Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Hump

Before I post pics from our recent anchorage in Glorietta Bay, I wanted to explain the hump.  Since I'm new to this sailing thing, I don't know much about it other than what I've been told.  I don't know if it's a universal term among live-aboards everywhere or if it's specific to San Diego.  All I know is it is supposedly possible to live aboard a boat here in San Diego without paying a fee.  There are a handful of people that "live on the hump", moving around the bay from free anchorage to free anchorage.  There are a bunch of rules and regulations that I can hardly get straight in my head and I'm still not even sure if it's possible to live this way without actually succumbing to The Man by occasionally paying a temporary slip fee or a fine for anchoring over 72-hours or without a permit.  Regardless, the whole idea fascinates me. 

Here's what I know:
  • Mission Bay (depicted by anchor, upper left): Pros: You can anchor for up to 72 hours, any day of the week.  It is well-protected here, glassy like a lake.  No permit necessary.  Cons: Once your 72 hours are up (don't be late!), you can't come back again for 7 days.  Since this is the only anchorage in Mission Bay, you have to make the sail all the way back to San Diego Bay (six-ish hours) when you leave here...unless you want to pay an exorbitant amount for a temporary slip at one of the marinas.   
  • Zuniga Jetty (anchor, lower left): Pros: You can anchor as long as you like for free, without a permit.  Cons: It is not very protected, making for a rocky ride.  Since it is off the coast of North Island Naval Base, you can't dinghy to shore and walk to town.  You are stuck on your boat for as long as you anchor here (unless you're bold like our friend Adam, who rowed from Zuniga Jetty to Shelter Island and back last weekend).   
  • La Playa (anchor, middle left):  Pros: You can anchor for up to 72 hours, weekends only.  Fully protected, it is serene like a lake.  You can pull your dinghy up on the beach, with easy access to Shelter Island. Cons: You need a permit and you can only anchor here on weekends. 
  • Glorietta Bay (anchor, lower right): Pros: You can anchor here any day of the week, for up to 72 hours.  Cons: You need a permit. There is no dinghy dock but if you want to go into town, you can beach your dinghy and run across the golf course when no one is looking. 
  • Cruisers Anchorage (sailboat, upper right): Pros: You can anchor here for up to 90 days with a permit.  Cons: This anchorage is designated for visitors from out-of-town, so it doesn't actually apply to the hump but it's nice to know, anyway.   
You are required to obtain permits for La Playa and Glorietta at least 24-hours in advance of anchoring. You are allowed only three permits in one thirty day period. That's three permits total! for the month, not three for each of La Playa and Glorietta.  So once you've exhausted  your permits for the month, you have to stay at Zuniga Jetty or Mission Bay. 

So those are the basics.  And as long as you don't mind staying on your boat at Zuniga Jetty a lot of the time, it is possible to live on the hump for free.  But for now, I'll stick with my mooring.

Up next: Pictures from Glorietta Bay.

Detailed Map

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