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.