March 28, 2015

Mooring on a ball or anchoring at Two Harbors, Catalina Island

When the work schedule clears and I can sneak out of town, my thoughts usually gravitate to a Two Harbors mooring ball. In my opinion, here in Southern California, Two Harbors is the the coolest possible cruising destination for boaters living in San Diego or Los Angeles. If you want a spot with more people action and a range of bars and restaurants, then Avalon is always there for you.

But if you want tranquility and empty rolling hills, then Two Harbors is your spot.

Anchoring at Catalina Island

You can drop the anchor at lots of little bays and bights between Avalon and Two Harbors. All of these spots receive protection from the northwestern swells. However, that doesn't mean its flat water.
Even in calm seas, you should get a little 1-2 foot rolling action in there. If you want to be close to Avalon or Two Harbors but not spend the money on a mooring ball, you do have the option of dropping anchor just outside of the mooring fields. This is normal practice. It saves you about 40$/night. The downside is - its a longer dingy ride to town and the water won't be quite as flat.

Fagan's cruising guide is loaded with info. on anchoring in and around Catalina.

Two Harbors mooring reservation

The popular summer weekends can be crowded, so its best to secure a two harbors mooring reservation.

anchoring at catalina island
floating on a mooring ball in Two Harbors

A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I shook off our mooring lines in San Diego and headed out for Catalina Island. We have had an unseasonably warm winter here in Southern California. Unfortunately, we have not had the nice stiff breezes that usually arrive with the Santa Ana winds or with the low pressure systems from the Northwest. So, the air has been light. This means we motored for most of the passage. However, the benefit to a calm sea, is that you also get a calm mooring. We tied up in Two Harbors and got a few nights of very restful sleep.

Two Harbors mooring

When we take my boat out from Mission Bay and make the 76 nautical mile journey to Two Harbors, it usually takes a very full day. So, we leave very early, usually around 4 am.
A few years ago, I wrote up this blog post on all the information you need as you boat from San Diego to Two Harbors or Avalon. 

Then, because I have quite a few friends moored in Los Angeles, I also wrote up this post, which gives all the travel information for boating from the most popular Los Angeles marinas over to Catalina Island. One nice things about living in LA is you can boat over to a Two Harbors mooring in an afternoon..

san diego to catalina on a chart
plotting out the journey to Two Harbors

Well - if you can get out there, do it! Catalina is the gem of Southern California.

Fair winds!

March 22, 2015

looking for that lost shaker of salt...

It is hard to over-estimate the influence that Jimmy Buffet has had on an entire generation of boaters.
His legacy will live long after he's gone. 

I love this house boat.

If I owned this boat, I would spend far too many hours walking around barefoot and drinking rum.

March 16, 2015

another pirate is in the clear

My girlfriend and I were returning from a quiet sail when we noticed this fishing boat. We've never seen it before.

We would like to think - that this skipper just finished the legal proceedings and is now back on the water - preparing to head south to Mexico before anyone changes their mind.

Either way, we are glad to see he will not be cooped up in a jail cell anymore. 

He is out with the rest of us riff raff - making waves in the Bay.

To see similar clever boat names for the ethically challenged, follow this link.

March 3, 2015

storm front rolling into Mission Bay

I miss the low pressure storms from the Pacific Northwest. San Diego is good for year round t-shirt sailing, but where's the squalls?
I miss being out sailing in light air, then suddenly the horizon line darkens and next thing you know, you're in a small craft advisory.

Anyway, we got a nice weather system last week - in Southern California. You can see the first dark clouds arriving. But this weekend was back to hot and dry and light air..

finally get some weather in San Diego
I'm tied up in Mariner's Cove - waiting for some 15 knot winds. Then I'm heading out...