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Old 17-01-2024, 22:10   #1
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Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

Hi all,

I've done many day trips to Catalina in the past so I'm familiar with the mooring procedures at Avalon & Isthmus Cove.

But I'm planning to stay overnight on my boat for the first time there on my next trip.

I'm thinking of staying in Isthmus but I've heard the wind can pick up there at night? Which area would you recommend for the best nights sleep?
Obviously it depends on conditions but it'd be great to hear opinions from people who have slept there before.

I'll pay for a mooring as I don't want deal with anchoring.

26' Cabin Cruiser if it makes any difference.

Many thanks...
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Old 17-01-2024, 22:18   #2
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

All moorings are OK unless the mainland mountains are sharp and clear. If so, the only safe harbor from the Santa Ana winds is the back side of the isthmus.
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Old 17-01-2024, 22:39   #3
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

To add to what Don mentioned above, at night if the sky is very clear and the stars are twinkling then you can expect a Santa Ana. You do NOT want to be anchored or moored in any cove on the mainland side of Catalina during a Santa Ana. Either head out to sea or move around to the back side (ocean side) of the island.
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Old 17-01-2024, 22:56   #4
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

Understood. I'm familiar with the Santa Ana winds and wouldn't be going there if they were forecasted.
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Old 18-01-2024, 12:10   #5
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

Have docked many times on the west side of the isthmus. It has always been in the spring or summer of the year and have never experienced too much weather.
If you are planning a winter venture, I would ask more than one source to be on the safe side.
Santa Catalina is much like a mini Capri, so I highly recommend it!
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Old 24-01-2024, 12:25   #6
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

When the weather is nice I really love Cherry Cove.

I am normally in Emerald Bay but often flopper stoppers are helpful
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Old 24-01-2024, 18:50   #7
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island

We spent nearly a week in Catalina Harbor and enjoyed it. I think it was 2 days anchored and 4 or 5 days on an expensive mooring. It was easy to rest, quiet, pleasant. Quick walk over to the busier side if necessary. Enjoy.
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Old 25-01-2024, 17:00   #8
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

Winter rates are great! Pay for 2 nights get week for free.

Or pay for 55 nights get 310 for free�� the waiting list for that deal is huge
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Old 25-01-2024, 18:15   #9
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

Quote:
Originally Posted by botanybay View Post
When the weather is nice I really love Cherry Cove.
Gotta agree with you.
Others have mentioned the "clear/twinkling nights", and in the day when you see a brown haze moving over the mainland you know you better be prepared to move out.
The Santana winds are not to be trifled with.
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Old 25-01-2024, 21:01   #10
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

When are you going? Many years ago I stayed at Howland's Landing (Just up from the isthmus) and I seem to recall some wind at night but nothing to write home about. It was in spring and spring can be windy. Avalon is a safe bet and maybe a good one for your first overnight. Sorry I know that's not much help.
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Old 25-01-2024, 21:14   #11
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

First time overnight, you canít go wrong with Avalon. It is the most protected in anything but Santa Anas, and you can get dinner there and walk around. We tend to favor Avalon in the winter (no crowds) and the Isthmus in the summer.

It is a long way around to Cat Harbor and it is a ghost town in the winter. If you stay in Isthmus Harbor, just ask the harbor guys for a protected spot when you radio them for a mooring assignment. There is lots of room in the winter and they will likely give you a tucked in spot on the west part of the mooring field. The wind can blow through the low spot of the Isthmus like a bit of a wind tunnel but usually not really a problem. You can easily get a more sheltered spot by asking and be out of that wind.

Cherry Cove and 4th of July cove are sheltered but farther away from the pier etc and can feel a little remote in the off season. Depends on what you llke but it is hard to go too far wrong.
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Old 29-01-2024, 12:33   #12
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

I’ve stayed over night there in the west side at Twin Harbors.

It was well protected, and the diving was not bad.
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Old 12-03-2024, 16:55   #13
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Re: Where should I overnight on Catalina Island?

We try to do 15 to 20 weekends a year in Catalina. As others suggested, Cherry Cove is incredible. When you are just outside of the mooring field, there is a large USCG buoy between Cherry Cove and 4th of July Cove that the harbor department wants you to stage at. Call in on the radio that you are looking for a mooring there. Our favorite spots are on the A or B rows, close to dog beach and the "Lions Head". The rock offers some protection if it is windy.

We also love Avalon. I try if possible to pick up a mooring close to the Casino. It is easy to get to the dinghy dock next to the Casino and we found it was a bit more sheltered from the wind and any swell.
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