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Old 06-14-2021, 06:48 PM   #1
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Cruising around Cat

Hi TFers,

A buddy (Tartan 3500 Sailboat) and I were planning on a few days at San Clemente Island then heading north, but the Navy closures and weather windows were not cooperating for that run. I have been to this Island many times as a kid while working as a deck hand on sport fishing boats in the 80's, and then as a passenger chasing Tuna, but have never anchored there so I am looking forward to making that happen at some point.

After waiting several weeks, we therefore shelved that and went straight to Catalina. The new plan was to continue on to Santa Barbara Island, and then to the northern channels, but I was feeling pretty beat up from a fall the day before I left, then a mild chest infection, an infected toe, and then poking my eye with a sharp object, so I pulled the plug on continuing farther north. We will try again in August.

I therefore did 14 days at Catalina, circling the Island and stopping at various spots. My sailboat buddy boat came out for the last 5 days. My wife did the ferry thing as she was unable to spend the duration out there due to work commitments.

Typical June Grey, and winds most days, but also a few great weather days in between. Water was cool at 61F, and probably one of the reasons I got the chest infection from too much swimming without a wetsuit. I could get away with it in the past, but not now apparently. Getting older.

The back side of Cat is one of the most beautiful examples of what California was like 400 years ago. I believe the rock formations are granite and slate, but others can correct me if I am wrong.

The attached photo is the west end early in the morning and one of my favorite places on the SoCal coast. The water clarity is very good, with lots of wildlife and fish. It always looks a bit ominous at this time when the marine layer is present. When the swells and current meet this narrow point, the swells will often stack up as they move from very deep, to shallow water along the Islands flanks. Moving from 80 ft. of water to 400 ft. (a short distance away) results in smoother runs when the swells are up.

Currently parked in Long Beach. Working on some projects, regrouping, and will head back to SD next week and then hopefully back out to the northern channels in early August.

Cheers, Fletch.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:12 PM   #2
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Nice to getaway.

Did you land on Avalon? if so was wondering how is life there? back to normal?
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:32 PM   #3
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Fantastic! I can't wait to get back out there after the 4th of July weekend. Going to spend a couple of months going up to the channel islands, will be circling around Catalina for 3-4 weeks with various cohorts of kid friends. I love the back side as well. Hopefully the water will be up above 70 by then.
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:18 PM   #4
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Nice to getaway. Did you land on Avalon? if so was wondering how is life there? back to normal?
We have been in and out of Avalon about 5 times over the past year. The City did a very good job managing the pandemic overall. Boaters were allowed back in May 2020, but we only went ashore for necessities and kept a respectable distance from the locals. Things are mostly back to normal, people are happy, and the vibe is good.
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:21 PM   #5
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Fantastic! I can't wait to get back out there after the 4th of July weekend. Going to spend a couple of months going up to the channel islands, will be circling around Catalina for 3-4 weeks with various cohorts of kid friends. I love the back side as well. Hopefully the water will be up above 70 by then.
Excellent, sounds like a great plan. We will likely cross paths out there one of these years.
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:44 PM   #6
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We have been in and out of Avalon about 5 times over the past year. The City did a very good job managing the pandemic overall. Boaters were allowed back in May 2020, but we only went ashore for necessities and kept a respectable distance from the locals. Things are mostly back to normal, people are happy, and the vibe is good.
I miss Loua Larry's
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:31 PM   #7
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Cheers..Either Luau Larry’s, or Marlin Bar..forgot.
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Old 06-19-2021, 02:22 PM   #8
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Bill, keep us posted on the trip south and each harbor you stop over at. Enjoy the trip and keep an eye out for change in the weather to offshore breezes and clear skies. Stay safe. You have the right boat well equipped for this type of relaxing coastal cruising.

John
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Old 09-12-2021, 04:27 PM   #9
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Back side Cat yesterday after going around the west end. Heading around the east end tomorrow for more of the front side, then north we go to the next island chain.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:00 AM   #10
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Down Coast

A friend and his wife made the trip from SF to Catalina this week in their KK Whaleback. Straight run, no stops. All good, no drama.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:42 AM   #11
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Thanks for the pic & update! We spent six weeks cruising over the summer: up to Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz Island, and then around Catalina a few times. Spent a lot of time in Cat Harbor, including for our 20th anniversary once the kids had gone home with some friends. It was wonderful & I wish we were still there!
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:10 AM   #12
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Nice to getaway.

Did you land on Avalon? if so was wondering how is life there? back to normal?

Big Olaf's is gone.
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Old 09-18-2021, 07:34 PM   #13
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Nice to getaway.

Did you land on Avalon? if so was wondering how is life there? back to normal?

Avalon <sigh>

When I was a kid, there was an actual steamship which ran from Wilmington each day...for a 10-year-old, it was as good as Tahiti. Flying fish..."native" kids diving for change in the crystalline waters alongside the docked ship...etc.


Fast forward, 20 years or so, I trailered my 23' sloop from Salt Lake for two weeks in SoCal. Used my recprocity from the Great Salt Lake YC (honest) at a club at the upper end of Newport Bay, more like Costa Mesa. Don't recall the name of the club, but I vividly remember drinking in the bar with Hobie Alter.


Acquired some feminine companionship (not hard; it was the 70s) and we set off for exotic Avalon.


Dining at a nice waterfront restaurant, perusing the winelist with alarm, I ask the waiter, "do you have some domestic vintages?"


His reply, "Sir, this is an island, they are all imported."
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:31 PM   #14
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SCR, congrats on your 20 th. That is a great way to celebrate. My wife and I have our 30th this week. It went fast, and a good reminder to cruise while we can.

Prof, nice stories. It’s a special place for sure. I first went there in the later 70’s as a deckhand on sport fishing boats out of DP. This past week I was paddling along the coast, a couple miles west of Avalon and ran into the guy who hired me when I was a kid in High School. He was running the same boat that I had worked on for him. Time warp..good memories.
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:04 PM   #15
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We are headed up on October 1st for a few days, really looking forward to it. Don't think we will make it to the backside which is such a special place. I used to take my Shamrock around back and fish by myself with no other boats around. Simply awesome.
Hoping for better weather on the way up this time than the trip we did in late July, it was nasty steep chop between SC and Cat. It was so bad the microwave decided to take a dive out of it's home and landed on the counter. Luckily no damage. Trip home was awesome, near glass.

Avalon does seem to have fared pretty well and even without cruise ships it was as busy mid-week as I've ever seen it. They reopened the ice cream location which was Big Olafs, but I don't know if it was as good since I forbid myself from going in there.

We also had our 30th this year, time does indeed fly. I trod the same ground on sport boats as you in the mid 70's Fletcher, but out of Mission Bay.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:52 AM   #16
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We are headed up on October 1st for a few days, really looking forward to it.
put on your pirate outfit its buccaneer days at two harbors.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:55 AM   #17
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Big Olaf's is gone.
oh yeah its been a while i miss those breakfasts. it was replaced by a Paris type boutique paying high rent catering to cruise ships.
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:30 AM   #18
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put on your pirate outfit its buccaneer days at two harbors.
.
Thanks for the reminder, I'd forgotten about that. Not sure if we will get up to Two Harbors but now I'm a bit more concerned over getting a mooring in Avalon on Friday the 1st with all the shenanigans' going on that weekend.

As I mentioned, there is a new ice cream place next to Antonio's on the north end. This location used to be a strange little store owned by Murph, the guy who was in the Union 76 commercials back in the 70's. Murph was a local who could often be seen tipping a few back in the Marlin Club back in the day.
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:39 AM   #19
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Thanks for the reminder, I'd forgotten about that. Not sure if we will get up to Two Harbors but now I'm a bit more concerned over getting a mooring in Avalon on Friday the 1st with all the shenanigans' going on that weekend.

As I mentioned, there is a new ice cream place next to Antonio's on the north end. This location used to be a strange little store owned by Murph, the guy who was in the Union 76 commercials back in the 70's. Murph was a local who could often be seen tipping a few back in the Marlin Club back in the day.
did you forget the lobster opener too. -
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:20 AM   #20
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did you forget the lobster opener too. -
I did! Might need to move up a day and go Thursday.
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