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 !