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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:39 pm 
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Hey All,

Been working on the planning for a while, but thought I would throw it out there to the board... My wife and I are planning to head to Catalina Island on our TI the weekend of Oct 7 (Still debating which boat in camping site). It's a bit of a planned "challenge". Im turning 44 in October so as a birthday challenge to myself (a recently lost friend, rock climber Steve Edwards, has been promoting these for years and Im feeling that some of my parked challenges need to be met before life gets further in the way. This is one of them. Since it's my 44th Im looking at the approximate 44 miles RT as the goal. Originally I had hoped to circumnavigate the island, but time and knowing the workout we could get on the windward side of the island had me table the idea of 88 miles!

That said, to quell the initial concerns with this, I'll give you my background... I grew up sailing on Malibou Lake, racing 21ft sloops by age 13 (just started racing those classics again this year), owned a Star for about 5 years (that was a fun boat) and until a few years ago owned a Coronado 25. I've made the sail to Catalina many times on boats ranging from Catalina 21 to a Choy Lee 42' departing out of MDR, SP, LB & CI. All but one time I was captain and more times than not single handing so my crew could enjoy themselves sunning, drinking or... I also have a backgrounding surfing when younger, as well as almost 30 years of in frequent diving experience.

I'm also not fooling myself that this will be quite different on a TI. Im an avid mountain biker and training right now including a recumbent stationary bike at home to get my legs in good shape in anticipation that I could be peddling the whole way depending on the weather. I have a Spot Gen3, 6w handheld floating VHF, good PFDs, wetsuits and working on my overall packing list of things essential to pull this off in a safe & responsible fashion, as well as fun! For example, Im not used to being this low to the water in the shipping lanes, though avoidance is virtually the same on the boats I've piloted. Im more concerned with not being as easily seen -- I bought a papaya TI for that reason over my desire for dune. My plan is to depart out of San Pedro early am, peddle for a while in hopes that the wind will do it's usual routine. I have a good map showing position and speed of ships in the lane to help me plan

I know there are a lot of opinions, especially those Ive talked to that think this is a foolish venture or that sharks could get us (not high on my risk chart, but awareness & preparation still important)... I respect that and welcome them.

So.. that somewhat loose bunch of details out there... thought I would see what folks thought. My wife and I are looking forward to the time together (2 young daughters keep us busy at home).

Cheers,
Joshua


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:47 pm 
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Sounds like a blast. If I we're in Cali I would be down to join you. Good luck and fair winds!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:19 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
The TI is really more of a light duty coastal sailer and lake boat, not really intended for open ocean. Yea you can tape over the front hatch, and add safety lines to the AMA's so if the nylon sheer bolts break from wave pressure, at least you won't capsize. The boat is very light, and most waves stop you in your tracks, and the boat tends to get pushed around quite a bit in offshore chop (things that you see much less of with a bigger mono). Riding a TI in 2-3ft chop is a pretty miserable experience especially in cold water. Make sure to bring a nice bilge pump along , you will need it.

The sail on the TI is very small, and it's upwind capability is very limited. Yea it goes ok in 12mph winds and chop, but it's fairly difficult to head into the wind much closer than 50 degrees off the wind with a stock TI. Meaning if the winds are wrong this turns from a 26 mile jaunt to a 60 mile arduous journey (excessive tacking). Of course it can all be done, and many have made that trip, I'm just saying choose your day wisely.
We sail off shore down around the tiny speck in the ocean called Key West often (and the gulf coast) , and the weather changes and wind shifts rapidly down here. Of course our TI is heavily hardened with massive sailsets and twin outboards, kinda specifically for sailing off shore down here. But before doing all those mods on several occations we were caught way offshore and couldn't get back to the tiny Island because of strong currents and having the wind shift on us. Of course if all fails you can furl the sail and pedal thru pretty much anything, in our experience in wrong wind, rough conditions we can maintain around 2-3mph headway (heading back to key west island), but it's quite a physical feat and not for the faint of heart. In extremely light winds and flat seas you can cover great distances with the mirage drives (no wind no problem with a TI)
Can it all be done, yes (we often do 50-60 milers, but not real far from any shores (maybe 5 miles max). My only advise is understand the boats real (not imagined) capabilities, then adjust and harden accordingly.
Have a fun trip, sound like a blast, keep in mind there is safety in numbers (multiple boats).
FE


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Although I have a hobie 18 Cat...I would love to join you in the future for this trip...(can't go this weekend!) there are lots of links I can send you for this trip. I would only attempt it if you have multiple boats going for safety.
Would love to plan (months) in advance for this and get a large group. Maybe different types of boats.

Below are links you will want to watch. Some are of Hobie Cats...but there is always something to learn!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BHAzDPW5So

https://vimeo.com/14578210

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veNABi-79cY

http://www.thebeachcats.com/OnTheWire/w ... ature1.htm

http://www.catsail.com/cinp/trip0609/sci0609.html

Distances from here to there below:

From Descanso Beach to:
Willow Cove - 2.5 mi
Long Point - 4.25 mi
Goat Harbor - 6.25 mi
Ripper's Cove - 8.5 mi
Blue Cavern Pt - 11.25 mi
Two Harbors -12.25 mi 12.25

From Two Harbors to:
Emerald Bay - 2.75 mi
Parson's Landing - 4.25 mi
West End - 7.25 mi 7.25

From West End to:
Ribbon Rock - 3 mi
Cat Head - 6.75 mi
Little Harbor - 10 mi 10.00

From Little Harbor to:
Salta Verde Pt. - 7 mi
Silver Canyon Bch - 8.75 mi
Church Rock - 12.5 mi
Avalon - 16.75 mi
Descanso Beach - 17.25 mi 17.25

Total 47.00

Below is a gear list from guys who have done this trip many times.

Gear list (without the camping gear), not necessarily all inclusive:

- Type III PFD (NOT inflatable).
- Trap Harness
- Life line connected to a jack line that runs across the trampoline allowing me to tack without unclipping
- At least one VHF (I carry 3, one per man on PFDs and a spare on the boat)
- A cell phone
- At least one GPS (I carry 2)
- A personal EPIRB attached to PFD
- A SPOT locator with position reporting subscription.
- Signal light clipped to PFD, that can also be used as a flashlight.
- At least one flashlight in addition to above
- A whistle attached to PFD
- Signal mirror. (A CD works well)
- Flares (Aerial worn on person, handheld on boat)
- An emergency blanket (one of those small silver mylar ones)
- A First Aid Kit, including Bonine or some other form of Anti-vert
- Sunscreen
- A printed way point list with coordinates in case of GPS data loss.
- A knife, attached to PFD
- Cash and ID
- A Nav Chart
- A tide chart
- Water / Food
- Extra zip lock bag

I hope I have not worn out my welcome with you, just passing on some info.

John

TTFN


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:14 pm 
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I am going on my first trip from Long Beach to Catalina this Oct 5.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 2818
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
fusioneng wrote:
The TI is really more of a light duty coastal sailer and lake boat, not really intended for open ocean. Yea you can tape over the front hatch, and add safety


aning if the winds are wrong this turns from a 26 mile jaunt to a 60 mile arduous journey (excessive tacking). Of course it can all be done, and many have made that trip, I'm just saying choose your day wisely.
We sail off shore down around the tiny speck in the ocean called Key West often (and the gulf coast) , and the weather changes and wind shifts rapidly down here. Of course our TI is heavily hardened with massive sailsets and twin outboards, kinda specifically for sailing off shore down here. But before doing all those mods on several occations we were caught way offshore and couldn't get back to the tiny Island because of strong currents and having the wind shift on us. Of course if all fails you can furl the sail and pedal thru pretty much anything, in our experience in wrong wind, rough conditions we can maintain around 2-3mph headway (heading back to key west island), but it's quite a physical feat and not for the faint of heart. In extremely light winds and flat seas you can cover great distances with the mirage drives (no wind no problem with a TI)
Can it all be done, yes (we often do 50-60 milers, but not real far from any shores (maybe 5 miles max). My only advise is understand the boats real (not imagined) capabilities, then adjust and harden accordingly.
Have a fun trip, sound like a blast, keep in mind there is safety in numbers (multiple boats).
FE

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM" with Hobie spinnaker and Hangkai outboard
only cool people follow the (non-magnetic) titanium weight-loss program! lol.)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:54 am 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
fusioneng wrote:
The TI is really more of a light duty coastal sailer and lake boat, not really intended for open ocean. Yea you can tape over the front hatch, and add safety
SNIP
FE

I believe you are confusing surface chop with ocean swell. Surface chop is what causes the damage. Check out the guys in the Canary Islands (I bet they all now have ama brace lines though! ).

Prudent seamanship is what matters, and I for one am quite happy in the big old ocean in my hardened TI

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only cool people follow the (non-magnetic) titanium weight-loss program! lol.)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:00 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Tony:
I agree in a very experienced sailers hands who has ocean sailing experience, (and fully understands the potential dangers) and has the ability and wherewithall to understand and compensate for the boats weaknesses (hardening the boat). Then the TI becomes a very capable boat.
When in ideal conditions (winds 10-15 mph) the stock boat is very capable. However we found that if we find ourselves offshore and the conditions go outside the desired performance window the stock boat can become quite difficult. In our case before adding additional sails and suplimental propulsion we found ourselves unable to get back to Key West Island against the current, or the wind died or became too powerful while we were out in order to be able to get back to shore.
The biggest problem we encountered after adding the spinnaker was we greatly enhanced the downwind capabilities of the boat without increasing the upwind capabilities of the boat. This put us in danger of being able to sail someplace, but unable to return. We determined quickly that the upwind capability of the boat needs to more closely match the downwind capabilities. We found ourselves sailing offshore, then turning around to come back, sailing to the best of our ability pointing around 50 degrees off the wind with a negative vmg, (sailing like mad but being blown further away from shore). What started out as a gilligans island three hour tour ends up as a 10 hr gruiling ordeal peddling with everything you have in you to get back to safety.
We ran into a similar situation up north in sarasota bay, we would sail up to the north end of the bay, then spend the entire rest of the day trying to tack back. Yea I know most start out up wind , then always return downwind,(as destination sailers we seldom have that luxury), this only reverses the situation, you now spend 6 hrs grueling tacking to the north end, then 30 minutes getting back to launch. In our own situation adding the jib improves our upwind performance enough so we can at least now get back in. And adding the the supplimental propulsion (motors), adds a safety factor if you need it to always get you back to shore no matter what the conditions change to (obviously within reason, (sailing out into a cat 4 hurricane is just plain stupid, your not coming back)), just sayin...
FE


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:29 pm 
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FE, the difficulties you speak of are largely generic, in that they could apply to almost any vessel. A sailboat is always going to face an uphill battle (sorry) if the wind dies and/or facing a significant adverse current.

My local forecast is for 35kmh offshore winds, which is why the boat trailer park at my local boat ramp is empty. But I would certainly back my Island in terms of ultimate safety compared to the great majority of trailered power boats.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:38 am 
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Location: Colorado
Youtube has a bunch of videos of TI/AI crossing from LA to Catalina. We motored / sailed over to Two Harbors in July on a sailboat and at Two Harbors I met a guy on a TI who had just come over from (I believe) Cabrillo beach. This guy was camping in some boat in camp spot just a little SE of Two Harbors.

Since the OP said he has done this trip many times, I wonder what the sailing plan would be? In July and on the sailboat, we left from Alamitos marina about 7 AM in calm condition's and motored heading somewhat North of our Two Harbors destination. About 2/3 the way over motoring, the typical winds picked up and we sailed the last 1/3 almost on a reach into Two Harbors. I understand if you head directly towards Catalina, you will end up sailing upwind the last leg. Heading back to LA, we left somewhat early again in calm conditions and heading straight towards Long Beach and motored again about 2/3 of the way and sailed the last part which had a fair amount of downwind sailing.

In July the weather patterns seemed to be fairly consistent. In the fall you can get the Santa Ana winds (strong off shore.. YIKES).. The typical weather patterns must influence how you do the trip?

Heck.. your biggest safety risk might be getting run over by some clown in a giant motor boat on auto pilot.. I understand you get cell phone coverage all the way over, you can even get off air TV from LA all the way over.. LOL.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:47 pm 
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So sorry to have gone dark on this thread all!! Work was a bear for a while and I had so much to focus on for the trip.

As mentioned, I've made this crossing many times before in all manners of boats, mostly all sailboats though. All of your sage advice and wisdom helped me refine the plan and qualify some of my assumptions...

So all that said, I completed my trip! Friday Oct 7 of all days no wind developed for my trip over there. Rare... every sailor I talked to was frustrated by the odd lack of wind that day. I left the ramp in Cabrillo at 7a. In the absence of wind and my wife meeting me in Two Harbors at 3p I made a tough call about mid-channel to change course from Goat Harbor to Two Harbors. 9.4 hours after leaving Cabrillo I was beaching in Two Harbors. I peddled all the way to around Bird Rock when the vortex of wind came from the backside of Cat Harbor through the Isthmus and instantly I had 10+ mph winds coming staring across my bow. I was instantly tacking at about 5 knots and giddy after 8+ hours of peddling to get the last couple miles in tacking at speed and relaxing.

Chose not to head to Goat Harbor that afternoon after all and got an amazing room in the Banning House Lodge for the night, along with a nice dinner and drink at the Harbor Reef.

The next day I loaded my wife's gear on the tramps and we set out for Goat Harbor (approximately 6 miles down the leeward side of the island towards Avalon. We had an amazing time with no one else there on our private beach. If none of you have been to Catalina in October, it's my favorite time to go. The water is usually perfect, the weather still warm at night and the daytimes in the 80's. The next day we headed back to Two Harbors for the late ferry out. Couldn't help but do a bunch of beach & ocean clean up along the way which resulted in (25) 2 gallon water jugs, soda cans and some other random garbage from Goat Harbor. The island has always been so good too me I always do what I can to give back (including having been a conservancy member for years). I was rewarded with free water for my whole trip from the team there for my efforts!

I went back to Goat Harbor again for the night and started my trip back on Monday at 7a. This time the wind developed directly from the west with a west 2-3 swell immediately! I averaged approximately 6.8 knots all the way to Cabrillo beach before turning down along the breakwater to the mouth of LA Harbor. My crossing from Goat Harbor to Cabrillo Beach, not to the actual launch ramp was 3 hours 45 minutes! No peddling except for when I needed more rudder authority or when a good swell was hitting me more abeam. With the direct west swell I had to point higher than my intended destination and fall off once in the shadow of Palos Verdes bluffs.

It was an absolutely incredible experience and I highly recommend it! Going solo isn't for everyone and safety in numbers is always the case, but this was comfortable waters for me having grown up in them... I will definitely do it again in the TI


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:09 pm 
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Great to hear that the trip went well for you, apart from over NINE HOURS PEDALLING! Good grief! You are made of sterner stuff than I am... You can see many many of us have added auxhiliary motors.

Did you get any footage/photos?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:18 pm 
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Wow.. nice adventure!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:04 pm 
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How did you pull up the boat on the beach for Goat Harbor solo?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:04 am 
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Sounds like a great trip, Malibou!

Keith

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