Often, you don’t have the time to head to the Coronados Islands or Catalina. So you’re stuck sailing in San Diego bay, keeping your sailing skills honed with “man overboard” and “heave to” drills. While I can appreciate that, I also know it can get boring for our less enthusiastic sailing counterparts. And staying in the same marina, weekend after weekend, doesn’t help.
Overcoming Marina Frugality
You’re paying a monthly slip fee. It’s natural to want to maximize its utility. But, if you want to put some adventure in your sails, you should try Marina-hopping. Slip fees for a single night range from $1 to $5 per foot in our beautiful Bay. We’re sailing a 34’ Catalina – so it’s been easy to find slips that accommodate. It may be a bit more difficult with larger yachts, but you can do it. It’s part of a well-rounded sailing in San Diego adventure (seriously – it’s great experience maneuvering your vessel in new situations and docking without damage)!
Three Great Destinations When Sailing in San Diego
Marriott Marquis and Marina
If you want access to Seaport Village, Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres) and the Gaslamp District – this is a great way to upgrade your weekend. At just $90 per night, you have access to a secure slip (keycard access) with power and water, and all of the amenities of the Marriott. It includes a beautiful pool with two jacuzzis (one is for adults only), modern workout facility and spa, nicely appointed showers, outdoor bars, and eateries with live music, etc. Just up from the Marriott, you can rent a social bike to make getting around super easy ($5 per 30 minutes). If you get there late, and you’re hungry – you can walk to the Kansas City Barbeque restaurant in less than 30 minutes. They open every day at 11a and keep serving food until 1a (the bar stays open until 2a – view menu).
The showers are equipped with shampoo and soap, but you’ll need a towel (although you could grab one from the pool area). On the downside, it can be a little loud. Until about 2am, the human-powered bicycle cabs blare their music up and down the boardwalk. In the morning, you’ll hear dock working sounds – like trucks backing up to load garbage.
To make your reservation, contact either Amberlin or Lisa at (619) 234-1500 or (619) 230-8957.
Another great eating excursion by water is Joe’s Crab Shack. Sure, you can find these anywhere across the USA, but you can actually dock your boat next to this one! If you look in the photos below, you can see the dock – it can accommodate two boats – first come, first serve.
Point Loma Marina
This is one of the newer marinas in the bay. It is small – only 50 slips – which is a bonus. The smaller marinas are quiet, more romantic destinations! And, when you venture into one of the five districts of Point Loma – you’ll feel like a local – it’s sprinkled with dive bars featuring live music and amazing hand-crafted cocktails. Make sure to visit Point Loma Seafoods – a casual eatery with the freshest seafood in San Diego (view menu).
To reserve a slip at Point Loma, contact Jill at (619) 718-6260. She’s from London – her lovely accent adds to the relatively upscale yachting vibe! 🙂
Here is an aerial view of Point Loma Marina courtesy of Google Earth (Point Loma Marina has the newer, gray docks on the righthand side of the image):
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Glorietta Bay Marina
Access to Coronado Island and still only an Uber ride away from downtown San Diego or Little Italy. While Coronado can get pricey – if you know where to go (Night and Day Cafe, Which Wich, Clayton’s Coffee Shop (menu) or Take Out), you can keep it reasonable.
These docks are sleepy. In fact, even in the height of Summer – it’s still quiet. While navy recruits run past – you can’t hear them. I never sleep in, but found myself getting up between 8am and 9am because nothing disturbed me. The slips are keycard coded, the restroom/shower facilities are clean and comfortable, and you’re literally a 5 minute walk from the beach between the Hotel Del Coronado and the Shores Towers. It’s wonderful. A 5-minute stroll on the beach will bring you to the Sun Deck Bar & Grill (see image below) – it won’t be cheap, but you can’t beat the ambiance and old world charm of the Hotel Del. Their guacamole and chips is amazing, and the least expensive thing on their menu. Sure, two drinks and the dip will cost you around $50 – well worth the experience!
Another activity that makes Glorietta Bay a fantastic destination is surfing. When I’m not sailing in San Diego, I’m surfing off of Coronado. In just a 5-minute walk from the dock you’ll find the Coronado Surfing Academy. They have all the surfing gear already on the beach (trust me, you don’t want to carry an 8 or 9 foot board if you don’t have to, especially in a wet suit). Their prices are super reasonable, including surfing lessons. When you’re finished, they take care of the gear while you head back to the boat for an earned beer or two. You can reach them at (619) 293-3883. Ask for Teevan and make sure to tell him Lucky Sol Sailing referred you.
To make reservations, contact Mona or John at (619) 435-5203. They only take cash – so bring it or be prepared to visit an ATM.
Here is an aerial view of the marina (again, courtesy of Google Earth):
The point is to get out of the routine and add the adventure of a destination into your sailing without leaving San Diego Bay.