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Home on the Water: San Diego Sailing Tours

By Kelly Church

Fancy a sail in San Diego? San Diego Sailing Tours is a locally-owned boat charter that offers private and public charters - even whale watching and marine wildlife tours.

Founder Kyle Corbett started San Diego Sailing Tours after learning the "art of sailing charter" in New Zealand. After earning his sailing license with encouragement from a 19-year-old captain on a trip to Costa Rica, Corbett purchased the first large sailboat. He spent 18 months remodeling and restoring it.

"We began from scratch and funded ourselves with the earnings of a substitute teacher and without bank assistance," says Corbett. "We have since built this organization to a fleet of three beautiful classic sailing yachts."

Now, San Diego Sailing Tours offers private and public tours with multiple departures each day - with the options of daytime sailing and sunset sailing. The Whale Watching Tour is a four-hour sea tour that presents many chances to see whales in their natural habitat. Another four-hour lunchtime trip, the Marine Wildlife Tour, takes customers to a secret spot with many opportunities for watching dolphins, seals, sea lions, and other wildlife. Both tours include lunch onboard, as well as a chilled white wine or craft beer.

Corbett says his favorite trips are the multi-day trips to Catalina Island - a small, rocky island off the coast of southern California. It takes a full day to sail to the island and a full day back. Corbett says that days on the island are spent hiking, diving, and whale watching.

"We see loads of gentle giants gliding along our coast," Corbett says. "California Grey whale traffic on the California coastline during the months of December-March with some arriving as early as November and staying as late as mid-April."

For shorter trips, Corbett suggests staying in Mission Bay, San Diego for two or three days. A licensed captain keeps watch over the boat as guests sleep soundly on the water.

"The sailing yachts become your private condo on the water," Corbett says. "Sailing gives you the serenity of nature as you travel using wind power, as green as it gets, and only sounds of nature fill the air. Sharing that happiness makes it all worth it."

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