Location and Moorage: Two Harbors and Avalon; four nights on moorings
After Venice, it was on to Catalina. But first, the girls went for a short SUP adventure around the MDR harbor, while Jody and Randy made one more provisioning run (thinking we couldn’t possibly ever have too much food), and off we went.
It was a ripping sail right out of the gate, with breeze in the low teens. Haven poked around the boat a bit, this being her first time on a real sailboat, settled into the cockpit, and promptly joined Sierra in falling asleep. This would turn out to be their default sailing position.
The search for dolphins and whales was mostly a bust on this leg, as we only had one whale spout, at a great distance, off of Palos Verdes. But Free Luff was fast enough to slowly reel in a monohull that had started miles before us, just squeaking in front of them on the entrance to Two Harbors. Nice. Because, as you know, it’s always a boat race.
We picked up a mooring right in the middle of Isthmus Cove, and had a nice dinner aboard. Time for euchre. Since the girls are both off to college in the Midwest this fall, it’s hard to understate the importance of developing solid euchre chops for the social evenings to come. We took it upon ourselves to school them properly (mostly Haven, as Sierra was already a professional), and we played every night until they left. And sometimes they kicked our asses. So… mission accomplished. Look out Kazoo and Albion. These girls are ready.
A couple days at Two Harbors with some SUPing, a bit of swimming, ice cream and wandering ashore. Pretty mellow midweek, and quite nice. On the 11th we headed down island toward Avalon, with a day stop at Cabrillo Anchorage where Sierra, Haven, and Randy (see Shakedown Vid #5 addendum) jumped off the rock there called Lil’ Gibraltar. Super fun, and a bit scary the first time around. Very important to keep all limbs accounted for and accessories tucked in as you hit the water. Another good lesson for the girls, it turns out. Awesome.
There was some wind chop working into the shallow anchorage, so we figured we’d be better off in the more protected harbor of Avalon, so we had a screwy sail down there for the last 4-5 miles, and picked up a mooring near the harbor entrance. After getting settled we dinghied into shore for a fantastic dinner at Bluewater Grill right on the harbor, in celebration of their graduations, topped with ice cream at Olaf’s next door, of course. Bellies full and happy, it was all we could do to get three games of euchre in before passing out.
And sleep was good, cuz the next day was busy, too. We sent the girls zip lining at Descanso Beach Club as a gift, and they came back with good stories, some unsolicited social media contacts (these girls turned heads EVERYWHERE we went), and a strong desire to hit the showers. Which they promptly did, followed by…. ice cream, of course. Some cruising around town, checking out the little homes and quiet streets.
Dinner aboard, awesome homemade (perfect sized) chocolate cake (see Shakedown Vid #5), and more euchre, and it was time to call it quits on Avalon. The next day dawned grey and pretty mellow, but the polite yet firm harbor patrol made it clear it was time for us to go at about 10am. So off we went, on another nice reach to Marina Del Rey, this time with visits from a couple different pods of dolphins, although none stayed to play too long. Still got to check that box for Haven, which was nice. And the girls even stayed awake for the last couple hours of the sail, which seemed odd.
Arrived at the same guest dock at Burton Chace Park in Marina Del Rey, and hoofed it over to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner (this is a California classic that the girls had never been to, with a super varied menu that can take almost half an hour just to read through). Tasty grub and a little carrot cake later, and it was back to the boat for the final game of euchre and – sob – packing up for the flight home.
We so loved having Sierra and Haven with us for that week and were honored that they chose to spend time with us on their celebratory trip. Sweet kids, and it was a rare chance to spend quality time with two very busy student athletes. It’s times like this we actually believe the future may be quite bright.