san diego to avalon and two harbors

overnight in oceanside on the way to avalon

newport beach and oceanside on the way back

10 Days in September 2009

How far is it? long does it take?

After Labor Day is a great time to go to Catalina - the weather is still great and there aren't really any crowds, except on the weekends of course. This year we stopped at Oceanside on the way up and back and added a fun night in Newport Beach to the homeward leg.

san diego to oceanside
The best sailing of the trip was between San Diego and Oceanside. We left the slip at 8:30 a.m., started sailing just before 11:00 and didn't have to turn the engine back on until we reached Oceanside at 4:30. Tip: You can get the restroom key in advance from Oceanside Harbor with a $30 deposit.

oceanside to avalon
Left Oceanside at 9:15 and didn't get a good breeze until 11:45. Closer to Catalina it was great sailing and a lot of fun on the helm. The Avalon Harbor Police were waiting for boaters in the fairway and we were surprised by the question "Where do you want to be?" We ended up on 46, the second row off the beach, great spot.

Avalon casino ballroom
Avalon Casino ballroom

There's a new casino tour "Behind the Scenes" - which takes you behind the stage, into the dressing rooms, the projector room, and Wrigleys own private screening room beyond the projection room. With the tour you also get entrance to the museum, the museum also has new "behind the scenes" exhibits and video clips to accompany the new tour.

private cove on the West End Two Harbors
Private cove on the West End Two Harbors
two harbors
Although 3 nights weren't enough, we left Avalon for Two Harbors on Wednesday morning. Only 2 hours motoring up the coast and the weather changed dramatically when we arrived at the Isthmus. Sunny but a very cold wind blowing across Cat Harbor. The next morning the boat was dripping wet even under the bimini and other canvas. We hauled the bikes out from the back berth, made some sandwiches and snacks and biked on the West End road up to Emerald Cove and back. Beautiful coves to see. The fog rolled in again late afternoon.

Reality Check Descanso Beach
Off Descanso Beach on mooring W22
back to avalon
Too cold in Two Harbors so back to Avalon for another night. 2 hours motoring down the coast and back to nice warm weather! Friday is not the day to be arriving in Avalon, in fact this weekend moorings "inside" filled up Thursday - probably due to the art festival. We ended up on a W22 off Descanso beach which was a nice change anyway. We loaded both bikes into the dinghy and had a great Avalon biking day.

Elks Newport Beach
Slip in front of the Elks Newport Beach
avalon to newport beach
"26 miles across the sea", yep its about 26 miles from Avalon to Newport Beach. We pulled into the guest slip at the Elks at 2:30 (thanks Pam and John!) after a no-wind day motoring across and had a great night dancing the night away at the Elks Western Roundup! Yee ha! Newport Beach is a beautiful place to visit, we've spent many days sailing and racing here on Runaway II. Next year we plan to spend more time and do some biking around Balboa Island.

newport beach to oceanside
Left Balboa Island fuel dock at 11:16 a.m. It was supposed to be windy but we sure didn't find it for very long. Saw a whale off of Dana Point, it was blowing and fluke slapping and hanging out.

Tired of that motor, managed some sailing late afternoon and pulled into Jolly Roger Slip #6 in Oceanside at 4:45. 3.5 hours on the diesel on this leg.

Jolly Roger guest slips oceanside
Jolly Roger with guest slips in front in Oceanside
oceanside to san diego
Out of Oceanside at 10:00 and a great sail starting 11:15 until about 3:00. It was getting pretty choppy and the marine layer looked ominous for awhile but cleared up nicely. Back into the home slip at 4:30.

2009 Photo Gallery

How far is it?* How much time in 2009?
8.50 hours from San Diego to Oceanside - 41.7 nautical miles
8.25 hours from Oceanside to Avalon - 47.2 nm
2.25 hours from Avalon to Two Harbors - 11.6 nm
2.00 hours from Two Harbors to Avalon - 11.6 nm
6.00 hours from Avalon to Newport Beach - 26.5 nm
6.00 hours from Newport Beach to Oceanside - 33.4 nm
6.50 hours from Oceanside to San Diego - 41.7 nm

*Distance shown is rhumb line, the actual distance is determined by your course

Around Point Loma Kelp
Latitude/Longitude locations approximate

If you don't want kelp wrapped around your prop you have to keep your eyes peeled and navigate around it. The most kelp-free way is to head southwest to San Diego Buoy #1 and turn northwest to Avalon Harbor, Catalina at that point.

San Diego Channel Buoy #5 (Lighted Bell Buoy) latitude/longitude
decimal: 32.650278 -117.218333
degrees: 3239.1' N 11713.6' W

San Diego Bay Approach Lighted Whistle Buoy #1
decimal: 32.6175 -117.235278
degrees: 3237.3' N 11714.7' W

Avalon Harbor
decimal: 33.347167 -118.323667
degrees: 3320.83' N 11819.42' W

Events and Activities

Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce

Catalina Pottery & Tile Extravaganza
Sept 13 - Outrigger Championship - Kane and Masters Coed Race launches from Lovers Cove, Catalina Island and ends at Newport Dunes, Newport Beach
Sept 13 - 15 Zane Grey Invitational Marlin Tournament
Sept 18 - 20 Art Festival