|Sailing from San Diego to LA harbors|
I just sailed south from Channel Islands Marina (near Oxnard) back down to San Diego - stopping at these marinas along the way. I thought it would be a good online resource to post all these distances and travel times. There are lots of folks boating between LA and San Diego, so hopefully this will be of use.
For the San Diego way point, I started the distance at the mouth of Mission Bay jetty (because that's where my boat is docked). If you are starting your journey from San Diego Bay instead of Mission Bay, then add 7 nautical miles onto each distance or for calculating time required for each journey, add 1.5 hours (if in a 30 ft sailboat).
Distance in nautical miles: (1 nm = 1.15 land miles)
Mission Bay to Dana Point: 50
Mission Bay to Newport Beach: 62
Mission Bay to Huntington Harbor: 73
Mission Bay to LA harbor: 80
Mission Bay to Marina del Rey: 99
I plotted out these distances based on my route (direct), and took an approximate start point for each distance at the outside of each harbor. Each mariner may experience a slightly different distance, depending on their mooring location and line of sail, but consider these good approximations.
|chart plotting with a good set of dividers|
We made this journey in a 30 foot sailboat (1976 Newport), and considering the range of conditions we experienced (current, swells, headwind), let's say - our average speed for this trip was 4.7 nautical miles/hr. This average speed accounts for some sailing in good to moderate winds and then the engine turned on at moderately high RPM when the wind goes light. For most folks with a sailboat near 30 feet, just under 5 nautical miles/hr is probably about the right average speed for mixed conditions.
At that average speed, the approximate time it would take to get from A to B is:
Time needed for each leg (if averaging 4.7 nautical miles/hr)
Hours (in decimal)
Mission Bay to Dana Point: 10.6
Mission Bay to Newport Beach: 13.1
Mission Bay to Huntington Harbor: 15.5
Mission Bay to LA harbor: 17
Mission Bay to Marina del Rey: 21
Of course, sailors rarely use a completely direct path from one point to another (either due to some tacking or due to unintentional meanderings) and so, it would be wise to plan for 1-2 hours on top of these estimates.
And, if you have a powerboat, you will be going much faster. So, you can cut these times in half or more, depending on your cruising speed.
|Sailing south around Point Vicente, a prominent point on the LA headlands.|
Before you head out into the Pacific Ocean and start exploring the coastline, you should have at least one cruising guide on board. I think Fagan's book is the most comprehensive guide for boating Central and Southern CA. It has kept me out of trouble a few times. Amazon has a good price on a used copy.
And... if you're thinking in broader strokes than just southern California, Coast Pilot 7 (NOAA) is the gold standard in navigation books for the entire west coast. This will get you from Mexico to Canada and all points in between...including the big jump out to Hawaii.
I've posted similar nautical information for other west coast sailing regions, follow links below:
Sailing from San Diego to Catalina Island: distance and time for a sailboat trip (Mission Bay, Oceanside, Dana Point, Avalon, Two Harbors)
Sailing to Catalina Island: distance and time from Los Angeles
Sailing from Seattle to Puget Sound harbors: distance and time for common sailboat trips (Blake Island, Kingston, Edmonds, Bremerton, Port Townsend, Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Everett, Oak Harbor, Victoria, Friday Harbor).
Sailing distance (nautical miles) and time for a sailboat trip from San Diego to Santa Cruz Island (Mission Bay, Smuggler's Cove, Avalon, Two Harbors).
And, if you are going to make this journey, prepare for some down time in the cabin. It's a bit of a distance, so you're going to need some light entertainment. This will help keep up the morale of the crew. Now, usually you can just defer to cold beer in this situation. But, sometimes you need more than cold beer. This is when it helps if the captain can rattle off some good boating jokes. Every captain needs to be well versed in nautical puns and a few salty one liners. Here's a site that can give you a few ideas.