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montenido 05-16-2010 10:24 PM

Long Beach, CA to Channel Islands Harbor
Hi all. I pulled the trigger and bought a beautiful Catalina 36 in Long Beach Harbor (Alamitos Bay). I have two days to get her up to Channel Islands harbor. Any ideas?

I can go to Catalina and spend the night at the Isthmus, continuing the second leg in the early AM. Long Beach to the Isthmus is about 25+NM. The second leg is about 60NM.

Another option would be to make the first destination Santa Barbara Island, instead of Catalina. First leg would be about 45NM, with the second leg being close to that same distance.

Has anybody out there spent a night at SB Island? If so, where did you anchor?

Any comments?

Thanks, Bill

rocinante33 05-16-2010 11:56 PM


Though I have not tried overnighting at SB Island, I would not recommend it in any but the calmest of conditions. There is not really a true anchorage, AFAIK. Will you have someone stand anchor watch?

jgeissinger 05-17-2010 12:47 PM

LB to Channel Islands
Another suggestion would be MDR on day one (about 5-6 hours). MDR to Channel Islands day two (7-8 hours, leave early to avoid strong late afternoon headwinds near CI). I did this recently as part of a longer trip, and it works very well.

djodenda 05-17-2010 01:36 PM


First of all, Congratulations!

Keep in mind that once you get to the area of Santa Barbara isalnd, you are away from coastal influences and are likely to find higher seas and winds...

MDR is quite a ways out of the way. I'd either go with your Isthmus plans, or maybe Avalon.

Other option is to leave at dawn from Alamitos bay and plan to arrive home at night. You know the area, right?


windward54 05-17-2010 02:40 PM

SB Island is a nice place to visit, provided you are good at anchoring. The only place to anchor is at Landing Cove, below the Ranger Station. Just keep an eye on the weather, and if a Santa Ana fills in, bug out as there is not a lot of protection. The bigger issue will be fog as there seems to be a marine layer that has come in. And there is an active shipping channel between SB Island and Catalina in addition to the shipping lane that is along the coast. However, it is my favorite of the Channel Islands group.

Isthmus Cove is also good, but depends on the weekend. If you are going on Memorial Day weekend, give it up as it will be packed. Cat harbor is a good back up as well.

SJ34 05-17-2010 05:21 PM

I made that trip about a year ago when we moved from San Pedro to Ventura. We had also planned to lay over at Catalina then go North from there. As it turned out, my schedule filled up and I was forced to sail directly to Ventura from San Pedro. The trip took about 11 hours.

montenido 05-17-2010 08:57 PM

Thanks for the replies so far. I want to break the trip into two days to make it easier on my son (and me) and to kind of learn the boat. I figure that on the way to the Isthmus I can play with all the electronics and other systems. Then I will have time to look up info and features that I was not able to figure out. The following morning I can try out my new knowledge on the second leg of the trip. I am excited and I hope the weather cooperates. I really have to vacate the current slip on the 27th, so a little luck with weather would be appreciated. I'll let you all know how it shakes out.

Thanks, Bill

JimB517 05-17-2010 08:59 PM

Catalina and Santa Barbara Island
Both Catalina and SBI are very far out of your way. Here's a URL with photos of my trip to SBI.

Indiscipline III's Home Page

Mind you, this is a beautiful spot, and you should go there someday.

For now, simply get up early and motorsail to Marina del Rey. There is a great guest dock at Burton Chase Park. There is also a supermarket and a West Marine close by for things that break on the first day.

On the 2nd day get up early and motorsail to Channel Islands marina.

It would be an easy trip on my Catalina 25 and should be a dream in your 36.

Be aware, it can be foggy, it can be windy (right on the nose). Make sure the GPS works, you have charts, and the VHF works. Join Vessel Assist.

fjon 05-17-2010 09:58 PM

Montenido, I've chartered the Catalina 30 and 36 out of Channel Islands Harbor to the Channel Islands. It's a fine cruising grounds. I would say, don't mess with the fog if you don't have radar. Have a back-up plan, probably motoring or sailing to MDR. With a new boat, the job is to get it home, not pleasure cruising per se. Good luck and I'll see you there.

montenido 05-20-2010 12:29 AM

Okay, my final plan, I think, is to motor/sail to Paradise Cove in Malibu the first day. Plan B would be to put in at MDR and use the guest dock if the weather is bad. Paradise Cove is just a short motor/sail to CI harbor the next day. It appears to offer decent shelter and anchoring. Also, we can dinghy ashore to the restaurant :).

Any holes in this plan?

Thanks, Bill

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