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Old 11-07-2009, 08:13   #1
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Catalina Island Trip Interest?

Fellow Mariners - I am planning my trip to Catalina leaving from San Diego and am looking for more boats to join the flotilla. I recently relocated to the West Coast and would love to find fellow offshore sailors. I have no restrictions on a date/duration, just want to get to the island and enjoy the open ocean.

Also, if you know of any other forums/groups/clubs that frequently participate in group sails, your recommendations are appreciated.

Fair Weather and Following Seas,
Kyle
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:38   #2
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You could ask Lee Pearce (leepearce@msn.com). He is a sailing instructor in San Diego and knows most of the clubs and groups and the many people he has taught. And he's a really nice person.
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Old 14-07-2009, 13:22   #3
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Hi Kyle,

I'm currently working on putting a trip together with my father-in-law and son. We're looking at august 5 to 9 most likely. Based on what I've read here and elsewhere we're looking at motoring up the evening/night of the 5th and spending a couple nights at Two Harbors then sailing back south. I'm not sure on the details, especially of the return, just yet, but I'm working on it. One of the reason's we've picked these dates is that's a full moon.

We'll be renting a boat out of Seaforth, I'm a sail club member there.

Ray
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Old 14-07-2009, 14:37   #4
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We were in Catalina this last week...boat next to us Cat 400 mk II..beautiful, first thing I noticed was that his dingy was no more than a small inflatable that looked like a kiddy pool. Learned that they were from SD and sailed for 15 hours to get to Catalina Island. When I asked why he had a boat to die for and a kiddy pool for a dingy, he told me he thought there was a shore boat in Avalon..He was right. $5.00 per person per trip..thats $10.00 round trip...So..just letting you know, bring a Dingy!!
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Old 14-07-2009, 15:58   #5
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Wow: last time I was there (a couple of summers ago) it was only two bucks each way…
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Old 14-07-2009, 17:21   #6
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Charging higher prices helps keep the Island clean. Don't know if any of you remember when back in the 1970's, the City of Los Angeles was sending teenagers to Avalon for free, if they belonged to and underprivileged family. That brought loitering, graffiti, theft, littering, etc. All that has changed. The place is a Jewel in the Pacific. Oh..and I remember when it was $.75 one way...shhhhhhhh
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Old 14-07-2009, 18:03   #7
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I'm all for keeping the island pristine, and have no problems with the Conservancy who runs things. I like it the way it is, at least @ the Isthmus: slow, non-developed, and generating that feeling that you're a lot farther away from home than you really are.

Just glad I have an inflatable…
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Old 09-08-2009, 21:46   #8
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closing in on catalina voyage

ray,

just had the opportunity to check back on my original post and see that your sailaway date just passed. how did everything go? i am looking to set off the first week in september.

kyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by trebeyar View Post
Hi Kyle,

I'm currently working on putting a trip together with my father-in-law and son. We're looking at august 5 to 9 most likely. Based on what I've read here and elsewhere we're looking at motoring up the evening/night of the 5th and spending a couple nights at Two Harbors then sailing back south. I'm not sure on the details, especially of the return, just yet, but I'm working on it. One of the reason's we've picked these dates is that's a full moon.

We'll be renting a boat out of Seaforth, I'm a sail club member there.

Ray
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Old 14-08-2009, 12:31   #9
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Hi Kyle,

I've heard great things about the Sailing San Diego Meetup group (Sailing San Diego (San Diego, CA) - Meetup.com). You might find some fellow boat owners or renters there to join you on your Catalina excursion. At the very least you can connect with other sailing enthusiasts on one of their day sailing trips.

Also, the Harbor Yacht Clubs sailing forum (link in my profile) is a good place to look for people who might want to plan a flotilla - it's all renters from Harbor Island Yacht Club, and technically it's "members only" - but if you're interested, PM me and I'll get you logged on. We're in the process of opening the forum to the public anyway.

Hope this helps - have fun on your trip!

Jill
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Old 14-08-2009, 13:30   #10
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Hi Kyle,

We actually pushed back our dates by a week and I just got back yesterday morning.

Trip was great. I'll be posting a more detailed account on my blog over the next few days, with pictures. However here's a summary:

We started loading the boat at 4PM Sunday afternoon and were loaded and ready to go by 5:30. We checked out and were underway by 6PM, leaving from Mission Bay. We only had wind to sail until about 8PM. After that we started up the engine, set course of 290 (hand steering the entire way) and cruised very smoothly at about 6kts. Hardly any swell or waves at all. It got steadily colder all night long and we eventually ended up in full foulies.

My father-in-law and I set a 2 hour watch and the other just rested/slept in the cockpit, my son slept well all night down below. This being our first overnight passage we both wanted the other quickly available in case something happened. At 3am something did happen. The FIL was driving and I was snoozing. I heard something very odd come from the engine and suddenly the oil pressure light and buzzer went on scaring the snot out of both of us. I jumped to the binnacle and shut the engine down. I checked the temp real quick and it looked fine so I headed to the engine. As soon I got in the companionway I could smell the burnt rubber and immediately knew we'd wasted a belt.

I pulled the engine cover off and found both belts wrapped around the crankshaft. My club thankfully supplied us with spares for both belts and after cleaning out the mess I replaced both belts and we were on our way. Total down time was about 30 minutes.

[quick aside: I was wearing a harness and tether while I was working on the engine. I had the cover off when I told the FIL to start up the engine so I could make sure things looked okay. My tether got kicked by one of the blades on the alternator and suddenly my life flashed before my eyes. Dumb move on my part and my only excuse was it was 3am, which is really no excuse. Beware dangly things when you are working on an engine!!]

After that we got to two harbors about 9am and were moored in Isthmus Harbor by 10. The restaurant there does a great breakfast so if you don't feel like cooking it's a great option. I imagine the other meals are good too but we only sampled the breakfasts.

Everyone up there, including the other boaters, are all very friendly. We didn't have a childrens-pool-like-dinghy but we also didn't have a motor so our neighbors offered to tow us in when we both happened to head out at the same time. The rest of the time we rowed and that was fine too.

We were able to pick up a new alternator belt but they didn't have the water pump belt. Might have been able to get one in Avalon but we didn't try. Fuel dock closes at 4pm during the week. We realized our holding tank was full at 4:30... The shore boats cost $3 pp each way and they run till the bar closes around 1am... The showers say they are $0.50 per 90 seconds of water, but we got more than 90 seconds out of $0.50.....

We left for home Wednesday morning at 8am and had to motor till we were clear of the island around 11am. Little pockets of wind but nothing we could sustain. However we did go through several pods of dolphin and pilot whales. Several dolphins came for a closer look and even got in our bow wave. They'd dive under us then come jumping out of the water on the other side. Pretty cool!

As for traffic we had to change course to go behind one tanker coming out of the shipping channel from Long Beach. Then off Pendleton we had to divert around a Navy ship performing aircraft operations. Other than that we didn't see many other vessels at all.

We tried to sail 120 coming home but the wind dead astern and the following seas made us too concerned about an accidental gybe, plus is was really rolly, so we headed a little more south in a broad reach and then made a controlled gybe further south. It was more comfortable sailing a more southerly course too. Between noon and 7PM we probably averaged 15kts wind and regularly touched 6.5kts over ground. We again lost wind around 8PM and started up the engine.

We had around 5 miles visibility most of the time, even during the day so we never saw land after leaving Catalina until we were within 5 miles of Del Mar and it started getting dark. We used the Seaworld tower as a landmark to home in on Mission Bay channel. We were docked by 11:30pm. Total time going up was 14 hours and coming back was 15.5 hours. ymmv.

We used GPS as our primary nav tool, we had 3 on board. We had charts too and they give a better big picture. The best reference we found was Charlie's Charts. It had the best descriptions of approaches and landmarks.

I guess that was a pretty detailed summary hehe...

Overall an awesome trip! I was in no hurry to get home at all. We'll probably change a few things up next time we do this trip but basically I followed what others have suggested here and it worked out really well. We'll be doing this one again.

Looking forward to hearing how your trip goes.
Ray
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Old 15-08-2009, 19:40   #11
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Trip Details

Ray,

Enjoyed your comments about your trip. A few bumps in the road keep it interesting, glad there were no greater issues. So you had to motor from 8pm to 11am going up and 8pm to 1130pm going in? More motoring than expected. That is my only concern at this point. I have a 6hp outboard that can make 5kts with minimal seas. I am not sure if it sustain such long hours of operation. Right now I am thinking of motoring to Dana Point and then sailing over the next day. Thoughts? I am in the brunt of preps now and am getting more excited about the trip.

Cheers, Kyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by trebeyar View Post
Hi Kyle,

We actually pushed back our dates by a week and I just got back yesterday morning.

Trip was great. I'll be posting a more detailed account on my blog over the next few days, with pictures. However here's a summary:

We started loading the boat at 4PM Sunday afternoon and were loaded and ready to go by 5:30. We checked out and were underway by 6PM, leaving from Mission Bay. We only had wind to sail until about 8PM. After that we started up the engine, set course of 290 (hand steering the entire way) and cruised very smoothly at about 6kts. Hardly any swell or waves at all. It got steadily colder all night long and we eventually ended up in full foulies.

My father-in-law and I set a 2 hour watch and the other just rested/slept in the cockpit, my son slept well all night down below. This being our first overnight passage we both wanted the other quickly available in case something happened. At 3am something did happen. The FIL was driving and I was snoozing. I heard something very odd come from the engine and suddenly the oil pressure light and buzzer went on scaring the snot out of both of us. I jumped to the binnacle and shut the engine down. I checked the temp real quick and it looked fine so I headed to the engine. As soon I got in the companionway I could smell the burnt rubber and immediately knew we'd wasted a belt.

I pulled the engine cover off and found both belts wrapped around the crankshaft. My club thankfully supplied us with spares for both belts and after cleaning out the mess I replaced both belts and we were on our way. Total down time was about 30 minutes.

[quick aside: I was wearing a harness and tether while I was working on the engine. I had the cover off when I told the FIL to start up the engine so I could make sure things looked okay. My tether got kicked by one of the blades on the alternator and suddenly my life flashed before my eyes. Dumb move on my part and my only excuse was it was 3am, which is really no excuse. Beware dangly things when you are working on an engine!!]

After that we got to two harbors about 9am and were moored in Isthmus Harbor by 10. The restaurant there does a great breakfast so if you don't feel like cooking it's a great option. I imagine the other meals are good too but we only sampled the breakfasts.

Everyone up there, including the other boaters, are all very friendly. We didn't have a childrens-pool-like-dinghy but we also didn't have a motor so our neighbors offered to tow us in when we both happened to head out at the same time. The rest of the time we rowed and that was fine too.

We were able to pick up a new alternator belt but they didn't have the water pump belt. Might have been able to get one in Avalon but we didn't try. Fuel dock closes at 4pm during the week. We realized our holding tank was full at 4:30... The shore boats cost $3 pp each way and they run till the bar closes around 1am... The showers say they are $0.50 per 90 seconds of water, but we got more than 90 seconds out of $0.50.....

We left for home Wednesday morning at 8am and had to motor till we were clear of the island around 11am. Little pockets of wind but nothing we could sustain. However we did go through several pods of dolphin and pilot whales. Several dolphins came for a closer look and even got in our bow wave. They'd dive under us then come jumping out of the water on the other side. Pretty cool!

As for traffic we had to change course to go behind one tanker coming out of the shipping channel from Long Beach. Then off Pendleton we had to divert around a Navy ship performing aircraft operations. Other than that we didn't see many other vessels at all.

We tried to sail 120 coming home but the wind dead astern and the following seas made us too concerned about an accidental gybe, plus is was really rolly, so we headed a little more south in a broad reach and then made a controlled gybe further south. It was more comfortable sailing a more southerly course too. Between noon and 7PM we probably averaged 15kts wind and regularly touched 6.5kts over ground. We again lost wind around 8PM and started up the engine.

We had around 5 miles visibility most of the time, even during the day so we never saw land after leaving Catalina until we were within 5 miles of Del Mar and it started getting dark. We used the Seaworld tower as a landmark to home in on Mission Bay channel. We were docked by 11:30pm. Total time going up was 14 hours and coming back was 15.5 hours. ymmv.

We used GPS as our primary nav tool, we had 3 on board. We had charts too and they give a better big picture. The best reference we found was Charlie's Charts. It had the best descriptions of approaches and landmarks.

I guess that was a pretty detailed summary hehe...

Overall an awesome trip! I was in no hurry to get home at all. We'll probably change a few things up next time we do this trip but basically I followed what others have suggested here and it worked out really well. We'll be doing this one again.

Looking forward to hearing how your trip goes.
Ray
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Old 15-08-2009, 21:07   #12
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The problem we face here in Southern California, is we rarely get wind at night. If we do then we probably have a Santa Ana and you really don't want to be going to Catalina then anyway... If you want to sail from SD to Catalina you'll need to do it during the day and you'll probably have to do it over two days. Truthfully the return will probably take two days also. That's if you want to sail the whole way.

If you think you can motor/sail to Dana Point then day sailing to/from there to Catalina seems reasonable.

I do think I had pretty light winds but we just don't get much wind around here after the sun goes down.

One point on the return trip. We could have started sailing before 11 but the winds were fluky and intermittent until we got out of the shadow of the island. If we'd headed out away from the island more I imagine we would have seen more wind sooner.

Ray
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