Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-06-2021, 12:37   #16
Registered User
 
Tayana42's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 2,773
Bad trip stories to catalina island

If you don’t 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.
Tayana42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2021, 14:16   #17
Registered User
 
Training Wheels's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Left coast.
Posts: 1,431
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Watch the weather for Santa Ana’s. If you’re at Avalon and there’s a Santa Ana event forecasted, especially a cold Santa Ana, RUN!
Training Wheels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2021, 15:06   #18
Marine Service Provider
 
Moosemiester's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Michigan
Boat: CHB/MT D/C Trawler, 34'
Posts: 78
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.
Moosemiester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2021, 07:45   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 76
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.
ShinyHappy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2021, 02:54   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 254
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAD ORCA View Post
We were sailing into two harbors with an experienced skipper. There is a big rock in the middle of the entrance to the harbor. I forgot what it was called? Ship rock? Eagle rock? forget....anyways he said to never sail to the left of it as your approaching, always keep to the right of it. apparently there is a reef or submerged rocks to the left of it. Maybe someone else can elaborate, Iv'e only been there once.
there is a shallow spot and i did hit it. tore the skeg off my evinrude. If you know where it is easy to avoid.
Russian007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2021, 03:56   #21
Registered User
 
Sand crab's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Boat: 34' Crowther tri sold 16' Kayak now
Posts: 4,954
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

A million years ago we took the ferry to Catalina. We got there early (Long Beach?) and the girls decided to go shopping while my buddy and I decided to have a beer before boarding. The ferry was sounding the horn which was giving us warning that it was getting ready to leave but the girls are MIA. We are running into the shops looking for them and there they are looking at touristy stuff. We grab the girls and are now sprinting toward the boat. It has just pulled away from the dock but not too far. I tell my girl we're going to jump, the crew hand sees us and is waving us off but the crowd on the boat is egging us on. We jumped and landed in the crowd with the other couple on top. The crewman was half cursing and half congratulating us. That was some crazy s**t.
__________________
GFYP
Sand crab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2021, 08:10   #22
Registered User
 
sailingabe41ds's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: Jeanneau 41 DS
Posts: 560
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Hi..
I am used to the Channel Islands...no ball only anchoring. First time to Catalina my wife and I struggled picking up our first ever mooring ball with a cross winds on a very hot day. Finally, when it was done and we were sweating like piggies we gave each other a hi 5... we were so proud.
Then she turns to me and asked....was it mooring M5 or N5. We had to do it all over again.
Fog...first time we did it we left a midnight and got stuck with fog so dense couldn't see the bow of the boat. I am claustrophobic...that did not help. We had radar, listened to surrounding area.... after a while you get used to it. Now I am older and wiser. I can not control getting stuck in a dense fog, but I can control the time of day I leave and when to leave.
Not sure if Bird Rock and reef are such a big deal. It is well marked on the charts. Probably more of a hazard if try to arrive at night or leave at night since things can get confusing. I usually come from the north and keep land to the starboard side approaching Cherry Cove and Fourth of July while keeping the Harbor Reef to the port side. I think if you are 70-100 ft of water from the shore you are okay.
Finally, they are very helpful. If you are not experienced the harbor folks will help you with the mooring process.

Abe
sailingabe41ds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2021, 08:51   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Southern California
Boat: Bavaria 38E
Posts: 253
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Quote:
Originally Posted by arch007 View Post
Going to be sailing to catalina island in the near future.

Looking for sailing trips to catalina island that were horrible such as fog, etc

Idea being to learn from others mistakes such as how ensure do not encounter fog on the way to catalina.

Thanks.
Dense fog is not commonly encountered in the San Pedro Channel in my experience, although you might encounter foggy conditions where visibility is reduced to one mile. That is not problematic for keeping one’s orientation. The greater threat is from other traffic in the Channel that might result in a collision in denser conditions. So having radar for look out is definitely preferred if crossing in fog or being suddenly beset by it while crossing. Fog is typically a morning and/or evening phenomenon. Also, it tends toward a near-coastal presence; being much less so at the Island. So if you wish to avoid pay attention to the weather beginning two days b/f departing the coast. Note the presence or absence of fog. Listen to NOAA weather, or go to the website. Consecutive-day weather is “correlated.” If coastal fog sets in today at, say, 0900 and lifts at 1100, likely it will tomorrow as well; maybe a bit earlier or later, etc. With low visibility always know your position, listen for vessel sounds including horns, and sounds from ATONs (aids to navigation).
Auklet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2021, 12:35   #24
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 254
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

I hit a bad storm there Memorial Day 1989. There's a former harbor master from Two Harbors that wrote about it. Worst weather I've been caught in. I did the Catalina/San Pedro crossing many times. Used to do it in a 18 aluminum. San Pedro Channel isnt bad, Not like it's angry sister, the Santa Barbara Channel. Different beasts.
Russian007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2021, 19:21   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: PNW
Boat: 35 Ft. cutter, custom
Posts: 553
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Quote:
Originally Posted by Training Wheels View Post
Watch the weather for Santa Ana’s. If you’re at Avalon and there’s a Santa Ana event forecasted, especially a cold Santa Ana, RUN!
Absolutely, if a Santana, wind comes up you got to get out of Avalon post haste,, like right now.
From Avalon when you see the dirty brown sky start to blot-out the coast you can't mess around.
Bowdrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-09-2021, 00:07   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Southern California
Boat: Bavaria 38E
Posts: 253
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Probably the worst weather experiences in general are in Santa Ana winds. These winds arrive from the northeast pushing seas that are terrifying and dangerous to some degree. All but three coves at Catalina Island are open to the northeast so most boaters who are there will be in an exposed cove.

The winds are seasonal, occurring from late fall through spring. They are associated with extraordinarily clear and dry air, especially viewing East and northeast. Descending cold (heavy) air over the Great Basin pushes the air below it out to sea resulting in the violent winds across the Inner Waters that can persist for a few consecutive days.

Santa Ana winds can and do arise suddenly with little warning, but most of the time there is a weather forecast of them. Problem is, folks often do not heed the warning. If at Avalon or Two Harbors for New Year’s Eve festivities when the forecast appears, some boaters are reluctant to leave and return home having only just arrived, etc. Many will attempt to shelter in the one large protected harbor of the south coast, Cat Harbor, which is fine if there is space. A much smaller cove at Two Harbors with some protection, Big Fisherman’s, is sometimes sought in desperation but the moorings there are very few and privately owned. Boaters who ride out a Santa Ana wind storm in Cat Harbor are thankful to be there!!

The moorings being well maintained usually do hold the boat against the Santa Ana winds and incoming seas although it might be damaged. However, the harbor master may elect to close the cove and advise departure. Folks who have actually ridden out an event in Avalon have had awesome experiences to report. If you leave the harbor after the onset of one you wiil face very rough conditions. To add to the unpleasantness, these things often first (i.e., first day) arrive at night.
Auklet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-09-2021, 07:04   #27
cat herder, extreme blacksheep

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 18,967
Images: 56
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

each time i went to cataline on my exhubbys chris craft 38 commander it was horrible.. on a friends coronado 25, we had fun even in wicked situations... she on head trying to do business when we knock down. she standing to pee, which most gals would envy, but her, noooooo...... water coming into portlights she asks what you doing to my boat bitch i say tryina sinkit bitch. yeah good times..
if you watch your weather there is no such thing as a bad trip to catalina, unless you do that trip with my ex hubby..hahahahaha
oh yes and i learned not to wear sperry top sLiders..damn near went overboard wrestling with the mudmonster from the briney deep, aka mooring lines.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-09-2021, 07:59   #28
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Southern California
Boat: Bavaria 38E
Posts: 253
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

The most common “bad experiences” I see or hear about at Catalina Island are the attempts to tie to a mooring in the afternoon wind. Especially in the coves at Two Harbors and Emerald Bay. It’s true that a harbor boat wiil assist if requested. Unfortunately, folks often delay the request until after the “mess” has already been created. Contrary to some of the above remarks, “looking it up” on Catalina web site wiil show you the lay out of the moorings but does nothing to learn you how to control your boat in the real life drama.

The two important variables: the person at the helm and the one on the bow to pick up the wand and hawser. It’s more practical to put the stronger person on the bow, normally a man if a couple. Many times I see the opposite where the wife or female friend is the one on the bow attempting to hold or pull a heavy boat against a cross wind with a clueless “skipper” at the helm trying to maneuver it, etc. Sometimes a fair amount of yelling accompanies the show. Good cocktail hour entertainment as long as no one is actually hurt. There are a few minor collisions occasionally.

A couple of tips. It works better for us in cross wind if the wand is brought along side the starboard bow (against the boat; wind to starboard) with some weigh on, the boat aligned with the mooring anchors, fore and aft. That’s because I’m right handed; that’s my stronger side. But if wind is to port, then we bring the wand along on port side. Don’t try to reach out over the bow for the wand going dead slow. In cross wind your stern will blow away from the line and you’ll have to pull the boat over to fetch the stern hawser or call for assistance.

As the helm is backing SLOWLY to stop weigh on, bowman quickly follows the sand line astern to the stern cleat and pulls in the hawser. If you can’t get the hawser up stop off the sand line and work with the boat. Or, wait until the wind dies down near sunset to get the hawser on. Use thick rubber gloves, not work gloves, in my opinion. Be sure to bring the dink up close astern shortening the tow line rather than have it go under the boat when backing. Best to use a floating type of line such as polypropylene. The “reasons” I hear why people want to avoid poly in favor of Dacron to nylon painters are lacking IMHO.

A final tip. If it’s not going well, abort and come around for another try. This could mean backing into the fairway while backing into the wind. This is why the dink must be brought close astern. In a strong cross wind it requires too much room and weigh on to turn the boat around (bow to wind) if it’s making much leeway with her beam to the wind, etc. This is where you see hapless and helpless newbies starting to blow sideways through the moorings. It might be problematic backing with prop walk if you back to port and the wind is across the starboard side. Boats with saildrive, such as mine, backup straight. No prop walk. So, I’m giving it from my perspective, etc.
Auklet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2021, 09:06   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Southern California
Boat: Bavaria 38E
Posts: 253
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auklet View Post
In cross wind your stern will blow away from the line and you’ll have to pull the boat over to fetch the stern hawser or call for assistance
“Truth in advertising statement here.” The last time we did this a few months ago at Emerald Bay the afternoon cross wind was quite strong, so we asked assistance from the harbor master who was standing by. He looped the stern cleat with a tow rope and pulled us to windward as I hauled in the sand line to bring up the hawser. Next morning early when the wind was light I readjusted.
Auklet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2021, 09:16   #30
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Southern California
Boat: Bavaria 38E
Posts: 253
Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosemiester View Post
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.
Maybe. But it’s usually a 5 n.mi. beat to the west end from Two Harbors unless leaving early where you might get some easterly or southeasterly winds that morning. Of course, then you potentially have the 5 n.mi. beat down to Cat Harbor if in the same wind. But I’ve never seen the dominant seas from any direction but west on that side, etc.
Auklet is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
catalina, catalina island

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Catalina 400 v Catalina 38 v Island Packet 380 Skipp Maiden Monohull Sailboats 11 26-06-2013 10:16
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Marina / Yacht Club Stories sailingmonica Flotsam & Sailing Miscellany 9 09-10-2009 04:08
Catalina Island Trip Interest? vmi2008 Pacific & South China Sea 11 15-08-2009 20:07
Home Depot Plumbing fittings - just bad or really bad? neelie Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 34 11-11-2008 18:21

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:02.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.