We actually pushed back our dates by a week and I just got back yesterday morning.
Trip was great. I'll be posting
a more detailed account on my blog over the next few days, with pictures. However here's a summary:
We started loading the boat at 4PM Sunday afternoon and were loaded and ready to go by 5:30. We checked out and were underway by 6PM, leaving from Mission Bay. We only had wind
to sail until about 8PM. After that we started up the engine
, set course of 290 (hand steering
the entire way) and cruised very smoothly at about 6kts. Hardly any swell or waves at all. It got steadily colder all night long and we eventually ended up in full foulies.
My father-in-law and I set a 2 hour watch and the other just rested/slept in the cockpit
, my son slept well all night down below. This being our first overnight passage
we both wanted the other quickly available in case something happened. At 3am something did happen. The FIL was driving and I was snoozing. I heard something very odd come from the engine
and suddenly the oil
pressure light and buzzer went on scaring the snot out of both of us. I jumped to the binnacle and shut the engine down. I checked the temp real quick and it looked fine so I headed to the engine. As soon I got in the companionway
I could smell the burnt rubber and immediately knew we'd wasted a belt.
I pulled the engine cover off and found both belts wrapped around the crankshaft. My club thankfully supplied us with spares for both belts and after cleaning
out the mess I replaced both belts and we were on our way. Total down time was about 30 minutes.
[quick aside: I was wearing a harness and tether while I was working on the engine. I had the cover off when I told the FIL to start up the engine so I could make sure things looked okay. My tether got kicked by one of the blades on the alternator
and suddenly my life flashed before my eyes. Dumb move on my part and my only excuse was it was 3am, which is really no excuse. Beware dangly things when you are working on an engine!!]
After that we got to two harbors about 9am and were moored in Isthmus Harbor by 10. The restaurant there does a great breakfast so if you don't feel like cooking
it's a great option. I imagine the other meals
are good too but we only sampled the breakfasts.
Everyone up there, including the other boaters, are all very friendly. We didn't have a childrens-pool-like-dinghy but we also didn't have a motor
so our neighbors offered to tow us in when we both happened to head
out at the same time. The rest of the time we rowed and that was fine too.
We were able to pick up a new alternator
belt but they didn't have the water pump
belt. Might have been able to get one in Avalon but we didn't try. Fuel dock
closes at 4pm during the week. We realized our holding tank
was full at 4:30... The shore boats cost $3 pp each way and they run till the bar closes around 1am... The showers say they are $0.50 per 90 seconds of water
, but we got more than 90 seconds out of $0.50.....
We left for home Wednesday morning at 8am and had to motor
till we were clear of the island around 11am. Little pockets of wind
but nothing we could sustain. However we did go through several pods of dolphin and pilot whales. Several dolphins
came for a closer look and even got in our bow wave. They'd dive under us then come jumping out of the water
on the other side. Pretty cool!
As for traffic we had to change course to go behind one tanker coming out of the shipping
channel from Long Beach. Then off Pendleton we had to divert around a Navy
ship performing aircraft operations. Other than that we didn't see many other vessels at all.
We tried to sail 120 coming home but the wind dead astern and the following seas made us too concerned about an accidental gybe, plus is was really rolly, so we headed a little more south in a broad reach and then made a controlled gybe further south. It was more comfortable sailing a more southerly course too. Between noon and 7PM we probably averaged 15kts wind and regularly touched 6.5kts over ground. We again lost
wind around 8PM and started up the engine.
We had around 5 miles visibility most of the time, even during the day so we never saw land after leaving Catalina until we were within 5 miles of Del Mar and it started getting dark. We used the Seaworld tower as a landmark to home in on Mission Bay channel. We were docked by 11:30pm. Total time going up was 14 hours and coming back was 15.5 hours. ymmv.
We used GPS
as our primary nav tool, we had 3 on board. We had charts
too and they give a better big picture. The best reference we found was Charlie's Charts
. It had the best descriptions of approaches and landmarks.
I guess that was a pretty detailed summary hehe...
Overall an awesome trip! I was in no hurry to get home at all. We'll probably change a few things up next time we do this trip but basically I followed what others have suggested here and it worked out really well. We'll be doing this one again.
Looking forward to hearing how your trip goes.