Leg 3 - Santa Catalina Island to San Diego February 8 2007 87.1 nm/18 hrs
We departed at 5:30pm for a 12 noon arrival in San Diego. Our second overnight sail started. We were ready. Longjohns and sweaters under our foul weather gear. Goretex gloves and knitted watch caps. Jacklines to clip our PFD harness to. The night was cool and crisp with mostly clear skies and bright stars. The stars to the east blotted out by the unnatural glow of LA on the horizon. Later, as we slipped further south, we encountered overcast skies and fog. The VHF radio blared "This is Warship 72 on your starboard quarter, please identify your self ". What the....? Looking all around and then again from the radio "This is submarine 22 ". Big grey Navy ships that could barely be seen through the mist. Helicopters zoomed back and forth from San Diego to the ships decks. Keep checking the radar. Apparently we were surrounded by Navy ships in some kind of exercise. Why are they using VHF instead of some secret radio frequency? Maybe so we civilians would keep our peepers open for them. And there at the mouth of the San Diego harbor is the mother ship. A full size aircraft carrier. Go USA! By now it's daylight and time to follow our waypoints into this huge harbor. Bridget calls the Police/Customs to arrange a slip at the guest dock. We stop at Customs, show our paperwork and are assigned a slip. Slip six. Sounds OK huh? Well when we get there it's a upwind slip with a good crosswind and a boat on the opposite side. Very tight squeeze. Here we go. Uh-oh. Our bow has made it but our stern is drifting in the crosswind toward the boat on the opposite side. I put my foot out to fend off hitting the boat. No one is at the helm now. Sailors are running down the dock to help. Bridget heaves a stern line to one of them and he slowly pulls us off our neighbor. We have arrived.