Thursday 5.45am LT/ 1245 GMT
Passing Coronados Islands of Mexico in cold grey pre-dawn light and flat calm sea - motoring, as usual!
Border with USA is 7 mles to N and Hbr Police Dock in San Diego harbour, for check-in to USA, is 17 miles away - about 3 hours, giving arrival there around 9 a.m.
Calm sea overnight. I had to sit in cockpit all night - too many Mexican fishing boats around - none with AIS. Came too close for comfort to one of them so sat up( wearing several extra layers!) and got short naps as and when nothing ahead or around.
Waiting to see if any sight of sun around dawn - I doubt it.
By 9:30 a.m., finally tied up to Police Dock and awaiting officials after phone call to office in town using phone provided at dock. The tide was flooding in strongly on arrival at the beginning of the long channel leading to the harbour entrance so we made good speed but it made getting in alongside a problem. Had to go out and change mooring lines and fenders to opposite side of boat so that we could come in heading into the flooding tide and the slight wind.
Sun had come out and sky was clearing - I had nearly taken down the bimini awning on passage here - but now it's proving useful again!
I'm having to go into town to get the 12 month Cruising Permit for the boat whereas the Customs and Immigration officials did their paperwork on the dock. Rod, W6MWB, of the SDYC radio group (who run the W6IM Winlink station) came down to greet me and will take me for provisioning later.
I'd like to sort out my wind instrument while here - would be nice to have it working while sailing up to Canada!.
Topped up fuel at fuel dock yesterday lunchtime near San Diego Y.c. before moving over there to tie up over Thurs/Fri nights. Spent evening with Rod and wife as well as being taken for provisioning trip to Trader Joe's - Rod has kindly been driving me around - many thanks for that, Rod!. This morning to riggers, on to West Marine for replacement wind transducer and over to Downwind Marine to say hallo.
Priority has been to try to sort out misbehaving wind instrument. Was delighted to meet up with Ray Marchetta over coffee this morning - an old friend from my first time in San Diego, who has a wealth of marine electronics experience. He put me in touch with Casey - rigger from Pacific who went up the mast for me to replace the wind transducer - but nothing changed, so now I must check all connections and wiring for corrosion or breakage, to find the fault. At least I know the transducer is now OK!
Also spoke to Shea Weston, of Sailmail, about an auto-tuning problem I've been having with my Airmail boat radio email system - more checking needed - of settings and connections! Should be a simple fix...
Had lunch with boat-friend Jeff, on 'Joy' in La Cruz earlier this year, and radio friend Mark, AF6TC - nice to catch up with them both.
This evening it's barbecue night at the Club - so will hope to be meeting other friends from previous stays in San Diego.
Then it's early to bed - on to Ctalina Island very early tomorrow - at first light, if I can get up early enough!!
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