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Old 08-09-2008, 19:10   #1
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San Diego to Catalina

Hello fellow sailors and cruisers,

I'm new to the forums but I've already found a ton of useful information. I'm also new to the San Diego area and recently purchased a Catalina 27 and have been sailing every weekend in the harbor and occasionally a few miles off shore when I have a chance and the time. I've been sailing for a few years now and recently moved here from Seattle, where I originally learned to sail on my 30 foot full keel custom in the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands.

I'm looking to do a weekend trip to Avalon from SD which I know is about 70nm, I'm told its a 12 hour sail, but am unsure as I know I'll be fighting the current and wind on my way there. I'm also planning on heading out to SD buoy 1 before heading NW as to miss all the kelp and underwater jetties. Does anyone have any suggested routes to take or how long it's taken them?

I plan on leaving around 2 or 3am depending on the wind as to have some daylight left to catch the mooring buoy or drop anchor. Any suggested areas to drop?

I've never been this far offshore before as in Puget Sound land is always near.....Is this sail a relatively easy sail? I've been in some nasty sailing weather in the NW but there is really only wind chop and not much of a swell like there here. There will be three of us total, we have a hand held and Chartplotter, Master Till, strong 8hp four stroke, newer sails, vhf and two batteries. Does anyone have any advance about this voyage?

Thanks

-Adam
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Old 08-09-2008, 19:42   #2
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Adam;

I live in San Diego on a Hans Christian in Shelter Island; we've done that trip several times on different boats. We're even getting married there in November. The short list is:

- Avalon. Small city, probably not too busy this time of year. A good place to be for a day or two if you've never been to Catalina before, and especially if you need anything. There's an upholstry shop that can do sail repair stuff as well. Grocery store, restraunts, etc. They have mooring balls. It's not 16, but you hail them once you're within a mile or so. They escort you to your ball.

- Two Harbors. Liked by cruisers more than Avalon, it's pretty dead as far as services go, but it's a lot more "rural" and if your boat is self sufficient you'll probably like it more.

- Emerald Bay. My favorite spot, very rural, absolutely beautiful.

The worst thing about Catalina is the lack of wind, but that's a San Diego thing in general. We usually ballpark 30 hours each way, drop it down to 10 under motor. We just had some blog readers head out there under engine all the way. Especially at 2am-3am, it will be dead.

We usually head off the coast, avoiding the kelp beds, for about 4-5 miles. If you haven't sailed past La Jolla, that's nice too, so maybe you don't want to be too far off the coast. Also, you can head to Oceanside for the night, or do so on the way back. It's a nice way to stop into a few different harbors. Oceanside Harbor Police have a few open slips.

Just get ready for a lot of calm wind.

Here's a great bar in Avalon to stop into: the world famous Marlin Club
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Old 08-09-2008, 19:45   #3
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Also, if you're in Avalon, there's a dive park near the casino. Perfect for snorkeling gear and a great way to have fun for free. There are also public showers (4$?) in Avalon.
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Old 08-09-2008, 20:02   #4
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Adam:

Pretty long trip for a weekend sail. May I suggest an alternative. Saturday take the boat to Dana Point Harbor. Have someone drive up from SD. Sunday sail to avalon (~30nm). Leave the boat there for a week. Catch the Ferry back to Dana Point. Drive Back to SD. Next weekend reverse the trip. I think that you will have a more pleasant time. 70 nm is a long sail for a Catalina 27 and given the prevailing lack of wind would be a very long motor. Especially bad if you plan on doing the trip in one weekend.
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Old 08-09-2008, 20:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Adam:

Pretty long trip for a weekend sail. May I suggest an alternative. Saturday take the boat to Dana Point Harbor. Have someone drive up from SD. Sunday sail to avalon (~30nm). Leave the boat there for a week. Catch the Ferry back to Dana Point. Drive Back to SD. Next weekend reverse the trip. I think that you will have a more pleasant time. 70 nm is a long sail for a Catalina 27 and given the prevailing lack of wind would be a very long motor. Especially bad if you plan on doing the trip in one weekend.

I agree. THis is not a good trip for a short weekend. For a weekend, sail over to Glorietta Bay and get a mooring at Coranodo Island. Lots to do on that Island. Also, you can sail to Mission Bay and anchor before the bridge. Both of these are perfect for a weekend.

I like the idea of hopping up to Catalina. Dont just hop to Dana Point, but also to Newport Beach. There is much more to do in Newport Beach than Dana Point . Sailing into the Newport harbour is cool and it has alot going on. You can leave the boat on a mooring for a week there for like 5 bucks a day. Catalina is a nice short sail away from Newport Harbour, even shorter than Dana Point. Watch out for Sea Lions jumping up on your boat in Newport. Yikes!
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Old 08-09-2008, 20:28   #6
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Quote:
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Adam:

Pretty long trip for a weekend sail. May I suggest an alternative. Saturday take the boat to Dana Point Harbor. Have someone drive up from SD. Sunday sail to avalon (~30nm). Leave the boat there for a week. Catch the Ferry back to Dana Point. Drive Back to SD. Next weekend reverse the trip. I think that you will have a more pleasant time. 70 nm is a long sail for a Catalina 27 and given the prevailing lack of wind would be a very long motor. Especially bad if you plan on doing the trip in one weekend.
I don't belive tat you can leave the boat on a mooring unattended over night. I would check with the harbor patrol.
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Old 08-09-2008, 22:48   #7
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Catalina

If I decided to depart for a overnight trip should I be worried about the thick marine layer or any fog without radar?



THanks
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