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Old 12-05-2013, 14:33   #1
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San Diego to Catalina

Hey Guys,
I am a young sailor from San Diego and was thinking about a trip to Catalina Island with me and my buddies. 3 in total would go on the trip, one of my friends and I are very experienced sailors. But we are no very experienced in open water and are boat is only 28 feet. Any advice on what we need to bring, routes, how much food and water, time it will take, and anything else that will help our trip.
-Thanks guys
Lays300
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:31   #2
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

Well, I'm sure you could figure this out for yourself. Look at the charts. Use the dividers and point off how many miles you will go. Include "jogs" around islands or oil rigs. Figure an average speed of 4-5 knots. How long will the trip to and fro take you? Say 24 hrs. How many days will you stay? Will you have to come back on a schedule? How much fuel would it take to motor all the way plus another 10 miles?

In hot areas, we use 1/2 gal. per person per day, just for drinking water. Showers, or sponge-offs take more, but it depends on your personal usage, some people use more water than we do.

How much do you normally eat? Increase by 25%, 'cause you'll be hungrier than normal, then add 3 days worth, just in case.

Anyhow, take the number of days of the trip plus a fudge factor, as much as 50%, and go from there. The "emergency rations" can be pretty cheap and basic (like beans and rice), but the water is necessary for life, and therefore you need more than you might think in case you are delayed in returning.

It's a case of 'doing your homework' first, and this is all stuff you guys should be able to figure out for yourselves, just allow extra for delays, then go play.

Ann
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:49   #3
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

Ann, I don't think they thought out their plan. It would help if they take an old salt with them, as they are not equipped to handle this trip, yet. Mauritz
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Old 12-05-2013, 16:44   #4
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

It's about 70 nm to Avalon so I would estimate 12 - 14 hours each way on a 28 foot boat with decent wind but plan for 14 - 16 (or more). Prevailing winds are typically SW so with some luck you could be on a straight beam reach the whole way coming and going but of course you never know.

I've sailed out of Long Beach which is only 23 nm (more or less) and the point of sail was head-to-wind out and broad reach/running back. A couple of sandwiches and 2 bottles of water each way was adequate but then it was little more than a 5 hour daysail.

Going out of Long Beach (23 nm) next weekend and out of Marina del Rey (40 nm) next month.

Maybe others here have more current information.
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Old 12-05-2013, 16:53   #5
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
It's a case of 'doing your homework' first, and this is all stuff you guys should be able to figure out for yourselves, just allow extra for delays, then go play.
I've got to agree. If you're not ready to do the navigation, you're not ready to go. If you're going to skipper this venture, then you at least owe it to your crew to take a nav class before you take on responsibility for their lives.
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Old 12-05-2013, 19:29   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFrog75
Prevailing winds are typically SW so with some luck you could be on a straight beam reach the whole way coming and going but of course you never know.
Actually, usuall winds are NW making Catlina a beat. Today almost straight upwind.

If time allows, conider up coast to Oceanside, spend night, go up to Dana Pt and spend night, then cross to Catalina. When coming back leave at 3:00 am and run down.

SW wind are in front of low swinging in to south calif. Can be used for fast trip up to Catalina, up can be rough seas.
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Old 13-05-2013, 08:25   #7
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

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Actually, usuall winds are NW making Catlina a beat. Today almost straight upwind.

SW wind are in front of low swinging in to south calif. Can be used for fast trip up to Catalina, up can be rough seas.
Sorry, my mistake. Prevailing winds around Santa Monica are generally somewhere between West and South; around San Diego somewhere between West and North.

What a difference 100 miles makes. Thanks for setting me straight.
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Old 13-05-2013, 09:39   #8
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

Just another thought, Lays300,

You might consider a daysail outside the harbor, at least once, to get used to it before attempting what may turn out to be an overnight trip. Talk it over with your buddies.

Ann
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Old 13-05-2013, 14:17   #9
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

This trip is for a later time and my buddies and I want to train a lot before we go. We don't plan on doing this till after we train and get more information but thanks for the advice and please add more if you want.
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Old 13-05-2013, 18:38   #10
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First off, this is the most supportive and helpful forum out there as far as sailing goes! Every old salt on this site is incredibly friendly and loaded with advice and experience. I love it! Lay300, I would be interested in a trip to Catalina and can provide a little experience of my own. I know you weren't necessarily looking for more crew but if you have the room and/or need help I'd be very interested in taggin along. I have access to marine GPS units and other resources that might be helpful as well.

Just message me here I guess.
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Old 13-05-2013, 20:32   #11
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A suggestion: Do a weekend sail up to Mission Bay and anchor in Mariners Cove for the night. Sail back next day.. Easy anchoring and chance to stay overnight on boat. Make sure you go out wide around pt Loma and stay well outside of kelp beds off shore. Nice easy mini cruise.
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Old 13-05-2013, 20:42   #12
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

My wife and I did the trip out to Catalina several times back in the early 1980's on a 19 ft O'Day with five onboard with only charts and a compass.

I would strongly recommend heading north along the coast maybe 3-4 miles offshore with stops in Oceanside and Dana Point, maybe even Newport Beach, then head across to Avalon. Give yourself plenty of time and enjoy the stop overs.

One more thing, if you plan on anchoring, be aware the only anchorage in Avalon is very deep and close to shore. It might be best to plan on renting a mooring for the first night.
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Old 13-05-2013, 20:49   #13
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

I've done it a gazillion times, it's a great trip. My two pieces of advice:

- Motor up, or daysail to Oceanside, then Dana Point, then Marina Del Rey (or something around there) then hop over. You'll be balancing land schedules so just pick when you leave. If it's mirror flat or will be at night (like normal summer conditions) consider leaving before sundown so you can clear Point Loma and the kelp beds with visibility. Round SD 3 buoy before you point NW. Any closer and you'll be in the kelp beds. That will have you motoring all night but you'll have the whole day to make landfall at Catalina.

- Screw Avalon, go to Two Harbors. I got married in Avalon and it's a great city, but Two Harbors (Isthmus) is really the place to be. We spent all of August up there last year and it's a beautiful place with a surprising amount to do.

I'd motor the whole way at night because it's fast and you'll eat up a lot of your trip hopping the coast in addition to money and stress by pulling into temporary slips. You're also going to eat 1-2 knots of current so really, motor into it. A lot of "blue water sailing" is motoring when it's smart to do so, and this is a great example.

The sail back down from Catalina is magical and is basically perfect downwind sailing (usually). Have a nice downwind light air sail (drifter, etc) if you can. Magical night on the way back. But just eat the motoring pill right now. If you want to day sail, day sail from Isthmus up to Emerald Bay once you get to Catalina, or from Isthmus around the west end over to Cat Harbor.

You're ready. You'll be in VHF range the entire time. Go in August too. The weather will be spectacular, there's no real Santa Ana stuff blowing hard, the water will be warm-ish, etc.

The food at Two Harbors is expensive as there's only one store. Load up on produce, beer, and anything else you might want. There are some barbecue grills right on the beach that we had some parties at: great times.

Here's a couple of pictures from August last year with our friends, and another with my wife and now oldest daughter. It's really a great place. Any questions at all, hit me up.



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Old 13-05-2013, 21:00   #14
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

And for the record, I sailed the whole thing too. We left in advance of a winter low pressure system that strengthened to a near gale. It was a frigin zoo but we managed to ride the whole damn thing up there.

Rebel Heart - Eric's Blog - force 7 to avalon, santa catalina*island
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Old 13-05-2013, 21:32   #15
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Re: San Diego to Catalina

Rebel Heart's advice is sound... i've only made the trip 1 zillion times from San Diego so he has me beat but we made the trip under sail for about 5 years often and under power for about 6 years from San Diego many times year round and Two Harbors has Avalon beat by a mile. I agree with his suggestion about powering up at night when it flattens out and also the suggestion to get well outside SD # before making a right turn.
Use Dana Point as an escape anchorage if something unexpected kicks up. Good idea to get outside for some sea time before you head to Catalina so you have some comfort in boat handling, navigation and sailing experience.
Keep your eyes open entering and leaving San Diego as there is a fair it of traffic, both pleasure, commercial fishing and party boats as well as the US Navy.
Fuel available at both Avalon and Two Harbors... enjoy! Phil
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