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Old 25-06-2022, 15:28   #1
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Local Info Southern California

Passage from Channel Islands Harbor to Marina Del Rey. 41 foot sloop with radar and AIS.


A couple of Q's: Would you stay inside the shipping separation lanes after leaving or go outside of them and cross back again later? Is there a wind advantage offshore or any "gotchas" inshore?



Do you have to check with Point Mugu firing range before transiting?


Any other thoughts or look-out-fors appreciated.


thanks,


Kurt
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Old 25-06-2022, 19:09   #2
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Re: Local Info Southern California

Pressure is most likely better offshore but check local forecast. TSS is not an issue between those two points nor is checking w/Pt. Mugu.
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Old 25-06-2022, 23:33   #3
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Re: Local Info Southern California

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Originally Posted by Sailor279 View Post
Pressure is most likely better offshore but check local forecast. TSS is not an issue between those two points nor is checking w/Pt. Mugu.
I do recall when I was sailing through the Channel Islands and Santa Barbara that there were occasional notifications on VHF#16, warning of missile and live-fire tests in the restricted areas offshore of Vandenburg, Pt Hueneme, and Pt Mugu. Normally this area is open for passage, but I suggest making sure before you blunder into a difficult situation.
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Old 26-06-2022, 07:54   #4
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Local Info Southern California

Kurt, this is usually an easy pleasant place to sail particularly in from north to south as you are planning. Along the coast it is only about 40 miles. The prevailing wind and current are going the same way you are. The choice of closer to the coast or farther out depends on the winds and weather. I would probably opt to stay about 3 miles off the coast until past PointDume. Rounding any point you can expect stronger winds and perhaps choppier swells.

Check any of the wind/ weather sites like WindAlert.com or Passageweather.com. In the event of fog your radar and AIS will give you good information of shipping in your area but do still keep a sharp eye and ear out for small boats that may not have AIS or may not give much of a radar reflection. The shipping separation lanes are no problem. If you cross them do so at close to 90 degrees and keep a good watch. Be aware that the container ships donít always stay within the lanes so keep a good watch at all times. Monitor your radio. The firing range wonít be a problem. If itís active they broadcast warnings to mariners but they arenít firing into area that have frequent recreational or commercial shipping.

Keep an eye on your charts, particularly for the entrance to Marina Del Rey Just check the weather, keep your eyes and ears open, enjoy the ride.

Relax, you got this.
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Old 27-06-2022, 06:44   #5
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Re: Local Info Southern California

This passage is a piece of cake in normal weather. As a kid I once sailed from Channel Islands Harbor to Marina del Rey in a Hobie 14. Check the "Notice to Mariners" to make sure there will not be any restrictions off of N.A.S Pt. Mugu or at the small arms firing range at Pt. Mugu, and the weather forecast. You don't want to go if Santa Ana winds or fog are predicted. There is plenty of room between the shipping lanes and the coast so you will not need to cross the lanes. Stay far enough off shore to avoid the kelp beds and there will be no off-lying dangers. Expect "cape effect" (temporarily increased) winds at Pt. Mugu, Pt. Dume, and Malibu Point. This should be a very pleasant day. Enjoy.
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Old 28-06-2022, 06:07   #6
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Re: Local Info Southern California

We’ve traveled this route a few times. After some southing out of Channel Islands Harbor you’ll be sailing ESE (basically east), typically on a west or northwest wind. So, it could be DDW much of the way. It has been for us. There’s a red (stand off) buoy (CA0065) at Pt Dume. This should be passed on its seaward side. I don’t see it on my e-charts, but it is indicated on paper versions although not as an ATON. Once past Pt Dume you’ll be in Santa Monica Bay often with light winds. It’s about 15 n.mi. from Pt Dume to Marina Del Rey so you might wish to motor much of that. Of course, it’s generally “wind on the nose” or nearly so on the return to CIH.

Pt Mugu is a very subtle point that you will hardly notice passing. But, it does mark the zonal boundary between the “East Santa Barbara Channel” and the “Pt Mugu to San Mateo Pt” weather forecast zones. You may notice a difference in air temp after passing Pt Mugu; getting warmer in that (ESE) travel direction. Returning, usually being afternoon by the time we pass Pt Mugu, it can start to pick up; sometimes there are small craft advisories (SCA) called unexpectedly. It can be very lumpy and slow the last 6 n.mi. into CIH during an SCA. BTW. There is no need to cross, or be within, the traffiic separation scheme of the big bruisers. Enjoy!
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Old 28-06-2022, 07:43   #7
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Re: Local Info Southern California

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Kurt, this is usually an easy pleasant place to sail particularly in from north to south as you are planning. Along the coast it is only about 40 miles. The prevailing wind and current are going the same way you are. The choice of closer to the coast or farther out depends on the winds and weather. I would probably opt to stay about 3 miles off the coast until past PointDume. Rounding any point you can expect stronger winds and perhaps choppier swells.

Check any of the wind/ weather sites like WindAlert.com or Passageweather.com. In the event of fog your radar and AIS will give you good information of shipping in your area but do still keep a sharp eye and ear out for small boats that may not have AIS or may not give much of a radar reflection. The shipping separation lanes are no problem. If you cross them do so at close to 90 degrees and keep a good watch. Be aware that the container ships don’t always stay within the lanes so keep a good watch at all times. Monitor your radio. The firing range won’t be a problem. If it’s active they broadcast warnings to mariners but they aren’t firing into area that have frequent recreational or commercial shipping.

Keep an eye on your charts, particularly for the entrance to Marina Del Rey Just check the weather, keep your eyes and ears open, enjoy the ride.

Relax, you got this.
I read this reply and I find hardly anything detailing actual first-hand experience helpful on this route. “… container ships don’t always stay within the lanes …”? Where does this come from and to what does it refer? Check your charts, monitor your radio, check weather, stay alert? Could integrate that advice into a request for any route information. Run at three miles offshore to Pt Dume? I don’t see it. Up to two miles is good enough in most conditions.
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Old 28-06-2022, 08:04   #8
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Re: Local Info Southern California

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Originally Posted by Chris Cringle View Post
Stay far enough off shore to avoid the kelp beds and there will be no off-lying dangers. Expect "cape effect" (temporarily increased) winds at Pt. Mugu, Pt. Dume, and Malibu Point. This should be a very pleasant day. Enjoy.
The giant bladder kelp, the species that forms the dense kelp beds, thins out significantly over bottoms more than about 100 ft deep if not somewhat shallower. Thus, staying seaward of the 20-fm contour should keep you out of that trouble. Drifting kelp is about half of the problem.
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Old 28-06-2022, 19:00   #9
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Re: Local Info Southern California

Hi Auklet,


There was a time when I was lusting after a Bavaria but decided on a more old fashioned boat with a view, a Wauquiez Pilot Saloon. I appreciate your info on this thread but wanted to mention that in my about 10-12 trips to Catalina over the last 4 years, I personally have seen ships inshore of Catalina Island that were well out of their respective TSS lanes. Did they have good reason or were otherwise permitted to do so? Don't know but I have seen it more than a few times.

I expect I may cross the TSS towards anacapa looking for more and earlier breeze and then wait for a reaching rhumb line to MdR. if I have to wait out some fog, entering MdR at night is not a problem as it's my present and future homeport.

Regards,

Kurt
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Old 28-06-2022, 19:05   #10
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Re: Local Info Southern California

Appreciate all the good info. I talked to CI harbor patrol about the ranges and how to check for activity. They said the key is the the missles go well offshore and the rifle range at Mugu rock only requires a mile of clearance offshore. They also said to monitor 16 for alerts and geve me an old phone number for advisories IF the range was going to be active.


Thanks to everyone for the tips,


Kurt
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Old 28-06-2022, 21:35   #11
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Re: Local Info Southern California

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Originally Posted by KayZee View Post
Hi Auklet,


There was a time when I was lusting after a Bavaria but decided on a more old fashioned boat with a view, a Wauquiez Pilot Saloon. I appreciate your info on this thread but wanted to mention that in my about 10-12 trips to Catalina over the last 4 years, I personally have seen ships inshore of Catalina Island that were well out of their respective TSS lanes. Did they have good reason or were otherwise permitted to do so? Don't know but I have seen it more than a few times.

I expect I may cross the TSS towards anacapa looking for more and earlier breeze and then wait for a reaching rhumb line to MdR. if I have to wait out some fog, entering MdR at night is not a problem as it's my present and future homeport.

Regards,

Kurt

Hi,
Yes, Wauquiez Pilot Saloon; nice boat! Yeah, OK. I too have seen the bruisers making way toward Port of LA or Long Beach passing the west end of Catalina Island. They have essentially by-passed the near-shore TSS that runs in the Santa Barbara Channel, and then along the mainland to the ports. That said, we were "discussing" the TSS that parallels your planned route. The ships traveling that route are going to be using the TSS lanes.

In any event, I doubt crossing the TSS to get out by Anacapa Island will make much difference wind-wise. I did that a few years ago to lay a rhumb line to San Diego. Departing Ventura Harbor around noon, there was a nice westerly breeze until we passed Anacapa Island's east end (i.e., at parallel 34) on a southwesterly course where after it backed off substantially, and then with us gybing to a DDW (i.e., wing-'n-wing) southeasterly course. Slow, rolling and yawing--not much fun.
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Old 29-06-2022, 00:03   #12
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Re: Local Info Southern California

I would stay inside the shipping lanes for that trip, but in the past year I have had several encounters with ships that were drifting inshore of the lanes. It was due to the congestion at the port of LA/Long Beach. The drifting ships will periodically put the engine in gear and change course, which can make your AIS CPAs vary a lot. The key is that they are all at speeds of less than 4 knots.

I also got to within 2 miles of Marina Del Ray and encountered fog heavy enough where I could not see either side of the channel. If you see fog ahead, its time to warm up the radar.

The afternoon seabreeze is usually enough to sail, but expect to motor between 2000 and 1100.
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Old 29-06-2022, 07:28   #13
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Re: Local Info Southern California

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Hi Auklet,
… I personally have seen ships inshore of Catalina Island that were well out of their respective TSS lanes. Did they have good reason or were otherwise permitted to do so? Don't know but I have seen it more than a few times.
Kurt
I’m not AIS equipped, so maybe I don’t notice ‘em except as mentioned above near the west end. Actually, considering the number of trips I’ve made to the Island, I’ve not encountered all that many; fewer than one per crossing on average over many years. But I’m leaving from Long Beach not MdR.
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