Town: Pacific Beach
Boat name: Dash II
Length: 7m +
Join Date: Aug 2007
July 4th Catalina Island Trip Report
Against most people's advice, i decided for my second trip in my new rib, to go to Catalina Island.
I felt that the 4th of July weekend would be a good time to go.
I have taken my 23.5 ft boat over many times, but this was going to be my first in a 14 ft. boat.
My destination at the island was the town of Avalon.
The majority of boaters tie up on mooring balls in the harbor. There is no reservation system, so it is first come first served. During the summer it can be very difficult to get a mooring.
A second option is to anchor outside of the harbor in around 100ft of water, which most people are not prepared to do.
The third option is to park a 14ft. boat or less at the dinghy docks. It is free, and reservations are not needed, and you can always find some space. This is the main reason i purchased a 14 foot rib.
My plan was to trailer my boat from San Diego to Dana Point, and put in there for the 32nm crossing.
Since this was my first trip, i provisioned kind of light.
an anchor, flares, flip flops, distress flag, air horn, 2 pairs of shorts and 2 t shirts, charts, a sweatshirt, handheld compass, gps, flashlight, camera, vhf radio, manual dewatering pump, a six pack of water, cell phone, an American flag, snorkel, mask, fins, my Borat thong swimsuit, and a 12 pack of Trojans.
I left Dana Point at 6:30 am on the 4th of July. The sea was calm, but it was very foggy.
For the first 21 miles i didn't see anything. In my big boat, this would not concern me because i have radar. I did have a compass and a gps, so i knew i was on course, i just did not know where the other boaters were.
I finally broke out of the fog and could see the island. I could also see a very large of pod of dolphins. I was heading West, and they were going from South to North. I have gone through dolphin pods many times before, but i never get used to it. I alway think that i am going to hit them, but that never happens.
Off in the distance i can see a large freighter going south around 8 miles in front of me. it appears to me that i will pass way in front of it. With my radar, i would have known for sure, but i felt that i would be ok. As the gap narrows, i can see this freighter is pushing a lot of white water in front of it. this boat seems to be going faster than i originally thought. I increase my speed from 20 to 30 knots and pass around 1 mile in front of the freighter.
I arrive in Avalon at 7:50 am. I am very happy with the time it took me to get to the island. Since my gas gauge does not appear to be working, i immediately pull up to the fuel docks. Gas is $5.79 a gallon, which does not surprise me. I takes 4.7 gallons to fill my tank. I am very happy with that.
I pull up to the dinghy docks, and see that i have joined around 50 other inflatables.
Someone comments: nice tender. I reply: thanks. i am then asked what kind of boat i have. Novurania. No, what kind of boat did you come over on? This one. this will be the first of many bewidered looks. Huh, OK, you came over on that inflatable? Yes i did!
There was a cool golf cart parade led by the USC Marching Band, a BBQ, and fireworks.
It was a very full and fun 4th.
The following day i cruised to a couple of remote coves and did some sunning and snorkeling. I also did a lot of low speed cruising in the harbor through all the moored boats. Happy hour on a rib is a very entertaining.
I came back on the following day.
The trip back was smooth and uneventful.
Even though i came back with an unopened box of the big Tees, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I know i made the right decision to purchase my rib.
I am going back to Catalina this weekend.