Since the last time we went to Catalina it was too cold and overcast to do any swimming, we decided to redeem summer over Labor Day weekend. We rallied Scott up from San Diego and took off under cloudy skies and with no wind.
Along the way we saw this guy. He's sort of a sail boat/pirate ship/Chinese fishing boat. But there he was, out in the Pacific, floating like a champ and giving us something interesting to talk about.
Since we didn't have any wind, we kept the jib (aka front sail) furled (aka rolled up). I camped out on the nose of the boat dangling my feet off the front and feeling the water spray my toes when all of a sudden one of my favorite things in the entire world happened. Dolphins ran over to the boat and swam right underneath me, playing in the boat's wake and generally just being magical creatures of joy.
A little over halfway there, the clouds started to clear up and we pulled out the sails to catch some wind. Scotty took the helm. Mack took a nap. I took pictures. We also ran the macerator while in the shipping lane and watched lots of ground up pee and poop spew out the side of the boat. It was disgusting and satisfying and liberating, for it means from hence forth, there will be pooping on the boat.
As we entered Two Harbors, we saw boats upon boats upon boats. Boats were anchored. They were moored. They were tied to each other, 3 to 4 in a row. They were driving around. It was so busy it didn't even look like Isthmus Cove to us. We puttered in on the motor and looked for our mooring ball. Which had a boat called Dionysus tied up to it. Wait, what?
Mack radioed the harbor patrol to kindly ask them to evict that guy and make way for Kenutu. And that was when we found out that actually the mooring ball we'd reserved after attending an Indian wedding party with an open bar was in Catalina Harbor, just on the backside of the island.
We circled out of Isthmus Cove and started heading to the point and making the 2-4 hour trip to the backside of the island. Mack made the reservation but somehow this blunder was all my fault, just so you know.
It ended up being a lovely trip. I dangled my legs off the aft port side (aka back left) and soaked my toes while we watched the coast go by. We found a roomy beach with lots of divers on it. And as we rounded the point we found where all the fisherman go. And a giant rock covered in bird poop that was pretty extraordinary.
Getting in to Catalina Harbor was leaps and bounds easier than Isthmus Cove. It was busy but far less cramped. We made our way to the mooring ball, which did not have a boat attached to it, Scotty reached waaaaayyyyy out over the edge to grab the needle, and we officially made it.
Since this was our first trip to Catalina with a proper dinghy, we decided to grab a beer and take a sunset cruise around the harbor to look at the other boats. There was a 1987 68' Irwin Ketch that had a freaking hot tub on its deck that we were very jealous of. It's for sale for $400,000 if you're interested. I look them up just in case I may be able to get a digital tour.
Once back on board Kenutu, I set out to making some dinner. Grilled tuna steaks on my awesome grill. Unfortunately these were not from a tuna that I caught, but I did buy a new fishing pole for trawling and put "Catch a Tuna" on my bucket list. Also on that list is "Learn How to Filet a Fish."
We watched some pelicans dive for fish as day turned to night and then we saw the milky way creep out from the darkness. We'd never seen the milky way on Catalina before, so that was pretty amazing. We went to sleep in the path of a crazy wind which jostled Kenutu left and right, but we woke up in the same spot and made a mental note to pick a mooring ball a little more protected by the cliff next time.
In the morning we made coffee and got to work.
Mack got started on some projects he wanted to do (changing out the lifelines and zinc and installing an autopilot), and Scott and I got to the important work of RELAXING. At one point we all decided it was time to go to shore for a Buffalo Milk and a Painkiller, so we piled into the proper dinghy and electric motored right on over to the dinghy dock. A little hike later and we were at the bar, looking out at all the chaos and noise and activity going on at Isthmus Cove, and thanking our drunk selves for reserving the wrong mooring ball on the backside of the island.
I managed to get Mack to hike around with me a little bit so we could get a better look at our girl. Sometimes he is all work and no play, so this was no small victory. We walked up a few trails to an overlook and there she was. My god, she is beautiful. It helps that the harbor she is in is also breathtaking. We are some lucky little assholes, I tell you what.
The next day was especially rough. I had to go swimming and the water was cold. It took me like 5 minutes to get used to it and I could only swim for like 20 minutes before I started to freeze. But I found a reef full of fish and plants and sting rays and sea urchins and even a lobster! Someone asked me if I saw the leopard shark! I hadn't, thank god, but how wild that there was one to be seen!
Mack ran the engine when I got back on board and I got to enjoy a nice hot shower after my cold swim. I bundled up for another windy night and started making some linguine with clam sauce for dinner. We ate by the lantern and slept listening to the sounds of the sea. In the morning, I woke up and looked out the port window to see this.
Given our extra sail time from the backside of the island, we packed up pretty early and got underway. As we rounded the point, I was on the helm (aka driving) and saw some crazy going on in the distance. It wasn't a boat this time, but instead a wacky dolphin having a freak out.
We got Kenutu home in no time at all, sailing at about 6 knots most of the way. After we hosed her down and got her tucked in for the night, we went home and did the same for ourselves. It was a Labor Day well spent.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.