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Old 10-06-2021, 12:37   #16
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Bad trip stories to catalina island

If you donít already have a good cruising guide for the area Charlie's Charts: U.S. Pacific Coast (available on Amazon) covers the whole US pacific coast in good detail including Catalina and the other Channel Islands plus all of the coastal ports and anchorages.
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Old 10-06-2021, 14:16   #17
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Watch the weather for Santa Anaís. If youíre at Avalon and thereís a Santa Ana event forecasted, especially a cold Santa Ana, RUN!
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:06   #18
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

As promised my bad trip story

I made the trip in three different sailboats (Shock 25, Endeavor 32 and Yorktown 33) once, twice a month over twelve years out of Dana Point and then San Pedro. After living aboard the Yorktown for four years I joined the dark side with a Wooden GB 32 trawler, making the crossing as often as twice a month.

New hot girlfriend, not a boater, I was out to impress - and hoping to get past third base over a romantic weekend on the island. There was a Santa Ana blowing in the harbor. The sky was crystal clear. I did not check the weather. Beautiful moon.

We get about 300 feet out of Angels Gate and we're looking at 20' long period rolling swells with a 6 to 8 foot wind wave going a different direction. Two miles out and I'm climbing mountains, one sweep of the radar is good, down into the trough a solid return all the way around. I don't turn around. Another 30 minutes and the green water over the windshield on the crests is 25, 30 seconds. And then i hear the bilge pump running.

I make a full throttle, terrifying turn around inside of one swell. We roll over so far the floorboards come out of the floor. It is the closest I ever come to dying on a boat - so far anyway...

The following seas were much less terrifying, when we got back into the harbor I was very relieved. I learned later that conditions were so rough they turned boats away from two harbor and forced them to go around to the backside.

Late the next morning we make a relatively uneventful crossing. After we picked up a mooring, I pulled the dingy off the swimstep, the outboard was on a bracket up on the flybridge, I pulled that down, attached it to the transom... and it wouldn't start.

I open the gas cap. The tank is full of seawater. We were taking so much water over the bow that it forced its way into the tiny pinhole in the top of the tank until it was full. It was at that point that I literally shook from fear as it all hit me at once.

The moral of this story is that if the Santa Ana's are blowing, don't go. Check the weather. If you have doubts turn around. Impressing a member of the opposite sex isn't worth your life....

Other Advice
Thanksgiving and Christmas are great weekends to go

You must visit cat harbor on the backside, you do not need a mooring there it is an amazing natural harbor

Iron Bound Bay is not good for overnight but a really cool day anchorage. Not much room there so try early.

The perfect long weekend is leave about noon and head to Two Harbor, leisurely sail around west end, second night in cat harbor, a long sail around the backside, third night in Avalon party on shore and head back the next day.
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Old Yesterday, 07:45   #19
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosemiester View Post

New hot girlfriend...
Making men do stupid things since the dawn of time.
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