San Diego Harbor Navigation
32░39.10'N - 117░13'.50'W
San Diego, California USA

AGAIN, This is for general purposes and in NO case should any of the
 information be used for navigation!  Charts are available everywhere
 and you should use them.
Storm Warnings | Outer Waters | Entrance | Shelter Island | Harbor Island | Coronado | South Bay
Navigation Information
Chart 18773, 18772
Local Notice to Mariners
Storm Warnings:
Harbor Police-Shelter Island, B-Street Pier
Radio Beacon  - 323kHz OC ( _ _ _  _ . _ . )
Outer Waters: 
From the South:
  Before sighting Pt. Loma and the San Diego skyline, the traveler from the littler latitudes will see Table Mountain, 25 miles southeast of Pt. Loma and 6 miles inland of the Mexican coast.  Then 15 miles south of Pt. Loma are the Coronado Islands, 4 fairly small rocky islands running northwest about 7 miles off the coast and right on top of each other.  The water depth varies and its best to steer clear of them.   There is a light on the south end of Coronado Sur (south) and one on the north end of this island as well.  From the Coronados to Pt. Loma is a fairly straight course.  On the coast, the Tiajuana Bullring is very visible just south of the 55 ' white pillar marking the international border. 
From the West:  San Clemente Island lies almost due west of Pt. Loma on a course of 86 degrees. 
From the North:  From the north, Pt. Loma may appear as an island with a ridge height of 400 feet.  The coast from Dana Point south is mostly cliffs between 100 and 200 feet tall with short stretches of beach and lagoon entrances.  Just short of Pt. Loma is La Jolla Bay and the entrance to Mission Bay.  Don't be fooled into cutting the corner at Pt. Loma, the area is definitely a kelp farm!

Buoys & lights:

Point Loma Light
Flashing white 15 secs.
South tip of Pt. Loma on
SD Bay approach
Lighted Whistle Buoy SD
Flashing white Morse Code letter (A) (. _)
Approach Buoy 3
Flashing green -
6 secs.
Foghorn:
Point Loma Light

1 blast every 30 secs.
(3 second blast)

Entrance/Point Loma AreaSan Diego Entrance-Point Loma Nav
From the Northwest:

As you near the end of Pt. Loma, stay a good 1 1/2 to 2 miles off the south end of the point.  Once again, beware of the kelp beds, especially in sailboats.  Keels are not kelp harvesters.    There are breakers near the tip of Point Loma as well, just inside the kelp line.
From the Southwest:
Coming up from Mexico or the Coronados, be aware of the submerged jetty that runs on the south side of the entrance for approximately a mile from Zuniga Point at the west end of North Island about 32░41.10.2'N - 117░13'40.7'W.  During lower tides, submerged rocks can be seen.  There is a light at the seaward end, 3 lights in the middle area and a yellow day mark reading "Danger Submerged Jetty".  Pay attention to the channel marks.
The Navy's Submarine Base is on the west side of the channel and North Island Naval Air Station is on the east.  These are restricted areas, that means Stay Away from them!
Buoys & lights: Point Loma Light
Flashing white
15 secs.
South tip of Pt. Loma on SD Bay approach
Lighted Whistle Buoy SD
Flashing white Morse Code letter (A) (. _)
Approach Buoy 3
Flashing green -
6 secs.
Approach Buoy 5
Flashing green -
2.5 secs
Zuniga Jetty Light Z
Flashing white -
2.5 secs
(seaward jetty end)
Ballast Point Light B
Flashing white -
4 secs.
(at 16 feet)
Foghorns:
Pt. Loma Light

1 blast every 30 secs.
(3 second blast)
Zuniga Jetty Light Z
1 blast every
10 secs.
(1 second blast)
Ballast Point Light B
1 blast every
15 secs.
(2 second blast)

Shelter Island NavShelter Island:
Shallow shoaling waters form a triangular area off the west end of Shelter Island near the entrance to the side channel.  We've seen some sad sights as boats sit cock-eyed in this area awaiting rescue.  Don't join that club!  It is posted.

Depths inside the Shelter Island Basin range from 20' in the channel, 15' at the slips and 9' in some of the corner area, although we have noticed very shallow water along some of the bulwarks at both ends and along the east side.  There is usually a lot of traffic on the weekends, especially in the summer and early fall.  During race season, be aware that there are often dinghy races taking place.  And there is the fuel dock at the foot of the Yacht Basin, boats heading there seem pretty determined.

Buoys & lights:

Shelter Island Entrance
353░ lighted range mark

Foghorns:

Shelter Island Entrance
1 blast every 10 secs. (1 second blast)

 

Harbor Island:
Harbor Island is a long island running parallel to the shore and connected by a hefty causeway.   Its the home of 1600 boats and often congested.  Be careful.  There is a roof-mounted light at the west end of the island. 

Buoys & Lights:
Harbor Island Light

Flashing white - 4 secs.
(at 55 feet)

 

Harbor Island Nav

Downtown:
The downtown waterfront consists of the A-3 Anchorage and private moorings area, the B Street Pier, Broadway Pier, the Navy Pier and the G Street Pier, a small and a larger marina and the wharf area.  The piers are home to the big boat customs, the cruise ships, some of the excursion boats and the historical ships.  The Star of India is berthed here.  The area directly off the piers is restricted.  Big, unmanueverable boats usually have the right of way here!  The Coast Guard station is located on the western edge of the moorings cove.
Downtown Nav
Foghorn:
B Street Pier

1 blast every 15 seconds
(2 second blast)

Coronado NavCoronado:
The Coronado Bridge has a clearance of 195 feet through the 2 middle sections at mean high tide, down to 15 feet at the Coronado end.  Glorietta Bay is about 6 miles from Ballast Point which you passed on the main entrance channel.  The entrance to the bay is marked by a light and through a buoy-marked channel.  Stay in between the first channel marker and the bridge.  Outside the channel marker, the waters are very shallow, beware of running aground.  The speed limit inside the bay is 5 mph.   The average depth is 10 to 13 feet.

Foghorn:  Coronado Bridge -  1 blast every 10 seconds (1 second blast) 2 horns - same sequence

South Bay NavSouth Bay
The southern area of the bay has two marinas, Chula Vista and Coronado Cays.   Chula Vista has a buoy and light marked entrance channel leading to a breakwater entrance that is also marked by lights.  Coronado Cays' entrance is also through a marked channel.  The foot of the bay shallows off into tidelands and has plenty of areas for either running aground or hitting one of the many submerged wrecks.  Depths may average 4 to 7 feet.  Shallows means "shallow"!  High tides can be deceiving, they don't always cover much.  Channel following is strongly advised.
Waypoints
from the San Diego Whistle Buoy

Destination

Out

Back

Distance

Oceanside

332

152

35

Dana Point

320

140

56

Newport Beach

316

136

66

Los Angeles Light

306

126

82

Catalina-Avalon

293

113

70

San Clemente Island-Pyramid Cove

266

086

58

Cortes Bank

248

068

95

Sixty Mile Bank

222

042

60

North Coronado

181

001

12

South Coronado

167

347

14

AGAIN, This is for general purposes and in NO case should any of the
 information be used for navigation!  Charts are available everywhere
 and you should use them.

 

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