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Old 17-04-2019, 19:36   #1
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Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

Hello everyone,
I just got back from an amazing Sunday aboard my Catalina 30 mkii. It started with a little wind and a bit of cloud, but then it all cleared away and the wind increased. I hoisted the single reefed main and sailed straight for the giants stadium where there was a game starting around 1:00. Once I got passed the annoying wind shadow formed by Angel Island on my way from Richmond, the single reefed main came in handy. Wind steadily increased to about 25 knots. With the ebb tide, the chop that was created was even lifting the Tayana 37 next to us into the air. Just South of Alcatraz, the wind increased to about 40 knots. On a beam reach with the mainsail eased all the way, I flew along at a good 9-10 knots with the current. Unfortunately, I had to tack back to Brickyard Cove because I decided not to deal with a 900 foot long ship heading for Alameda in those conditions. On the way back, the wind increased to 45 knots on the anemometer. The boat sailed comfortably, but with a lot of weath helm probably because the rig was not balanced...

Would sailing to Santa Cruz from San Francisco be any worse?
Would the wave height be unbearable to sail in with that boat?
I have sailed with a heavily reefed 150% genoa before, but could not point at all and have just bought the “gale sail.” The boat sails and tacks well with just a jib, but it was under repair on Sunday. Will the gale sail work with that boat if worse comes to worse?
Forgive me for my breathy post, but I am clueless when it comes to anything but bay sailing.

Thanks for all your feedback in advance,
Teebeedee
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Old 17-04-2019, 20:30   #2
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

Fear not. Go out. Turn left. Now when you want to head back up from Santa Cruz, give us a call.
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Old 17-04-2019, 20:39   #3
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Fear not. Go out. Turn left.
Yeah, but don't cut the corner.
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Old 17-04-2019, 21:20   #4
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

It's not always about the wind and that would likely be a downwind run until you made your way back. But before you take your first trip out the gate all the way to Santa Cruz, perhaps just sail to Point Bonita and back. That'll give you a flavor for the sea state. You'll be hard to the wind going out and then downwind coming back in. It's completely different from bay sailing. Then, you might consider going in two hops - one to HMB and the second to SC. Also, get local info about getting into the SC harbor. It can get rolly with breakers at the entrance and conditions may change from one year to the next. Make sure to pick a day with good conditions. And definitely bring charts!
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Old 18-04-2019, 09:03   #5
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

Yes, do a shrt trip out to the main channel bouys and back in. If you think you may get seasick take Dramamine an hour before casting off.Coming back will be harder. Hope your motor is in good shape and your fuel tank is clean.
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Old 18-04-2019, 09:33   #6
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

I sailed The Bay from 1983 to 2016, in a 22 footer for five years, a 25 for 13 and then this boat. We sailed the 22er under The Gate out to Pt. Bonita. We sailed the 25er to Monterey and back via HMB and SC. We sailed the 34er to HMB many times, twice to Monterey, up to Drakes Bay a few times, & around the Farallones.


This should be considered "local" cruising.


You just don't go outside The Gate in gale warnings!


Buy and memorize Kimball Livingston's excellent book, Sailing The Bay. Many of us found it to be the holy grail of sailing there. Covers the Bay and the ocean.


No problem in your boat.
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Old 18-04-2019, 17:11   #7
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

Listen to the others regarding shorter trips first. They speak wisely. Out around the Farralons, Drakes Bay and Half Moon Bay are all single day trips or trips where you can anchor out overnight at your destination.

We took our Catalina 30 from Richmond down to Baja and took part in the 1999 Baja HaHa and had a great time. We did opt to truck the boat back though. Your first overnight passage in the open ocean is a real growing experience.

Having done a number of Bashes and trips up the California coast in various boats, I can say that when you leave any port heading north, make sure your fuel tank is full and an extra jerry can of fuel is always nice insurance.
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Old 18-04-2019, 18:32   #8
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

It bears mentioning that before heading to SC during the first few months of the year you should call the Harbor at (831) 475-6161 to check out shoaling conditions and other hazards. The Harbor web page usually has a recent entrance sounding chart, which can save you from getting stuck.
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Old 18-04-2019, 19:04   #9
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

All of that information definitely makes me feel more confident about the trip. How long do you think it should take to get up from Santa Cruz to Pillar Point? If it is 75 miles, tacking upwind, shouldn’t it take an entire day? I am using a chart plotter on an iPad, so I am unsure of its accuracy. The boat has AIS and charts that seem to work well.
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Old 18-04-2019, 19:24   #10
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

Other than the fact that's uphill all the way, SC to HMB is a fairly easy full day trip in the summer. Plan on leaving at dawn and if your doing this in the late spring or early summer in decent conditions you should get there before dark.

Study the chart of the approach to HMB and stop there overnight on the way down so you can be familiar with it. Stay on the right side of the channel markers as there are rocks on the other side that don't protrude above the surface (remember, Red Right Returning). Every chart plotter I've used was very accurate around HMB.

If it gets dark on you and you're not absolutely sure of yourself, heave to and stay away from land until dawn. I've chosen to do this a number of times, and while I'd rather be sleeping soundly at anchor than maintaining night watches, I've never regretted choosing safety over comfort.

The big thing, is to NOT have a schedule! I've always said that a schedule is the most dangerous piece of equipment on a boat and the smaller the boat, the more dangerous it is. Watch the weather and do this trip in favorable conditions. Having to leave now because you have to be back at work Monday morning is almost a guarantee of a hard, miserable and possibly dangerous trip.
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Old 18-04-2019, 22:50   #11
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

Just to summarize all that was said...
-Turn left west of bouy #2 (Read that on another post)
-Leave at slack water before a flood (Keeps wave height low)
-Sail passed Bonita Point as practice (Going tomorrow morning)
-Stop at Pillar Point Yacht harbor between destinations (One day for each trip)
-Bring an extra jerry can in addition to a topped off fuel tank (Good insurance)
-Make sure engine is serviced (Serviced in November)
-Kimball Livingston’s “Sailing the Bay” (Already bought it)
-The Catalina 30 is capable (Good to know)
-Do not have a schedule (I will work hard not to)
-Do not go out in a gale (Thanks for the tip)

That all seems like great advice! Should there be a certain distance I stay offshore. I see a large drop off in depth about one mile out. I assume I should stay further offshore than that.

Thank you again
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Old 18-04-2019, 23:02   #12
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

Leaving SFB at lw slack means fighting a building flood all the way out. Sailing upwind against a strong current is a hell of a way to start out IMO. It has been years since we left SF, but doing the YRA ocean series for some years, we left whenever the start gun banged, and were always grateful for an ebb helping us along.

I'd rethink that advice in your place.

Jim
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Old 19-04-2019, 08:01   #13
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

The approaches to Half Moon Bay from both the north and south are easy, but I just wanted to repeat not to cut the corners going in or out.
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Old 19-04-2019, 08:09   #14
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

As to how far off shore, I have normally kept well off of the points and then do a rhumb line between them. Since the coast is basically convex, this works well.
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Old 19-04-2019, 09:21   #15
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Re: Catalina 30 To Santa Cruz

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Originally Posted by Teebeedee View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>How long do you think it should take to get up from Santa Cruz to Pillar Point? If it is 75 miles, tacking upwind, shouldn’t it take an entire day? I am using a chart plotter on an iPad, so I am unsure of its accuracy. The boat has AIS and charts that seem to work well.

How long does it take to get to your boat from your house? How far is it?


You should really check your chart, if it "works so well."


It's "only" 40 nm, but it is a long day. A highway map would work...

Read the book!

You stay far enough offshore to avoid the crab traps which start around south of the end of the beach off the Sunset District. Usually over the 100 foot contour.
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