To Dana Point - 56NM, 5.5 hrs motor, 4 hrs sail
We had originally planned to "anchor out" one night on Catalina Island, but
after three nights in Isthmus Harbor and two rolly nights at Emerald Bay, what
with the crowds and everything, we decided to leave the island and head for the
mainland for the last few days of our trip.
We debated going to Newport Harbor, which we've never been to before,
but instead we decided to head to Dana Point, which is about 50 miles away.
That would give us some time to do some sailing, and still arrive in
a harbor that we know well, with plenty of time to set into the nice
free anchorage there. Sometimes it's just nice to know whats coming!
So we left Emerald Bay, relaxed, at about 9:30 a.m. and began by,
of course, motoring away from Catalina Island. We put the
mainsail up in hope of catching some wind, but it was a calm morning,
and what little breeze came by was from behind us, and so negated by the
motoring, merely acted to lessen the apparent headwind slightly.
We motored at 6 knots until about 2:00 in the afternoon, having lunch and
reading, sunning, and laying out on the front deck (it's nice
to sometimes go up and just sit or lie on the bow pulpit in the
sun or under the shade of the jib). I had decided to turn the boat
a bit towards the north, so that we could get in closer to the land
and sail a bit more down the coast (rather than across the channel)
to DP. The wind had been slowly rising from the aft, and was now
showing 3 knots from the rear quarter... which when combined with our motoring
speed of 6 knots, meant that there was a true wind of 9 knots,
which was enough to sail on, so I shut the motor off
in the middle of the passage.
After motoring, sailing at 3-4 knots seemed a little slow at first, but
it was steady, and as the time passed by, we got a little more wind and
were able to make 5 knots for several hours which brought us into range
of Dana Point at 5:00 p.m. or so. We hung in there and sailed the last 6 miles
into the harbor, only starting the motor and bringing the sail down when we were
finally in the Dana Point channel at about 7:00 p.m. It turned out it was one of the better sails
of the trip, as we made approximately 22 miles of the 56, or something
approaching half of the passage, under sail!
The Dana Point anchorage was just as we remembered it and we had
no problem dropping the anchor in about 18' of water 100 yards
from the museum, off the quay, and 200 yards from the tall ships.
The anchorage was very very calm, and we were pleased to have
a very relaxing and restful snooze that night.
We spent two nights (one full day) in Dana Point. It was a
relatively long (1/2 mile) dinghy ride to the only public dinghy dock,
where we did some shopping, mostly for souveniers and stuff, and just
to walk around DP a bit. The wind came up quite a bit, raising
a short 1 ft chop in the channel, and it was a slightly wet ride
back to Mandala. As a result, we decided not to take lil Buddha into shore
for dinner that night, and instead just have dinner on the boat.
But it turned out for the best, as I had gotten some frozen
anchovies at the bait shop on shore and FINALLY was able to
try some fishing with bait (I don't get a good feeling with
lures, which are all I have normally on board). I chummed
the water with a few of the anchovies, and rigged a single
hook and wouldn't you know it, soon I had two nice
fish ... a calico bass and a kelp bass, about 1.5 lbs each.
So the dinner issue was solved!
It was really nice to be able to fire up the bar-b-que,
grill the fresh fish that we had just caught at our 360
degree view condo on the ocean. We had a lovely "last" dinner for the trip,
enjoying cocktails and each other's company as the full moon
set so beautifully that night.