End of the trip - back to San Diego!
Finally, it was time to make our last passage of the trip.
Back to San Diego ....
Since it was a fairly long way ... over 60 miles, so probably
10-12 hours, and thinking that we might want to sail again, we left
Dana Point fairly early the next morning. At 7:30 a.m. we made
our way out of the channel into a dense fog. It had been
remarkably clear and breezy the morning before and so we thought
we might get lucky, but it turned out that we had to motor in
dead fog for a good 2-3 hours before the situation improved.
We put the sails up and did a brief bit of "pure",
but slow, sailing,
then decided that the best course was to motor-sail.
By the afternoon the wind had risen to 8-10 knots and was
coming directly over our beam, so we could have sailed,
but it was still quite a ways to San Diego. Instead we
flew the full genoa and the full mainsail and motored
at full speed. Conditions were perfect for motoring with
the full sails set ... instead of a paltry 6 knots under
motor, we cooked for several hours at 7.5 to 8 knots, heeling
slightly as the wind stayed good the rest of the way.
We saw a whale near Encinitas, passed Torrey Pines,
and in due time were off Pacific Beach and able to
see the Roller Coaster.
We could tell we were back in our home waters, due
to the increased military radio, air, and sea activity.
By 4:30, we cut SD Buoy #1
and turned towards the bay.
There were quite a few sailboats and fishing boats
out as we made the turn.
Deciding to have one last sail on our trip,
we cut the motor and sailed the last 3-4 miles
into the bay.
Many motor-boats and tour boats passed us. The
Navy and Coast Guard boats were in their usual
attendance. A guy in a motorboat
got a ticket from the Harbor Patrol for speeding (raising a wake) right
in front of us, and other boats were all over the
place, but we didn't care, as the city came
into view and we slowly sipped our last beers
of the trip, watching all the activity, yet
already starting to reflect on the trip as a whole.
With something of a sense of sadness, just outside
the channel to our marina, we finally put the
sails down as the sun was waning, started the
motor and made our way to the slip. Funny how all
the now familiar machinations ... ready the bow line,
fenders overboard, open the lifelines, get ready to dock ...
took on a nostalgic cast, as the activity reflected
the symbolic nature of the end of our trip.
We brought Mandala perfectly into the slip, gently stepped
down and tied her off, hooked up the shore power, gathered
our laundry, perishable food, and personal items, had one
more tot to celbrate the trip, locked her up, went to the
truck and got on the freeway to go our house.
When we got home that night, we were both sitting
in our easy chairs, in our beautiful big house, with
so much space, a big back yard full of plants and
a jacuzzi, and we were glad to be home in a way, yet
knowing that we wanted to do more sailing.