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Old 14-11-2011, 19:55   #16
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

In December you could get a nice strong southerly to shoot you back North if you time it right.
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Old 14-11-2011, 20:01   #17
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

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Not to revive a dead thread...but I'm thinking about sailing from LA down to San Diego in December, but am worried that the trip back will be too much of a slog. Not interested in motor sailing. I like the idea of sailing out to San Clemente as a first leg heading back. Seems to me you could go north to Catalina from there (and not have to go over to Dana Point as one poster suggested). Any thoughts on that route given prevailing winds in December? Thanks for any help.

Rainer
Rainer,
When I had my boat in L.A. Harbor, I was told that this is the usual routine for those coming north, to reduce the bash. Haven't done it myself(headed south).
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Old 14-11-2011, 21:21   #18
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

Winter weather patterns are a lot different than the summer. You can have a flat calm motor, a southerly or a howling norther, depending on the cold fronts. You should have a pretty good trip if you can pick one of 3 or 4 departure days based on the weather.
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Old 14-11-2011, 22:03   #19
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

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Any thoughts on that route given prevailing winds in December?
Prevailing? December?

El Nino?
La Nina?

"Prevailing" seems to be misnomer the closer one gets to Christmas.
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Old 14-11-2011, 22:24   #20
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

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Winter weather patterns are a lot different than the summer. You can have a flat calm motor, a southerly or a howling norther, depending on the cold fronts. You should have a pretty good trip if you can pick one of 3 or 4 departure days based on the weather.
Yeah I'd go with this. I've ridden southwesters up north and it will certainly get you there quickly although it will be a heck of a ride. Here's sort of a crummy video of what the weather looks like going the route you're talking about (this was a year ago in late November):

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Old 14-11-2011, 23:09   #21
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

If SoCal follows the weather patterns for the rest of the US Pacific Coast, you will have a good chance of getting southerly winds in the winter. The problem is getting the weather to cooperate with your time schedule.
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Old 15-11-2011, 23:43   #22
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

Thanks all - very helpful. I think now instead of heading down to San Diego we'll use our 5-6 days for day sails to Catalina (Little Harbor or Cat Harbor) and then farther south to San Clemente. We sail out of San Pedro. Should be fun, and the north-south (or south-north) route will give us good sailing if there's any wind at all. Just have to figure out how to get them to let us anchor at San Clemente.
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Old 17-11-2011, 09:33   #23
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

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Thanks all - very helpful. I think now instead of heading down to San Diego we'll use our 5-6 days for day sails to Catalina (Little Harbor or Cat Harbor) and then farther south to San Clemente. We sail out of San Pedro. Should be fun, and the north-south (or south-north) route will give us good sailing if there's any wind at all. Just have to figure out how to get them to let us anchor at San Clemente.
Isthmus harbor is really a great place. They have a 2-for-5 discount going on moorings during the winter as well (pay for two nights, get five free, if I remember correctly). The only really dicey thing with the Channel Islands this time of year is that within a few days you honestly can have three distinct weather types:

- prevailing north westerlies
- santa anas blowing from the north east (turning avalon and isthmus into a zoo)
- south westerlies (low pressure systems that almost any harbor will shield you from)
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Old 17-11-2011, 09:33   #24
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

Great book if you don't have it already; really recommended for anyone spending time in the Channel Islands.

Amazon.com: The Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California: Golden Gate to Ensenada, Mexico, Including the Offshore Islands (0639785801825): Brian Fagan: Books
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Old 02-12-2014, 23:15   #25
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

I think you have gotten some good suggestions. I have done SD to Catalina a bunch of times. The trick is to plan out your weather window as best as you can. Then, if the ocean looks reasonable the night before - get to sleep early, wake up at 4 am and motor straight to Avalon. It's 73 miles from Mission Bay, you should get to Avalon before sunset. Hopefully, you will catch some midday winds. I've had a blast every time I've done it. Once you are there, you can explore all the bays between Avalon and Two Harbors.
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Old 02-12-2014, 23:22   #26
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

I put together a post that includes all the distance in nautical miles and the times required for the crossing between Avalon and Two Harbors and San Diego, Oceanside and Dana Point.

Captain Curran's sailing log: Sailing from San Diego to Catalina Island: distance and time (Mission Bay, Oceanside, Dana Point, Avalon, Two Harbors)

I also put together a similar post for the same distance and time between the LA marinas and Catalina harbors.

Captain Curran's sailing log: Sailing to Catalina Island: distance and time from Los Angeles

I hope this helps.
Fair Winds!
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:53   #27
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Re: San Diego to Catalina Trip - Any Suggestions ?

Say CAp, did you notice that you were advising folks whose trips were taken at least three years ago? They are likely back by now...

Good idea to check the dates of posts before replying!

But, welcome to CF anyhow.

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