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Old 01-04-2013
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Re: Motoring while sailing ????

For those of us in Southern California the prevailing wind is from the NW. Problem is, that's the direction of Catalina. Most of the time a favorable wind to Catalina is during a storm and the wind and waves can be high. So most people motor to Catalina. Not because there isn't any wind, there can be that too, but because when there is wind, it is against you. Catalina blocks most of the higher waves from LA to Dana Point but below that it gets bigger. I am in San Diego harbor and we usually get at least a foot higher swells than Oceanside. So going to Catalina from here, many go up the coast, where the swell is smaller, under power and often with the main up to get a little push, until they reach Oceanside or Dana Point before turning toward to Catalina. But it is almost always under power. Sometimes you get very lucky and can sail both ways but not too often. You can't schedule those you just have to be ready to go when the wind is favorable. But then I've talked to those who had to motor both ways. It isn't that bad unless you go all at night, as there is usually some sea life to see along the way and you are usually in sight of land, if the haze/fog isn't too bad. Going from the LA area isn't too much different, except it is a 10 -12 hour trip from San Diego and only a 6 - 8 trip from LA area. If you want to spend some time in the area there are several large islands North of Catalina but you MUST keep an eye on the weather up there in all seasons as the wind and waves can change in a few hours the closer you get to Point Conception.
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