When we arrived at Kona Kai Marina the hotel was under construction so unfortunately we were unable to enjoy the hot tub and pool. But the 42' Catalina "Swellbound" was ready for our week long stay. Nick met us at the dock and gave us a quick rundown on the boat and let us get settled in for the night. After dropping off our bags we headed out to the local Ralph's to get some food for the boat. In the morning Mike arrived to give us a shakedown cruise around San Diego bay. It was a nice few hours to knock the rust off our sailing skills and get back in the groove. The next day we took a trip up to Mission Bay which is really just over the hill from San Diego bay by car, but a good 3 to 4 hour sail past the Point Loma Lighthouse and around kelp fields just off shore. We anchored in the bay for the night and returned to Kona Kai the next day and went over coastal cruising lessons and hands on sailing training on the way back.
With the instruction portion of the class over Lisa and I were going to travel to North Coronado Island just south of the border and anchor out over night. Due to new paperwork hassles this year with the TIPs we decided to forgo the extra charges and paperwork bother for only one night at anchor and instead decided to look into the Navy Yacht Club of San Diego. The sail down was great and we got some good dock practice while we were there. Unfortunately we didn't get a good feeling about the club. Most workers in the marina didn't know a lot about it in general and when we did find someone who ran the administration portion of the club he informed us that members have to renew in person or online. He then let us know not to trust the online sign up service and told us a story of how someone tried to sign up online for over 2 months and finally had to go in person to resolve the issue. While I'm sure the club would be great if you are stationed in the San Diego area it doesn't sound like it will work for our circumnavigation plans. On the way back to Kona Kai after making the turn West to the marina we were beating directly into the West wind and got a lot of practice tacking on the way. We could have fired up the iron jib, but decided to take the opportunity to get some practice while we were out.
The final day ended with another sail around the San Diego bay past the lighthouse and back to the marina. Overall the trip was fantastic. Nick and Mike are great instructors and we always enjoy sailing in San Diego.