Sail USA 11 Charter Gets Up Close To Bayfront Dining Spot
The suggestion was just a joke, but before I knew it, skipper Mark Strube had IL Moro, ITA-16, a 90-foot boat with a 150-foot mainsail that participated in San Diego’s America’s Cup, pointed straight at the new Portside Pier restaurants in San Diego Bay.
I wanted some close-up shots for this new and cool dining and drinking spot on the edge of downtown to post on PubClub.com, and boy did we get up close to it. So close, that later I was told a lot of people who were there at the time thought we would ram the dock!
But as smooth as a good rum drink, Strube made a slow turn, sailed alongside the open-air structure so close that some people could almost reach out and touch the massive sails and, like a beautiful woman making sure everyone saw her hottest outfit but not sticking around too long, turned away and disappeared into the distance.
It was quite the scene from both the boat as well as from Portside Pier. I was fortunate enough to be on the boat and as we approached, I could see people getting up from their tables and running to the edge of the restaurants (Portside Pier sits literally over the bay next to the Star of India ship).
As we made a turn to sail parallel to Portside, people at the restaurants pulled out cell phones to take photos and videos. And then they started waving at us and even cheering.
It was an awesome experience being on that boat being cheered by people. I felt like a celebrity!
The next afternoon, seated at the appropriately-named Top Sail bar above the Brigantine restaurant and having (appropriately enough) a rum drink – a Mai Tai which was pretty good but needs a floater of dark rum to take it over the top – I asked our waiter if he saw the big sailboat come by the previous day.
“EVERYBODY saw that sailboat,!” he exclaimed. “We thought you were coming straight in here.”
Upon hearing this, I sat up in my seat, stuck out my chest a bit and proudly announced, “I was on that boat.”
The waiter said “nice!,” and I know I gained a measure of respect from him.
And you know what – you can get on that boat, too. It’s from Sail USA 11 out of Shelter Island. The company does group charters as well as accepting bookings from individuals. The cost is just $125 per person for a three-hour sail.
Now whether or not you get that close to Portside Pier is up to the day’s wind conditions and the skipper. But I can tell you from first-hand experience, it was an awesome feeling.
Sail USA 11 Contact Information
• Website: https://www.sailusa11.com/
• Phone: (619) 540-1876
• E-mail: [email protected]
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/sailusa11
• Instagram: www.instagram.com/sailusa11
• Twitter: twitter.com/SANDIEGOSAIL
• YouTube: www.youtube.com