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All,

I am looking at the charts for San Pedro Bay (LA) to prepare for my Sail to Catalina, I am confused about the route I need to navigate. There are many commercial anchorages and restricted areas with a break water across the majority of the bay. There are two zone listed as "exclusive use for entering or exiting" the bay that seem to line up with commercial freighter pairing with pilot boats.

As a 30 foot sailboat, am I suppose to use these lanes or stay away from them because they are for commercial container ships? Any advice for navigating this harbor would be appreciated.

Kirt
San Diego
 

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From San Pedro you will want to use the northern most opening in the breakwater they are for all traffic. you could go around the south end of the breakwater or the middle opening but it will be a little further. there is the three ways out of the harbor and they are plenty wide.
 

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Old as Dirt!
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Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. You're only going to Catalina. Spend the night in San Pedro if necessary. There is a nice anchorage at about 33º 42.7N 118º 16.824W. When the fog/gloom has cleared and you're ready to leave, sail over to Angles gate, about a mile and a half to the east, hang a right at the gate and scoot through. Once you're about 100 yards south of the gate, take up a course of 200º for Bird Rock/Two Harbors (about 19 miles) or 175º for Avalon (about 22 miles). Once you're clear of Palos Verdes, you'll usually pick up a northwesterly making for a reach. When crossing the San Pedro Valley traffic lanes (starting about 4 miles southwest of the Gate and 3-1/2 miles wide) just keep your eyes open and steer around the aft end of any traffic. To Bird Rock is about 4-1/2 hours in your boat, or 5 or so to Avalon.

FWIW...
 

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Cruising
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Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill. You're only going to Catalina. Spend the night in San Pedro if necessary. There is a nice anchorage at about 33º 42.7N 118º 16.824W. When the fog/gloom has cleared and you're ready to leave, sail over to Angles gate, about a mile and a half to the east, hang a right at the gate and scoot through. Once you're about 100 yards south of the gate, take up a course of 175º for Bird Rock/Two Harbors (about 19 miles) or 175º for Avalon (about 22 miles). Once you're clear of Palos Verdes, you'll usually pick up a northwesterly making for a reach. When crossing the San Pedro Valley traffic lanes (starting about 4 miles southwest of the Gate and 3-1/2 miles wide) just keep your eyes open and steer around the aft end of any traffic. To Bird Rock is about 4-1/2 hours in your boat, or 5 or so to Avalon.

FWIW...
Nice info.... Good on you......
 

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Over-caffeinated
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The only tricky part is getting through Angels' Gate. Between the ferry traffic, the occasional cruise ship, and all the cargo ships it can be a busy place. Normally, however, you only have to wait a few minutes (if at all) for enough of an opening in the traffic to slip through the gate and out into San Pedro Bay. Once through the gate you can head directly for the island, but I tend to keep to the west of the light house (that keeps me out of the "Pilot Area" just seaward of the gate), and then head due south (T) until I'm clear of the "Precautionary Area". That gets me out of the way of the "big boys" as quick as possible. At that point you can set your course for either Avalon (~ 193˚T/181˚M) or Two Harbors (~234˚T/222˚M), or the West End (if you want to head over to Catalina Harbor; which is usually the quietest of the three developed harbors).

Note that the direct courses from Angels Gate in post #4 are a bit off (it can't be 175˚ to both places).
 

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Old as Dirt!
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...

Note that the direct courses from Angels Gate in post #4 are a bit off (it can't be 175˚ to both places).
Correct--that was a typo. The courses from Angles Gate are about 200º to Bird Rock and 175º to Avalon. (Correction to earlier post made) We usually added a few degrees of Westing to allow for a southeasterly set, depending upon observed drift across the Valley, and leeway, although a Catalina 30 moving at speed shouldn't have too much of that.

FWIW...
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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sailed out of lost angels many years. either leave via long beach and queen mary and head north a bit then towards the island, or go to angels gate and sail 26.1 miles in the correct direction noted on your charts. paper charts give headings to sail to get to many locales.. they are useful in sailing to catalina.
sail to two harbors or to avalon. moorings at avalon were more pricey last i went than morings in two harbors..
have fun. dont get run over by a big ship and do not hit anything larger than you are.
 

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2008 Jeanneau 39i S/V Grace
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If you are going to two harbors, plot your course to the north of ship rock, and avoid bird rock altogether. Ask me how I know this. Also, ditto on Angels gate. The traffic isn't that bad. If you approach from Cabrillo marina, it's a snap.
I was there last week and there were, maybe, six boats moored in the isthmus. $30/day and worth it.


Sent from my iPhone using Sausage-like fingers
 
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