A Day on San Diego Bay

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

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Off to a 3 Hour Sail!

Upon planning a long weekend getaway to meet up with some friends, I really wanted to sail and thought September would be a lovely time in San Diego. After reading several reviews, I stumbled across a 3-hour sail out of Shelter Island Marina with the option of sailing in the bay or out in the open water.


The marina is located approximately 5.5 miles from downtown San Diego. So, we just caught a quick Lyft and road on over. The marina is located right behind the Island Palms Hotel. The captain came out and greeted us at the marina and led groups to their boats. The best part about this tour is they don’t take more than 6-8 people! We only had 6 passengers plus the captain on our boat. We hung out on the bow of the boat and it felt like a private charter for the three of us. But of course….

Shelter Island is located within Point Loma in San Diego. It’s actually not an island at all, just an extension of a narrow strip of land. Shelter Island was developed in the 1950’s and includes restaurants, hotels, marinas as well as a parkland. The island is 1.2 miles long and a few hundred feet wide, although it seemed much larger.


Shelter Island Marina

The Port of San Diego controls Shelter Island, which is known as a “SuperYacht” destination due to the deep waters that house the over sized vessels. Somehow we missed the annual SuperYacht Fest held every September! The San Diego Maritime Museum displays two 19th century tall ship replicas along with mock gun battles during the fest.   


A sailing competition was taking place while we were in the bay. It actually seemed as if our little sailboat were in the middle of it all.  It was fascinating to hear the sails whip in wind and watch the teams transfer from side to side as the boats turned. During the 3-hour sail, we passed Point Loma Nazarene University and saw Baja California in the distance. The trip was so peaceful, we sailed past sea lions laying out on buoys. It was the perfect sailing day with sunny, clear skies and not much wind. We dressed a little too warm because the temperature was only 70 degrees that day and visiting from Hawaii, that seemed cool!

We booked the 3-hour sail through GetYourGuide.com for $98.00. They offer various sailing trips for those 13 years old and over. The company is based out of Berlin, so don’t be alarmed, as I was, if/when your credit card company red flags the purchased from a foreign country. It was legit and everything worked out fine; however, my credit card company did call me to authorize the on line, foreign purchase.


Tips~ The tour advertises beer and wine on board. Unfortunately, the beverages were brought on board just as we set sail so they were warm. We were really looking forward to a glass of chilled, white wine during our sail but didn’t finish it because it was warm. I did notice that a couple on our tour brought their own small ice chest with drinks and light snacks. I highly recommend doing that if you sail at noon. We had a light breakfast and were very hungry by the time we got off the sailboat at 3 p.m. Fortunately, there is a restaurant at the marina right as you step off of the boat and we were able to find some very cold drinks there!