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Old 06-23-2009, 09:19 PM   #1
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What gets me to write this is that we're anchored at Glorietta Bay, enjoying the day...and along comes the Harbor Police to shoo away a cruiser who has anchored here seemingly without the proper permit...

David and I have been living what we feel like is a life of luxury on the visitors' dock at the local military marina where we have been keeping a mooring for our boat. Once we re-launched the boat after the rebuild, knowing that we live aboard her and that the official policy of the marina is that one cannot live aboard on in the military moorings, the dockmaster has kindly kept us on the visitors dock for almost a month now as we continue to work on the boat's systems. We have a standing agreement with the dockmaster that we'll become "scarce" if the visitors dock is needed for "real" visitors.

Well, with all kinds of visitors coming, we've had to leave the visitors' dock for about 3 weeks (now through July 11th). So, we're anchorage hopping around San Diego bay and Mission Bay. Since we STILL don't have everything in place to sail (hardware like winches, etc, not yet in place) we're motoring around and staying here in San Diego--not considering going elsewhere. Since we have a mooring there at the marina, we'll be on it from time to time as we need to get things to and from the boat and all the anchorages are much less "accessible" than our mooring is--just too bad we can't stay on the boat there.

This brings me to the topic title--this place is truly not-user-friendly to cruisers and/or live aboard boaters, IMHO.

All of the non-cruiser anchorages are not crowded (unless 4th of July or some such holiday) but yet the port authorities only allow 3 day permits with a requirement of 1 day away from the anchorage between permits and only 3 permits for an anchorage in any 40 day period. The goal must be that no boat can spend more than 25% of its time in a given anchorage. There are only three anchorages for one to choose from: Glorietta Bay, Mariners Cove (about 20 nm away in Mission Bay), and on weekends only--La Playa anchorage. Therefore, if one were really organized, one could spend 75% of one's time properly anchored in a designated anchorage. Of course, these are all free anchorages which is very nice.

On a first-come-first-serve basis boats can tie up at the Harbor Police dock for up to 10 days. Cost is $10/day during the first 5 days and $20/day for the second 5 days. This, being located at the end of Shelter Island is somewhat more convenient for someone provisioning or making repairs. No reservations allowed, though.

The Federal government gave the San Diego Port Authority control of all federal anchorages in San Diego back in the early 1980's. As such, it is no surprise that the Federal Anchorage which used to exist in south San Diego bay was shut down two years ago. What that means is there is no way for a cruiser to come into San Diego harbor and just drop the hook for a bit.

Rather, if a cruiser doesn't wish to go thru the above mentioned "3 days here, 3 days there routine" the process now is for cruisers to get a 30 day permit (admin for this is at the Harbor Police dock on Shelter Island) for the "Cruisers' Anchorage" which is located between the Coast Guard station and Harbor Island. The anchorage is adjacent to the San Diego airport so is quite noisy--and is very close (0.10 nm) to the helicopters landing at the Coast Guard Station as well. To get to and from the anchorage, one should have a dingy with a motor as it is a little far (maybe .6 nm) to the only dingy docks available for visiting cruisers. There is very limited public parking at that dock location and bus stops about .2 and .5 miles away (depending on which way you're going).

Oh, yes, to get the permit, one must be here in San Diego (no calling ahead and making reservations) since to get it, one must have a Harbor Police inspection of the boat. One can get up to 3 (30 day) permits per calendar year for the Cruisers Anchorage, though--so from a timing perspective plenty of time is available for a cruiser to stop in and take care of repairs, etc.

Oh, but I did mention that long dingy ride? Well, if you're provisioning, unless you motor (about 2.5 nm) over to Shelter Island or catch a cab, once you get to the dingy dock you've got a long walk ahead of you to get to what you need.

Perhaps other large cities are equally non-user-friendly for cruisers, but I do find San Diego to be ridiculously so--considering it has a reputation as being a place that cruisers go to outfit for heading further south. I dunno...

I wonder where that cruiser that was just shooed away by the Harbor Police will go next?
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:23 PM   #2
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Just re-read my post and thought to myself--gee that doesn't sound too bad or cruiser unfriendly. The I realized my thoughts of things being unfriendly are also based on knowledge that the rules of this harbor have had bad consequences for several boaters.

Example--last year a solo cruiser came in from Mexico. Following the procedures, he came to the check-in point to enter the US (its in the main San Diego Harbor) and then sought a place to anchor or stay. It was late in the day when he arrived. Unfortunately, there was no room at the Harbor Police Dock nor the Cruisers Anchorage. It was a weekday, so he was not allowed to go to La Playa (a weekend only anchorage) and permits for Glorietta Bay are not given on the same day they're needed (must call a day ahead) so he couldn't stay there either. The Federal Anchorage was closed in the prior year so no anchoring allowed there either.

Thus, even with an empty La Playa anchorage and very likely an empty Glorietta Bay anchorage, and empty former Federal anchorage, he had to go out of the harbor up to Mission Bay's Mariners' Cove for anchoring. That's 15 nm from Shelter Island. He was sailing, small boat, no motor. Late evening by the time he left San Diego Harbor. Probably not much wind either. Umm...I also must mention that many sailors will not enter the Mission Bay channel entrance without a motor because its difficult to sail into or out of and too many vessels are lost there because of tides and surf. Well, this fellow became another of the statistics. Lost his boat at the channel entrance as it went on the rocks and broke up. 3:00 in the morning--who knows how tired this guy was by the time he made it around Point Loma to Mission Bay this was a pointless loss of a cruiser's boat for no real reason.

So, I have a lot of mental "baggage" associated with this whole San Diego Harbor control thing.

Oh, lovely morning here at Glorietta Bay. There are three boats in the anchorage right now--us and two others. The official permit limit is 20.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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My mental baggage continues, this place is bound and determined to shoo away cruisers and discourage boaters, I'm almost certain.

Good incentive to move along, though eh?
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:28 AM   #4
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Now a San Diego Judge has ordered another group of Cruisers to be removed :-

THE REPORT HERE

What next?
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
Now a San Diego Judge has ordered another group of Cruisers to be removed :-

THE REPORT HERE

What next?
What Next? you ask, well the Governor has stepped in - so maybe there is still hope for our other cruisers?

The latest Episode Report
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
What Next? you ask, well the Governor has stepped in - so maybe there is still hope for our other cruisers?

The latest Episode Report
Funny, but not...

This is just so "San Diego" IMHO. These folks here are selfish and manipulative. If the environmental issues are getting in the way of what they want--they'll do anything whether it is humane or environmentally sound to get their way. Thus, the above article about the seals in La Jolla. On the other hand, if the environmental issues can be used to their advantage, they'll cry "oh, the poor environment, we must save it"...for example, from the cruisers in the formerly free federal anchorage..."lets shut down all the free anchorages, so the bay can recover from the awful waste those people might be putting in the water"...etc.

Selfish, selfish people.
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