Catalina Island – The land of mooring buoys
We had a rip roaring close hauled sail from Long Beach to Catalina on the tail end of an early season winter storm. We had hoped to anchor at Emerald Cove on the NE side of Catalina Island for a few nights but we didn’t find room. I would guess that the mooring field has grown since the last edition of Charlie’s Charts came out. So we moved quickly to Two Harbors before dark and anchored in our deepest anchorage yet – 80 feet!
The next night we enquired about the cost of mooring at Emerald Cove and Two Harbors and found out that they cost $32 per night and the cost at the fancy resort town of Avalon is $28 per night so we moved to Avalon with the vague intention of staying two nights.
Avalon was exactly what we expected – for good and for bad. That was good because we had decided that the good aspects (fun town to walk around, generally high level of cheese, warmer waters and weather, boater social community) would outweigh the bad aspects (generally high level of cheese, close proximity to other boats who run engines and generators all day, chaos). And they did – I’m glad we went and experienced the madness that is boating in Avalon.
Catalina also felt like the turning point in the weather. We've had on and off heat and sun since we arrived in California but since Catalina it has been gorgeous and at Catalina the water was a beautiful emerald and, not exactly warm, but a bit warmer.
I will say however, that we left after one night instead of staying two because, if Catalina is the land of mooring buoys, then Avalon is the land of odd regulations. For example, there are several dinghy docks but you can take a kayak to only one (the furthest from town). Um…why??! Also, we said we were thinking of two nights but when we told them at 8:15am that we wanted to stay a second, they said fine and they would find another buoy for us. This meant that our lazy morning was going to be ruined by threading through the mooring field to a second location (and we must vacate ours by 9AM).
Because we were already going to be underway instead of cooking a big breakfast and lounging in the cockpit, we declined to stay a second night and instead took a day hook at the South end of the island at the Palisades and had an absolutely perfect sail overnight all of the way to Mission Bay, San Diego.