IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

San Diego’s Finest Sailing Tours

LL boatAn October afternoon on San Diego Bay’s pristine harbor.  Weather: Mild, in the upper 70s after a sizzling Indian Summer of hot weather just passed through.  Little wind, but, hey, what could be finer than spending a couple hours on the bay, eh?  Time to cool off, have a look at what the local yachtsmen are up to, and catch a glance at some very fine scenery while hoisting a glass of chilled white wine.

This is the life!

Jon greeted us with his Kiwi smile and energetic personality.  It’s all about you and your enjoyment of this wonderful bay, he said, in so many words.  And he was there to make sure that we wouldn’t be disappointed.  We weren’t.  He ushered us aboard, along with another couple and their young son.

We boarded the Lei Lani, the flagship and Classic Sailing Yacht of three vessels owned by Kyle and Ashley Corbett, visionary sailing adventurers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiastic spokespersons for all things sailing.  Lovingly restored over eighteen months by Kyle and his able crew, the Lei Lani boasts real teak wood original to its 1967 construction, something no longer seen in production today.

We opted for the 2-hour signature tour, but this outfit has other options, including a 4-hour whale watching tour or a lovely sunset tour.  After our brief experience, I’m ready to go back and try the others.

Removing our shoes and socks to get the maximum feel of a sailboat adventure, we found a couple bean bags on the bow of the Lei Lani, sat back, and enjoyed the experience.  What a fantastic place to view the ocean, to get the feel of the vessel and the wind with the sail right under you, and DSC_0013to see unobstructed views of the harbor.  We were definitely seated in the front row!

From time to time, Jon came forward, offering us snacks, wine, and plenty of information about the craft we sat upon and the harbor views we drank in.  He was there for a few minutes, answering questions, offering information, then slipped away, allowing us to enjoy the experience.

Motoring out of our slip and into the channel, we saw some local dolphins leaping and showing off for the marine biologists working on a government project that involved using them in surveillance operations.  Jon pointed out where Spanish explorer Cabrillo landed centuries ago and showed us where a historically accurate Spanish galleon was being re-created as a centerpiece for a new exhibit marking the discovery of this area.  The sail was lifted and we picked up speed.  Ahead was Point Loma, off to the side a lovely place to have dinner, and over to the left (is that port or starboard?) there were helicopters landing and taking off from North Island Naval Air Station.  Behind us, an occasional Southwest Airlines jet would take off from Lindbergh field, while ahead of us lay a buoy in the harbor with a sea lion lazily occupying part of its platform.  There was no end of things to look at, questions to ask, and wonders to marvel at.  Everything was a feast for the eyes, yet the tranquility of the ocean, the soft breezes and the afternoon sun cast a lazy, relaxing feeling about everything, allowing us to simply sit back and enjoy whatever lay ahead, as other concerns simply melted away.  Free and easy.

Chips, chocolates, cold cuts, cheese and other snacks were offered as we sailed through the harbor.  Quiet.  You could hear the sail gently flapping, on and off.  Tranquil.  Little to no wake.  Occasionally a yacht or a fishing boat would glide by, people waving at us.  Peace.

I hadn’t been on a sailboat this size for a dozen years, since a brief excursion on a similar boat on Lake Michigan.  The memories came back.  Why don’t I do this more often?  This is so worth it!

DSC_0020We set out at 3:30 in the afternoon and returned promptly at 5:30 pm, just before sunset.  Yes, there are many other cruises one could take with San Diego Sailing Tours—spending even more time out on the beautiful Pacific.  In a sense, this was just a tease, but yet it was much more.  It allowed some space in my life to be still, to reflect, to absorb what Nature offers, what Creation celebrates.  It meant I could get away from all that was pressing and take time to enjoy the outdoors.  It was a time of refreshment and restoration.  If for nothing else, that was enough.

The couple with their young son had a fabulous time.  The little lad didn’t want to get off the yacht.  Who could blame him?  This was a taste of heaven.  Who knows what this experience may have stirred within him?  Who knows what it stirred in everyone else on board?  Apparently, it stirs up quite a bit.  People do this stuff—get out on the ocean for a bit—for a reason, don’t they?   I left there different than when I boarded.  What will be your experience?

San Diego Sailing Tours

1450 Harbor Island Drive

San Diego, CA 92101

Website: www.sandiegosailingtours.com

Reservations: (619) 786-0173

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