// Views from the Helm

The Crew's August 2015 passage from Dana Point to Santa Catalina Island was highlighted by sunny skies and windy conditions. The group bonded quickly during our 9-hour crossing from California, their enthusiasm allowing for an unplanned circumnavigation of the island - a first for all on board. Our downwind run back to the mainland had us sailing wing and wing, a final sunset greeting us as we dropped the sails and entered the harbor. Read more about this special voyage below in the Captain's Log.



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// Captain's Log

Santa Catalina Island, August 2015


Day 1 // Dana Point Harbor to Isthmus Cove, Catalina

Depart: 33°27'33"N // -117°41'54"W @ 12:30hrs - 08.14.15

Arrive: 33°26'37"N // -118°29'40"W @ 21:30hrs - 08.14.15

Seas: Choppy and inconsistent. Windswell 2-4', occasional 5'

Winds: WNW at 10-15 knots, gusting to 20-25

Notes: The crew opted for a good night's rest and an afternoon departure out of Dana Point, planning to enjoy the sunset as we sailed into Isthmus Cove with an ETA of 19:00. Sailing most of the passage on a close reach into ample chop, a slightly delayed arrival put us into the Cove at dusk, and we missed retrieving one of the final moorings. The crew did an excellent job dropping anchor outside the mooring field, but persistent winds made for a somewhat rolly holding. After ensuring our bow anchor was secure, we floated the stern anchor in the dinghy and pulled the Makani Kai into a more favorable position to take on the gusts and rollers. Despite the deep water and limited rode of the stern anchor, comfort improved dramatically and allowed for a restful night below deck for a well deserving crew. All in all, a rougher-than-typical passage over to Catalina, with excellent work by a new crew both at the helm and on the ropes. Anchors secure, signing off for now. 8/15 04:30 - AU.

Day 2 // Isthmus Cove to Cat Harbor

Depart: 33°26'37"N // -118°29'40"W @ 11:00hrs - 08.15.15

Arrive: 33°25'40"N // -118°30'29"W @ 19:00hrs - 08.15.15

Seas: Choppy and inconsistent. Windswell 3-4', occasional 6'. 

Winds: WNW at 15-20 knots, gusting to 25+. Winds dropped to <5 knots once rounding the western tip of Catalina.

Notes: Waking to find that both anchors held solidly through the night, the crew took the dinghy to land for a hearty breakfast. We then explored the Two Harbors area of Catalina (the "west end") which culminated in a difficult but worthwhile climb to an expansive vantage point. Back at the Makani Kai, the Skipper determined that our stern anchor was sliding a bit. Though the front anchor was holding solidly, increasing windswell and more gusty winds could prove for a rolly afternoon (and uneasy sleep). The Skipper elected to pull anchor and sail around to Cat Harbor, which had several moorings available and would provide a comfortable and stress-free night for all. A 3-hour sail took the crew up and around the western tip of Catalina and down its south side. Upon turning the corner, the crew was greeted with a new landscape, nearly windless conditions, and a smooth sail into Cat Harbor where the crew successfully picked up their first "California mooring" on the first try! Cheers from nearby boats accentuated a job well done. After some snacks and hot showers, the crew ventured across the narrow "isthmus" of land back to the Cove to sample some of the local nightlife and live music. A perfect way to spend our final night. 8/16 02:30 - AU.

Day 3 // Cat Harbor to Dana Point Harbor

Depart: 33°25'40"N // -118°30'29"W  @ 12:30hrs - 08.16 .15

Arrive: 33°27'33"N // -117°41'54"W @ 21:30hrs - 08.16 .15

Seas: Calm/ Inconsistent. Windswell 1-3', occasional 4'

Winds: WNW at 5-10 knots, gusting to 15

Notes: After a restful night in Cat Harbor, the crew ventured back to Isthmus Cove on foot for one more breakfast before the long sail home to Dana Point. As tends to happen in Two Harbors, the bar was up and running early, with many revelers doing their best to convince our crew to delay the journey back and stay for what they assured us would be an "epic Sunday in Two Harbors". But reality awaited the following morning in Boston, so the crew begrudgingly headed back to the Makani Kai, dropped the mooring, and pulled out of Cat Harbor. Our return trip took us down the south side of Catalina, turning the corner below Avalon on a ENE tack back towards Dana Point. Steady winds and calm seas allowed for a few hours of pure sailing, but with red-eyes to caught, the Makani Kai muscled the final leg with the assistance of her engine. A sunset greeting us at the harbor entrance did little to overturn the mixed emotions that come with an incredible journey that's reached its conclusion. Safely back in the slip, the crew arrived at the airport in time to catch the flights they didn't want to take. But as they say, all great voyages must come to an end, so that the next journey can begin. 8/17 01:30 - AU.


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