Saturday, May 25, 2013

Yo, ho, ho -- the pleasures of setting sail on a San Diego Sunday


"Cap'n Cookie" takes
the wheel. Whee!
Keller, Cookie, Melody and Larry Cogsdill sail at Paradise Point
and Harbor Yacht Club, popular get-aways for locals and tourists.
WE'VE ALL heard the old joke about a boat owner's two most happy days.
He was happy, of course, the day he bought the boat.
And he was happy the day he sold it!
Thousands of people, though -- including my partner -- love having their own boats and taking them out as often as possible.
Or just hanging out in them for a pleasant afternoon, as we discover whenever we visit Paradise Point or Harbor Yacht Club for relaxing sails.
AT PARADISE Point, the place is always humming with activity -- jet skiing, boating and kayaking.  We enjoy the resort restaurant and all the fun activities the tropical atmosphere suggests, including fish-watching from the bridge.
Sailing gives one time to smell the roses (and enjoy the sea lions), and we explore sailing and sea life in these blogs.
"Ahoy, maties!" says Keller
We usually rent a 27-foot sloop with our friends, Melody and Larry.  He, like Keller, grew up sailing -- so the two boys were at home manning the sails and we girls took a "supporting role," helping with the sheets and keeping the snacks coming. I get to be "Cap'n Cookie" for a few minutes, taking a brief turn at the helm, trying my best to keep us going straight.    Sure, there are plenty of women who "know the ropes" -- one of the fun bits of language we've borrowed from sailing.
BUT WE girls usually chose on a lovely spring day to simply enjoy the sail.
I've been learning a lot lately about boats and yachts. The Sundancers, Classicos, Sport Cruisers,Voyagers, on and on. With the America's Cup coming to San Francisco July 4th, and the "wildly exciting" AC 72 catamarans, we traveled there and checked out the harbor.
Above and below, a Sunday at sail is enjoyed with Larry at the helm.
I've learned to respect the water, for even an expert sailor can be the victim of the caprice of the weather, wind and weight of the sails and rigging if the boat flips.
Within the past few years since Keller, I've continued my love of ship cruising -- we'll log my 100th later this summer on an Alaskan cruise, cross the Atlantic in late autumn and transit the Panama Canal next spring.
HIS FAVORITE way to navigate the waterways is not with a view of the bridge from our veranda, but on the bridge himself! Better yet, at the wheel. So we're taking to the sea in smaller boats, too, getting out on the water at least once a month either by ourselves or with a friend or two to sail San Diego's beautiful bays and venture occasionally out into the Pacific. Paradise Point is on Mission Bay, a good place for the "sailor in training," such as myself.

ONE RECENT lazy Sunday, with Keller and Larry taking turns as captain, we sailed smoothly and safely out of San Diego Bay, past that last bit of land and into the actual ocean toward Mexico and the Coronado Islands.
ALONG THE way, there were fun sights to behold and wonderful relaxation.  Among the delights:  seals sunning and singing on buoys, pelicans diving for a late lunch, spectacular views of the city's skyline viewed from a couple miles out, and the beauty of seeing dozens of sails with plenty of other boaters out for a Sunday sail. Best of all for me, the sense of peacefulness -- shoes kicked aside --  listening to the boat glide through the water, waving to other pleasure seekers, cherishing our own private space on the water.
Melody enjoys the view from 
the dock at day's end.
ON SAN DIEGO Bay, you'll see the gorgeous sails of the Californian, which come near as she heads out toward the Channel Islands.
On both bays, you'll see beautiful yachts and pleasure boats whose owners name them "Tranquility," "Time Out" and "Knotty Girl."  Our favorite was "Assisted Living."
For Paradise Point and Mission Bay information, go to:
Harbor Yacht Club has a sliding scale of rental prices, depending on the size of your boat.  You get a break if you're a member:
Paradise Point offers lovely accommodations in Balinese
style bungalows, with pretty Mission Bay views.

COMING UP: More on Mission Bay's delights, and fun accommodations at Paradise Point, with its Balinese inspired bungalows overlooking the water. Plus a look at the lure of gambling and why this reporter loves it so! Then we look at summer in Montana and a very special music festival, downtown Los Angeles and its famous theaters and performing arts halls. Remember to explore, learn and live. Each Wednesday and Saturday, check out

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