San Diego..U.S.A!

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We have been at anchor in San Diego for about 3 days now.   We are just getting comfortable with large sums of money departing our account and going into somebody customs comelse’s hands.   Welcome to the land of plenty:  Plenty of rules to go around (you must be inspected before you can anchor in San Diego, and not just a customs inspection but by the harbor police as well), plenty of boats in the anchorage; we are currently at the La Playa anchorage.   For us this place is probably good for 5 to 10 boats.   We have 3 boats within 30 feet of ours and another 17 boats in the anchorage.   It is not just us that are crowded, everyone is crowded, there is even plenty of good food around; we can easily find tomato paste, fennel seed and a good selection of cheap wine.   What there is not plenty of is Chihuahua Mennonita Cheese and Bill is going into withdrawals over that.

On the business front we have secured a slip at Harbor Island West.  If you are in the area and want to come on down we are in the #137 slip at the far end of the dock between the two big 100’ behemoths that reside there.  We have also sold off some cattle and secured the simoles to purchase the “cast in gold” exhaust manifold that we need.   We could no doubt have made another trip to Cabo with our cobbled and epoxied manifold but we love the old boat too much to allow here to sit in a soiled skirt for too long, so that project is next on the list of things to do, but first a trip north in the rental car to visit family and get Bill off to his first major interview.

On the project list, we have been adding and subtracting just about as fast as we can.   Crossing the border there must be some type of force field that disrupts boat lighting.  We have worked on the refrigerator light (we still don’t know if it turns off when the door is shut, but we do know that unshielded scissors do not mix with 680 volts of low amperage power), panel lighting and kitchen lighting ever since we crossed the border.   Everything is functioning as it was before now so that is good.   Additionally we had some troubles coming into the San Diego channel.

As we were entering the channel after a near perfect transit from Ensenada Lisa peeked into the engine compartment and heard an odd sound.  Bill heard it to, but being so close to the end of the trip neither of us wanted to acknowledge the noise so we shut the door and dawdled a bit down stairs hoping the noise would either seize or quiet down.   Surprisingly it did stop and we continued chugging up the channel.  A couple of minutes later the Heat/Oil Pressure alarm that we installed a month ago started squealing.   We quickly checked all the gauges and saw that everything was normal.  We watched the gauges for a minute or two while cupping our ears closed and then figured that another connection had come loose and so we disabled the alarm.   Once that was done Lisa suggested that perhaps we had trouble again with the fan belt so we pulled the couch out of the way and saw with no surprise that we had lost the belt.   The big surprise was that we hadn’t fried the engine yet so we shut the boat down and drifted just off the fairway to hopefully anchor out of the way of the USS Abraham Lincoln  (an Aircraft Carrier that was following us.

20 minutes later we were on our way for a final approach to the police docks and re-entry to the U.S.A!  Since then we have met up with so many of our old friends it has been like a scheduled reunion, but honestly we just keep running into people.   The most helpful have been Beth and Larry who own the big Lagoon catamaran Sun Baby.   They have driven us around the town, feed us dinner and set us up at the San Diego Yacht Club where we even saw Mr. Americas Cup, Dennis Conner.

For now we are set and next week we hope to have some local interviews if they are still needed.   We haven’t gotten any wheels yet, but at $11 a day the rental car is coming in handy when we really need to be somewhere.

We have probably left out some of the stuff that has been going on, but we did want to thank a couple of special people that helped us along the way;  Bob and Sherry, who did weather routing, counseling and helping to keep our spirits up, Chip and Katie; who shared indispensible  knowledge about the trip north and what to avoid, Terry and Diane, who helped to work the internet and Facebook when we didn’t have connectivity, and Baja Geary for 30 days of weather routing even though most of the weather was lousy, but he doesn’t control that.   Lastly we were sent so many emails while underway from people that we knew or just barely knew.  Everyone was full of well wishes and having that type of support really helped us both to push through the tough times knowing there were folks around that were pulling and pushing for us to get back home.

We are getting ready to start our own commutes now, look for us on the freeways; we are the ones with big grins, tanned faces and a twinkle in our eyes.