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Old 22 June 2005, 23:13   #1
Country: USA
Town: San Diego.California
Boat name: Bayshots
Make: XS-550
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki DF90
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 851
"Paradise Lost"

Well,so much for our camping vacation to Paradise cove;Catalina Island
We were very lucky that Paradise didn't turn into Hell!

We set off on our 2 hr trailer tow up the coast to launch from cabrillo beach (Los Angeles ) By the way , thanks Boatster;nice facilities
It was a calm day when we loaded all our camping gear and set off on the 25 mile cross chanel trip to catalina.
As I have delicate passengers (ie, a wife whose back has seen better days!) we kept it to a leisurely 18-20 knots and enjoyed the scenery. Passing the light at the end of the breakwater ,I set the Matrix GPS for the programmed cove and off we went.
All went fine and the XS ate up the trip without incident.On ariving we had our first taste of what was to come. Paradise had shrunk
What looked a fairly nice cove in the brochure, had been swamped by a landslide from the nearby cliffs.Dropping Kim ashore to check it out,she found you would need a tent the size of a beach towel, to be able to fit.
So picked her up and off up the coast to Two Harbours to check with the booking company. On pulling in we were greeted by another rib in the form of an adventure company;called Ocean rafting!(strange people these yanks!!)
Hailing the harbour master on VHF, we found them very laid back and accomodating and quickly hooked us up with the camping organisers.
So a few checks on the sites available and we were on our way to "Lava wall" a larger site right next door to "paradise".
In the gentle surf, we pulled right up onto the beach and quickly unloaded our gear. I anchored offshore and paddled in on a "toy" PVC SIB we had bought. The camp site went up quickly while the boys played on our new deserted beach.
Then things started to go a little wrong.
I noticed a large landslide had recently come down onto the beach and left a gaping scar on the cliff 50 feet above. So looking at the high tide mark,it left about 15ft between the base of the cliff and the ocean
As we have had 6 earthquakes in the past week here, I was little concerned another might follow and loosen up the rest of the cliff.
Anyway,thought i would take a nap ,only to be woken by the crashing of waves. No gentle lapping of the waves here but had increased substancialy in a short time. I looked out at the XS,which seemed to be rocking quite severly. So swam out and lengthened the scope on the gear and set a second anchor. even then the motion of the boat was taking water in over the transom.! the auto bilge pump was dealing with it, but still felt uncomfortable. So swam back to shore and watched for several minutes while the waves built and the tide rose.
No way was I going to feel comfortable enough to spend the night and the concern for my family started to kick in.
It didnt take long to realise this was not a good situation to be in.
I tried swimming out towing the little dingy to take our gear back to the boat, but soon realsied it was taking way too long.
Timing the wave sets in ,we saw there was a calmer set every few minutes.The best chance I could see was to get everything ready to throw into the boat;beach it at the calmest point and get the heck out of there.
We talked it over and concluded if anything looked bad,just get in and leave the gear behind.!
So I pulled the boat in and we threw all the gear in, which took a little longer than antcipated!! Just as we were about to get in , a larger wave came in over the transom and swamped the boat. The weight made it difficult to hold in the surf but Kim jumped in fully clothed and helped me drag the boat into deeper water so enabling it to float. The boys climbed aboard and we managed to get in before the next wave hit.
Thankfully the Suzuki sprang to life at the first turn and I put her into gear .Jamie dropped the trunk and we got up a little speed to empty the boat.
Out of danger and all soaking wet, we quickly grabbed our clothing(luckily in dry bags) and decided thats enough of paradise!!!
I set the GPS in the now approaching sunset and headed for the mainland.
The choppy conditions made for a slower return trip but we were so glad to see all the lights of Los Angeles docks getting larger by the moment. The GPS brought us right back to the harbour entrance and at last we were in the safety of the breakwater.
Well, we had hoped for adventure; but this was a little more than we expected!.
So many lessons learned:of these the most important,
Dont camp "heavy" on a boat;conditions and circumstances can change too quickly.
Dont believe all thats written in the holiday brochures.
Do have a boat and engine you have confidence in and trust!
and finaly do have a wife who pitches in when the going gets tough!!!
cheers Dal
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limeydal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23 June 2005, 01:28   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Brittany/Portsmouth
Boat name: Merlin
Make: Solent 6.5
Length: 6m +
Engine: 200
MMSI: soon !
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 5,451
Glad you're all OK.


Happy New Resolutions!!! : RIBbing for the craic!!!
The Jackeens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23 June 2005, 07:40   #3
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
And you were so looking forward to it - still everytime something like this happens AND you get away with it gives you something to talk about later on!!! Got to beat sitting at home watching TV!!!

Looking at the pics made me think - try what you wanted to do at ANY little cover around our coastline and what you had would be a normal occurrence!!! Bloody tides!!!
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Old 23 June 2005, 09:57   #4
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,618
Hi, Dal;

Sorry to hear about your (semi) camping trip. Glad everyone managed to stay safe.

How long did your runs to/from Catalina take you?

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Old 23 June 2005, 14:44   #5
Country: USA
Town: Los Angeles
Boat name: The Boot
Make: Avon SR4
Length: 4m +
Engine: 2000 Tohatsu 50
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 155
Hi Darrall,

I hope you give it a go again sometime. I think you probably got skunked by the campsites. I know there are some campsites a few hundred yards south of the Two Harbors pier. I haven't camped there yet so I really had nothing to offer as fars as advice. Being that they are inside the big cove and the campsites are quite large on a flat little plateau they would be much more family oriented. Most importantly you and your family made the crossing safely and had an experience to boot.


I've crossed over a few times for day trips and it takes roughly 1 hour given its about 26 miles tops from San Pedro.
boatster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23 June 2005, 15:07   #6
Country: UK - England
Town: romsey
Boat name: marlin monroe
Make: ribcraft
Length: 4m +
Engine: honda 50
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 98
Hi Darrall!


Glad you're all home safely!

Will e mail..!

Julie & Mike
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Old 23 June 2005, 18:16   #7
Country: USA
Town: San Diego.California
Boat name: Bayshots
Make: XS-550
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki DF90
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 851
All: thanks for the kind words!!!
Yes, we were lucky;it could have turned out a lot worse.

Boatster; definately would like to go back as was very impressed by the friendly people at "Two Harbours". It's very sheltered and plenty of safe moorings.We did see the camp site there and would be a better choice. I thought the sound of waves would be soothing! but 5 feet from my pillow is a little too close to be enjoyable And with the 50 foot cliff overhanging together with Earthquakes;was a little un-nerving

jyasaki: the trip over was the easy bit. It's the L.A traffic that sucks
Avoid rush hours if you are thinking of making the trip . (that is 5.30am to 10.00 am)
Codders; yes tales to tell.Just glad the wife is Welsh!! They make them pretty and tough

cheers Dal
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Old 24 June 2005, 10:21   #8
Country: UK - Channel Islands
Town: St Peter Port
Boat name: Black Pig
Make: XS-Ribs
Length: 9m +
Engine: 2 x 225hp Optimax
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 375
Glad to hear your all safe and well!

Hope the family weren't too put off ribbing after an eventful trip!
Which part of "throw me the mooring line" didn't you understand!?
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Old 24 June 2005, 19:01   #9
Country: USA
Town: San Diego.California
Boat name: Bayshots
Make: XS-550
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suzuki DF90
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 851
nice to see you back; where you been hiding?
Got a question for you relating to our experience,especially as you also have an XS.
I found when moored, the boat rocked end to end quite a lot in the strong swells close to shore. So much water was coming over the transom.
Especially as I have the low transom which was needed for the shorter shaft motor I have.
It was good when the boat got swamped , as much of the water drained right out the back.But i was a little concerened as the bilge pump was constantly turning on to keep her dry when anchored.
Have you noticed the same, or does that extra length on your boat give her more stability?
And no, family not put off; the kids soon got over getting wet and part of the learning experience I suppose.
cheers dal
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Old 25 June 2005, 06:17   #10
Country: Ireland
Town: Carigaline/Baltimore
Boat name: XS-600
Make: XS-Ribs
Length: 6m +
Engine: Merc Optimax 150 XL
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 682

I certainly haven't noticed this on mine. I still have a manual pump on mine and have moored the boat out in some violent conditions and come back to find her perfectly dry, unless it's been raining!!

I would imagine that your setup is a bit stern heavy causing the RIB to sit lower in the water. If I am correct your suzuki is quite heavy and tips the scales at 189kg?? The max weight of motor for the XS-550 is 190kgs so this may be your problem.

Another possibility is that you are carrying water below deck. I know this is completely sealed but water can seep in through the bung, condensation, etc. Take her out and check to see if any water comes out through the bung. Be sure to screw it back in tightly too, use a vice-grips for the last quarter turn!

If this doesn't sort you then I suggest contacting Laurence, he has a solution for everything!!

Steve G
If In Doubt, Go Flat Out!!
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