San Diego, CA [Shelter Island -The Not So good]

I think I'm spotting a trend. It starts where I say, "We only intended to be here for 'x' long," and it ends up being way longer!  Apparently that's the new norm. We pulled into the police docks on Shelter Island knowing we had some work to do on our auto pilot, because the fixes we did in Newport, didn't actually fix it.  Chris ended up having to hand steer about half of our 10 hour day from Newport to San Diego. This made for a grouchy Chris. BUT, we were able to dock in sunlight, and have shore power and water for the first time since Oxnard, so that felt great!

So 2 days at the docks, turned into 14. That's all fine and dandy, but at $1/ft per night, it adds up fast. Chris worked tirelessly on the Auto helm, while we enjoyed the occasional visit from family and friends. We took Secret Water out each time we thought maybe it was fixed, but were twice disappointed in it's inability to make port turns on it's own. Before the second auto helm test, we even took Opal to the vet thinking we'd be ready to depart for Mexico if it worked. Sadly, it didn't and we had to turn around. It was determined that it wasn't only air in the lines that was preventing the system from working on it's own, but that the pump was bad. Thankfully, our marine electrician, Henry, happened to be doing work in SD the following day, and happened to have a spare pump that would work with our system! He brought it down, and we picked it up. And with that fix, it works!

During all this time, Chris' mom, dad and Lahni came to see us, which made it possible for us to drive places. So nice to have them on the boat as well. Opal very much enjoyed having her friend Keelie aboard. Not sure what we'd done without them. 

As we wrapped up the auto pilot project, we remembered that our windlass stopped working on Santa Cruz. Not sure how we put it off, but neither of us thought it would be a big fix. Maybe a fuse or something. We couldn't have been more wrong....It turns out the gears are all locked up, and we either need to have it rebuilt, or buy a new one. 

So, not in fact leaving for Mexico...yet. We'll be headed to the A9 Cruisers Anchorage at Harbor Island (free) to wait on that fix. Which means ordering a new Windlass and waiting for it's arrival from the East Coast.