Welcome to San Diego
12 September 2013 | Sailing Southern California
September 10, 2013
"Don't forget to give Point Loma a wide berth." Joe told us as we left Oceanside. "It will feel like you are heading to Mexico, but it will keep you out of the kelp."
We were aware of the infamous kelp beds that lie off the point. Not exactly the stuff made of legends, but repeated frequently by sailors as no one wants to wrap their prop with long strands of kelp.
Just after we passed Carlsbad Canyon and the whales (We figured they were hanging out there to feed on the krill gathering at the ledge of the canyon. One minute the sea was sixty feet deep and the next, twelve hundred.), we finally got some wind. The forecast was for NW winds, 10 knots, gusting to 15. It was just getting up to 10 knots but not from the NW as predicted but from the SW. Go figure.
Southwest winds were good, though, as we could sail close-hauled. We put up the sails and immediately the wind dropped to a mere four knots. Argh! So frustrating! We left the sails up anyway as they kept the boat steady and added a knot to our motor sail.
I asked Jay for the helm as I felt he had been hogging it most of the trip and I wanted to sail too. I suppose he wasn't really hogging it, he just wanted to make sure all the systems he had been working on were doing their job. And they were. So now he could sit back and relax a bit and let me navigate for a while.
We weren't to Point Loma yet when the kelp started showing up and I began dodging it left and right. Then, off our port bow, I saw what looked like a big brown island extending several miles out and along the coast.
Joe wasn't kidding. We really did feel like we were heading to Mexico. And even when we thought we were free of the big brown island, I looked below and saw long lines of kelp underneath our boat. They were probably only 8-10 feet under the water. Our boat draws six feet. It was time to move even further off the coast.
It was so tempting to turn into San Diego far sooner than we did because it truly did feel like we were going well out of our way. But I was glad we didn't because there were no tie-ups or kelp diving that day. Thank God for small favors.