy as well, making a canvas cover to replace one we've already lost, doing our taxes, selling our car, keeping the galley stocked and ourselves well fed, arranging work we want to have done on the boat with the boatyard in Mexico.
We've basically spent the last four weeks enjoying the sunshine, installing, researching, deliberating, eating, procuring, exploring, deciding, and celebrating in pretty equal measure. But mostly, its been fun to get to spend so much time hanging out with each other while the specter of having to go to our jobs fades farther and farther into the distance...