Monday, August 27, 2007
Dana Point to Catalina and Back
A two-day pit stop on the way out to Vegas before a tradeshow placed my colleague J.P. and I on Chris Christenson’s doorstep in Cardiff by the Sea, California. There were some ankle snappers breaking at Cardiff but nothing to write home about. Chris being proud owner of a brand new 19ft Boston Whaler decided that the calm seas equated to the perfect opportunity to take the boat out on its first long distance voyage to Catalina. The outbound trip was an hour and fifteen minutes harbor-to-harbor Dana Point to Avalon. After having lunch in Avalon we decided to troll the east coast over to Two Harbors. We anchored up for a while, and went spear fishing, which just turned out to be snorkeling. Signs of the west swell that wasn’t supposed to arrive until the following morning prompted us to pull anchor. Immediately we noticed that the seas were bigger than we had anticipated. Chris was certain that J.P. was going to be the first to get seasick, but the sub-par burrito that I had for lunch had its money down on another contender.
A quarter of the way back the voltage on the engine took a frightening dive. The brand new boat proved to have a faulty alternator. Faced with an “oh shit do we turn around and go back" moment we decided to power through it. Just when we were smack dab between Catalina and the mainland we saw a powerboat about our same size b lining it right into our path. The last thing we wanted to do was slow down and allow the engine to cut out, but Chris had no other choice than to do so. No more than two seconds later, what seemed to be a grey golf course, surfaced 30 yards in front of us. In unison J.P. and I let out an “OH SHIT…………” The other boat was chasing a whale, and I shit you not, we were about thirty yards from t-boning that thing. We managed to make it back in three hours, more than double the time it took us to get out there. We pulled up to the dock and Chris yelled out “Tie us off on the dock Florida.” My sea legs nearly got best of me because I barely cleared the rail narrowly avoiding taking a dip. Fortunately fate had decided on a happier ending. There are some photos up in the California section of my photo blog.