Last night we finally left the San Diego Yacht Club docks. We didn’t go far, just a few hundred meters to the weekends-only, by-permit-only anchorage inside Shelter Island. But it was enough. To cast off the lines, to leave behind the entirely foreign world of the SDYC (prep school, I explain to Alisa, ruined me forever for scenes like that) and to be our own little self-contained world on the hook for the night, was enough to kindle my love of traveling on Pelagic, enough to remind me that our long weeks of preparation are at an end. The whole idea of a yacht like Pelagic, after all, is to travel far and wide, to climb the endless series of swells between here and there beneath our suit of white sails. At the dock, with all the plumbing torn apart to reroute the watermaker, or in the chandlery, where the guy behind the register is once again ringing up a three-figure bill for a pile of goods that fits into my backpack with plenty of room left over for a Pekingese, it’s too easy to forget about the traveling, and the joy. At sea we get tired, and deal with plenty of difficulties, but at sea we’re happy. Town is where things get tough.
A couple days ago Alisa suggested that we skip over Ensenada, a town of 200,000 people just sixty miles south of San Diego and the most common place for southbound yachts to clear into Mexico. Instead we are planning on sailing the 330-odd miles to Isla Cedros, where there is also an official Port of Entry. We just don’t have the nerve to face another big town right now.
So that’s the plan. Alisa made us cheeseburgers and fries last night for our last dinner in U.S. waters. Forecast winds are very light, so it will likely be a slow passage. But the nights should be a little warmer that far south, and the village on Cedros should be a pretty peaceful place, and it should all be an adventure, both in the getting there and in the arriving. Now we just have to organize the piles of gear that are still lying around above decks and below, make a final stop at the police dock to drop off our last minute trash and our pile of already-read books, and go.