Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hello from Cat Harbor, Catalina!...12.22.07

{GMST}33|25.928|N|118|30.310|W|Cat Harbor Catalina|Mooring E9{GEND}
We've made it over to Cat Harbor, Catalina - woohoo! We left Channel Islands on Thursday, the 20th around 10:20 to a Small Craft Advisory. We made a quick stop on our way out to visit with Michelle & Andy Volaski, the owners of Andy's Seafood and the Scarlett Belle paddlewheel boat in the harbor for some fresh caught lobsters - our Christmas dinner! Be sure to check out the Scarlett Belle when in Channel Islands Harbor - it's a beauty!! (http://www.scarlettbelle.com/) We motored across to Smuggler's
it was about 60 degrees, overcast, and slightly bumpy. We ran with the Autopilot to make sure it was still calibrated. We arrived approx 1:30pm and anchored in 35' water. We knew there was supposed to be a little wind, so we let out approx 200' of chain. We arrived just as it started to rain - not a hard rain, just enough to get Michael & Chad a bit wet while they were anchoring. I stayed dry at the wheel...haha. :-) Once we arrived, we popped a bottle of Champagne, Chad cleaned the lobster,
and we relaxed! We had a nice lasagna dinner & watched Pirates of the Caribbean 3. The wind switched up around 2:30am as the Santa Ana's started up. We upped anchor around 5:00 (o-dark-thirty) and headed out in the dark. I'm still getting used to navigating in the dark, but luckily Chad is a great teacher and there were no problems.

The passage over to Cat Harbor was a little lumpy. The weather reports predicted 10-15 mph winds, no problem!! However, we experienced a different trip...the wind & seas started as only 17mph from the NW but continued to build on our passage over - it was over 25mph for about 3-4 hours and was over 40mph for over an hour, all on the beam. The seas were only 4-6ft, but the swells were short & steep which means we were bounced around a lot and kept getting splashed. It was cold & wet on the majority
of the sail over and everything not tied down came loose and bounced all over the boat! We now have a clear understanding of what also needs to be more secured! There wasn't that much, but it sure made a mess!

We motor sailed for about an hour, then put up all of the sails and sailed for the majority of the way. When it started to get lumpy, we reefed the genoa, reefed it again, rolled it up, reefed the main, pulled out about 15' of the genoa to stabilize us out, and then the wind really started to pipe up so we left it alone! Finally the wind & seas settled about an hour before we hit land and by the time we arrived at Cat Harbor, it was only blowing about 10mph. We picked up a mooring in Cat Harbor
and are sitting on E-9 right now. The plan is to stay here until the 24th and then head over to Avalon, but that will depend on what happens with the weather. They're calling for Santa Ana winds on Sunday so we'll see what we do. If it's heavy wind, we'll stay here cause it's much more safe than Avalon - which is where were last time! Once we arrived we cleaned up, showered, & checked with Harbor Patrol, hit the mini-mart for bloody mary mix ($12 a bottle!) and headed to the restaurant & bar
for dinner and the famous local 'Buffalo Milk' mixed drinks. They would have been so much better if they weren't FROZEN! It's been freezing fricking cold since we left - the air temp was 60 degrees & on the way over never was over 54 degrees. Right now its 59 degrees but we're seeing sun and it's starting to get nice. We have chores planned for this morning - Michael is working on the rear head that decided to foul just as we left Channel Islands Harbor, he's working on that right now and getting
incredibly frustrated! Chad has been adjusting the mooring lines since Santa Ana's are planned & is working on installing the jack lines. I'm, well, I'm updating the website! We are having a good time so far although that's just me talking! Since Michael's back in the head cursing and complaining....he might have another word to call it. hahaha... We're running the generator right now, running the refrigerator & freezer, making some iced tea, running the watermaker, & possibly some ice pretty
soon. We still have to rinse off the boat & do some general chores which should take us to lunch time. Time flies when you're having fun! :-) I'll try to get some pictures on the website...but am trying to send this over our SSB to ensure it works.

Thanks for checking in! Feel free to drop us an e-mail!
More to follow... Cheers!
Rene, Michael & Chad...


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