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Old 09-06-2021, 07:05   #1
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Bad trip stories to catalina island

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.
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:33   #2
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Had to motor all the way because no wind, wind blew night and day for 4 days until I started home and had to motor all the way in a dead calm.
Simply horrible, really hot also.
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:14   #3
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Arch007, what type and size boat do you have? Everyone who has been on the ocean enough will have bad trip stories. What is bad and what is inconvenient depends on the skippers experience and knowledge as well as the boatís size, condition and suitability for the trip. Do you have radar? Chart plotter? AIS? Have you read cruising guides for the area? Do you check marine weather forecasts? Are you comfortable with reefing your sails?
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:57   #4
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Honestly, if you consider fog "terrible" you need to learn how to operate in it. Fog is a fact of life at times in the channel and sailors have been operating in it for centuries, the vast majority of the time without the electronic aids we have now.

A significant part of being a competent sailor is being able to get your boat from point A to B without being able to see where you're going. This is what navigation is all about. It's not hard to learn. Learn the basics and then practice with them until you're comfortable with them.
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:59   #5
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Catalina taught me about wearing gloves when picking up a mooring...
At White Cove came in at night. Harbour Master gave me last mooring that was available next to the big rock on north side. The moorings there are bow and aft. Picking up mooring had first line attached to bow..

Then hand over hand along the pickup line to get to the aft mooring line. I stopped half way, as suddenly my hand was hurting.. and it was stuck.. and the boat was being pushed to the rock..

Harbour Master asked what was going on.... and to secure aft line..
I explained that I needed scissors to cut the fishing line that was entangled in the pickup line.. and the hook was in my finger, above the knuckle, stretching my skin....


Turns out that people fish, lines get lost.. and OFTEN there is line with a fishing hook in the pickup line...


Since that little exercise:


I put on leather work gloves when pulling up a mooring pickup line....
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:48   #6
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

H20man that's a great story about the gloves.

Thanks a lot.

I have radar and ais receive only. Comfortable reefing.
No problem navigating paper charts or electronics.

Also check weather before sailing.

Have sailed in fog before as used to sail in Maine but is not my favourite thing. Rather avoid if possible.

Actually the fog here is much better than Maine. At least you can see 30 to 40 feet.
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:55   #7
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Quote:
Originally Posted by arch007 View Post

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.
I'm not sure I would consider fog with the adjectives you're using. Fog isn't a huge deal, and you really should eventually learn how to deal with it. Challenges such as fog, navigating out of sight of land, and nighttime navigation are one of those things that is more psychological than anything else.

This is all assuming you have working and accurate depth sounding, GPS and Radar.
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Old 09-06-2021, 12:15   #8
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

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.
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Old 09-06-2021, 15:38   #9
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

One more thing... Catalina arises from deep depths.. so deep until it is not...
If you are planning on mooring... then the best thing to do is to reserve a mooring (pre covid days stuff was taken very quickly) This is a link (not for Avalon) https://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/...-reservations/


Avalon is a first come first served event.. and during popular times it may go quickly...


So: ensure you have a long rode (400 feet min) in case you do not get a mooring... (or make a reservation anyway)



Also.. the whole island (if I remember correctly) is a no discharge zone...

The harbour master shall put in a little pill into your head.. and ask you to flush.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR PLUMBING DONE RIGHT and your diverter valve is going into your holding tank... and discharge is not going outside... If it is.. you pay a fine and are banned (I think for a year). I like to ensure my holding tanks are pumped on the way to Catalina... so they can be as empty as possible...






I know of a 'friend' who forgot which way his diverting valve was supposed to be set... and.. when he flushed the pill he made a big stain outside... 1 year ban and fine.... no fun...


Catalina is a great place to go to ... busy shipping lanes for port of Los Angles/Long Beach... yet you should have fun. If you do stop off in Avalon... try doing (reservations are good) a jeep tour of the island.. Amazing experience..


you will have fun... and if you have radar and do your drinking AFTER arrival, not during the journey you should be safe...


Best of luck
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Old 09-06-2021, 19:04   #10
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Well...
I had a Hunter 36 with radar and left Ventura at midnight. .. a n 11 hr trip to Avalon. Fog was so thick I could not see the bow of the boat for hours. You get used to it after a while and have faith in instruments and God to get you there safely, which we did. Never was I so happy to see daylight and visibility.
I am great at anchoring but had no experience with the mooring balls. We wore gloves because we heard of the fish hooks. My wife and I struggled on a cross wind ...but we DID IT, only to find out we were mooring on N15 not M15...do it all over again.
Frankly, if you live in Ventura and do alot of sailing, sooner or late you will be faced with poor visibility. I now have Jeanneau 41DS and radar, AIS, chart plotter are your friends. I would not sail a boat without. I am too old to deal with crap in life and unnecessary stress that for a few bucks I can avoid.
BTW, last time we were there a year ago they did not do the head tablets. This was in Emerald Bay which may be different than Avalon.

Abe
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Old 09-06-2021, 19:41   #11
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Great Thread. Many stories Iíll post later but the best advice I ever got was ďIf you can see the island, donít goĒ
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Old 09-06-2021, 19:52   #12
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Watch for floating kelp, big enough pile will stop your boat and wrap all around you. Have fun getting away from it, weird how it wants to follow you sometimes (wrapped around top of rudder)
Even with AIS showing safe (or not)crossing the shipping channel with ships on both horizons will keep your interest, I try not to scare my passengers, I got used to it.
Surge and or rocky/ rolly conditions in an anchorage can really ruin things, it happens,
Passengers may not be able to handle it all night, I got used to it.
And remember, any breakdown of any equipment can ruin things, be prepared for anything to happen but make the best of things while trying to still enjoy the trip.
Usual weather and crossing is quite benign, you'll be fine.
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Old 10-06-2021, 02:38   #13
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Catalina is a great 'shakedown' cruise....

windpilot's advice about breakdown of any equipment is very very sound...
The unlimited tow package from BoatUS is probably a VERY good idea....
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Old 10-06-2021, 11:39   #14
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Bad trip stories to catalina island

Arch007, since you have had experience sailing in Maine, the crossing to Catalina should be well within your grasp. There is shipping but it isnít hard to stay out of their way. The ferry routs are marked on your charts. It is a thrill the first time you sail away from the mainland into the vastness of the ocean. Although Catalina is only 24 miles from the mainland (Poiny Vincente) on many days you can not see the island until you are halfway there through the normal haze. The comment about not going if you can see the island is referring to dry air, low humidity and the potential for Santa Ana winds. Good to know but weather forecasts are pretty good now so you shouldnít get caught unawares. If you use WindAlert there is a point forecast for Bird Rock at Two Harbors that is very useful.

If you havenít used the mooring system there before let the Harbormaster know you need assistance and they will stand by and help as needed. Do wear leather gloves. We use cheap leather gardening gloves.

Take your dinghy. There is a shore boat service but it is unnecessarily expensive. Stay calm. Have fun. Lots of people do this with less experience than you already have.
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Old 10-06-2021, 12:27   #15
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Re: Bad trip stories to catalina island

Also, when you get to either Two Harbors (Isthmus Cove) or Avalon you can hold position at the entrance and wait until the harbor patrol boat gets to you or you can call on vhf channel 9. They will ask for your boat size, your registration numbers or your documentation number and then they will assign you a mooring. They may lead you to the mooring, it is a large complex and tightly packed mooring field, or you can ask them to do so. On the Visit Catalina website there is a diagram of the mooring system and a description of how to use it. At Avalon they might come aboard to put a die tablet in your head holding tank.
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