Monday, November 1, 2010


Friday we left Channel Islands Marina, our port of refuge from the Santa Ana winds, heading for Catalina Harbor on Catalina Island.   It was a beautiful sunny day with flat seas and today the Navy was bombing some Island way far to the west of us, so we didn't have a care at all.

As we approached the island I was having all sorts of day dreams, imagining it was a tropical island in the South Pacific and we were approaching after 30 days of sailing and how we would feel, and how brave it must have been in the old days to try to find a small island in a big ocean with only a sextant.  Or that we were approaching Jurassic Park, and would soon be met by hungry pterodactyls dropping in for dinner.  (Did I ever mention cruisers sometime have way to much time with nothing to do?)  One thing I didn't imagine was that I was not going to get any sleep that night.

 Catalina Island should have been two islands.  A mountainous west island and a mountainous east island, separated by a narrow channel.  But it's not.  Instead of a narrow channel there is a narrow isthmus.  The nearly sea level isthmus is only about a third of a mile wide, and not much more then that in length.  There is a harbor on the north side and one on the south side.  The area is called Two Harbors.  We were bound for Catalina Harbor on the south.


 The Coast Guard has designated Catalina Harbor a "Year Round Safe Harbor" even though it is completely open to the south, offering no protection from winds and sea in that direction.  The forecast for that evening was for winds from the south, but only at 10 to 15 knots with small wind waves.  We figured the Coast Guard would not call Cat Harbor safe if 10 to 15 knots would cause problems, so in we went.

Cont. in previous post.

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