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.

Images of Dana Point