We didn’t stay in Prisoner’s Harbor as long as we had planned. The forecast for Santa Cruz Island could have made it an uncomfortable berth that second night. We left in the late afternoon, one heck of a breeze sending us flying out of there. Our fastest speed (with only the genoa up) was 10.2 knots! (Our hull speed is 7.3 knots.)1 We were having fun! Two hours later, the wind just… died. Wait, that wasn’t in the forecast! As we passed Anacapa Island, we had to motor. We were disappointed; that meant we also had to hand-steer again. Ugh. As we moved further south, freighters seemed to come out of everywhere and nowhere. Yes, they made me jittery when they came within 0.4 nm, even with AIS.
|Santa Catalina Island... the walk to the other side|
After another overnight sail, we arrived in Catalina Harbor on Catalina Island. If you look at a map, there is a place called Two Harbors, where the land narrows. We are on the south side of the isthmus. It is merely a half hour walk to the other side, once you dock your dinghy. (It was a 0.6 nm row to get to the dinghy dock, however…) The other side had the ice cream, the kayak rentals and tours. Our side was more low-key and with fewer mooring balls, so we anchored. We got to experience both worlds. We also met the crew of Convivia, a lovely family also on their way south.
|The touristy side of things|
|Our anchorage, Catalina Harbor|
We acquired a trail map and went on a hike. Cacti abound here, it is pretty arid. I found the scenery as fascinating as it was unfamiliar. On the way back down, we noticed a bison chilling out next to a palm tree. It was an odd sight. He seemed pretty mellow, he made me think of Ferdinand the bull. This was our last stop before we pointed our bow back to mainland California, and my sister!
1Hull speed is a theoretical limit based on the waterline length of a displacement boat where the resistance curve of the boat through the water becomes vertical. The strong wind and large swells meant we accelerated as we were sailing downhill. We were surfing down the wave, in a controlled fashion, mom. Really. Ask Rick.