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Old 27-06-2011, 06:34   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: San Diego
Boat: Pacific Seacraft Crealock 37
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Re: Catalina Island CA -Best anchorage close to Avalon?

Whites is by far the best anchorage reasonably near to Avalon.
I would not want to be in Descanso on July 4th weekend - the anchorage
is not that good - too rolly - both from waves and powerboat traffic and
you have the problem of it being a favorite for boats with limited anchoring

I have made the trip by dinghy from Whites to Avalon a few times but usually in the morning before any winds come up. In the evening after a show you are likely to get wet going from Avalon to Whites. I would not worry about leaving your dinghy at the Avalon dinghy dock - hundreds of people do it every year without incident.

The shore boat from Avalon used to make the trip from Avalon to Whites during the summer so that might be an option for you but I would check to see if it still makes the run and how late.

All that said Catalina is a bit crazy on the holiday weekends, the moorings fill up as do the better anchorage spots. A lot of inexperienced boats (anchorers) seem to make the trip on these weekends so having someone drop an anchor on you should be expected.

I would choose another location such as Smuggler's Cove on Santa Cruz or Pyramid Cove on the south end of San Clemente - both large anchorages which can handle a large number of boats.

Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Crealock 37 based in San Diego

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Old 14-07-2011, 18:19   #17
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Location: Ventura, CA
Boat: Islander 33 - 1966 flat top
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Re: Catalina Island CA -Best anchorage close to Avalon?

Thank you for all the comments! We are back from 9 days at Santa Catalina and here is the report:

We anchored outside at Descanso in about 85' of water. On the downside it was rolly and 4th July weekend was a zoo of powerboats and morons zooming around in those overpriced, overpowered dingies. But, hey, worth every penny of FREE and we got to see the Eliminators and Dick Dale on a double billing at the lovely art deco styled Avalon Casino Ballroom. See a show there if you can. It is beautiful.

Riding in for the show, we got swamped by people who think that dingy + Avalon bay = speedboat race. I got some strange looks while I stood naked in the ladies' lounge of the fancy ballroom trying to dry my party dress & underwear with paper towels!

Shoreboat cost $5 to take me "home" to our boat after the show. In retrospect, I could have spent the $5 to ride in and not gotten soaked.

There are good dingy docks at both the Casino and downtown. No one messed with our dingy. From the casino ballroom, if you look down at the dingy dock, it appears like a colorful dingy daisy.

Next morning we couldn't get away fast enough. We sailed & motored around the island and spent the rest of our time at CAT HARBOR. This is definitely the place to stay for sailboats.

We never used a mooring ball, anchored the whole time.

cheers and happy sailing!

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Old 16-07-2011, 09:46   #18
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Location: Pacific NW, sailing the Columbia River, USA
Boat: Gemini 105MC 34 ft hull#753
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Re: Catalina Island, CA - Best Anchorage Close to Avalon ?

Remind me to go to the ladies lounge next time were at Avalon It's really busy down there this time of year.

Wind in my hair and a nice catamaran
Phil & Elaine
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anchor, avalon, catalina island

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