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Thread: SoCal Cruising & Catalina

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    377

    Default SoCal Cruising & Catalina

    Shorthanded Sailors - I recently purchased "Willpower" a custom IOR Peterson 42 built at Dencho for Will Philips, hence the name. After years of racing Dennis Choate converted her into a fast cruiser with a hard dodger and below deck comfort. Luckily with the purchase she was grandfathered into the Channel Islands Marina. Before I bring her home to SF, it seem like the perfect opportunity to hang out down here and explore warm SoCal cruising.

    The Channel Islands are close for a day trip but I am not seeing any safe anchorages on the charts. Santa Barbara is a day trip north, however, with Catalina just 70 miles south, seems like the perfect extended destination. The seller tells me "Willpower" has been to Catalina a lot however to get a "ball" is not always easy.

    I have been encouraged to share my trials & errors down here and I will, however, it would be great to hear from others about their cruising Catalina and SoCal, especially shorthanded. I will post some pictures as things develop...Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2023
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Congrats on the vessel!

    I grew up sailing in Long Beach and San Pedro. My family would spent a few weeks during the summers in Isthmus and Avalon on Catalina. You're going to love it.

    I live in SF Bay now and have an Ericson 32-3 which I'm refitting for Hawaii and back single-handed. Currently refitting a lot, I'm thinking of a shakedown cruise to the Channel Islands and was wondering about anchorages, etc. Someone suggested this book as a cruising reference: https://a.co/d/aLWiJvg Might be useful for you as well. Look forward to hearing how it goes!
    Bryan Reed
    Rumour, 1985 Ericson 32-3

    "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions."
    Sailing Rumour: YouTube / Instagram / Website

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    383

    Default Cruising the California Channel Islands

    This book is long out of print, but might be available from used book sellers. Brian Fagan was a UCSB Prof and sailor out of Santa Barbara. I met him there many decades ago.

    PS. - I don’t know how much of this book is also in Fagan’s newer “The Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California: Golden Gate to Ensenada, Mexico, Including the Offshore Islands” referenced in Bryan’s post above since I only have the one.

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    Last edited by Dazzler; 04-11-2024 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Added postscript.
    Tom P.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    383

    Default

    Another resource with pretty detailed info.

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    Tom P.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Pelican Bay at Santa Cruz Island is straightforward with good protection from prevailing wind. It could be small on weekend.
    Smugglers Cove on Santa Cruz Island is even easier, because it is so large. Protection from prevailing westerly is good.
    Since you have a fast boat, sailing to Catalina Harbor on the "backside" of the isthmus is good. It is a lot less crowded there, the protection is great, and there are many mooring balls, as well as some boats anchored.
    Todd Olsen
    WATERWINGS- Corsair F31RS Trimaran
    GWENDOLYN- Olson 29

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    377

    Default

    Thanks guys, seller left lots of charts & books on board but I haven’t had a chance to review them yet so maybe I will get lucky. Todd thanks, I did a Google earth and your suggestions look great. Haven’t had her to full speed yet but SoCal PHRF is 57 even after the cruise weight. I am hoping to do a reconnaissance sail next week….Rick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    377

    Default

    SoCal log. With a 12-15 Kt forecast and great 70+ weather, the plan was to head towards Anacapa Island 11 miles away https://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/anacapa.htm Unfortunately the wind never kicked in and we came back and cruised the harbor.

    The Channel Islands Harbor https://www.channelislandsharbor.org is made up of four separate marina’s, two boat yards, two Yacht Clubs, restaurants, bars, a USCG station, and lot of seals. With a harbor hotel no boat need to stay within walking distance of renting a jet ski, paddle board or an electric boat that look like they came from Disneyland’s jungle cruse. If you want to go for a walk, Hollywood Beach is endless.

    To the north is a Mini Fort Lauderdale with private docks. Although it is not a gated community, the bridge over the water entrance is just high enough to get a Nordic Tug’s flybridge under but low enough to keep those silly boats with masts from moving into the neighborhood.

    With the warm weather and some wine, we tried out our high tech cockpit lights….Rick - WP

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,508

    Default

    Dear Riff Raff
    It sounds like you are having a wonderful time. I sailed out of Richmond yesterday and still needed long underwear and a sweatshirt. At least the sun was shining. So glad to hear about your new boat, and love that silly night light. Singlehanded or not, you remain resourceful.

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