The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
A cruise report from the Catalina West National Rendezvous 2018…
(It may take a couple of posts to get the pictures in line)
If you don't want read all this the pictures tell essentially the same story.
Greetings… At the suggestion of Russ Johnson, our Commodore of the Catalina-Capri-25 Association I signed up to attend the Catalina West National Rendezvous 2018. The event was held right in my backyard - so to speak - at Two Harbors on Catalina Island on July 13, 14 and 15, 2018. I’m a relatively new Catalina 250 owner and thought the opportunity to attend a corporation sponsored event was a great idea.
The event had a webpage sign-up that asked your name, type of Catalina boat, and boat name, and the a way to pay the $120 attendance fee… all easy enough. I received an email confirmation of my payment and then it was simply getting to Catalina Island for the event.
I watched the weather forecasts for several preceding days and there would be good enough weather for a small boat like the Catalina 250 to make a crossing of the San Pedro Channel on Friday the 13th. Interestingly, the National Weather Service issued a rather standard Southern California summer forecast of west winds 5 to 10 knots in the morning increasing to 15 knots in the afternoon with three foot swells from the west. I also check www.windy.com for weather guidance. Windy.com predicted heavier winds with the 15-knot winds starting earlier in the day. I presume weather forecasters generally use the same models to make predictions but on Friday - Windy got it right - the 15-knot winds did not wait until the afternoon - they were blowing much earlier. I left the docks with some apprehension and resolving to turn back if the conditions deteriorated.
As I turned the corner at the lighthouse marking the Los Angeles Harbor the ocean was visibly agitated with white combers cresting smallish wind waves. No shortage of wind… and of course the wind was just off to starboard for the necessary course from LA to Two Harbors. I motored into the wind with the main up making just over 5-knots… It would be a long bumpy spray drenched five hours to Catalina. At least the swells were disguised behind two foot wind waves so even though the ride was lumpy and bumpy - it was not dangerous. Approaching Two Harbors, and being somewhat influenced by the shape of the island, the wind shifted directly on the nose for the course to the mooring field… and it was blowing a solid 15 at that time… I had to choose whether to fall off and sail faster in the wrong direction or stay on course, roll up the sails, and pound for those last couple of miles gunning the engine making maybe 2-knots… I chose to fall off and sail a bit longer route but with less of a pounding to reach the harbor.
Once tied up to the mooring on the string line at Two Harbors I dinghied in and checked in at the Harbor Sands outdoor event facility. The Catalina Rendezvous staff checked me in and handed me my swag bag, name badge, and agenda. There would be Happy Hour on three Catalina boats side tied between moorings out on D row… they were easy to find... they were flying every flag they had. The Happy Hour went well but those three boats were crowded. Two of the boats were private owner boats but the third was a brand new 42 and it was gleaming. Huge cockpit, dual wheels, wide side decks going forward, heavy duty rigging, nice interior layout with modern materials and elbow room for days. I had a couple nice conversations with other attendees as I visited on each boat - but there was standing room only. Enough of that. Back onboard the little 250 for a long sleep winding down from the bumpy lumpy channel crossing.
Saturday had a full day of events… Seminars through the morning, lunch, a break in the afternoon, then fun events in the evening.
First a bit about Two Harbors. Two Harbors, also known as Isthmus Cove or just “the Isthmus” is on the western third of the island. The community of Two Harbors sits on a small segment of land separating Cat Harbor on the west from Isthmus Cove on the east. It’s basically a company town catering to the needs of sailors and tourist with fishing, snorkeling and diving vendors as well as a well developed campground and a small bed and breakfast hotel. There are shower facilities as well as a restaurant, general store, and boat shop. There is a harbor patrol that assists boaters. The grounds are clean and developed… a very nice destination. Harbor Sands is the shore side of Two Harbors along Isthmus Cove. In the roped-off Harbor Sands area there is a bar, a band shell, bbq facilities and several picnic tables. The beach side of Harbor Sands has been recently converted to cabana rentals and table service for sun bathers.
Saturday Seminars included the following experts:
Scott Alexander, OEM Sales Manager of Selden Mast, Inc. Carl Meentzen, President of CC Marine in Marina Del Rey, Authorized Sales and Service for Yanmar, Westerbeke, and Universal diesel engines. Bruce Brown, President of B Squared, US Sailing Trainer and Safety Expert Kevin English, Raymarine Regional Representative Norm Peterson, DSC Radio Guru and Gerry Douglas, Chief Engineer, Catalina Yachts
I had several take-aways from the seminars. From Seldon I now have their rig tuning bible, and it’s a good one. The rig tuning book explains a simple way to set the rig which I’ll soon implement. The diesel discussion did not really apply as my 250 has an outboard but knowledge shared was interesting. The safety trainer covered several important topics and a take-away for me was the concept of situational awareness and to treat the loss of anything overboard as an opportunity to practice a man overboard recovery - even if your just recovering a ball cap. The Raymarine lecture discussed the modern lineup of products and how they have managed to build connectors that will allow you to keep your existing equipment in use when upgrading some other part of the system. I had no idea of the true capabilities of my DSC radio… but I do now thanks to the seminar. And finally, Catalina Yachts Chief Engineer Gerry Douglas briefed everybody of the current state of affairs at Catalina including a discussion of the development of the new 525 but more importantly how the 525 represents a design evolution that can be traced back to the original Catalina 22. Gerry’s fingerprints and design philosophy are on every Catalina produced dating back to 1982.
Also on display were factory authorized goods from Catalina Yachts Store as well as an impressive line-up of hardware from Garhauer Marine.
Catalina Yachts hosted the Saturday hotdog and all “fixin’s” lunch and it was good.
Catalina Yachts knows how to schedule a rendezvous event. The afternoon is set aside as free time for attendees… some of whom napped!
The Saturday evening agenda was perfect. The bar opened at 6:30 and the line formed immediately. The DJ kept the tunes rolling and the Harbor Reef Restaurant catering staff had the coals burning cooking bbq chicken and ribs for dinner. The evening event was perfect to revisit topics covered earlier in the day with the experts.
A quiet evening onboard was the perfect way to end the day.
All good things must end and so did the Catalina West National Rendezvous 2018. Sunday morning Catalina Yachts hosted coffee and breakfast - again catered by the Harbor Reef Restaurant. While eating breakfast we could see the Catalina staff spreading our door prizes on tables at the bandshell.
There were so many door prizes that every attendee was called on to pick-up a gift. But there was more… Another table full of goodies - nice pricy goodies too… The tickets were put back in the hopper and a second go round of names being called for really nice gifts. The final door prize was a week stay at the Catalina Villa in Puerta Vallarta, MX, which is purported to be a very nice facility. The weeks stay went to the captain of the smallest boat in attendance… Ken Luke of the Catalina 22, Marisla.
By 10:30 AM it was time to release mooring lines for the return trip to San Pedro. Windy.com had forecast a big channel sized hole in the wind… and again they were right… the lack of wind meant another crossing using the motor. No worries - the little 250 likes motoring just like it likes sailing. The lack of wind waves exposed the true shape of the swells… beautiful easy three-footers rolling in from the west. Some were a bit taller which corkscrewed the boat but again - no worries. The crossing was uneventful until just outside the Los Angeles Harbor. The wind piped up to 15 knots calling for reefed sails for the last mile or two into the harbor. Soon the 250 was tied up to the long dock and the business of unwinding from a wonderful Catalina West National Rendezvous 2018 began. Did I have fun? Did I learn something? Heck yeah! I’m already looking forward to going again!
Hull No. 922 Wing Keel Building the boat as a cruiser. Home port: San Pedro, CA
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.