Last weekend after weeks and months of planning I finally made the 3 day trip to Catalina Island in a 32 ft charter boat Turkana II, a Catalina 320 from Marina Sailing. As it happens often, the morning we left from Long Beach harbor there were very light winds so we basically motorsailed the entire way there. We got as early of a start as we could have at 9:15 AM. The seas were glassy the entire way with barely any winds so we had to improvise and create our own entertainment.
One of the fun things I start to do was to tie a double bowline with a dockline to make a leg harness. By clipping the other end of the dockline to the spinnaker halyard, I made a trapeze-like harness that we could use to hike out on the side of the sailboat.
Here is my friend Dan D. putting faith in the running rigging
Here I am giving it a little kick off of the side of the hull
While I was hanging out there, I took a little snapshot of the boat while Mike eats a sandwich with Melanie at the helm
Here is Mike getting in on the action
We passed the starting gate for the 2007 LA or Honolulu Transpac Race that was set to start the Monday after our trip
The water was amazingly warm since the air temp had been in the 80’s all week as well as the presence of a southern hemi ground swell pushing in a lot of warm water up to the California coast. We stopped the boat about 5 miles out of Avalon harbor and took a few dives in water nearly 3000 ft deep. It was a little unsettling not knowing what was beneath you but it was fun nonetheless.
When we got into the harbor it was buzzing with activity. We left Friday morning hoping that people wouldn’t have left until the weekend but apparently everyone had the same idea or people just spend the entire week there.
When we finally contacted a harbor patrol boat they guided us to our mooring buoy for the weekend. As we came around to the buoy just outside of the Hamilton Cove condos directly adjacent to a reef I began to make my move to position the boat ready for tie up. When I threw the gear into reverse I knew we had problems because no matter how much I throttled up there was no walking of the stern to kick me around. We began drifting towards the reef and luckily we had the Harbor Patrol escort and he rafted up next to use and positioned our boat for mooring. It was such an bummer for us since we had planned on sailing all day Saturday but now there is no way for us to do that without risking the same fate possibly without the Harbor Patrol escort.
The water visibility and temperature was perfect the entire weekend so we ended up doing a lot of snorkeling and swimming around the boat and close by beaches. Using the same dockline and spinnaker halyard, we swung from the port-side stern rail seats and periodically made it all the way around the bow to land in the water on the other side! It was a blast and there are videos and photos which I will post up here once I get them.
At mooring we didn’t have a real easy way of getting off of the boat with all of our gear since the inflatable did not come equipped with an outboard. The closest dinghy dock was too far away for us to shuttle back and forth using oars. There is a shoreboat (aka Water Tax) that will pick you up and drop you off for about 5 bucks a person. It wouldn’t be so bad to take them but the captains of the shoreboats at Avalon are just major a-holes. The are condescending and rude towards boaters that call for them on VHF channel 12 and the attitude they give you on the boat was plain unacceptable. For example, there were 4 of us during one of the trips and Mike had a $20 bill that he was going to pay for himself. Instead of making him change, the shoreboat captain just took his money and told him without any eye contact,
“Your friends will pay you back.”
I guess it can be kind of annoying to deal with boaters who may or may not know what they are doing all day long but if you can’t be pleasant and polite, go get another freaking job! I don’t know if they are all like this a-hole but this guy certainly was not a friendly character.
On the way back on Sunday we started out with a good solid 15 knots of wind from the south so we were excited to get going. Once we got about a hour out however, the winds completely died down again. We ended up motorsailing again the rest of the way back. Still without a working reverse gear I had one try to get the boat into dock which wasn’t very difficult as I have know done it dozens of times.
No luck with the rod. Dinner will have to come from the store
Motoring pass the Queen Mary (Taken from ashore by families of the crew)
Still no reverse
Nice and slow is the key
Tying her back to the slip at Long Beach after a fun 3 day weekend
Crew is tan and glad to be home