Sunday, October 2, 2011

Twenty-six miles across the sea

Click here to listen to the song from 1958, "26 miles (Santa Catalina)"

Avalon Harbor - Santa Catalina Island
On Wednesday at 0730 we left Kings Harbor and headed for Catalina Island.  We said goodbye to our anchor mate, Michael, as he was having a cup of coffee on Compass Rose.  As usual, we raised the main sail in the harbor and motored out.  Fortunately, we had some wind to work with.  Once we rounded Palos Verdes Point, we set the jib, shut down the main engine, and Trisha took the helm while I ran the water maker.  It is a little hectic making water while underway because there is so much going on – sailing, watching for traffic in the shipping lanes, and monitoring the water maker temperature (it can suck up a piece of kelp and overheat).  Trisha did a great job sailing the boat.  Winds were fluky ranging from three to ten knots.  At one point I heard Trisha cheer in celebration in the boat speed hitting six knots.  Making way under sail alone has been a rare treat.

There were dolphins everywhere!
Twenty-two miles goes by fast as the silhouette of Catalina soon came into view through the fog.  Before we knew it we were approaching Ship Rock outside of Cherry Cove.  By 1300 we were on our mooring and comfortably observing the struggles of the arriving boats (one of our favorite pastimes).  Elaine and Jamie on Tardis, old friends from Alameda that moved to San Diego, arrived in the late afternoon.  We had a great time on Tardis.  Elaine’s mole chicken was fabulous and Jamie shared the details of his sailing travels and electronic installations.

Elaine and Jamie on Tardis
At 0900 the next morning, we said goodbye to Elaine and Jamie, dropped the mooring, and made our way to our next port of call, Avalon.  It was a beautiful morning and we enjoyed identifying the rocks and coves as we made our way along the coast.  Avalon is a busy place, and a harbor patrol boat guards the harbor entrance and enforces the first-come-first serve policy, assigns the moorings, and takes payment in cash.  This is the most efficient mooring operation we have ever seen.  The density of the moorings is very tight and it was challenging to slowly squeeze between the boats and the mooring balls.  We were soon tucked in and looking forward to a week of exploring Avalon. 

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