Around Catalina - back to Avalon and San Diego
On Wednesday we decided to sail the rest of the way around the island.
We were watching the weather pretty closely and they had
been forecasting rain for the next day for the last
three days, all of which had been beautiful, but if the
weather was going to turn, we wanted to be safe and snug
in Avalon Harbor.
So, we left out of Cat Harbor at about 9:00 am. We had to motor
about 3 miles to get out of the lee of the island, and on the
way we saw the Tole Mour in Small Harbor, where we had been
the day before. As we put our sails up and made our way
down the west side of the island, she pulled out of the Harbor,
crossed over to San Clemente Island, and paralled us for most
of the day until we lost sight of her as we turned.
Part way into the sail we spotted an ice-chest floating
in the water, and so, in contrast to our failed hat-overboard
rescues, on the first try we pulled a 25 gallon ice chest
out of the ocean. Missing it's top, it was worthless, but
we took it to Avalon and disposed of it properly.
Apart from that, there was only one other boat visible for part
of the day as a ketch was behind us for awhile before peeling away
for the mainland. It was another absolutely perfect
sailing day and we sailed for 6 or 7 hours, wearing
our way down the coast on broad reaches. In the afternoon
the wind died down and we motored and then sailed again
and the motored one last time before finally arriving
in Avalon at about 6:00 pm to view a beautiful sunset
and grab a mooring.
On Thursday, the feared weather didn't arrive and so
we took the dinghy to shore and had lunch and
did some shopping, sightseeing, particlarly
visiting the Avalon Ballroom.
More Images of Catalina, Avalon, and Ballroom
Finally, on Saturday, it was time to head back to
San Diego. The weather had cleared, so
we left Avalon at 6:00 am under motor.
A short ways out of the harbor we noticed that the
motor was overheating. We turned it off and
waited, but when we turned it back on it overheated
again. I said "it's a sailboat, let sail it", and so
we headed out with the questionable cooling system.
We made good time from 8 am to 5 pm or so when the
wind started dying down, and when we started the motor
it was still running hot, so we babied it along at
low rpms for the rest of the trip. It never really
overheated, it was just running hot, and later would
correct itself after I cleaned the water filter and
tighted a few hose clamps, but in any event when
we got to SD Bouy #1 about 11:00 pm, and the wind picked
up a bit, even though we were bone tired, we put up
the sails and sailed again, one last time, into San Diego bay.
We finally got back into the slip, sails down,
at about 12 midnight, making the return trip
about 18 hours long.
We had a great time on this trip.
It was one of those cases where once the sails are
up you want to just keep on going. We didn't want to
come home !