In mid November, we found ourselves in San Diego and ready to shove off for Mexico. One problem existed. Our current insurance carrier would not cover us in Mexico. We had been working towards changing our policy for several weeks. It turns out that no new insurance carrier would cover us without a boat survey, which is not only a pain in the ass but also a costly task. After phoning around in San Diego, we found a good insurance carrier, Henry Medina, at Mariners Insurance and an awesome surveyor, Billy Fox. A big thanks to these 2 for making this process go as smoothly as possible.
We needed to be at a dock (instead of at anchor) for the survey. So, the cheapest and seemingly most convenient option was the San Diego police dock. Unfortunately, our experience at this dock was not a pleasant one. We spoke with several officers during our stay, most of which gave us inaccurate information or simply told us to call or speak with someone else, and it seems that most of the "tenants" of the dock are mostly derelict, transient boats. You see, most marinas in California require proof of vessel documentation, as well as proof of insurance before you arrive. Not so at the police dock, funny right?
Well, once we had our errands completed and the survey taken care of, we decided to move into one of San Diego’s free anchorages for a change of location and attitude. San Diego offers a 90 day free permit for non-residents in an Anchorage called A9. In order to get the permit, you have to get a police inspection, which is easy. An officer simply comes to your boat and asks a bunch of questions regarding safety and then takes a copy of your drivers license. Done.
At anchor, we met several other cruisers that we liked and that were enjoying the city. So, we took a tourist day to lighten our mood. We walked around the waterfront and Little Italy, went to a farmers market, and took in the Maritime Museum (which was very cool btw).
The next day, we picked up our paperwork, got some groceries, and went back to the boat for a short nap. We pulled anchor at 8pm and headed off to cross the border.