A silvery sheet of water near the center of Vacation Isle is where dreams take sail. Tiny dreams with tiny sails.
Today I took a long meandering walk about Mission Bay, and spent a fair amount of time lingering around what is simply called the model yacht pond. Connected to the bay with an underground pipe, the pond rises and falls with the ocean’s tides. The tranquil sheet of saltwater, surrounded by grass, trees and the many picnic benches of Vacation Isle Park, has been enjoyed by model boat hobbyists for over half a century.
A very cool club called the San Diego Argonauts utilizes the model yacht pond for radio control model boating and racing. Every Saturday morning, their Scale Boat Division runs electric and steam-powered craft on the pond. Many of the tiny vessels are remarkably detailed, even museum quality. One tiny tugboat even blew its horn at me while I took some photographs!
Saturday afternoons is when the wind-driven sailboats come out to compete or practice. The Sail Division of the San Diego Argonauts has many skippers who’ve won National Championships!
Today I saw so many sails at once, I could hardly believe it! The model yacht pond was the scene of a glorious regatta. These model boat sails tack by remote control, so racing around the tiny floating buoys requires many of the same strategies as racing a full-size sailboat!
On Sunday the pond features model power boats, which can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour! I’ll definitely have to check that out one weekend! I’ll take pictures!
Model boating is a fascinating, beautiful hobby to watch. I’ll bet it’s a lot of fun building a boat and watching it float across this magical pond!
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