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Old 30-03-2018, 10:30   #16
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

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Originally Posted by ClassicalBGP View Post
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I do not know what my fuel consumption is. I know, I should. I always fill it up (no fuel gage) before each trip. I know I made 12 miles one day and topped it off with just over 2gal. I will need to figure this out, any tips for doing this?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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For some reason inland/lake sailors/boaters almost all seem to do mpg. Coastal sailors use gallons per hour. If you know your speed you can find your range. Since you're now going coastal, I suggest moving to gallons per hour because your speed is rarely constant and is good for planning purposes, not so much for use on any given day.
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Old 30-03-2018, 10:49   #17
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

Hello, we sail from Dana Point and Newport Beach to Catalina often! I highly, highly recommend the book NO MOORING, NO PROBLEM - Anchoring At Catalina by Marc Hughston. There are tons of places to anchor and the guidebook is exceptional and inexpensive. Here is a link to get it through Amaz, https://www.amazon.com/Anchoring-Cat.../dp/0615401341 - Good luck and let me know how it goes!
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Old 30-03-2018, 10:53   #18
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

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...Is there fuel (gas) at Two Harbors or Avalon?
.
Yes, gas and diesel available at both. The island’s been in stout mode for some time, so some of the built-up areas are not as green as they are in wetter times, but last time I was there we were still able to fill our water tank">fresh water tank at the fuel dock.

The dinghy dock can get quite crowded, but there’s water taxi service available, and bus services between Two Harbors and Avalon

I prefer the Isthmus, takes me back to summer when I was 12, in the Boy Scout camp at Cherry Valley, two coves over.

You’ll have a great time!
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Old 30-03-2018, 12:25   #19
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

Ah, nostalgia...I used to be a Boy Scout Leader and we had camps at or near Cherry Cove.

Hey, Classical, great advice given already. So, i will like to add different comments then already given. I am also a trailer sailor. Do your daughter a huge favor...get her a prescription for Scopolamine patch. Put that on about 4 hours before you hit the water and forget about it. It is very effective.

Since you are on a truck/trailer...i would like to give you some alternative destinations. If you go up to Ventura Harbor about an hour or two north of Long Beach and sail out to Anacapa Island... it is only about 12-14 miles off shore and a great angle. It is magical place and less crowded than Catalina. Santa Cruz Island is just a short hop of a mile or two just north of it.

The July weather as mentioned is benign. Overcast in the mornings with little or no wind and burns off afternoon and wind increases. It will be too early for the Santa Ana wind phenomenon that occurs in the Fall.

May i also suggest that one of the really cool things you can do is 4th of July in Long Beach Harbor. You just moor your boat in early afternoon with anchor and barbeque. Long Beach puts on one heck of a show. Nothing like being on a boat a couple of hundred yards from the pyrotechnical barge. I am telling you it is something special to be on a boat and witness it.

Don't stress about the freighters. I've crossed many times and never had one problem. The crews on these behemoths are on full alert and know that there is a lot of private yachting in this channel. Yes, be prudent. Yes, have your radar reflector up. If you have AIS even mo betta.

Now, i know it is a little far but northern california should not be forgotten in the future. You can take your boat to Lake Tahoe as long as you don't have a 2 stroke engine. The Delta region is magical kingdom for fishing and adventuring with it's many meanders and little charming places. Check out Tomales Bay for a couple of days.

You can buy a chart book called Channel Islands that has all of the Islands and has a wealth of information. I have one and still keep it. The chart...at least the one i have...the pages have a coating that protect from water. But i like this sort of book because it has every chart you could possibly imagine.

Don't worry too much Classic. It really is not an area of dramatic weather. Very good Coasties...i have been boarded twice....funny thing....never see them coming. Always on my way back from Catalina or Anacapa. Great guys and doing their jobs professionally. A lot of people gripe about the fees that are now charged at Twin Harbors. I have never been up to Avalon. There are plenty of little coves that you just drop your hook and pay no fees. I don't know if you will fish or not. The water is nippy so you might want at least a surf suit type of thing. At night it is so magical there that it is hard to believe you are that close to one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world. Have a wonderful trip.
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Old 30-03-2018, 12:30   #20
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

I think all the advice you received is great and you should go. We started going out to Catalina in 1980 when our daughters were 1 and 3. Much older now and they will spend some time with us there this summer. We are always there for 4th of July when there are fireworks at both Two Harbors and Avalon.My wife has her birthday on July 3 so for years the girls thought the fireworks were for her birthday.


In the early years we would go for the weekend from Marina Del Rey which is 34 miles. Cabrillo is much closer.


For 16 years it was an Erickson 27 with a Chrysler 9.9 outboard. We had a 6 gallon tank. We held 20 gallons of water and used a sunshower and ports potty. We had an alcohol stove. At first it would take us 6 1/2 to 8 hours. Later we got a Loran and tiller pilot and cut 1 to 1 1/2 hours off the time. Cabrillo will be at least 1/2 hours closer, especially with a gps.



For the first 10-15 years we would go over Friday evening about 4 or 5 after work. Our goal was to get there at 10 but it was usually closer to midnight.


The advantage to going at night was
1. The girls would soon fall asleep so we would not have to hold their bony bodies on our laps for 7 hours
2. Before loran and gps it was easier to navigate at night since we could follow the lights and buoys. So we would head to the El Segundo bout. Then we could see the Pt Fermin light, then the northbound shipping lane light, then the southbound shipping lane light, then Ship Rock light and then the lights on the pier in isthmus cove. It was also easier to see the shipping at night and discern whether they were going to the right (northbound) or left (southbound) depending upon whether we could see the green and white lights or red and white lights. The ships cannot really slow down or change direction so you need to avoid them. Just steer towards their stern and, if necessary, luff up and stop or even circle back.
3. It was faster at night and more comfortable because we could sail. It was noisy and hard to talk and there was a lot of vibration with motor on. Also sailing was much faster. We could even listen to some music. Normally, we would turn off the outboard as we left the breakwater and not turn it on until we were near the pier in Isthmus Cove. Always have your VHF on and monitor it. You will hear the ships call people who are in the way but you could not hear those calls without the Radio on. You will also hear them blow their horns at boats that are careless and on a collision course.
4. We had more time to do things ashore. Saturday we would go ashore early and spend the day there. Sunday, we would spend the morning and head back when the wind came up around 11 or 12.


Probably, though, you will head from Cabrillo or Long Beach or Redondo in the morning. If you leave at 10 or 11, you will be there by around 4 pm.


If you are worried about picking up a mooring, ask the Harbor Patrol for help. They will be glad to assist. You will need to call them on the VHF when you get to the fairway for a moorings assignment. Or if you just stop when you reach the fairway, they will come to you.


With a small boat, you will be on the best moorings, which are near the beach. These are not rolly like some of those further out. With your small size you may fit on the string line which is nearest to the beach. I don't remember whether the string line is for boats under 20 feet or under 24 feet.


All of this is for Isthmus Cove at Twin Harbors which is what I would recommend.
Here is why:
1. You will get a mooring or on the string line for sure during the week.
2. There are showers and laundry facilities, as well as toilets ashore.
3. You can buy groceries ashore. There is a snack bar for breakfast and lunch. Doug's Reef Restaurant serves good dinners.
4. If you have mechanical problems, such as with your outboard, you can buy parts or get mechanical assistance ashore.
5. You can rent snorkeling equipment, kayaks, SUP equipment, etc cetera ashore. That includes a dive shop with equipment rentals, airfills and classes.
6. There is a nice sandy beach for swimming, sunning, snorkeling, kayaking, etc. There are no waves, it is clean and the water is clear
7. There are BBQ stands and camp tables so you can cook lunch or dinner ashore. No charge.
8. You can get ice cream at the outside window at the store.
9. Most summer nights there will be a live band or disk jockey from the afternoon into the evening. You can dance right there where the music is, right outside at the bar at Doug's Reef.
10. You can get gas for your outboard and water for your tank at the pier.


All of these things are within 100 feet of the pier


Additionally,
1. If you have a dinghy there is a dinghy dick. If you don't have a dinghy, there is a shore boat that will pick you up from your boat and take you ashore as well as back to your boat
2. There is lots of hiking around the area. It is only about 10 minutes across the Isthmus to Cat Harbor and you can hike all the way to
Little Harbor on the other side where there are waves.
3. Saturday morning you can go to USC's Wrigley Institute (Southern California Marine Institute) where you can have a free tour of the hyperbaric chamber and the marine labs. I have to mention this because I earned my Doctorate in Marine Biology at USC and did part of my research at Catalina.
4. If you have a friend or a child who wishes to join you for part of the time, they can take the ferry which runs several times a day between the Isthmus and San Pedro.
5. It is beautiful and relaxing. You can pretend you are in the South Pacific.


In July, sailing to Catalina is pleasant. You will not have big waves or strong currents. Winds are light so there won't be small craft warnings. If there is fog it will be light and won't last long. Just wait a bit and it will be gone. I can only remember twice that we had bad fog crossing at night and it is less likely in the afternoon. Definitely get one of the inexpensive radar reflectors mentioned and don't cross the shipping lanes if you can't see the ships.


I would not recommend anchoring your first trip to Catalina. It adds too many complications. We don't use moorings any longer but we have an all chain rode that is long and an electric windlass with remote.


We will be at Catalina from about June 20 until July 15. We will be at Isthmus Cove from July 2-July 6 to celebrate my wife's 65th birthday with a lot of her friends.


During that birthday time we will be anchored somewhere in the vicinity of Isthmus Cove, probably by Little Fisherman cove. The boat is named Willow and is a center cockpit Spindrift 46. You can call on VHF Channel 16 which I have on when I am on the boat.


Have fun.
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Old 30-03-2018, 13:01   #21
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

Classical,

HERE is a page on visitcatalina.com with an illustration of the bow-and-stern mooring set-up. If you anticipate what to expect, it's fairly simple. The site has a lot of useful information worth a study.

As Stu said, summer ground fog usu. not a problem south of Ventura.

And of course, there's Brian Fagan's excellent CRUISING GUIDE to central and southern California.
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Old 30-03-2018, 13:43   #22
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

I made that trip with a first time sailor girl friend right after I, an almost first time sailor, had bought my first boat while working in Long Beach 40 years ago. I have a couple of suggestions.
1. buy a "Happy Hooker." It's a device that attaches to your gaff pole. when approaching the mooring drive slowly into the wind to your selected mooring ball. Your wife who is on the forward deck, reaches out with the pole and hooks the "Happy Hooker" to the ring on top of the mooring ball. A slight tug and the "Happy Hooker" releases leaving the dock line still attached to the mooring. It's easy. Then snug the boat up, tie it off on a cleat, sit back and crack a beer. Don't forget to congratulate your wife for a job well done. When ready to leave just pull the line out of the mooring ball ring and be on your way. 2. But before leaving the mooring ball, make dang sure your outboard motor is running and warmed up. Drive away slowly. No wake. I saw a guy unhook from the mooring and then try to start his effing outboard. The entire fleet watched aghast as his poor wife tried to push the 20' boat off the rocks with an oar as he flailed away trying to start the dang, hard to start, motor. Finally it started, died, started, died and the swell kept rolling in. My o My. Finally after the appropriate amount of yelling at wife, swearing at the motor, he was able to motor away and avert disaster. I don't think he got any loving that night. 3. Fog, yes count on it. Blast away with your horn, trust your compass, it's an easy trip back to Long Beach.

Then give the Admiral a hug and over a "Johnny Walker Red and water," plan your next cruise....


Size does matter, but I seem to remember a guy who would go to Catalina, "In a Leakey old boat, any thing that would stay afloat, or just with some water wings and his guitar." But that was 40 years ago.
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Old 30-03-2018, 14:46   #23
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

Radar reflector, ball or tubular? Cannot seem to find a review where radar was actually used.

Don, those viewing tubes look awesome.

I have a 10' dingy, inflatable with wood floors, I towed behind the boat last year. It had a 6hp 2 stroke on it, but it kept acting up so I gave it away to a friend. I have been debating on trying to tow it or roll it up and store on deck. But, I would have to get a new outboard for it. I was debating shore boat or new outboard and use the dingy. One downside, I put a hole in the floor (not through the wood just the bottom lining), so it does get some water in the bottom.

Stu...good to know, I will pay attention to time the motor is ran and how much fuel was used. Don't want to be a lake sailor all my life.

GPSocal... thanks for the tip on Edinger Ave ramp, I will have to start comparing ramps / lots.

Alan... great info and write up. We have some prescription patches. The wife has fallen ill before, but the doctor said the girl was to young. Might check again with the doctor. Anacapa island looks like a great spot, I will look into more.

Frantzjoe.... If I can make it early July, I will surely attempt to contact you, thank you for the information.

Leaving early a.m. or at night, does that increases the risk in channel crossing? I have had only one night sail. Last year on the Gulf, which happens to be my only dealing with a large ship. I was coming out of the Gulfport harbor in the channel, I could see his lights, and knew he was in the channel. My boat only drafts 3' at most, so I moved out his way and never felt we were in any danger. However, we passed 300 to 400 yards away from him, he still hit us with a huge spot light and watched us pass. But, I will say, I really enjoyed the sail at night and it did not worry me.

I think Two Harbors will fit us better than Avalon. A bar, a snack bar, and ice cream... what more could one want?

So much good information, thanks
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Old 30-03-2018, 16:04   #24
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

And, I will let you know how the conversation goes tonight when I ask the wife for a happy hooker.
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Old 30-03-2018, 18:11   #25
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

If you want company, there is a group that goes to Catalina every summer. They also join us in Lake Havasu every February. They are the SoCal Potters. We are members. They were originally a West Wight Potters group but have expanded to include all sorts of trailer sailors. They depart from Alamitos Marina in Long Beach on July 22 and usually go to Two Harbors for the week. Great bunch of small boat sailors. Look for them on Facebook.
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Old 31-03-2018, 07:16   #26
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

Hi fellow sailor from Prescott,
I agree with LLizzard and Zeehag. Sounds like your doing good planning, and getting a safety plan in place. It's a great island to visit and I see many boats your size there. In fact shorter boats get the mooring balls closest to land, which makes swimming to shore a fun option for the kids and kids at heart.

If you want to meet up in Prescott to discuss your plans, message me.
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Old 31-03-2018, 16:22   #27
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

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Hi fellow sailor from Prescott,
I agree with LLizzard and Zeehag. Sounds like your doing good planning, and getting a safety plan in place. It's a great island to visit and I see many boats your size there. In fact shorter boats get the mooring balls closest to land, which makes swimming to shore a fun option for the kids and kids at heart.

If you want to meet up in Prescott to discuss your plans, message me.
PM sent.....
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Old 31-03-2018, 17:00   #28
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

I would not make your first crossing at night. Leave around 10:00, arrive Catalina early afternoon. This way you are clearing the shipping lanes and picking up mooring during daylight hours. Enjoy the crossing.
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Old 31-03-2018, 18:22   #29
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

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I would not make your first crossing at night. Leave around 10:00, arrive Catalina early afternoon. This way you are clearing the shipping lanes and picking up mooring during daylight hours. Enjoy the crossing.
I was wondering about crossing the lanes during dark. It appears that Two Harbor now has online reservations, so I can book a mooring a week in advance. So getting one is no longer a concern.

However, it just hit me that my boat is set up with limited power, I normally dock each night at the lake and plug into shore power. This recharges batteries, the phones, laptops etc.... allows for a/c at night etc... Last summer, spent two days out at the islands, I refused the kids access to the power. So, new issue... challenge accepted.

solar panels or gen set?
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Old 31-03-2018, 19:29   #30
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Re: Advice from Locals on Catalina Island to go or not to go

How much power do you need? You won't need AC. I say solar panel.
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