When cruising from any of the Yacht Clubs or Marinas in the San Diego Bay area, it is really important to pay attention to the kelp beds off the shores of Point Loma. It is particularly important when you are planning to head North toward Oceanside and all points beyond.
Our personal recommendation is to head to the harbor entrance buoy labeled SD1 (32°37.3' N 117°14.7' W) before making your gradual turn to the North. Some impatient people turn at SD3 while others may set even more direct courses - and many end up fighting the kelp beds.
A best bet strategy is to head to SD1 and turn slightly North keeping in water that is at least 90 feet deep - maybe on a heading of 225 degrees. Once you have stayed on this course for a couple of miles, then you can (usually) afford to head more closely to your destination all the while watching for kelp and maintaining a minimum depth around 90 or 100 feet.
You will also want to keep clear of La Jolla Point. A course of approximately 3 miles offshore seems to work well when rounding Point Loma, clearing La Jolla Point and ending up at the harbor entrance at Oceanside.
The trip is usually 'uphill' fighting swells, current and wind along the way and expect the trip to take most of your day. Cruising at 7 knots should result in an approximately 7 hour trip.
Of course, when returning to San Diego from Oceanside you can apply the reverse of the course discussed above and you can expect the trip to take a little less time because normal conditions will be swells, current and wind on your stern.
Options for staying over in Oceanside include the Oceanside Yacht Club for reciprocal Yacht Club Members and the Harbor Department controlled docks for all others. I have heard stories of anchoring inside the breakwater between the turn to the harbor and the turn to the military marina.
For a reservation at OYC contact the Port Captain - currently (2010) David Albert (760) 822-7403.
For a reservation at the public docks contact the harbor master or harbor police. Channel 16 will get you there.
There are a couple of eating establishments in the harbor including the Jolly Roger and Joe's Crab Shack.
There is a fuel dock that is easy to get in and out of.