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Where to sail in SoCal?

Desultor

New Member
Hi folks,

I'm the proud owner of a '73 Sunfish, living in southern California. I've taken it out in the safety of the Naples/Belmont Shore bay four times now, and am wondering where else there is to sail a small boat around here.

Do you folks take to lakes? Out on the open waters of the Pacific? Where do you recommend sailing in SoCal?
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Uh-oh... you're in Wrong Beach, or close to it. :eek:

Good Lord, I'd suggest San Diego Bay & patrolling the beach off Coronado with the Hotel Del Coronado in sight, but the traffic between you & Dago really sucks, LOL. You okay with camping overnight or doing the motel thing to go sailing? Might be easier to head up to Santa Barbara and launch there, or choose some launch point in between to get out on the ocean. Your boat will handle coastal sailing no problem, but you'll want to prepare well for each voyage, AYE? I'm sure there's all kinds of info & advice available right here at this site, just gotta sift through the material and disregard the comments from nautical armchair experts sailing dem dar tall-rigged La-Z-Boy Recliners, LOL. Hey, you can always sail the length of the Salton Sea in a pinch or a bind, but that's quite the adventure and I would NOT recommend it for kids, as you seem to have. Well, good luck, maybe some place like Marina del Rey would be close enough to be feasible... :rolleyes:
 

Desultor

New Member
Thanks Mr. Redneck!

Now I'm curious about the dangers of Long Beach and the Salton Sea... any tales you salts want to share? "Here there be monsters." Found this thread on Salton from hobie.com Blech!

Looks like the lakes between Riverside and Temecula could be promising. Elsinore, Diamond Valley, Mathews, Perris.

Or perhaps north a bit to Lake Isabella, or Huntington Lake. Castaic? Mammoth Lake, June Lake, Silver Lake?

A couple SoCal highlights from this threads of CA places to sail on the Hobie site:
Mission Bay, San Diego
Bonelli Park, Pomona
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Yes, the Salton can be nasty, but remember, there are organisms that EAT all that funky cr@p from the Imperial Valley & Mexico, and water quality changes with the seasons in that agricultural sump with Mexican funk tossed in for good measure. Here's another little-known fact: the Salton Sea is an AWESOME sailing venue when the breeze kicks up, it can even get DANGEROUS with what locals call "wind events" (gusts sometimes surpassing 100 statute miles per hour, which is how they're recorded, not in knots since meteorologists don't necessarily sail, lol). And once you're well away from shore in the right season, there is no FUNKY ODOR, just fast sailing with beautiful desert & mountain scenery all around ya, even some wildlife in the forms of leaping fish, flying birds, diving birds, etc. :rolleyes:

Go to my "Laser Island Voyages" thread, Post #3 on the first page, and follow the directions to scroll down and see my pics from Salton Expedition II, that was one hell of an adventure, but again, I would NOT recommend it for kids, and any adult who attempts it should have a strong stomach and be ready for anything, LOL. Oh, yeah, BTW, the Salton Sea is actually the largest lake in California, at least in terms of surface area... I reckon Tahoe has greater volume, since it's much deeper, but Tahoe shares its shoreline between CA and NV, aye? When I sailed the length of the Salton Sea aboard my 12' Minifish, mine was the ONLY craft upon CA's largest lake, no others in sight, not even kayakers, LOL. Think about that for a moment, with the state so heavily-populated. Crazy, yeah? :confused:

But I would recommend that you find a decent launch point on the coast, not too far from your home, or recon nearby lakes to see what kind of facilities they might offer. Some lakes have really nice scenery & well-developed access in the form of ramps, small beaches, or whatever... maybe some picnic areas along shore where you park and then launch the boat, using a dolly if necessary. But don't write off the coastal sailing, you might plan overnight jaunts where you camp with your family down by shore, and go sailing on both days if possible... maybe stretch your visit over multiple nights while enjoying the other benefits of camping on the coast. BBQs & bonfires, kids digging the change of scenery, perhaps a little romance with the wife or girlfriend... whatever you make of it. ;)

ANYWAY, CHECK THOSE SALTON PICS, YOU WON'T FIND ANY LIKE 'EM ON THE WEB... AWESOME SAILING VENUE, THE SALTON, BUT ONLY FOR THOSE WILLING TO DEAL WITH IT, LOL, AND IT CAN GET PRETTY NASTY, AYE??? :eek:

I'M OFF TO DRINK SOME MORE BEER BEFORE MAKING DINNER... CHEERS!!! :cool:

P.S. In my decades of sailing outta Coronado, Mission Bay was known as "Sewage Bay" to local Dago sailors, since frequent sewage spills from the city contaminated the water... ugh. Headless brown trout galore, and a bouquet which made the Salton smell like a dozen roses, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! :(
 
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Kate_onboard

New Member
Hi everybody,

How do you guys make forecasts for your journey and how far ahead do you plan? Will be grateful for any recommendations
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
NOAA Weather website, they include marine forecasts. If you're sailing on either coast, you should learn about tides & prevailing ocean surface currents... two different factors which may affect your voyage. Learn to use both to your advantage whenever possible. Wisely choosing your day(s) to sail with marine forecasts, tidal data & ocean currents in mind can lead to spectacular & fun-filled voyages where you cover a lot of ground, see heaps of wildlife, make use of abundant natural power, etc. On the flip side, forewarned is forearmed, and you can avoid sailing on days with bad weather forecasts, unfavorable tides, etc., where your voyages will be nowhere near as exciting, and may be downright foolhardy or dangerous in small craft. In modern society, with all the smart gadgets & devices, there's no excuse for NOT knowing the weather forecast, tidal info, etc., before you ever leave shore. Good luck to ya... and cheers!!! :rolleyes:

P.S. Of course, the worst day of sailing will always be better than the best day in an office or a factory... unless ya drown, lol. :confused:
 

Kate_onboard

New Member
Thank you so much! Checked the website, looks really informative. Would be cool if they also had an app for mobile: so much more convenient to use it!

As far as I've understood, tides and currents are the most important things to know before I go. Is there anything else to check?
 
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