Catalina moorings/busyness this summer? - SailNet Community

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Old 07-26-2009
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Catalina moorings/busyness this summer?

Just curious if any other so cal sailors can comment on how busy Catalina has been this summer. Last year with between the economy and fuel prices there were lots of empty moorings at two harbors even on some of the weekends. This year we are going next friday (7/31) for a long weekend and trying to gauge whether we should even try for avalon or the isthmus. Depending on the weather and seas we may shoot over to Santa Barabara Is. or go around back to Little Harbor.

Thanks

Mark
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Old 07-28-2009
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We just got back. It wasn't too bad midweek, tho on Thursday thru Saturday night you really needed to pick up a mooring by 1 or 2 PM, and lots of owners were coming across and punting off the squatters. Avalon was mostly full, and even Desconso was busy. I do NOT want a back row East mooring in Desconso; the boats there were thrashing wildly in even a modest westerly swell. Depending on your boat size (up to 26ft), you might ask about the shoreboat spots in Avalon, behind Casino mole. The Harbor Patrol sometimes forgets about these; we were able to pick one up about 4 PM on a Wednesday, and there was one more spot free. It can be a little rocky in daytime because of boat wakes, but it's real quiet at night.

At Isthmus, 4th of July is filling first, then Cherry Cove. According to Latitude 38 today, the main Two Harbors field was absolutely sold out this past weekend for the first time, so things look grim for you. Again, the stringline is an option if you are under 26 feet. That's where we were, and it was only about 1/4 full. Harbors to the west are going to catch a lot of overflow, so they may be short of moorings.

Cat Harbor, OTOH, was nearly empty when we visited, and there was only one boat anchored in the northern shallows. This site has webcams of Avalon and Two Harbors; if you mouse over "Current Conditions" and click "View Detailed Conditions", it will show available moorings for the everything but Avalon, tho it's not always up to date.

Heh -- we were the smallest sailboat at Catalina, which does have advantages. I'd advise laying in ridiculous footage of anchor rode, just in case you get skunked. Luck!
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Old 07-28-2009
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Thanks, I'm with you on avoiding certain spots in Desconso. That's were you get the cig boats coming in late, looking at 80' of depth, putting out 80' of rhode, taking the shore boat in to go drinking, and then you watch as everyone fends off the boat as it bobs up and down drifting through the anchorage.

Love that link, I wonder how fast it gets updated. Sure would help vectoring on the approach to right where there are spots. I called Avalon Harbormaster just to get a feel how the summer was going (before I saw the lat 38 article), he said if you are arriving anytime friday, forget avalon.

Did you go over to Little Harbor? It's usually empty when I've been there, but its such a nice spot I can't believe more people don't go.

Weather isn't looking good to go all the way to S.B. island....we'll have to keep our fingers crossed.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-28-2009
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Isthmus Cove and the front side of Catalina on the west end has been busy, filling up on Saturday mornings. I tend to shoot over to Cat Harbor, where you can almost always pick up a mooring. there were even empty moorings when we were there over Memorial Day Weekend. I have had a few friends have success at getting into Avalon midweek, but weekends have been crowded.

You can always check out the webcams for both Avalon and Two Harbors to see how they are doing.

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Old 07-28-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark424 View Post
Did you go over to Little Harbor? It's usually empty when I've been there, but its such a nice spot I can't believe more people don't go.
No. We trimmed back our ambitions to round the island on this, our first visit (and first ocean experience). Discretion being the better part of valor, etc. Our little trolling motor was proving tempermental, and that's a long, ironbound lee shore if anything goes wrong. We only saw Cat Harbor by walking across the isthmus, tho I so much longed to go there.

Little Harbor does look cool, but.... Our Cast Off for Catalina video says there's only room for two boats at anchor; it's a fair way back to Cat Harbor if the spaces are taken. And heaven help you if you are anchored in there and a big south swell starts hammering it, like happened last week!
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