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  #1  
Old 09-15-2009
Andrew D
 
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Sailing to Catalina Island

Hi everyone,

My buddies and I just got our 1977 Ericson 27' up and running, now we're getting a little ambitious and want to try to go to Catalina Island this weekend. We are all fairly new to sailing but do have some experience. We'd be leaving King Harbor (Redondo Beach) saturday AM and probably power our way up there and moor at Two Harbors. We'd need a shoreboat as we don't have a dinghy yet, but I have a campsite reserved for us to stay the night at. The next morning we'd get up and sail back.

One of the guys is getting nervous that we aren't ready for this, but I think we are... We have the Boat U.S. towing thing, so we can always get dragged back by them if we need to! We also have life jackets, vhf radio, and all that jazz just in case.

What do you think, is this doable? There's a microbrew fest so hopefully we can get there!

Thanks in advance,
--Andrew
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Old 09-15-2009
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I would make sure that you had appropriate ground tackle (the anchor thing) just in case a whole bunch of people get the same idea as you do and there are no moorings available. Also some sort of chart would be nice as I recall there a few things to run into on the way if you're not careful. (Also since you mentioned going "up there"). Due to your admitted lack of experience, it might also be wise to let someone at home know where you are going and when you should get there so that if you don't check in (did I remind you to take your cell phone?) they can call authorities to look for you. Otherwise, fortune favors the bold....Have Fun.

Mike
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Old 09-15-2009
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Sounds like fun and I was hoping to go but no luck this weekend.

Just a couple of words of caution. There is an active shipping lane about 4 nm from Rocky Point. Those container vessels haul behind and will come up fast if you aren't paying attention, especially from the north. So look both ways as you cross and keep a sharp lookout. The Harbor Patrol is really good about helping. When you get to Two Harbors, give a holler on channel 9 if you don't see a harbor partol vessel, and let them know you are new at this. They are always glad to help walk you through the steps on how to pull up a mooring and get secured for the night. Shore boat also monitors channel 9, so just give them a call and they will come out and pick you up.

After a few trips, you will be an old hat at this. Have fun at the Microfest.
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Old 09-15-2009
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When you get to two harbors, you'll see 2 rocks. Ship rock is the pointy one that looks like a ship (the rock is covered with bird droppings making it white--looks like a sail). The much bigger rock is bird rock, equally covered in u-know-what. There's a reef inside bird rock, it's clearly marked.

When you approach the harbor look for the red harbor patrol boats, and check in with them for a mooring. You can hail them on 9, but usually they'll either say "sorry we're full" or "wait for the boat at the harbor entrance" I think the shore boat is on 9 as well.

If you've never picked up a mooring before, check this link out:
Mooring Information, Boating - Visit Two Harbors, Catalina Island

Bring quarters for the shower if you want one. Be sure to get a buffalo milk if you've never had one.

If you end up having to anchor ask the harbor patrol for advise. If you can anchor bow & stern you can get in close by the beach in front of the camp ground if it's not too crowded already. Otherwise you will have to anchor pretty deep or too far away (out of shore boat range)

Wish I was going, but I'll be working on my atomic 4 this weekend. I'll be curious how crowded it is--wondering what to expect for Bucco Days.
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Old 09-16-2009
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Is good time. Weather is still pretty benign, tho you are entering the period when it can start cutting up a bit. Keep your VHF on 16, maintain GOOD lookouts -- the shipping lanes can make you feel like a turtle crossing an interstate -- and have a blast. We took a 1500 lb, 21-footer out there in July with no real motor, so it isn't exactly rounding the Horn, tho there are still interesting ways to die en route.

I wouldn't want to rely on a shoreboat, tho. We got a large (880 lb capacity) Intex inflatable for $65. With a second pair of oars, we rowed that sucker all over the place. No one stole it, either. It was the cost of two shoreboat rides, and you come and go on your own schedule. And think of the entertainment value of four beered-up dudes in a rubber rowboat. Cheers!
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Old 09-16-2009
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I'm preparing to do this also with my '74 Catalina 22- probably in early November. I crewed a few months ago with someone else.

Always be prepared for the possibility of Santa Ana winds- which can blow as hard as 70 knots and turn the otherwise protected harbor into a lee shore! Prepare for them, and cancel your trip if you think there's much possibility of them. I've heard that boats often break free from their moorings and blow ashore when these come into two harbors.

Some extra gear/prep to consider:
-A GPS with waypoints for your destination and home port
-Nautical chart and compass
-Jacklines, tethers, and harnesses
-Radar reflector
-All hatches properly sealed and solidly closed
-A refuge and anchoring plan for high winds
-A strong running engine with plenty of fuel for beating hard into the wind
-Inflatable dinghy/liferaft
-Manual bilge pump

Any advise from people whom have done this about how else to prepare for the Santa Ana winds?
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Old 09-16-2009
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Take the ferry over until you get some equipment, and some skills. It's the ocean, and not a park lake. Do you know there's variation in a compass? Do you know how to read a chart, or GPS? Can you reef if the Santa Annas come into play. Can you reduce the headsail size, hove to, or handle a VHF? Are there working running lights, and what if the motor dies, can you fix it? One of the guys is getting nervous, because he realises most likely many of your answers are no. If you answered yes to them all, then by all means have a good time.. ........i2f
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Old 09-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casioqv View Post

Any advise from people whom have done this about how else to prepare for the Santa Ana winds?
Hang on for a wild ride...

The only safe harbor in Santa Ana winds is Cat Harbor around the back side. This will add a couple of hours each way. If you happen to be caught in Ithsmus Cove and the winds pick up, stay. Try to get placed on a mooring as far to the west side as possible and hang on. You will be tossed around all night, but the boats are spaced and if it is going to get really bad, the Harbor Patrol will use two mooring balls to tie up boats.

Good news is Santa Ana winds are usually predictable, so keep an eye on the weather reports on the TV. If high pressure parks itself over Nevada, it is a good indication that Santa Ana winds might be coming. Bad news is the winds don't always make it down to the coastal areas and you end up passing on a great weekend, thinking that you will play it safe. Better safe than sorry, and you can always do a daysail.

Been going over for 15 years now; been caught over on Catalina only twice. And so far, the weatherman is not predicting Santa Ana winds for the weekend.
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Old 09-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windward54 View Post
Try to get placed on a mooring as far to the west side as possible and hang on. You will be tossed around all night, but the boats are spaced and if it is going to get really bad, the Harbor Patrol will use two mooring balls to tie up boats.
Thanks for the advice, but why the west side of Ithsmus Cove? If the Santa Ana winds come from the east, wouldn't the west side be a lee shore, but the south and east sides, including the area by the USC Wrigley Institute be protected somewhat by the point on the SW of the cove?

Here's a satellite map of the cove which I was looking at when considering this:
Two Harbors, CA - Google Maps
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Old 09-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casioqv View Post
Thanks for the advice, but why the west side of Ithsmus Cove? If the Santa Ana winds come from the east, wouldn't the west side be a lee shore, but the south and east sides, including the area by the USC Wrigley Institute be protected somewhat by the point on the SW of the cove?

Here's a satellite map of the cove which I was looking at when considering this:
Two Harbors, CA - Google Maps
It turns out that the harbor mouth and the gap through the hills will funnel the wind through and straight down the east side of the harbor, roughly west to east. The land mass area serves to block. The west side has more coverage around it and tends to assist in blocking some of the wind and a lot of the wave/surge which come rolling into the harbor east to west. Even in good weather, the west side is less rolly than the east side, so if you look at the webcam on a winter day, you will see that most of the visiting boats will be on the west side. Up against the cliff area on charlie, delta and echo rows tend to be where it is calmest in winds.

Visit Catalina Island, California

Sorry about that. My computer freaked out and posted the message three times. I deleted the duplicates.

Last edited by windward54; 09-16-2009 at 04:18 PM.
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