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Old 02-06-2015, 14:57   #1
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Catalina Island on July 4th

Hello all,

I've moored in Avalon and Isthmus Cove on Catalina off the Southern California coast before, but never on a busy holiday weekend. How practical is it to imagine that I'll be able to grab a mooring or decent anchorage? Can someone speak about their experience in Two Harbors on July 4th in the last couple of years?
Some specific questions:
When do you have to arrive to get a mooring?
Do the anchorages fill up?
If it's full, where can I go?
Could I get something through the reservation system (opens July 2nd for the July 4th weekend)?
Are there anchorages close enough to dinghy in and dock or beach?

Any tips are appreciated!
Cheers,
Garrett R
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Old 02-06-2015, 15:40   #2
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

It is a zoo. Jet skis, cruise ships, parasailors, etc. Highly unlikely you will get a mooring in Avalon as it is first come, first served. The moorings are privately owned and if the owner comes in, you are out. You can get a mooring outside Avalon at Descanso or one of the other areas (most likely).

I would suggest Two Harbors over Avalon.
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Old 02-06-2015, 18:05   #3
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

Isthmus Cove ( two harbors) also fills up on holiday weekends. Also crazy busy and likely to be noisy late into the night. Best to arrive before Thursday night. Whites or Button Shell might be better but still need to get there early.


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Old 03-06-2015, 10:09   #4
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

The 4th is on Sat this year, so I would leave on Wed for the best chance of not having any problems. You don't mention the size of your boat, obviously the bigger the boat the more likely you will get turned away, especially as the holiday gets closer.

Typically two harbors will do fireworks on Friday, and Avalon on Sat.

It's usually a lot of fun, but I would expect heavy LEO enforcement, be sure your safety gear is in compliance.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:23   #5
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

Thank you for the tips!

I haven't ventured into boat ownership yet, so I'll be on a chartered 37' Dufour which means compliant safety gear is always double checked (once by me, once by them).

Your comments pretty well confirm my concerns that I'll be pushing my luck if I leave Thursday morning

Another question, if I go through the hassle of sailing around to Cat Harbor, will I have more of a chance of finding a mooring? I'd rather sail the extra distance and have a mooring than have my crew on anchor watch shifts all night.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:59   #6
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

Yes Cat Harbor is more likely to have space. You can now make reservations for moorings at Two Harbors on line. Search for Visit Catalina and follow the links for moorings. Don't know if they take reservations for the 4th or not.


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Old 03-06-2015, 11:08   #7
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcraney View Post
Thank you for the tips!

I haven't ventured into boat ownership yet, so I'll be on a chartered 37' Dufour which means compliant safety gear is always double checked (once by me, once by them).

.
The Dufour you chartered wouldn't be "Avalon" per chance? The Charter Company will probably be able to give you some guidance. They might even have a mooring you can reserve.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:26   #8
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

You should be prepared to anchor out. Every time we've been on a holiday weekend we've never been early enough to get a mooring at Avalon or Two Harbors.

Here's a list of mooring sites:

Two Harbors Mooring Sites | Visit Catalina Island
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:44   #9
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

Your preference is probably Avalon -> Isthmus -> Cat Harbor.

Whether you leave Wed or Thur early I would still try them in the order your preference is. They will be able to tell you when you show up what your chances of staying through the weekend are.

There's usually dinghy parades so if you want to have fun bring stuff to decorate the rental skiff (assuming you get one)

When you get to Avalon/Isthmus, look for the harbor patrol boats (red hull/t top), although you can try asking them on the vhf (channel 12 in Avalon or 9 for Two Harbors) when you are farther away, but don't try and get them to assign you one, you must be there to get a slip assigned.

If it's hot water guns and balloons come are often employed.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:44   #10
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

anchoring usually not a problem although boat traffic makes it a bit uncomfortable.for Avalon you will need to arrive the week before.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:11   #11
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

I'm sure they'll have all this stuff on the boat, but if you want to commit it to memory early...
http://www.cityofavalon.com/filestor...n_Brochure.pdf

I couldn't find one for Two Harbors.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:39   #12
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
The Dufour you chartered wouldn't be "Avalon" per chance?
It is indeed the Avalon! Sounds like we might charter with the same company . They've given me some guidance and I have a fairly solid plan A. I just thought I'd put my feelers out and make sure my Plans B, C, and D were valid.

Thanks for your input everyone, this is all very helpful. I look forward to growing as a member of this online community.

I'll let everyone know how it goes. If you happen past a 37' Dufour named Avalon this 4th, holler Ahoy!

Cheers,
Garrett
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:44   #13
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Re: Catalina Island on July 4th

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Originally Posted by gcraney View Post
It is indeed the Avalon!
Cheers,
Garrett
That's a really nice boat. I've sailed on her quite a bit. Enjoy!
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