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I'm an experienced sailor, but have never sailed to Catalina. I'm planning an end of July midweek trip to Catalina, including stops at Two Harbors and Avalon. I'll stay at one location on Tuesday and the other on Thursday. I keep reading about how difficult it is to get a mooring at Avalon Harbor. Would my chances of getting a mooring at Avalon be better on Tuesday or Thursday?

Thanks!
 

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I'm an experienced sailor, but have never sailed to Catalina. I'm planning an end of July midweek trip to Catalina, including stops at Two Harbors and Avalon. I'll stay at one location on Tuesday and the other on Thursday. I keep reading about how difficult it is to get a mooring at Avalon Harbor. Would my chances of getting a mooring at Avalon be better on Tuesday or Thursday?

Thanks!
My guess is that Tuesday would be better as Thursday is right up against the weekend, and it's summer.

Here are a couple of webcam pages where you can get an idea how crowded it might be:

Avalon Harbor Live Cam - Avalon, California

Mount Ada Cam | Visit Catalina Island

The first link actually has a chart showing mooring availability at Avalon.

Be aware that the moorings have you tie at both ends, see picture attachment below.

Brian Fagan's excellent book on cruising central and southern CA has a good chapter on Santa Catalina. Enjoy, and definitely go to Two Harbors as well, it's very nice and the people there are super friendly and provide great service, from the restaurant/shops to the harbor boat skippers. A very different vibe from Avalon in my opinion.
 

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Thanks Skyeterrier! The Avalon Harbor Mooring Availability site is exactly what I need. I'll keep my eye on it over the next two weeks to see the availability trend for midweek.

I've come close to buying Fagan's book, but I am worried it is out of date - his book is now 15 years old.
 

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At Avalon, Tuesday for sure. There will also be less tourists off the ferries on Tuesday, so it may be a bit more laid back. That said, I've always gone over on Thursday and found something. I don't go on holiday weekends. I'm planning on going next week.

First stop also could be what you want to do for distance. I'm out of Dana Point so Avalon is 8nm closer, so we hit that on the way out (since it's typically motoring the whole way). Then we return from Two Harbors, as it's a better angle of sail (typically). For points north of Newport, Two harbors is closer.

If you've never been to Avalon, I'd recommend the casino tour. Yup, it's kinda touristy, but the architecture there is just astonishing.

Two Harbors cam: Two Harbors Webcam | Live Views of Catalina Island | Visit Catalina Island
 

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When sailing from Avalon to Two Harbors, be sure and go west around Ship Rock. There are shallow reefs that are charted, but still tricky. Ask me how I know...
 

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Other pointers:

-You may find phone numbers posted for Harbormaster's office, shore boat service etc. but don't bother. No one picks up the phone, it's all done over VHF radio.

-The Harbormaster's boats will assign you a mooring. If you loiter around at the entrance to Avalon or Two Harbors and hail the Harbormaster via VHF, they will approach, take your documentation information and your cash or credit card payment.

-During the peak summer season, Avalon has a garbage boat that comes by in the morning.

-Not sure if this is the area rbrasi was referring to, but, yeah, watch out for the stuff in the center of the picture, just East of the green buoy, and SW of Bird Rock.

-Also, while there is a lot of diving all over the island, Two Harbors in particular seems to have a lot of dive activity so be wary of dive boats.

 
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